Ottawa Outdoor Club

Canoeing

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Coordinator: Mike McCurrie, canoe at ottawaoutdoorclub.ca

During the late spring and summer, we try to schedule two canoe trips per week: one weekday evening and one day on the weekend, usually Sunday. Daytime and evening trip destinations are many times in Gatineau Park or on the Gatineau River or the various Ottawa waterways.  We are generally back at the Community Centre by about 7:00 PM for day trips and around 11:00 PM for our evening paddles. 

Non-members are welcome on our trips; we ask for a small rental and participation fee.

We usually meet outside near the downstairs back door of the Sandy Hill Community Centre, or under the tree nearby. If it's cool, we sometimes meet just inside. The Community Centre's address is 250 Somerset Street East, between Sweetland Avenue and Nelson Street; the parking lot and the back entrance where we meet are accessible from around the corner on Sweetland Avenue (map). From there, we car-pool to pick up the canoes. If you have a vehicle, we recommend that you bring it, as extra vehicles are always useful when carrying canoes. (We have all of the equipment to mount canoes on a vehicle.)

Please check the event listings for details, as the meeting day, time, and location can vary. Please register by the departure time shown. Destinations will vary.

We occasionally offer

  • weekend canoe-camping trips. These may range from Algonquin Park to the west, Charleston Lake to the south, and la Vérendrye or parc Tremblant and other parts of the Laurentians to the north and east
  • canoeing skills and safety training
  • other special events, such as moonlight paddles

When the weather allows, we usually stop for a swim during our trips, so if you like swimming, don't forget your bathing suit! Sun-bathing is always an option.

Canoe-trip cancellation policy

Unfortunately, canoe trips can be cancelled due to weather or other reasons.  When a trip leader decides to cancel a trip, contact the canoe coordinator who will get the cancellation information out over social media.  If it all possible, the canoe trip leader still goes to Sandy Hill Community Center to inform anyone who shows up that the trip has been cancelled.  If it all possible, a raincheck date will be set.

The following guidelines are at the canoe coordinator's discretion.

For our day canoe trips:

  • Minimum group size of people 4 or 2 vessels.
  • Pets are allowed but they must wear PFD
  • Pet owners are fully responsible for their animals.
  • please bring a lunch or evening snack unless otherwise noted
  • please bring plenty of water for the day
  • we provide all canoe-related gear such as personal flotation devices (PFDs), paddles, and canoes, etc.
  • Trip leaders are responsible for bringing the first aid kits
  • Trip leader are responsible to check the first aid kit to sure it's in good order.
  • Trip leader & co-leader are responsible for the navigation and to bring Maps and compasses.

For our canoe-camping:

  • Minimum group size of 6 people or 3 vessels.
  • All interior canoe-camping trips must have a co-leader; if a trip exceeds 12 participants, a second co-leader can be added.
  • Interior canoe-camping trip exceeds 10 participants, a second first aid kit is required.
  • Before leaving, the sign-up sheet is sent to canoe coordinator or designated OOC member.
  • Upon returning from a trip, contact the canoe coordinator or designated OOC member.
  • according to federal regulation,
    • it is mandatory for each participant of a guided excursion to wear a life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD) at all times while in the canoe. You will not be permitted to participate if you do not wear one
    • cold water: when the water temperature is less than 15° C, procedures must exist to protect people from the effects of hypothermia. On these days, we strongly urge you to bring, at a minimum, a change of socks & underwear in a zip loc bag, and ideally, a complete change of clothing. If you don't have your own complete change of clothes and you get wet, we will have some extra outer clothes. You may not make a fashion statement in our clothes, but you'll be dry and warm! We'll have these with us in dry bags or equivalent.

A level of difficulty is provided for each canoeing trip:

  • L1: Small lakes and / or slow moving rivers; no portages; up to 5 km paddling. Trips will only ahead in good weather with wind speeds not exceeding 35 km/h. Suitable for novice paddlers
  • L2: Larger lakes and / or swift rivers; possible wind, waves, current, and / or portages; up to 15 km paddling. Maximum number Portages 3 per day and not exceeding 2 km per day. Previous paddling experience and good physical fitness preferred.
  • L2.5: Larger lakes and / or swift rivers; possible wind, waves, current, and / or portages; up to 20 km paddling. Maximum number Portages 5 per day and not exceeding 4 km per day. Previous paddling experience and good physical fitness preferred.
  • L3: Very large lakes and / or rivers; possible wind, waves, and / or current; significant portages; up to 30 km paddling. Maximum number Portages 8 per day and not exceeding 6 km per day.  Previous paddling experience and good level of physical fitness required
  • L4: Exceeds L3

The following levels of difficulty apply to outings before 2019:

  • L1: Small lakes and / or slow moving rivers; no portages; up to 10 km paddling. Suitable for novice paddlers
  • L2: Larger lakes and / or swift rivers; possible wind, waves, current, and / or portages; up to 15 km paddling. Previous paddling experience and good physical fitness preferred
  • L3: Very large lakes and / or rivers; possible wind, waves, and / or current; significant portages; up to 25 km paddling. Previous paddling experience and good level of physical fitness required
  • L4: Exceeds L3