The best water activities and boat rentals in Toronto this summer

With the temperatures rising and vaccines flowing, there’s never been a better time to reacquaint yourself with Toronto’s waterways. You could opt for your basic beach day, or you could step it up a notch and experience the excitement that comes with an adventure on the high seas.

Here are five places where you can find all of the resources you need to ride (or fly above) the waves this summer. 

FlyBoarding Toronto 

 

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For the thrill seekers in your crew, FlyBoarding Toronto is the place to be this summer. Proclaimed as the “coolest new sport of the decade” on their website, flyboarding is essentially the aquatic version of a jetpack. Instead of two rocket engines strapped to your back, you have two powerful water propulsion jets under your feet. These jets allow you to fly up to 30 feet in the air and perform tricks such as twirls and flips. 

Located on Lake Simcoe in Richmond Hill, FlyBoarding Toronto offers a safe way to try this emerging experience. No experience is necessary, and certified trainers will be with you every step of the way. They offer a variety of packages, starting at $150. 

 

Toronto Islands Boathouse 

If you’re looking to escape the mainland altogether, no getaway is more convenient than the Toronto Islands. 

While Centre Island gets all of the attention, the Toronto Islands are an intricate grouping of land masses, with tight waterways, lagoons and open waters just begging to be explored. 

The Toronto Island Boathouse offers canoe, kayak and pedal boat rentals, which are perfect to get you close (but not too close) to the sea turtles, herons, swans and 35 species of fish that call Toronto’s waters home. Canoes can fit up to three adults or two adults and two children. Canoes and single kayaks are $29 for one hour, or $74 for three hours. Tandem kayaks are $37 for one hour. 

 

Toronto Adventures

Toronto’s rivers are wonderful places to explore, and there’s no better way to see the resilient waterways that contend with us city-dwellers than on a canoe, kayak or paddleboard. Situated on the banks of the Humber River, Toronto Adventures offers opportunities to rent all three of these watercrafts and take either a guided or unguided paddle. They also offer lessons on how to keep you and yours out of the drink, with no experience required. 

Toronto Adventures has something for everyone. For the die-hard kayaker, there’s an eight-hour sea kayaking certification course. For those looking for a more relaxed experience, there’s Movies on the River. Think of it as a drive-in movie, but instead of pulling up in your car, you row to your show. All of the movies on tap are water-related, including a showing of Jaws on July 29. Tickets start at $40, but if you bring your own boat and equipment, the charge is only $10.

For those interested in beautifying the area, there are also cleanup paddles that go in search of any trash left behind on the riverbanks. If you’re interested in exploring the Humber, there’s no better place to start than with Toronto Adventures. Two-hour kayak rentals start at $30.

 

Tallship Cruises Toronto

If you’re looking to take a trip back in time while still enjoying the amenities of modern-day water travel, look no further than Tallship Cruises TorontoThe Kajama, a 165-foot three-masted schooner, is the jewel of Tallship Cruises’ fleet. She sails from downtown Toronto and also has a full bar, which never hurts. 

Available for everything from corporate boat cruises to weddings to educational events, you can even witness a cannon being fired from its bow in this one-of-a-kind experience.  Stowing away on the Kajama (or the Challenge, a smaller schooner) will cost $32.50 for adults, $18 for children, $3 for kids four and under, and $29 for seniors. For information on private charters, check out their website. 

 

Toronto Beach Kayak 

For those looking to explore the waters of the East End, Toronto Beach Kayak has you covered. 

Located on Kew Beach, Toronto Beach Kayak is pet-friendly, meaning your doggo can come along for the ride. Their kayaks also include an over-sized cockpit, meaning they are extra sturdy and unlikely to send you and your pet for an unwanted swim. 

Single kayak rentals start at $30. Tandems start at $60. They do offer group rates, as you and four friends can snag five boats for an hour for just $120. Their website offers daily updates on availability. 

Harbourfront Centre

Harbourfront Centre offers fleets of boats including Sail boats, Yacht and Power Charters and Powerboat rentals. They also offer courses for those wanting to get a membership. The season will open on on Tuesday June 29 and will run until the end of October.

If you don’t have experience, you are eligible to rent two of the powerboats, the Paradise F13 two-seater power boats and the Lund Fury five-seater powerboats. The only requirement is a Valid G Driver’s License and be 21 years of age or older. For all sailboats and larger powerboats, you can hire a skipper.

 

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