Toronto sits on one of the largest lakes in the world, so when you think you’ve seen the city from every angle, take your kids down to the shoreline and set out on the glassy waters of Lake Ontario on a Paddle Toronto tour. Children as young as 6 can spend a weekend afternoon in old-fashioned canoes, so gather up your kids and head down to the Harbourfront Canoe & Kayak Centre for a family adventure to remember.
Strap the young ones in their life jackets and pile in your canoe, which is a replica of the voyageurs that carried Canadian fur traders along their routes to Montreal, Hudson Bay, and far into the interior. It will be your home for the next two and a half hours, so grab a paddle and start singing Alouette. Your expert guide launches out into the lake, and you’re off! Your kids raise a cheer as they splash along with their paddles, excited to feel themselves gliding over the water. It feels like flying to them, but you’re relieved at the manageable pace as you row in time with other members of the group.
Soon, the expanse of water surrounds you, and you’re within view of the 13 islands that dot the lake. Their vibrant green shores look inviting and peaceful to the adventurers in your boat, and you spend the afternoon with the sun on your skin and a light breeze in your hair, paddling around bird sanctuaries and lagoons, listening to the guide describe the islands’ habitat — you had no idea so many bird species nested so close to the city— and watching your kids absorb the scene.
When you turn to head back toward the harbour, you’re treated to amazing views of the Toronto skyline. The CN Tower pierces the cloudless sky, and the white arc of the Rogers Centre looks giant from this distance. When the Paddle Toronto tour finishes up, your kids step to the docks and shuck off their life jackets, happy and energized from the day out.