Sports & Recreation / May 25, 2023

Popular boating destinations in BC, ON and QC

Canada is blessed with so much water – Sea (Pacific) to Sea (Atlantic) to Sea (Artic), plus endless lakes and rivers. Fun fact, about 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is water-covered, and the oceans hold about 96.5 percent of all Earth’s water. Today we are going to focus on the twenty-three top places to boat in BC, ON and QC in 2023. What is your most popular boating destination in Canada?

Breathtaking scenery in British Columbia

Broughton ArchipelagoBroughton Archipelago: Located off the northern coast of Vancouver Island, this remote and untouched wilderness offers incredible boating opportunities with secluded anchorages, abundant marine life, and breathtaking scenery.
Desolation Sound: Nestled between Vancouver Island and the mainland, Desolation Sound Marine Park boasts warm waters, rugged coastlines, and countless secluded coves, making it a perfect boating destination for tranquility and natural beauty.

Princess Louisa Inlet: Tucked away on the Sunshine Coast, Princess Louisa Inlet is a hidden gem accessible only by boat or floatplane. Its stunning fjord-like scenery, towering granite cliffs, and the majestic 1200-foot Chatterbox Falls make it a must-visit destination for boaters.

Howe Sound: Just a short distance from Vancouver, Howe Sound offers a scenic boating experience with rugged mountains, cascading waterfalls, and abundant wildlife. Explore its secluded bays, islands, and marine parks for a memorable adventure.

Jervis Inlet: Jervis Inlet, a deep fjord north of Vancouver, is surrounded by majestic mountains, gushing waterfalls, and pristine wilderness.. Boaters can enjoy spectacular vistas, secluded anchorages, and opportunities for wildlife spotting.

Zeballos Inlet and Esperanza Inlet: Zeballos Inlet is an extension of Esperanza Inlet in the North Island region of Vancouver Island, Canada. Though inland relative to the outer coast, it is part of the Pacific Ocean. This unique location provides both fresh and saltwater fishing. In addition to boating, there are superb diving, surfing and ocean kayaking available.

Mara Lake: By Canadian standards, is one of the smaller lakes and is just under 20 km². The wonderful part of Mara Lake is that it is connected by Sicamous Narrows to Shuswap Lake. This gives boaters a huge playground and waterway system for boating, water skiing, wakeboarding, house boating, kayaking, house boats, paddle boarding and fishing.

Ruby Lake, Pender Harbour 
Just like her name’s sake, Ruby Lake is a true diamond and one of the best Canadian lakes. Hidden in the middle of Pender Harbour, this long narrow lake is home to many fly-in or boat-only cabins. It is surrounded by wilderness and wildlife but close to the Ruby Lake Resort, Egmont, and Madeira Park. A 466 hectare. body of water, Ruby Lake has a mean depth of 171 feet. In the summer, it is very popular for fishermen, canoeists, kayakers, and anyone who loves to be around water. Ruby Lake has a boat launch at Dan Bosch Park. Many locals and visitors use it for boating and other water sports. A well-known attraction is a hike to the Skookumchuck Rapids to see the fantastic kayakers taking on the rapids. It is truly a unique event. Check out this great drone video.

Most varied places to boat in Ontario, Canada

Home to 250,000 lakes, Ontario contains about one-fifth of the world’s fresh water. Ontario offers several places that provide great access to hidden nature for boating enthusiasts. Home to the Great Lakes and the Thousand Islands, there is no lack of boating adventures in Ontario.

Here are some destinations in Ontario that offer opportunities to explore hidden nature spots and are voted some of the most popular boating destinations:

Georgian Bay: With its rugged shoreline, clear waters, and over 30,000 islands, Georgian Bay in Lake Huron is a boater’s paradise. Discover secret coves, secluded beaches, and pristine wilderness as you navigate through the incredible archipelago.

Thousand IslandsThousand Islands: While this boating area is called the “1,000 Islands“, the archipelago is made up of 1,864 islands within an 80-kilometre section of the river. Situated in the St. Lawrence River, the Thousand Islands region is known for its picturesque landscapes and countless islands. Cruise through narrow channels, explore hidden bays, and marvel at the lush greenery and diverse wildlife that make this area a must for boaters.

