Paddling Plan

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link


About this project

The City of London's draft Paddling Plan focuses on protecting and enhancing the river corridor by supporting safe and sustainable paddling accesses along the Thames River. The river is known by other names by First Nations who originate from the territory comprised of Southwestern Ontario. The Anishinaabeg and Lunaapewak call it Deshkan Ziibi (Antler River in Anishinaabemowin) and the Haudenosaunee call it Kahwy^hatati (river in ONYOTA:KA). The draft Paddling Plan includes enhancing amenities, signage, mapping, invasive species management, and increasing awareness to help protect and improve the ecosystem health of the river corridor.

The draft Paddling Plan and One River environmental assessment also recommend making accessible updates to existing shore accesses in several parks including Springbank Park, Harris Park, Riverside Boat Launch, and the Charles Hunt Weir portage accesses in Charles Hunt Park.

These improvements are being planned in two phases.

Phase 1 will include minor enhancements for several, existing, natural river accesses in safe and sustainable park locations in 2023.

Phase 2 will include detailed design, studies, and regulatory approvals for several fully accessible river accesses in parks for implementation from 2023 to 2025+.

Prior to starting Phase 1, the City of London collected comments and feedback about paddling in London and what enhancements Londoners would like to see made. The Parks Design & Construction team have reviewed the feedback and survey results. The City is currently in conversation with First Nation communities on the Paddling Plan. Opportunities for multilingual signage (Indigenous & Non-Indigenous) have been identified and are now being discussed as part of the implementation process.

Survey Results

The survey responses were generally very supportive of the Paddling Plan and the results can be found under the 'Documents' section. Summary at a glance:

  • Over half of the respondents already paddle on the river and more would try paddling if the access points, mapping, signage, and water level information were enhanced in parks. Some respondents expressed that they would paddle if canoe & kayak rentals, programing, and shuttles were available.

  • Almost half of the paddlers in London enter and exit the river at the same location, and most respondents prefer to exit downstream. Most enjoy paddling as a recreational, social activity; for exercise; and the mental health benefits of spending time in nature. A few also like to fish while paddling.

  • Many Londoners are already accessing or would use the existing access points identified in parks in the Paddling Plan. Most respondents prefer to paddle kayaks, while many prefer to canoe, and a few prefer to stand up paddle board on the river.

  • Londoners are good stewards of the river with nearly all respondents agreeing that paddling on the river increases awareness of the need to continue to protect and enhance the river’s ecosystem, and some are interested in volunteer clean-ups.


An example of an existing shore access point to the Thames River for paddlers.




About this project

The City of London's draft Paddling Plan focuses on protecting and enhancing the river corridor by supporting safe and sustainable paddling accesses along the Thames River. The river is known by other names by First Nations who originate from the territory comprised of Southwestern Ontario. The Anishinaabeg and Lunaapewak call it Deshkan Ziibi (Antler River in Anishinaabemowin) and the Haudenosaunee call it Kahwy^hatati (river in ONYOTA:KA). The draft Paddling Plan includes enhancing amenities, signage, mapping, invasive species management, and increasing awareness to help protect and improve the ecosystem health of the river corridor.

The draft Paddling Plan and One River environmental assessment also recommend making accessible updates to existing shore accesses in several parks including Springbank Park, Harris Park, Riverside Boat Launch, and the Charles Hunt Weir portage accesses in Charles Hunt Park.

These improvements are being planned in two phases.

Phase 1 will include minor enhancements for several, existing, natural river accesses in safe and sustainable park locations in 2023.

Phase 2 will include detailed design, studies, and regulatory approvals for several fully accessible river accesses in parks for implementation from 2023 to 2025+.

Prior to starting Phase 1, the City of London collected comments and feedback about paddling in London and what enhancements Londoners would like to see made. The Parks Design & Construction team have reviewed the feedback and survey results. The City is currently in conversation with First Nation communities on the Paddling Plan. Opportunities for multilingual signage (Indigenous & Non-Indigenous) have been identified and are now being discussed as part of the implementation process.

Survey Results

The survey responses were generally very supportive of the Paddling Plan and the results can be found under the 'Documents' section. Summary at a glance:

  • Over half of the respondents already paddle on the river and more would try paddling if the access points, mapping, signage, and water level information were enhanced in parks. Some respondents expressed that they would paddle if canoe & kayak rentals, programing, and shuttles were available.

  • Almost half of the paddlers in London enter and exit the river at the same location, and most respondents prefer to exit downstream. Most enjoy paddling as a recreational, social activity; for exercise; and the mental health benefits of spending time in nature. A few also like to fish while paddling.

  • Many Londoners are already accessing or would use the existing access points identified in parks in the Paddling Plan. Most respondents prefer to paddle kayaks, while many prefer to canoe, and a few prefer to stand up paddle board on the river.

  • Londoners are good stewards of the river with nearly all respondents agreeing that paddling on the river increases awareness of the need to continue to protect and enhance the river’s ecosystem, and some are interested in volunteer clean-ups.


An example of an existing shore access point to the Thames River for paddlers.



Page last updated: 05 Feb 2024, 04:18 PM