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Touring in rowing shells is one of the fastest growing recreational sports today. Already a popular activity on the lakes, rivers and seas of Europe, it’s a wonderful way to benefit from physical exercise, take in beautiful scenery, and enjoy the company of friends old and new. And ONEC members have easy access to an abundance of scenic waterways.

The ONEC touring program features excursions to nearby lakes and waterways, ranging in length from a few hours to several days. They may include a picnic, lunch at a waterside restaurant, sightseeing or an overnight stay at a hotel or campground. The emphasis is on skills development, teamwork and camaraderie!

Tours are a great way to practice and build up endurance. Novice, intermediate and advanced rowers have opportunities to develop their stroke through tours tailored to their skill level. Novice tours start from the ONEC boathouse and explore the Ottawa and Gatineau Rivers. Intermediate tours, offered by ONEC and by the Ontario Adventure Rowing (OAR) Association, generally involve loading boats on trailers, which are used to transport them to and from the launch site. Advanced rowers can choose from OAR-sponsored tours with scullers from other clubs.

Un bon nombre des responsables de nos excursions sont bilingues. N’hésitez pas à communiquer avec eux et à participer aux randonnées en français.

ONEC’s touring program is organized by a committee of rowing club members. For questions regarding the ONEC touring program or OAR tours, contact Mary Clark or the contact person listed for a specific tour in the sections below.

Touring Photos
Check out some of the great touring photos taken by our members and others!

Touring & Safety Guidelines

ONEC is committed to providing a safe rowing experience and we encourage all our members to review our Rowing Safety page. The ONEC Touring Guidelines focuses on safety rules and responsibilities, and is intended for tour leaders, captains and crew members.

2015 Tours

For safety reasons, the Hudson T-11 coxed quad (5 seats) and T-7 doubles are used for tours. This season we’ll also have a second quad available for some tours and events.  Please contact the tour leader directly to reserve a seat on a first come/first served basis. For OAR tours, you must also complete a registration form. The tour leader’s name and email address are given below. Meetup notices may also be sent out to ONEC Rowing group members.
Rowing events, including tours, organized rows and distance events, are shown on the calendar in the Rowing section of the ONEC website. Join us at the boathouse during Doors Open Ottawa weekend, June 6 and 7, when a member of the touring committee will be on hand to answer questions about this season’s club tours and OAR events. Descriptions and contacts for local and regional tours follow the listing of this season’s weekly rows and tours.

Thursday evening group/quad rows

  • June 4 to August 27

  • 1 to 1-1/2 hour coxed row in T-11 on the Ottawa River, returning before nightfall

  • Novices and “Step 2” graduates welcome

  • Leave from ONEC boathouse at 7 pm in June and July, 6:30 pm in August

  • To reserve a seat in the quad, RSVP on Meetup or email the contact in the schedule below.

Friday morning group rows

  • July 3 to August 28

  • Pre-requisite: ONEC Learn To Scull (LTS) course

  • Group row leaving at 8:30 am from ONEC boathouse

  • Average of 10 km tour (return)

  • Contact Betty Ward (613-749-4936) and Meryl Oliver

Weekend morning quad rows

  • June 7 to September 26

  • 1 to 3 hour coxed row in T-11 on Ottawa and Gatineau rivers, from ONEC boathouse

  • LTS graduates and novice rowers welcome

  • Sundays in June and August; Saturdays in July and September

  • Leave at 8 am in June and September, at 7:30 am in July and August

  • In July and August, after-row breakfast at Rockliffe Marina

  • To reserve a seat in the quad, RSVP on Meetup or email the contact in the schedule below.


Sundays at 8 am

Quad row

June 7

1-2 hours

Louise Binette

June 14

Petrie Island relay

Joan Robertson

June 21

1-2 hours

Brigit Knecht

June 28

Longer tour (2-3 hours)

Meryl Oliver

Thursday quad row at 7 pm

June 4, 11, 18

June 25

Liane Bell

Marie Newton


July 1 at 7:30 am

O Canada row

Marie Newton

Saturdays at 7:30 am

Quad row + breakfast

July 4

Longer tour (2-3 hours)

Louise Binette

July 11

1-2 hours

Brigit Knecht

July 18

1-2 hours

Liane Bell

July 25

1-2 hours

Louise Binette

Thursday quad row at 7 pm

July 2, 9

July 16, 23, 30

Brigit Knecht

Joan Robertson


Sundays at 7:30 am

Quad row + breakfast

August 2

1-2 hours

Louise Binette

August 9

Lower Gatineau River tour

Louise Binette

August 16

1-2 hours

Marie Newton

August 23

Longer tour (2-3 hours)

