Adult (14+) Introductory


This introductory canoe/kayak program is designed for adults and youth 14+. Participants will be introduced to recreational paddling, learning basic strokes, safety skills and boat care.

The Adult Intro program is offered on a monthly basis and consists of 4 weekly sessions of 2 hours each during the months of June, July and August.

All necessary equipment, including boat, paddle and mandatory Canada-approved PFD will be provided.

Minimum swimming requirements:

  • swim 75m without a life jacket or aid
  • tread water for 1.5 minutes (Equivalent to passed Red Cross Level 6 or LSS Swimmer 5)



  • All lessons take place on Lake Wilcox and are taught with a focus on safety, skill development and fun.
  • This course will have participants paddling in canoes and kayaks almost immediately and by course end, will equip adults with the necessary skills to paddle confidently in a recreational setting.
  • The 2- hour lessons include on-land instructions and time to take out and put away equipment. You will be paddling for 60-90 minutes of each lesson.
  • For 2021, canoe will only be available for members of the same household registered in the same session.
  • Instructors are Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) certified and adhere to a 1:8 instructor to participant ratio.


This new program has been added to our roster this year for people who have already completed the Adult Introductory program and want to continue developing their kayaking skills. The program runs twice weekly from the end of May to early September. More information is provided on the Novice Coached Masters page – look under the Competitive tab.

Please note that the Richmond Hill Canoe Club is committed to protecting the health and well-being of our members and community at large during the Covid-19 pandemic. It will make all efforts to implement the restrictions and precautionary measures issued by our provincial government, Health Canada and Canoe Kayak Canada. Details are in the FAQ section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Each session runs for 4 weeks, with one weekly 2-hour class at the same day and time.

It is important to arrive at least 10 minutes early for all lessons in order to have sufficient time to change footwear, put on a life jacket and get a paddle. Being ready when the coach starts the class is important.

If a class is cancelled by the coach due to poor weather conditions, the coach will make alternate arrangements. Unfortunately, there are no make-up classes if you are unable to attend a lesson, and it is not possible to come to a different group or session for the missed lesson.

The name and contact information for your coach will be provided to you prior to the first class by email. Coaches are experienced paddlers who have coaching certification and a passion for introducing others to the sport. 

Your coach is the person to contact for all matters related to the program, including severe weather cancellations (thunder and lightning) as well as questions about lessons, equipment or clothing.  As a courtesy, you can let your coach know if you are planning to be absent from a lesson.

Richmond Hill Canoe Club is committed to protecting the health and well-being of our members as well as our community at large during the Covid-19 pandemic.  It will make every effort to implement the restrictions and precautionary measures issued by our provincial government, Health Canada and Canoe Kayak Canada.  

This includes:

  1. Self-screening  
  2. Physical distancing
  3. Wearing a mask on docks and club area, when not paddling
  4. Hand sanitizing
  5. Sanitizing of surfaces and shared equipment – boats, paddles and life jackets/PFDs

The change room at the club remains closed to everyone.  You should change at home and arrive at the club ready to paddle.  You can change your footwear at the club.  

Your wallet, phone and other valuables are best left in your car or at home.  You can bring a small bag for your keys, footwear, towel, etc to leave outside the club house.  There is no safety box or direct supervision of personal belongings. 

The nearest washrooms are located at the Lake Wilcox Park.  There is no portable toilet at the club this summer. 

The Richmond Hill Canoe Club is located at the eastern end of Lake Wilcox in Oak Ridges, off Bayview and North Lake Road. Please check the map here.

Four parking areas can be accessed off Bayview:  the closest is a large gravel lot off Olde Bayview Avenue (turn on North Lake Road from Bayview), at the Lake Wilcox Park (at Bethesda and Bayview) and two lots at the Oak Ridges Community Centre.  These parking lots are now designated as PAY PARKING with meters at each lot.  More info at:

Residents of the City of Richmond HIll can obtain a free parking pass.  More info and parking passes at:

Wear clothes that let you move and sit comfortably and are made of quick-drying fabrics, such as nylon, polyester or other synthetic fabric. Activewear for the gym or yoga will also work for kayaking and canoeing. Avoid cotton (ie jeans) because it absorbs water and stays wet. 

Lessons will proceed rain or shine, so please wear clothing which is appropriate for the forecasted weather conditions.  We recommend that you dress in layers if it’s cool – ie nylon windbreaker over a short or long sleeved top. 

A hat, sunglasses and sunscreen will protect you from the sun and glare off the water. 

Regular shoes cannot be worn in the boats.  Bare feet, ‘socks’ (normal or made of wetsuit material) or water shoes with pliable soles are acceptable.  

Bring a spare change of clothing and a towel with you.  Even when your boat stays upright for the entire lesson, you will get wet from the water coming off the paddle.

The club will provide you with sanitized equipment:  kayak or canoe, a paddle and a life jacket.  

You can bring:

  • Your personal life jacket or PFD if you prefer.
  • A water bottle, especially if the weather is warm.  Most people leave their water bottles on shore but you can bring it into your kayak or canoe.
  • A mask, cloth or disposable, with a plastic bag to store it in.
  • A small bottle of hand sanitizer for your personal use.

You will be on the water and paddling for about 75-90 minutes of your lessons.  Kayaking and canoeing activate all muscles of the body for paddling and maintaining balance.  Please consider your current level of physical fitness and consult with your physician if you have any ongoing medical conditions or have questions about your readiness for active physical participation. 

All cancellation/refund requests must be made in writing to Refund requests will take up to 2 weeks to process.  A refund may be issued less a $50 administration fee.  

Follow this link for further details of the RHCC Payment and Refund Policy applicable to the Adult Introductory program.