Wilderness Canoe Association

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
The Wilderness Canoe Association is a non-profit organization of individuals interested in the outdoor pursuits and in wilderness travel by canoe.

 Mission Statement: 

The Wilderness Canoe Association is the best place to find friends who share your passion for the outdoors. With first-class camping content to enjoy, dozens of trips to participate in, and hundreds of experienced members to help you take tripping to the next level, you’ll be living your paddling dreams in no time.


The WCA has currently suspended all paddling outings scheduled for this year, taking into account evolving public guidance on risks of COVID transmission between individuals from different households, and the unavailability of insurance coverage for the benefit of members and the organization covering liability for COVID-19 infection. The WCA Board has created a committee (Gary Ataman, Tom Connell, Bill Ness, and Ross Pope) that will continue to work on issues relating to COVID-19 risks and practices, and welcomes contacts from WCA members with questions, comments, and suggestions. Anticipating the eventual resumption of WCA in-person activities (although timing is presently unknown), the WCA committee is working on an updated risk waiver, a declaration that will be required from outing participants to reduce the likelihood that any trip participants will be exposed to COVID-19, and a set of practices to further reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission among outing participants. In the meantime, WCA members are making the best of the situation. We have had a number of very successful on-line virtual events covering canoe trip routes and skills such as trip preparation, wilderness navigations, and ultralight camping. In addition, WCA members are still venturing out on the water, but with more of an emphasis on groups of family members or close acquaintances. We hope that WCA members will share any effective practices they identify to uphold physical distancing guidelines in the course of a paddling outing. On behalf of the WCA, we wish continuing good health to all members, and look forward to getting together on the water whenever that may be. Contacts us at info@wildernesscanoe.ca if you have any questions or advise.

 Sharing the Wilderness Experience since 1973: 

 Fall Gathering

This year's fall gathering was planned to be held at the Minden Wildwater Preserve pending Covid-19 status.  Guests are welcome to attend and discover what the WCA is all about. Here is what we organised for last year:

World-class whitewater paddling on a Pan-Am course. Outstanding flatwater options in Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands PP and Haliburton Highlands Water Trails. A catered BBQ dinner. Campfires and camping. 

Our Covid-19 backup plan is to have a virtual series of workshops/presentations.


 Canoe Trips and Other Outings
Flatwater and whitewater canoe trips and other outings are organized by members for members, including day trips to local rivers, multi-day canoeing & camping and wilderness expeditions. They represent one of our core values. Love to paddle but need company? Not sure about going down that river by yourself? Never been wilderness camping? You've come to the right place!
See the list of scheduled trips on the Outings Page.

 Nastawgan: The Journal of the WCA

Members share their experiences from canoe trips or extended expeditions by publishing their stories in the renowned journal of the WCA, the best canoeing journal worldwide!

Learn more about Nastawgan by viewing the Journal page. Also, see the provided sample article.

Membership in the WCA grants you access to both printed and online journals. Click here to download the latest issue.

 Mentorship and Training

Teaching our members new skills is another core value: paddling improvement, whitewater clinics, river safety & rescue, wilderness first aid all enhance safety, competence and enjoyment. Younger members have a great opportunity to learn new skills from our seasoned members in addition to their vast knowledge of so many wilderness trips.  We are exploring doing some virtual workshops in this COVID-19 environment.

 The Mike Wevrick Lecture and Wine & Cheese Social

On November 21, 2020, our members Doug and Lisa Ashton gave a virtual presentation on their fly-in trip to Quetico Provincial Park. This annual event is held in memory of friend to the WCA; Mike Wevrick.

Please register here.

 2020 Annual General Meeting

The 2020 Annual General Meeting was held Saturday 7 March at the North York MEC Store, in the community room of 784 Sheppard Avenue East. Club business started at 10am.

Please register here.

See you next year.

 The 2021 Wilderness and Canoe Symposium

The first "Wilderness & Canoeing Symposium" was a small gathering of kindred spirits who came together to look at each other's slides in George Luste's living room on Albany Ave. This was in 1986. Space was quite limited there, so when other friends heard about this gathering & wanted to participate, a room was rented at George Brown College. After a couple of years they outgrew this and Councillor Joan King arranged space for them at the North York Council chambers. The next location they rented was at York University for a couple of years. At that point Sandy Richardson suggested Monarch Park Collegiate, where he taught. The teachers and students at the school were a great help and the Symposium returned to Monarch Park every year since.

Date: The 36th WCS will be held Wednesday Feb. 17, 2021 from 6 to 9 pm.
At: For its 36th year, the WCS will be streamed live using a Zoom meeting. Please register here

Please check the Symposium website for more information.