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Water Craft Buying Guide

Water crafts include canoes and kayaks. Choose the one that’s right for you so you and your family can get the most out of your water adventures.


Kayaks and canoes are an essential part of summer water fun. Determine which water craft meets your needs and get paddling!

How to Choose

Canoe or Kayak?

Choose your water craft based on what kind of activities that you want to enjoy.

Canoes are a traditional and popular choice of water craft amongst Canadians. These boats are small, light, and usually very narrow. Canoes are propelled using single-blade paddles by one or several paddlers. They can accommodate a fair amount of gear, and can have motors added to them if need be. They can be used for everything from floating along a lake, to fishing, to handling smaller rapids.

Canoes are ideal for larger groups since they can accommodate several people and their gear. They are great for leisurely trips around the lake since you sit higher in them and can get a better view of your surroundings. They are also good for fishing, and some canoes can handle wilder water conditions.

More adventurous types may favour the kayak, since they are smaller and can whisk you through rapids and faster water. There are a few tandem models, but for the most part they are for one person. This often doesn’t make them a good choice for larger family outings, but everyone can take a turn to paddle and enjoy the view at water level.

Kayaks are smaller than canoes, and the paddler sits in the centre of the boat and uses a double-sided paddle. Some people choose to use spray skirts to help keep water out of the kayak. Kayaks are fairly stable since the paddler is at a low centre of gravity as opposed to a canoe, where the paddler sits higher.

Consider who will be using the water craft, and where you will be using it so you feel confident in your purchase.

Water Safety

Any water adventures need to be tempered with a respect for the water and the potential hazards involved. Be sure to always wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD). Children should always be supervised when around water.

Please check Transport Canada’s Marine Safety Site for all the necessary marine safety requirements.