Discover Boating in Ontario

Here in Ontario, there's water everywhere. Get yourself to the nearest body of water and soak up some quality time this summer!

Ontario waterways offer many fantastic natural and man-made sights for boaters, from the towering cliff of Devil’s Rock on Lake Temiskaming to the panoramic view from the top of Peterborough’s famous lift lock on the Trent Severn Waterway. But when it comes to manufactured marvels, none may be more impressive than the Toronto skyline viewed from a boat on the city’s Inner Harbour.

On a bright, sunny summer day, I joined a group of media for a cruise on a Yamaha G3 Suncatcher X324 SF pontoon boat and a Yamaha 242 Limited S “E-Series” sport boat around the Toronto Harbour hosted by Boating Ontario and Discover Boating. For an event geared to get the media excited about the limitless possibilities and fun of boating in Ontario, that sparkling Toronto profile shimmering in the sunlight served as both a picturesque backdrop and a strong reminder that most Ontarians are lucky enough to be able to go boating virtually in their own backyards.

As we launched from Harbourfront Centre Sailing and Powerboating, which offers both boating courses and rentals, all of us experienced the incredible sense of escape, freedom and adventure that’s inherent in the boating experience.

We cruised leisurely through the Inner Harbour and Eastern Gap to the lakeside of Ward’s Island, part of the amazing refuge from big city cares and woes that is the Toronto Islands.

Along Ward’s south beach, we wakeboarded, water-skied, enjoyed an on board picnic lunch and basked in the sun, happy to be floating on a boat instead of working our buns off as most Torontonians were doing on this steamy weekday in those tall skyscrapers glittering on the horizon.

Based on our thoroughly enjoyable afternoon on the water, I’d say that Boating Ontario succeeded in promoting boating in this province on behalf of its members, who include marina operators, boat dealers, brokers and suppliers. I’d also argue that the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s Discover Boating Campaign scored another victory in their quest to raise public awareness about the benefits, affordability and accessibility of the boating lifestyle.

Boating in Ontario includes everything from cabin cruisers, sailboats and runabouts to fishing boats and houseboats, and from personal watercraft to dinghies, inflatables, paddle boats, canoes and kayaks, so your choices for a boating experience are many and varied. And don’t forget that there are many boat rental companies as well as cruise boats and tours in places like the 1000 Islands, Lake Muskoka, the Kawarthas and Georgian Bay’s 30,000 islands.

So no matter where you live in Ontario, there’s an easy way for you to get out on the water boating this summer – and if you’re a visitor to this beautiful province, don’t leave here without spending some quality time on one of our 250,000 lakes or along our 100,000 kilometres (62,000 miles) of rivers. You’ll quickly discover why Ontario boating is so very special!

Meanwhile, here are a couple of helpful links for more info about boating in the Toronto Harbour and touring Ontario by personal watercraft.

About Craig Nicholson—The Intrepid Cottager

Popularly known in the summer as “The Intrepid Cottager,” Craig Nicholson is a freelance journalist, writer and communications consultant who specializes in motorized recreational activities, including personal watercraft. As an avid Sea-Doo rider, Craig logs over 100 hours and 3,000 kilometres (1,800 miles) on the water most summers on many waterways in Ontario and Quebec. His one-of-a-kind Intrepid Cottager website features his Sea Doo tour articles, PWC riding tips, product reviews and comment.

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