Brigit Knecht

August 29-30


Thursday quad row at 6:30 pm

August 6, 13, 20, 27

Mary Clark


Saturdays at 8 am

Quad row

Sept. 5 (exception 7 am)

Hot air balloon launch

Louise Binette

Sept. 12

Longer tour (2-3 hours)

Joan Robertson

Sept. 19, 20

Algonquin Park tour

Richard Vincent

Sept. 26

1-2 hours

Mary Clark

May 9 (Saturday): Rideau Canal from Hartwells Locks to NAC

Get back on the water with an urban tour before the locks open the canal to motorboat traffic. The T-11 and T-7s will be taken by trailer to the start. Club Aldens can be car-topped. To be confirmed, depending on water levels. Contact Meryl Oliver.

May 23 (Saturday): Rideau Five Lakes tour (OAR tour)

Leaving from near the Newboro Lock, located on the isthmus dividing two watersheds, our tour will take us through Newboro, Clear, Indian, Benson, and Mosquito lakes, a scenic section of the Rideau with many channels and islands. There will be a stop at Chaffey’s Lock for lunch at the Opinicon Resort restaurant. Continuing our circumnavigation of Scott Island, we’ll return to the launch site by late afternoon. Total distance is 20–25 km. Contact Mary Clark.

June 14 (Sunday): Petrie Island Relay

The first crew rows the Ottawa River from the ONEC boathouse to Petrie Island, the second crew meets them at the Petrie picnic grounds for refreshments and rows back to ONEC. The first crew will leave ONEC at 7:30 am; the second will leave Petrie Island at about 10 am. Distance is about 15 km each way. Novice/intermediate level. Contact Joan Robertson.

July 1 (Wednesday): O Canada Row

Get in the patriotic spirit of Canada Day with a short tour to the Parliament Buildings and other national landmarks. We’ll launch at 7:30 am to avoid the holiday boat traffic. Contact Marie Newton.

August 9 (Sunday): Lower Gatineau River

This tour was a hit last year so we’re doing it again. We load the quad(s) early in the morning and drive to Farm Point, north of Chelsea, for the launch. We’ll explore the relatively sheltered waters of the Gatineau River and enjoy a BBQ chez Rita. Novice/intermediate level. Contact Louise Binette.

August 29 & 30 (Saturday and Sunday): Canadian Sculling Marathon

Mark your calendar for this highlight of the ONEC rowing season! The 10K Open event is on Saturday, the Full and Half marathons on Sunday. Updated information will be available here.

September 5 (Saturday): Festival de montgolfières

Watch from the water as the hot air balloons lift off! Launch from the boathouse dock at 7 am.

September 19 (Saturday): Tom Thomson Tour on Canoe Lake, Algonquin Park

September 20 (Sunday): Upper Madawaska Tour on Lake of Two Rivers, Algonquin Park

Row the waters of Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park, Tom Thomson’s favourite spot in the Park and where he met his untimely death in 1917Watch the ONEC Row newsletter and Meetup for details of these early fall OAR tours. Registration forms will be posted on the Forms page of the ONEC website and the OAR website. Contact Richard Vincent.

OAR Tours and Distance Events

The Ontario Adventure Rowing (OAR) Association is sponsoring an exciting series of tours and distance events in eastern Ontario from May 3 to October 17. All qualified ONEC rowing members are encouraged to participate. See the OAR website for the full schedule, details and registration forms. You may be interested in two new events: a marathon on Lake Scugog on June 6, and a two-day tour at Mazinaw Lake in Bon Echo Park on July 25-26. 

OAR tours are organized by volunteers in member rowing clubs. In 2015, ONEC will organize the following tours and distance events (see descriptions above):
May 23: Rideau Five Lakes spring tour
August 30: Canadian Sculling Marathon—click here for updated information
September 19 & 20: Algonquin Park tours

To participate in these tours and distance events, you must be a member of the OAR Association (ONEC membership includes OAR membership). Some are restricted to experienced scullers or require previous touring experience. When a trailer is used to transport boats, participants are expected to help load/unload and rig/de-rig. Charges apply to cover boat rentals, transportation, food and accommodation.

Touring Links

Ontario Adventure Rowing (OAR) website
Rowing Canada Aviron touring page (English)
Rowing Canada Aviron excursions (français)

ONEC Touring Guidelines

Subpages (1): Touring Guidelines