Canoedling in Canada

“A Canadian is someone who knows how to make love in a canoe [without tipping it].”

~Pierre Berton



The mighty Pierre Berton was right.

We Canadians have long been courting in canoes. Also called “canoedling”:

“In the early years of the twentieth century, on countless summer evenings across North America, the waterways were full of young men and women chatting, courting, paddling and sometimes canoedling as they sought a little quiet time together afloat.” ~The Canadian Canoe Museum

If the romance of the canoe is calling to you (combined with the patriot fervor of Canada Day), and you feel compelled to try this:

courting canoe
Courting canoe



Or this:

Omer Stringer
Omer Stringer

Remember: canoes are tippy…


…so before you head out onto the water, you might want to:

1. Check out this new exhibit:


Learn about the history of paddling and romance at the The Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, ON. Their current exhibit, Can I Canoe You Up the River? The Story of Paddling and Romance, runs until until September 30, 2014. Or go their blog, where the museum has gathered romantic stories and photographs from canoedling Canadians–all posted here. You can also find the exhibit guide book, poster, and a miniature “courting canoe” with two paddles, pillows and its own replica gramophone at the museum’s online giftshop (here).

2. Read this:


3. Or this:


4. Watch this:

5. And don’t forget the canoe! (this one’s a sweet ride!)

Langford HBC striped canoe 001

See you on the water….

Happy Canada Day and Happy Summer to all my friends in Canada and abroad!





  1. Well, I lived in Canada from early 2005 to the end of 2012 and paddled a lot in a canoe whilst living there….but..but NOBODY told me about canoedling!!! It was not even mentioned in Canadian Citizenship test. I will send the link of this post to the proper authorities and get this sorted out ;o)
    Lovely, great and interesting post Anne, as always! Thank you and Hugs and Kisses from Ohio.

    • Ha ha! It’s new to me too, though I do know of people who’ve gotten married in a canoe. These are very hardy types. Not for me. Canoes are too tippy. However, I can relate to people falling in love in sailboats. Very romantic. More on that another time. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s