Q17. Are dogs allowed?
A1. There is a new fee of $100.00 per boat, whether it is a canoe or a kayak. This fee will be used to build opportunities for people to experience, engage in, and help enhance the Don River Watershed. Gathering of pledges is still strongly encouraged in advance of the paddle. Funds raised will help support environmental regeneration projects and other initiatives that are of environmental benefit to the watershed and the people who live, work and visit the Don. Your fundraising efforts will be rewarded with great prizes!
A2. A minimum donation of $1,200 allows your company to enter one team consisting of two canoes into the challenge. Teams are encouraged to collect additional pledges beyond their minimum corporate donation. The team that raises the most above the sponsorship fee of $4,000 (segment) or $1,200 (team) will win the Manulife Corporate Canoe Challenge.
A3. Yes, if there is lots of interest, a corporation can enter additional teams into the challenge. However, each team must register, submit their entry fee and collect additional donations separately. All teams (even those from the same company) will be competing against each other to win the challenge.
Q4. I’d like to raise funds to help support the Don River. Is there an easy way to do this?
A4. Yes! We’ve made it even easier for you to collect pledges. Fundraising can now be done online, or you can continue to print and use the pledge form.
A5. We suggest you use your judgment when determining the number of paddlers that will be in your watercraft including adults and children. It is important to consider your abilities as well as the abilities of the other passengers or paddlers, especially if children are involved. In order to paddle safely, it is also important not to overload your canoe. We strongly suggest no more than three adults per canoe and that one paddler must be experienced.
A6. The event begins at Ernest Thompson Seton Park. You can enter the park via the Wilket Creek and Sunnybrook Park entrance located on the west side of Leslie Street, just north of Eglinton Avenue. Follow the signs to the launch site.
A7. The take-out is located at the Keating Channel, on the north-west corner of Villiers Street and Don Roadway.
A8. There will be shuttle bus pick-up every 20 to 30 minutes from Villiers Street to bring you (not your canoe) to your car at Ernest Thompson Seton Park. You may leave your canoe at the take-out point in the designated areas for pick up later. Staff and volunteers are not responsible for your canoe or any personal items left behind.
A9. Manulife Paddle the Don will take place rain or shine, so please come prepared for these conditions. However, if the river is deemed unsafe for paddling due to a heavy or prolonged rainfall or for any other reason, the event will be cancelled. Before heading to the event, please check this web site or call the Manulife Paddle the Don hotline at 416-661-6600, extension 5397, for up-to-date notices. If the event is cancelled, it will not be rescheduled.
A10. It is approximately 10.5 km from Ernest Thompson Seton Park to the mouth of the Don at the Keating Channel. The paddle takes most participants approximately two hours.
A11. The Don is a fun river to paddle, however there are a number of challenging rapids along the route. We strongly recommend that at least one paddler must be experienced. We would not recommend this paddle for beginners or for those who are not comfortable steering a canoe or navigating through rapids or other obstacles.
A12. There are rocks, sharp turns and challenging rapids (class III) that paddlers must be comfortable navigating through and around. There are three weirs (small dams) that participants must get out of their canoes and kayaks to portage around. There will be volunteers at each of the weirs to assist paddlers, however, paddlers must portage their own canoe and gear.
A13. We recommend a minimum age of six years old to paddle the river. When deciding whether to participate, please keep in mind the nature of the river and the capabilities of you and your children. River currents are strong and hidden obstacles may be encountered.
A14. As required by Transport Canada, the following safety equipment must be on board:
• One Canadian-approved personal flotation device or lifejacket of appropriate size for each person.
• At least one paddle.
• One buoyant heaving line at least 15 metres (49’3″) in length.
• One bailer, minimum of 750 ml in size with a wide opening – an empty bleach container or 2 L pop bottle with the top cut off will work.
• A sound-signalling device, such as a whistle (pealess), compressed gas horn or an electric horn.
* Note: Vessels over 6 metres in length have additional safety equipment requirements.
Paddlers: It is your responsibility to ensure that all of the safety equipment listed is on board before you launch. If you are renting a canoe, please ensure that the rental company will provide the necessary safety equipment, or that you make arrangements to bring it yourself. TRCA will not supply this equipment; however we will have a limited number of whistles and throw bags containing 50 ft. of buoyant heaving line available for purchase at the launch.
Officers from the Toronto Police Marine Unit will be at the event ensuring that canoes are in a good state of repair, are not overloaded and that all the necessary equipment is on board. Authorities will not allow boats to launch if they do not meet the necessary requirements.
A15. Helmets are not mandatory, but are strongly recommended, especially for children.
A16. If it is a rainy or cool day, please wear warm clothes and a waterproof jacket, pants, hat, boots and gloves. Please bring sunscreen, a sun hat and a sweater or jacket as the temperature can change quickly this time of the year. Be sure to bring a set of dry clothes sealed in plastic and secured in your canoe. You will appreciate this if you tip!
A17. Dogs are allowed to accompany their owners to the event, however while on land they must be controlled and kept on a leash. Owners must clean-up after their pets.
A18. Rubber dinghies and rafts are not suitable for this event and will not be permitted to launch.
A19. The Don River is shallow in spots and very rocky, so please consider carefully whether you want to paddle your cherished canoe or kayak. Neither the TRCA or its sponsors or partners are responsible for any damages to your watercraft as a result of participating in this event.
A20. Participants must provide their own canoes, paddles and all safety equipment.
If you do not own a canoe, you can arrange to rent one through a variety of places listed on the Internet and in the Yellow Pages. TRCA cannot arrange for the rental, delivery or pick up of canoes and are not responsible for arrangements made by participants with rental companies. Please make your arrangements directly with companies.
TRCA has confirmed that a LIMITED number of canoes are available for rental. Click here for contact information.
A21. Water levels are normally low at this time of year. If required, TRCA will augment the flows in the reach of the river where the event takes place to ensure it is navigable. Organizers will declare the event is officially over at 12:30 p.m., for safety reasons, boats CANNOT depart after this time. Please be aware that water levels in the Don River are normally much lower than they are during the Manulife Paddle the Don event. Paddling the Don at any other time may result in damage to your watercraft.
A22. Apart from the launch and take out sites, the following bridges spanning the river are ideal:
• Overlea Blvd (bridge is located east of Millwood Road)
• Leaside Bridge (Millwood Road South)
• Pottery Road (Between Bayview Ave and Broadview Ave.)
• Bloor Viaduct (Bloor St just west of Danforth Ave.)
• Queen Street (Between Bayview Ave and Broadview Ave.)
• Riverdale Park Pedestrian Bridge (West of Broadview Ave. between Danforth Ave. & Gerrard St. E.)
A23. Manulife Paddle the Don is a very popular event. Registration always fills up quickly. Often we have a lengthy waiting list of eager paddlers wanting to participate.