Paddling along the Rouge River is a great way to spot wildlife in the summer or the leaves changing in the fall. It is important however, to keep safety in mind and make sure you are prepared for any emergency, before you head out onto the water.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you prepare for your paddling excursion:

Safety gear

Bringing safety equipment is not only important for your personal safety, it is required by law. The minimum fine for not having the appropriate safety gear is $240. Ensure you have the appropriate safety gear for your vessel size and number of passengers onboard. We recommend bringing these items onboard for your next paddling adventure:

  • 1 lifejacket/PFD for each person on board
  • 1 buoyant heaving line at least 15m long
  • 1 bailer, manual bilge pump or bilge-pumping arrangements
  • 1 sound signaling device such as a whistle
  • 1 magnetic compass
  • 1 watertight flashlight

For a more extensive list and additional water safety info, please read the Transport Canada Safe Boating Guide available online.


It’s important to check the weather forecast before you head out onto the water, as the weather and water conditions can affect your safety. If thunderstorms or strong winds are in the forecast, we recommend rescheduling your water activity for another day.

Other paddling safety information

The Rouge marsh is large, be sure to keep your point of entry in mind.

If you capsize, remain with your overturned vessel and move towards land. Sound three long blasts with your signaling device to attract attention if you need assistance. For more information on water safety visit Adventure Smart.

Visit the Toronto Public Health website for daily water quality testing information for Rouge beach (available throughout the summer).


Enjoy your paddle in Toronto’s largest wetland habitat!