elora paddle company

You can now go for a paddle in one of the most beautiful rivers near Toronto

Paddling one of the most beautiful rivers you can find close to Toronto is now more possible and magical than ever thanks to a new company renting out canoes.

Elora Paddle Company rents out canoes to paddle the Grand River, and they're only $25 for a 45-minute session.

24-year-old James Scott started up the company all on his own on June 14, 2021.

"I was born and raised in Elora and really am proud of it, and want others to enjoy it too," Scott tells blogTO.

"I'm a canoeist and kinesiology grad passionate about movement. I paired that up with my entrepreneurial spirit to start Elora Paddle Company."

The idea came to him when he realized that there were popular activities on the outskirts of Elora that drew in out-of-towners, like the gorge and quarry, but not as many like that available in town to break up a day of shopping and checking out restaurants.

The short paddle designated for canoeing with the company takes you between between Bissell Park and the Jack R. MacDonald pedestrian bridge on the Grand River, with lots of quaint sights and wildlife to see along the way.

"The current is very calm and makes it perfect for everyone, including families and first timers wanting a truly Canadian experience. You get to paddle underneath the main bridge and get a new perspective of the limestone buildings in town, as well as paddle alongside some ancient limestone cliffs rich with fossils up to 410 million years old," says Scott.

"At one end there is a beautiful falls that lots of people like to get their picture with. We have two resident white swans, Will and Tony, that are a big draw for people as well."

He says people have also been known to spot minks, beavers, osprey, blue herons, and even a great egret. Read: don't forget your camera.

He also says they've been operating at about 60 per cent capacity on weekends and 20 to 30 per cent capacity on weekdays, so if you have a weekday off to get out of town booking a paddle should be a piece of cake.

In addition to the Quarry, Gorge, and now canoeing the Grand River, Elora is also home to The Elora Mill Hotel and Spa and Elora Centre for the Arts, and drinks can be had at the town's own local brewery or distilling company. That means it's easy to make a day of it here, especially if you've been itching for a brief respite from city life.

Elora Paddle Company operates noon to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Lead photo by

Elora Paddle Company

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