Currently Browsing: Brian Jackson

Brian has been canoeing his entire life, going on his first multi-day backcountry out trip when he was 13. Brian worked at summer camps as an out trip leader and canoe instructor, and now lives in Toronto and works full time as the editorial director of a technology news firm. He escapes to go paddling whenever possible.
Lion's Gate Bridge and mountains

The one thing you need to know to rent a kayak in Vancouver

I recently took a business trip to Vancouver. Upon arriving in my hotel room overlooking the harbour between the city and Stanley Park, I immediately wanted to rent a kayak. Little did I know my aspirations would be foiled because I lakced one crucial piece of knowledge. With a colder-than-usual spring in Toronto pushing back […]

View of Tom Thomson lake

Potter’s Creek and Tom Thomson Lake loop in Algonquin Provincial Park

What could be more Canadian than backcountry canoe camping through Tom Thomson Lake over the Canada Day weekend? That’s the question I posed to my friends when I was organizing a four-night trek into the Algonquin backcountry, starting July 1. Though judging from their responses in the negative, I guess it did little to stoke […]

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Bell-David Lake Loop and Silver Peak hike in Killarney Provincial Park

Interactive map | How to do it Urban Paddler has returned! After a brief three years in dry dock, we’re packing up our food barrels, strapping the canoe to the car, and getting ready to dip our paddles into the waters of some exciting outdoor adventures once again. Stay tuned for some new posts detailing […]

Wawel

Kayaking the Wisla River in Krakow, Poland

Kayaking down the Wisla River immediately to the south of the old town isn’t the most popular activity in Krakow, Poland in the middle of May – but it is possible. After asking a few locals who spoke English about where I could rent a kayak and eliciting some strange looks, I was eventually helpfully […]

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Paddle The Don, 2012

In the five years that I’ve participated in Paddle the Don event, I often get a reaction of mock-horror whenever I explain it to someone. “What if you tip into the water?” they exclaim, as if this would be tantamount to plunging headfirst into a nuclear waste pool without a HazMat suit. Well two years […]

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Paddling the Minesing Wetlands near Barrie, Ontario

The Minesing Wetlands Conservation Area intrigued me because of its proximity to Toronto. Just to the west of Barrie, it can easily be driven to within an hour, yet it offers much of the appeal of more northerly destinations – a winding river to paddle on, a lively ecosystem full of wildlife, and just a […]

Porter Airlines uses the larger jets taking off from the airport.

Kayaking to Billy Bishop Airport near the Toronto Islands

Usually paddlers are looking for a little bit of peace and quiet when they set out in a canoe or kayak. But when you live in the heart of a high-density urban area, that’s not always an option. Sometimes, rather than trying to squeeze the best nature experience you can get out of a city, […]

The Starkells set out from Winnipeg on a journey that would take two years.

Book review: Paddle to the Amazon

In the summer of 1980, Don Starkell set out from Winnipeg, Manitoba with his two sons – Jeff, 19, and Dana, 18 – with the goal of canoeing to the mouth of the Amazon River. It seemed impossible and many told Don he would never make it and was foolish for trying, but he spent […]

Antonio, our guide, kayaking beside a sheer rock wall in the canyon.

Kayaking the Black Canyon on Nevada’s Colorado River

It was 6 a.m. when the Desert Adventures company came to pick me up from my hotel. “Thank God I’m still on eastern time,” I thought to myself, “otherwise this would seem almost unreasonably early.” I was staying just off the main strip at the Clarion Hotel & Casino (now closed) just off the main […]