We all hate to hear it, but summer is wrapping up quickly.
At the beginning of the season, we have long lists of things to do, see, and experience throughout the summer months, and then it passes with a blink of an eye. However, with the heat wave that’s hitting us, you still have ample opportunity to enjoy the summer weather.
Toronto is known to have a beautiful waterfront- from the Toronto Islands, to the harbourfront, there are many activities you can do that will immerse you in nature at the edge of the city. Toronto is home to various rivers, lakefront beaches, and islands, but while swimming and lounging on the beach sound like the life, it can get old quickly. If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous to do in the city, you’ve come to the right spot. Here’s how you can escape the grind of city life and enjoy the best water activities in Toronto.
Osha Osha is the first to offer Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) yoga lessons, tours, and rentals in Toronto’s West End at Budapest Park. Their mission is to get everyone on the water where they’ll feel “inspired, balanced, and energized through the connection to water, nature, and breath”.
Get out of the city and enjoy various SUP classes launching from Sunnyside. The staff creates a positive environment to learn how to paddle, with tips and tricks on how to improve. Osha Osha provides a fun and safe way to enjoy Toronto’s waterways that make you feel good both mentally and physically. They’re open from June 1st to October 1st from sunrise to sunset.
TIP: Try the sunset trip for breathtaking views.
Toronto Island SUP
Toronto Island SUP is another great option for paddle boarding. They even promise that if the water at Wards Beach is too choppy, their primary launch area at Algonquin Bridge has access to calm water in the inner lagoons with great views of the city. They operate every day of the week, but it’s suggested to book ahead of time since they set up on location each day.
This is definitely one of the must-do activities on the islands with beautiful city views. Weave through the lagoons with the occasional spotting of Toronto’s wildlife. The view of the skyline is jaw-dropping from the Toronto Islands and the staff is known to be extremely friendly, knowledgeable, and maintain excellent customer service, always providing good advice about where to go.
TIP: They now meet at the Algonquin Bridge regardless of experience or day of the week. They will continue to have a POP-UP SUP at Wards Beach on weekends if weather permits.
Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre
The Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre is located in the middle of the hustle bustle of Queens Quay West. Try the epic group kayak tour along Toronto Harbourfront and the islands- it will not disappoint. This place might be the most expensive, but the convenience to be able to rent a canoe from somewhere right on the water and just a short paddle from a day of exploring the Toronto Islands is well worth it. Canoe rentals are $50 for two hours or $90 for the day. This establishment rents out canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards.
TIP: They recommend a tandem kayak if you’re a beginner. Book a week ahead for weekends and a few days ahead for weekdays at the very minimum.
Humber River Paddling Centre
If you’re looking to learn something new or just looking to refresh your kayaking skills, try the Toronto Adventures Intro to Kayaking & Canoeing Lesson and Guided Tour located right on the scenic waterway of Toronto’s Humber River. This location is about a five-minute walk from Old Mill station. The tour begins with a brief on-land paddling lesson before you get on the water for a 1.5 hour guided paddle of the Humber River’s calm waters. Along the way, their experienced instructors will tell you about the Humber River and the wildlife, while helping you master your paddling skills. Rentals are $60 for two hours in a regular canoe and $70 for two hours in a large canoe.
TIP: The boat and equipment rental is not included in the lesson and guided tour price.
Harbourfront Centre Sailing and Powerboating
This place rents bareboat to the public with recognized credentials, or equivalent boating experience. Their smaller powerboats require safety training provided by their staff.
TIP: For those without experience, they can provide an instructor to sail or drive the boat for you. More information can be found here.
The Tall Ship Kajama
The Tall Ship Kajama is one of the most popular water activities to do in Toronto. The ship has 7000 square feet of sail on a 165-foot schooner and is said to be the most gorgeous ship in the city. Fun fact: it’s been sailing since 1930!
The Kajama tour takes you on a small loop around Lake Ontario, showcasing the island, the water, and the picturesque sky.
TIP: You can walk around the ship and take pictures even in the front of the boat.
This party boat boasts to be the largest open deck dance floor in Toronto. There are two fully-equipped bars on board with lots of space for dinner parties.
If you want to plan a private party, they have party planners to take care of the details for you along with their in-house DJ, chef, five bars, an indoor lounge and outdoor deck. You can also celebrate a small event or just enjoy the sights of the city on one of their Public Cruises.
With plenty of space on their open-air deck, an indoor lounge and an in-house optional MC & DJ to host, the River Gambler promises an experience to remember. A boat tour is a perfect way to spend a summer afternoon or evening with friends and family. It has all the benefits of being on a patio, but with a gorgeous view and a fun vibe.