Toronto emulates cottage country by becoming more ‘paddle friendly’

Kayakers and Toronto skyline

For all those city slickers who can’t get to cottage as often as they’d like, there’s good news—Toronto is about to become a more “paddle friendly” place.

The city plans to spend half a million dollars to create five new easy-to-access launching pads, built specifically for small, non-motorized vessels like paddle boats, canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddle boards.

The project was approved by the city’s parks and environment committee on Monday, and construction is set to begin this summer.

Committee chair Mary-Margaret McMahon told the Toronto Star that the idea is to encourage more paddling and fishing off the city’s shore. Although Toronto is currently home to a range of clubs and rental companies that offer access to the lake, there aren’t a lot of designated spots for individual paddlers to launch from.

“Not everyone has a cottage, but we have this glorious lake and beach, and we should be encouraging people to use it more,” she said.

The nodes will be located in parks along the city’s waterfront, scattered between Scarborough and Etobicoke. According to an earlier report by CBC News, the proposed locations include Bluffers Park, Marie Curtis Park, Prince of Wales Park, Humber Bay Park West, and Coronation Park.

Although five launching pads might not sound like a lot for the country’s largest city, it’s a start, and will help increase awareness around what Toronto’s waterfront has to offer.

McMahon told the Star that there’s also potential for canoe- and kayak-sharing programs in the future, but for now, residents will have to bring their own boats to the launching pads.