Creeking on the Humber River - Bolton to Kleinburg

Between Bolton and Weston, where rains brought by Hurricane Hazel washed away 14 homes in October 1954, the Humber River is now carefully flood controlled by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. Though this stretch is completely open and accessible, the two dam projects along its length have successfully reduced the river to mainly a fast flowing stream. Passage requires the highest water levels, but this means several hours of nearly uninterrupted swifts and rock gardens with no actual classified rapids.

In each April of 2010, 2011, 2017, & 2018 the WCA navigated the 27 kilometre section between Bolton and Kleinburg. An experience we had in 2017 was blamed on the ice storm at Christmas of 2013. That occasion required an additional 2 hours over the planned 6, to deal with an accumulation of log jams and sweepers. We called it the canoe obstacle course. However, there was a severe flooding event in February of 2018 which resulted in the death of a toddler on the Grand River, and subsequent to this, the count was only 3 liftovers and 3 canoe limbos.

Again in March of 2019 an ice jam shortly downstream of the diversion project caused minor flooding in Bolton, such that the heavy machinery and dynamite was brought in to break it up. The expectation is that after several large flows like these, most of the tree litter has been washed away. Shortly downstream of the Bolton proper the river is open and unobstructed with nearly continuous, shallow, fast flowing swifts and rock gardens, and no actual classified rapids.

This outing is suitable for anyone interested in introductory level moving water experience in a relatively safe environment, where the only response needed in the case of a capsize, is to stand up and walk to shore.

Beginners and guests are welcome, however, small children are not recommended due to the length of the outing and the lack of any escape routes.

Get Directions here.

The Basics
Event Location: 
Bolton to Kleinburg, Ontario
Date(s) & Time: 
Sunday, April 5, 2020 - 09:00
Registration Cut Off: 
Saturday 4 April 2020.
Event Duration: 
Approximately 6 hours on the river.
Difficulty Rating: 
Novice
Participant Info
Who's Invited: 
Anyone. Guests are welcome.
Maximum Group Size: 
8 boats.
Minimum Group Size: 
Myself and a volunteer.
Itinerary
Itinerary description: 

We will meet at the parking lot in Dicks Dam Park (146 Sackville Street, Bolton) for 9am and shuttle to the take-out which is nearby. Starting from this location involves a mandatory portage around the McFall dam, cataract, and diversion project in the original Bolton village. Therefore we can avoid this by dropping our boats and equipment one at a time near the intersection of Humber Lea Road with King Road and then returning to Dicks Dam Park for the shuttle to Humber Bridge Trail. There is no parking at Humber Lea Road and limited parking at Humber Bridge Trail. The boats should be back on the cars and headed home for dinner by 4:30pm.

Required Items to Bring: 

Bag lunch. Dry change of clothes. Water shoes or tall rubber boots, as there may be some wading.

Recommended Items to Bring: 

Rain gear just in case. It's April, it could be warm and sunny, it could be cold and raining. If you own one a dry suit will work great. Wet suits are not necessary as the probability of capsizing is quite low. Please bring a hand saw if you have one; it is in everyone's best interest if we expect to do this route again.

How to Get There
Event Directions: 

Directions Here.

There is a parking lot at the intersection of Sackville St. with Hickman St. near Dick's Dam Park in Bolton. The takeout is at Humber Bridge Trail (road) off of Highway 27, just north of Major Mackenzie Drive.

Cross between Highways #50 and #27 using Nashville Road.

Carpool Info: 

None provided.

Other
Cancellation Policy: 
Please don't.
Event Coordinator/s Contact Information
Contact (Name): 
Matthew Eberly
Phone: 
416-700-8815