Ontario Now Has an Invasive Species App

Ontario Now Has an Invasive Species App

Coleman Warehouse Sale

Coleman Warehouse Sale

Ontario Parks Locations Opening for the 2014 Camping Season

Ontario Parks Locations Opening for the 2014 Camping Season

Snapshot: Kitchener Waterloo Canoe Symposium

Here are some photos from the Kitchener Waterloo Canoe Symposium, who's presenters included...

  1. Sean Rowley (Raging River Studios) - Sean will be sharing his experiences in Ontario's Woodland Caribou Provincial Park.
  2. Sue and Jim Waddington - Crowd favourites from the 1st KW Canoe Symposium, Jim and Sue will be signing copies of their best selling book "In the Footsteps of the Group of Seven", which tells the story of their remarkable 40 year quest to identify the exact locations of many of the Group of Seven's most famous works.
  3. Dave Hadfield - Singer/Songwriter Dave Hadfield will be performing canoe and wilderness music from his two CD's.
  4. Rob Reid and Dan Kennaley - "Fly Fishing and Canoeing: A Match Made in Heaven".
  5. Paul Hoy and David Bain - Paul and Dave will exlore the concept of "Sense of Place", and its role in drawing canoeists back to their favourite haunts time and again.
  6. Brad and Wayne Jennings - The father-son team will be detailing their work portage clearing and mapping the new Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park.
  7. Preston Ciere - Preston will be speaking about Nancy, his beloved "portaging canine" (because, let's face it, we could ALL use a canoe dog!)

Book Review: Can I Canoe You Up the River?

Thanks to movies, books, TV shows, and possibly stories your parents told you, we have a pretty good idea how courting took place a generation ago. Not terribly different than today, young suitors would take a date on a car ride, and perhaps end up parked on a romantic lookout for some alone time to embrace under the stars. If we go a little further back in history however, the premise is still the same... but picture the courtship in a canoe.

Can I Canoe You Up the River: The Story of Paddling and Romance is a brand new book that comes out today from the Canadian Canoe Museum. Written by John Summers, it chronicles how courtship evolved in the 19th Century from potential suitors "calling on" women in their homes, to the early 20th Century where canoes were used for courting. This Museum Gallery Guide does a fantastic job of painting the picture for us, using historic canoe-related postcards that tell the story of how the courting rituals changed over the years, how gender roles evolved and played a factor in the courtship, and how the canoe itself was so iconic in the process.

I found the entire concept quite amusing (and foreign to an extent) when at the height of canoe courtship there would be small waterways clogged with canoes, each containing a couple who were wanting to spend time together "alone". The canoes would also contain a picnic basket, and sometimes a phonograph to help sweeten the moment, all while chaperones would look on from the bank. Canoe manufacturers would even design newer models with wider decks (similar to a Kayak) where the opening would "force" the couple to sit closer together.

John Summer's humorous captions point out interesting details of the postcards, and his writing gave a great background of a point in history that I haven't heard much about before, but found very interesting. The book contains photos of historic canoes, references to songs from the era, and despite this being a North American occurrence, a chapter that touches closer to home with "Canoedling" and Canadiana. Can I Canoe You Up the River: The Story of Paddling and Romance is $26.75 and can be purchased through the Canadian Canoe Museum's online store. The "Can I Canoe You Up the River" exhibit also opens tonight at the Canadian Canoe Museum, and there is a collection of unique canoe romance gifts available from the online store.

Gear Review: Coleman Biodegradable Toilet Paper

If you've ever walked the trail to the nearest thunder box at your campsite, you may have passed a few familiar white clumps along the way. Gobs of toilet paper that hasn't broken down yet.

Coleman has the answer to the issue, with their Biodegradable Toilet Paper. The suggested retail price is $4.99 for a 4 pack, and we picked up at our nearest Walmart for $4.78.

The toilet paper itself is 1-ply and we found it to have a slightly rougher texture than your typical Brand-X, but only by a slight margin.

We thought we'd put it to the test by leaving a few sheets of it in our back yard, next to a few sheets of Brand-X. Guarded by our Tiki, who kept watch over our science experiment all Winter, we finally looked at the end result now that Spring has arrived.

You wouldn't even recognize the toilet paper, which had blended in to the leaves around it. I couldn't even pick it up, as each time I grabbed it, a small piece tore off, separating under its own weight. The regular toilet paper however was just a wet lump that pretty much resembled the original wad that we had placed there, and had not broken down at all. It was impressive that the Coleman toilet paper had started to disintegrate despite only being exposed to layers of snow, and not being exposed to UV rays thanks to a layer of leaves.

Although costing a little more per roll, we'll be switching to the bio-degradable rolls in our camping packs, hoping to make a little less impact on Nature while we're out there.

2014 Learn to Camp with Ontario Parks

Ontario Parks are helping families ease in to camping this summer though overnight and community sessions throughout May, June, and July (and filling up fast!). Learn how to set-up camp, how to build a campfire, hear advice from the experts and more. There are overnight sessions as well as community sessions which are free and held across Ontario.

  1. Transportation available: Access Learn to Camp programs on the Parkbus running from Toronto to Grundy Lake Provincial Park
  2. Learn to Fish Program: Now available at six provincial parks
  3. Learn to Camp Graduates Programs: Additional training and camping experiences for past participants