Explore Waterloo Region’s ‘Alternate Route’ this Summer

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In Waterloo Region, public transit options including ION Light Rail transit and ION buses play an important part in connecting the region.

But long before there was rapid transit, there was already an ‘alternate route’ linking our region together. The Grand River is a heritage river that flows through the region, and for 30 years Canoeing the Grand has been proud to take both first time and experienced paddlers on a trip along this beautiful, natural waterway to see our region from a new perspective.

group of people canoeing on the Grand River with Canoeing the Grand

According to Shelly Jo Holmes of Canoeing the Grand, the best way to really take in the beauty of Waterloo Region is from the water.

“Our river connects 38 municipalities, crosses four climate zones and is home to over 50 species of fish,” says Shelly Jo. “Despite these facts much of it is left unspoiled. It’s easy to see what inspired (artist) Homer Watson to immortalize this area with brush and canvas.”

large group of canoeing with Canoeing the GrandAt Canoeing the Grand they are happy to connect people to the beauty and history of the region while paddling along the river, and do so in a number of ways.

“We use the Grand River as the backdrop for team building events, company outings, school trips, family outings, derbies, and even romantic proposals!” says Shelly Jo. And while canoeing is what the company is known for, Canoeing the Grand also rents out kayaks and tubes.

mother and daughter in kayaks on the Grand River“Kayaking is an easy sport that can be mastered by any age,” says Shelly Jo. “And tubes are ideal for those who like to take their time, and enjoy getting wet while relaxing in the sun.” New this year at Canoeing the Grand are paddle boards, which combine paddling with surfing. This popular new way to get out and enjoy a day on the Grand River will be available beginning in July, along with instruction. Whatever vessel you choose, at Canoeing the Grand they consider it their job to get you to the river’s edge with the equipment required for your day on the water.

a group of people in tubes on the Grand River

Canoeing the Grand can also help customize adventures. “We offer onsite catering, a free picnic area for self-catering, paddle lessons and guides to accompany you on your adventure,” says Shelly Jo.  “We also collaborate with other local businesses like Chicopee Tube Park to create “active packages”, or park spaces like Bingemans to incorporate camping into trips. We enjoy assisting in making each group’s experience unique.”

Get ready to define your own adventure and take in the region via its original ‘alternate route’ with Canoeing the Grand.  Because in Waterloo Region, “A River Runs Through It” – literally!


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