Free canoe lessons with Parks Canada

Learn basic canoe techniques, how to control a canoe in calm waters, and safety rules

Free canoe lessons

Photo credit: Getty Images

Feeling a little apprehensive about going out on the water, or not quite sure which way to hold a canoe paddle? For those wishing to learn the basics of canoeing and gain knowledge from an expert, Parks Canada is inviting beginners to participate in free learn-to-paddle lessons.

From June 25 to September 5, 2021, the calm and scenic waters of the historic Lachine Canal will host an introduction to paddle sports with Parks Canada-certified instructors. Open to all, the activity will allow participants to familiarize themselves with watercraft in a safe and supportive environment.

During your 1.5-hour activity — including 30 minutes of theory on-shore—  you’ll learn basic canoe techniques, how to control a canoe in calm waters, and safety rules.

Besides a canoe and paddle(s), you’ll also be provided with a personal flotation device.

Learn-to Paddle activities take place from Wednesday to Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and reservations must be made online beforehand. Spaces are filling up quickly, so make sure to reserve as soon as possible.

Use the following link for reservations.

From Parks Canada:

  • Groups must be composed of 2 people who are able to paddle, including a responsible adult.
  • Children 10 years and older can be considered as a 2nd paddler.
  • Maximum 3 adults per canoe, or 2 adults and 2 children.
  • Minimum age required: 5 years and older.
  • One family bubble per canoe.
  • Please note that the activity is not suitable for people with reduced mobility

The activity takes place at Hanger 1825. Find more information as well as location details at the following link: pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/qc/canallachine/activ/canoe-kayak/pagaie-paddle

If you already know how to canoe and kayak, you can bring your own equipment or rent various types of watercraft at the canal with H2O Adventures.


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