Whitewater rafting

Whitewater rafting is one of the most exhilarating water based adventures out there and has become a popular sport for thrill seekers looking for new challenges.

Whitewater rapids are measured on a scale of class I to VI based on factors like the size of the waves, the likelihood of big drops, the presence of rocks, other dangerous hazards and the paddling skills required to maneuver them.

Ontario offers a variety of different channels including class VI whitewater action, and class I relaxed rafting ... and everything in between. Whether you want a beginner and family friendly taste of the thrill or you’re looking to push the boundaries on a high adventure ride, whitewater rafting in Ontario offers the perfect rafting experience for you.

Quick guide to whitewater rafting in Ontario

Family friendly whitewater rafting

For a calmer water adventure, try a gentle family float trip on the Madawaska River or a family rafting tour on the quieter channels of the Ottawa River.

The Grand River flows from Grey County, south of the Georgian Bay down through the rural countryside of southwestern Ontario and empties into the north shore of Lake Erie. Portions of the Grand, such as Elora Gorge or around Paris, offer fun tubing and rafting rapids.

What to bring whitewater rafting

Ontario’s whitewater rafting companies will outfit you with the necessary safety gear including wet or dry suits and size you with the right paddle.

In addition to that you may want to bring pocket sized sunscreen, chapstick and a water bottle with a clip or carabiner that can be attached to the raft.

Wear quick drying and breathable clothes, sturdy, closed-toes shoes, hats and sunglasses with straps and if you’re bringing a camera or phone, waterproof it and secure it to your body. Avoid cotton as it gets cold when wet.

When you finish your adventure, you will want to have a bag to put your wet attire as well as dry clothing to change into.

Know before you go

When to go whitewater rafting

The whitewater rafting season in Ontario generally lasts from May to September. During this time, the experience differs based on water levels, weather and river temperatures.

Talk to the whitewater outfitters about what kind of adventure you’re looking for to determine the best time for your trip.

Last updated: February 21, 2023

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