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Just like poutine, maple syrup and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s prince-like good looks, the canoe has become a universally recognized symbol of Canada. This year, you can celebrate our country’s sesquicentennial birthday by exploring the Canadian Canoe Route.
Between Toronto and Ottawa, the unique region of the Ontario’s Highlands offers travellers so many ways to learn about and experience the legacy of the canoe—a gift to the world from the First Nations.
The suggested seven-day itinerary from Toronto will take you to the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, which houses an incredible collection of exhibits of canoes, kayaks and other watercraft. Then, head to Algonquin Park to the Madawaska Kanu Centre for a weekend course that teaches you how to paddle on your own. On Day 5, visit the Algonquins of the Pikwàkanagàn in Golden Lake, where they still build traditional birchbark canoes. At this point, you can take on whitewater rafting down the rapids of Rocher Fendu on the Ottawa River. Finally, you can end your adventure at the Rideau Canal, which connects Ottawa and Kingston. You can opt of a half-day paddle at Jones Falls, or switch from water to land and take on one of the many hikes along the Rideau.
The route works in either direction, from Toronto to Ottawa or vice versa. There are endless ways to customize this trip by adding park dates, camping days or even travel by RV. You can find more resources and a more detailed breakdown of the week-long itinereary here at theCanadianCanoeRoute.ca