Join us in celebrating Canada Day with a Parade of Paddles! Calling all paddlers … grab your kayaks and canoes and join us down at the lock for a fun Canada Day event. Let’s beat last year’s record of 100 paddlers in the lock. Red and white decorations are encouraged!

Date: July 1st

Price: This event is free for participants and spectators!

Paddle your way to Poutine Feast at the Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site!

Not interested in paddling? Come cheer on paddlers from along the lock wall.

Paddler registration starts at 8:00 a.m. and the “parade of paddles” launches at 10:00 a.m.


To participate in this year’s Parade of Paddles, you will need to register on-site beginning at 7 a.m.. Registration will take place in the lower parking lot next to the canal. While we are aiming to make sure that everyone will get to participate in this event, to guarantee participation, be sure to arrive early.

IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE YOU MUST WEAR YOUR PFD AND COLOURED WRISTBAND. Without these items, you WILL NOT be permitted to participate in the event.

What to bring

  • Canoe or kayak
  • A personal flotation device (PFD) for each paddler to wear during the event.
  • A sound signalling device, buoyant heaving line, and bailer for each boat.
  • Sunscreen and a hat!
  • Water bottle
  • A Smile!
  • Dress for the weather: this is a rain or shine event!
  • Red and white décor encouraged!

Launch Options

Drop off Zone

Paddlers who are less experienced and would rather put in from a floating dock inside the canal can drop off their canoes or kayaks at the lower east parking area along the canal. Experienced paddlers may launch from the northeast pier beach. Paddlers who choose to keep paddling down the St. Marys River will be able to get out at the Bushplane Heritage Museum (experienced paddlers only please), others may take their vessel out at the floating dock. Paddlers may portage over to the Ermatinger•Clergue National Historic Site where you can enjoy Poutine Fest!

How to Lock Through

  • It is very important to remember that during the entire locking through process, you are under the direction of lock operations staff, so please observe their hand signals or verbal commands..
  • Enter the lock on a green light only.
  • After the lock gates are fully open, the lockmaster will direct you to enter the lock. Approach the lock chamber cautiously and follow the instructions of staff. Should your vessel get too close to the lock wall, use a paddle to push yourself off. Never use your hands or feet to fend a moving boat off a lock wall.
  • As you approach the lock wall, be ready to raft to the paddler next to you.
  • When the lock operation is completed, and the lock gates are fully open, the lockmaster will direct you to leave the lock chamber.


  • Paddlers and spectators will be asked to park their vehicles in the lower east parking lot.
  • For those who have accessibility issues or small children, please ask the parking attendant about parking in the upper lot.


To ensure the safety of all those participating there will be a safety team on a personal water craft in the lock during all lockages. The safety team will also follow any paddlers who continue down the waterfront to the Bushplane Heritage Centre. In addition, EACH passenger MUST be wearing a PFD in order to participate in the event. There is NO alcohol permitted at this event.

*Due to safety concerns, stand up paddle boards will not be permitted.*

Please call 705-941-6205 or email for more information about this event.

Travel Trade

  • Suitable for large groups
  • Suitable for small groups
  • Suitable for FIT (Fully Independent Travelers)
  • Motor coach parking available
  • Washrooms on site
  • Gift shop