CAUTION: Swimming at Rouge Beach is strongly discouraged until lifeguard services can be restored. Storms may cause erosion and riptides. Water quality is frequently poor near the river outflow, approaching E. coli levels requiring mandatory closure. Park visitors engage in activities at the beach and marsh at their own risk.

Rouge National Urban Park is beautiful from the water. Canoe, kayak or paddleboard down the Rouge River or around the tranquil Rouge Marsh and observe the rich diversity of birds that call this area home. Rouge Marsh is the largest and best remaining wetland in the City of Toronto.

Where to go
A popular route is to paddle down the Rouge River south from Glen Rouge Campground to Rouge Marsh, which takes about 1 hour and passes through some of the park’s most stunning wetlands. Rouge Marsh is large, be sure to keep your point of entry in mind.
What to bring
Some safety equipment is required by law. The minimum fine for not having the appropriate safety gear is $240. Ensure you have the appropriate safety gear for your vessel size and number of passengers onboard.
  • Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards 
    • 1 lifejacket/PFD for each person on board
    • 1 sound signaling device such as a whistle
    • 1 magnetic compass
    • 1 watertight flashlight
  • Canoes and kayaks
    • 1 buoyant heaving line at least 15m long
    • 1 bailer, manual bilge pump or bilge-pumping arrangements

For a more extensive list and additional water safety info, please read the Transport Canada Safe Boating Guide available online.

Personal gear

  • Bring wet weather gear to keep you dry, warm and to protect you from the wind.
  • Carry a complete change of clothing, just in case you fall in.
  • Use a waterproof bag or double bag your gear in two heavy-duty plastic garbage bags (sealed individually), to keep spare clothing and gear dry.
  • Don’t forget sun protection including a hat and sunscreen. 
  • Inflatable toys and floats are not recommended for use.
In case of emergency
 Be prepared for any emergency and know how to respond.
  • If you capsize, remain with your overturned vessel and move towards land. Sound three long blasts with your signaling device to attract attention if you need assistance. For more information on water safety visit Adventure Smart.
Weather
It’s important to check the weather forecast before you head out onto the water, as the weather and water conditions can affect your safety. If thunderstorms or strong winds are in the forecast, we recommend rescheduling your water activity for another day.

Enjoy your paddle in Toronto’s largest wetland habitat!