French River: The French River is a historic waterway connecting Lake Nipissing to Georgian Bay. It offers a serene and scenic boating experience with winding channels, peaceful backwaters, and untouched wilderness. Discover hidden fishing spots and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Canadian Shield.
Killarney Provincial Park: Located on the northern shore of Georgian Bay, Killarney Provincial Park is a remote wilderness area renowned for its stunning landscapes. Accessible by boat, the park offers hidden lakes, secluded anchorages, and excellent opportunities for hiking, wildlife viewing, and photography.

Lake of the Woods: Situated in Northwestern Ontario, Lake of the Woods is a vast and picturesque lake dotted with thousands of islands and secluded bays. Boaters can explore hidden channels, fish for a variety of species, and immerse themselves in the untouched beauty of this wilderness area.

Flowerpot Island, Georgian Bay: The great thing about Tobermory’s Flowerpot Island is it is only accessible by boat. This area is stunning with beautiful waters, natural sea stacks and glorious beaches. Stay overnight, camp and hike. One of the few perfect boating destinations.

The Rideau Canal: Not exactly a lake or ocean, this UNESCO World Heritage Site, is 202-km waterway is oldest continuously operated canal in North America and offers a unique boating experience. Begin your journey at Old Fort Henry and end it at the stepped locks that lead to the Parliament Buildings. Every Canadian should visit the Rideau Canal at least once.

Lake Temagami: Temagami is an island-studded water system that boasts over 3200km of shoreline and hundreds of islands. It is located 80km north of North Bay and is home to fishing, boating, house boating, kayaking and other outdoor sports.
Before setting out, ensure you are aware of local boating regulations, obtain any necessary permits, and familiarize yourself with safety precautions to fully enjoy these hidden nature spots in Ontario, BC and Quebec.

Finding the best place to boat in Quebec

Quebec offers several hidden locations that are popular boating destinations for boaters who boat for sport, water, recreation, or fishing. It is estimated that there are 500,000 lakes in Quebec. Some are very remote, but more accessible ones attract visitors from all over the world. Every season has something for boaters, but the colour of autumn in Quebec is awe-inspiring. Some lesser-known but beautiful places to boat in Quebec include:

Lac-Saint-Jean: A large lake in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, known for its crystal-clear waters and stunning landscapes.

Îles de la Madeleine: A group of picturesque islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, offering a unique boating experience with pristine beaches and rugged coastlines.

Lake Memphremagog: Located in the Eastern Townships, this scenic lake offers calm waters and stunningg views, with charming towns like Magog along its shores. With a surface area spanning just over 100 km² Lac Memphrémagog offers plenty of space to enjoy your favourite boating activities

St. Lawrence RiverRivière du Loup: Explore the St. Lawrence River by boating through Rivière du Loup, known for its beautiful scenery and diverse wildlife.

Lac Témiscouata: Located in Bas-Saint-Laurent, this large lake offers peaceful boating opportunities surrounded by lush forests and rolling hills.

Lake Massawippi: Nestled among lush green forests and rolling hills, this is a popular destination for fishing, birdwatching and swimming. Many of the small towns in the Eastern Townships offer amenities and activities.

Lake Walker: This stunning location offers something for everyone here, but the surrounding cliffs make it a go to for rock climbing. Furthermore, the natural hot springs are a place to put on your bucket list. Pack up your boat and find one of the many coveted spectacular camping spots.

Gouin Reservoir: This may not be a “hidden diamond” as anglers from all over the world come to fish at this location. It is in the middle of the boreal forest and is perfect for fishing, camping, hiking and wildlife watching. This lake is home to stay-on houseboats!

Before setting out, ensure you are aware of local boating regulations, obtain any necessary permits, and familiarize yourself with safety precautions to fully enjoy these hidden nature spots and best places to boat in British Columbia Ontario, and Quebec.

Lac Massawippi, Ripple Cove


Resources for popular boating destinations: 

Need boat insurance? Connect with Safe Harbour Insurance

Safe Harbour Insurance: Claim you calm with these three boating destinations in BC

Photo Lac Massawippi Ripple Cove: @cantonsdelest


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