Humber River Marshes

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Additional Route Information
6 km
1 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
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0 m
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0 m
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Route Description
Technical Guide: 

Take Humber Valley Road down the valley to a park, parking lot, and public boat launch.
This is the only good put-in/take-out site, so you will want to paddle back here.

You can paddle 1km upstream to the Old Mill, just upstream from Bloor Street; and/or paddle 2km downstream to Lake Ontario.

In this reach of the river, the main channel is quite deep. On weekends and holidays you will encounter a few motorboats slowly cruising between the boat launch area and Lake Ontario.

If there is a strong south wind, waves may prevent you from reaching the mouth of the River.

But on a calm day, you could continue along the Lake Ontario shore - I recommend westward, to Humber Bay Park.

Upstream from the Old Mill, the river is steeper and quite shallow, with numerous weirs to portage over. Look for fishermen here.

Special Comments: 

Most of this reach of the river is lined with broad marshes of cattails. Some of these marshes have formed in oxbow channels off the main river that you can paddle into. There is no good land access, so you will not see many walkers.
Early October is nice for fall colours. Watch for black-crowned night herons, black-backed gulls, and salmon.

The Humber is designated as a Canadian Heritage River. This route was used by native peoples, explorers, fur traders and missionaries.

The Old Mill is the site of what was probably the first mill for the village of York.

At the mouth of the Humber you can paddle under several road and rail bridges, and then the attractive bike-pedestrian bridge.

Peter Attfield


Post date: Sun, 08/15/2010 - 22:27


From Etobicoke, you can put it under the bridge at Bloor (park in Kings Mill parking lot, just south of the Old Mill) and carry or drag your kayak across the grass to the river.
Or, access the boat ramp in Kings Mill park (from Riverwood Parkway). You can paddle around the river through the marshes, and glide nicely all the way down to the lake, go left, and get behind the break water. Paddle over to the beaches, and even over to sunnyside for a swim in the pool and a drink. I often go on my own and you can feel safe as there are other kayaking out there so you won't feel alone out there. Fantastic picture taking!

Post date: Tue, 06/08/2010 - 22:36


I've kayaked from Rutherford down to Dundas in the spring but you can run humber after a good rain was no liftovers but there was one or two man made dams. Below Dundas there is a bunch of Dams. Between 401 and Dundas the river goes down hill fast can be fun if you like a bit of white water

Post date: Thu, 04/15/2010 - 22:06


Hi.are there any clubs to join or rentals available to kayak or canoe this river?

Post date: Wed, 05/27/2009 - 09:40


Another upper portion of the Humber is great as well in Spring. We recently did the Humber River from Bolton to Kleinburg. I'm not sure how many Kms but it was a 6 hour trip. We put in at Bolton. If you are going North on Hwy 50, just past the main intersection turn left on Hickman and you'll see a gravel parking lot. We started there and the route is mostly in conservation lands - very beautiful. There were a few lift overs due to trees down. Also at the beginning in Bolton an area where the rocks were too large so we had to portage a few meters. We ended at Humber Bridge Trail, which is a dead end road off of Hwy 27 and North of Major Mac. Use canoes you don't mind getting bashed up a bit! Some small rapids - really fun trip. We did it May 24th and the water was just deep enough.

Post date: Tue, 05/19/2009 - 15:48



Post date: Tue, 03/17/2009 - 15:41


In the spring you can have a lot of fun on the upper section of this river. I often put-in at the Kortright Centre in Kleinberg and make my way to Lake Ontario. There are a few deadfalls and weirs to lift over but the ride is a blast. This trip takes about 8hours. You can also put-in in Woodbridge to save a couple of hours and miss the worst of the deadfalls. I love that when you go under the 401 you can see the sign that says "Algonquin Park 242km." Think of the co2 emissions you saved.

Post date: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 20:37


For those interested in rentals, Mountain Equipment Coop rents at reasonable rates, particularly on weekends.