August 27, 2020

By: Emilie Lapointe

Last week, I enjoyed Oakville’s outdoors on foot and this week I took to the water to get a different perspective. Labour Day Weekend is on the horizon and spending some time on the water is the perfect summer send-off. So let’s mark off kayaking or canoeing from our summer bucket lists and take this opportunity to get active and see Oakville from a unique vantage point.

For a while, COVID-19 made it nearly impossible for hobby rowers like myself to get on the water. It became even more difficult if you didn’t already own a kayak or canoe, because most rental places were back-ordered for purchase until October!

That’s why I’ve put together the ultimate guide to navigating Oakville on the water. See my route here and keep reading to learn more about renting, paddling and exploring in Oakville.

Where to rent

Because Oakville has now entered Stage 3, there is a rental option for people craving a little paddling adventure. One of the most convenient and pocket-friendly options is right in Oakville – Europe Bound (located at 166 South Service Rd E) - and is open every day of the week!

Europe Bound offers daily rates for canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards with options to rent for one day or several days. Each rental comes with everything else you need to stay safe – a life jacket, safety kit and paddles/oars. You even get a hand with mounting your rental to your vehicle!

My suggestion would be to call ahead of time for booking, as many people are trying to make the most of our last long weekend of summer.

Now that we’ve got the rental out of the way it’s time for the fun part – the adventure!

Where to eat on-the-go

I started my day by grabbing a quick lunch because I knew I was about to work up a sweat and an appetite. A hearty sandwich is always my choice for on-the-go dining and Visit Oakville’s Best Sandwich Talk of the Town Award-winner Sandwich Society did not disappoint. The David (named after Michelangelo’s David) was truly a work of art.

Admittedly, it was hard to pick just one so I got two to try – The David (their bestseller by far) and the Figaro. Both of them reminded me of my time in Florence and took me back to the winding, cobbled Firenze roads.

Where to row

After being firmly planted back to reality with my last bites, I was ready and excited to hit the water. I easily found free parking at Coronation Park and was delighted to see a small sandy launch point right in front of the parking lot.

And I was off! The push to get to Bronte Village was definitely a challenge as I was going against the current on a windy day, but the views of the houses, swans and sailboats along the skyline and Bronte Harbour were worth it. It also helped that I knew the way back would be much easier going with the current.

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If you’re looking for an amazing workout and adventure this is it! In total my trip was four hours long, just over 11km and, according to my FitBit, I burned over 1,000 calories!

There is truly no better way to spend a long weekend staycation than eating incredible food, exploring local parks, sipping refreshing drinks on a patio and strolling through the many neighbourhoods and cute shops that Oakville has to offer. Start planning your weekend and experience this gorgeous town on land and from the water!

Here are some tips for a safe and fun day on the water:

  1. Wear a lifejacket!
  2. Have a fully charged phone: You can stow it in the pocket of a lifejacket or in a waterproof bag. Put a pin on your map to indicate where you parked so you can look at your GPS in case you get carried away
  3. Bring the essentials: A water bottle, sunscreen, a mask and some snacks
  4. Entertain yourself: Look around, take photos, wave at the other boaters and sing Disney songs… At times, I felt like Moana so I sang How Far I’ll Go!