When Captain Andy boarded his first ship at age 17, he had no time for sightseeing—the young merchant marine was too busy hauling iron ore, road salt, and coal to factories along the banks of the Great Lakes. Maybe that's why Captain Andy now takes such delight in whizzing past idyllic islands at 45 mph in the newest addition to his fleet, a Wildcat catamaran. Though an adrenalin rush accounts for some of the Wildcat's appeal, Captain Andy is most pleased that the boat's speeds can help him expose passengers to even more island attractions during his informative and entertaining tours.
A native Ontarian, Captain Andy touts the Brockville waterfront as one of the most accessible and diverse in the world, and happily points out his favourite waterfront parks for picnicking and fishing during his trips. In the same vein, his cruising company offers seven diverse tours that incorporate adventure, theatre performances, and local sightseeing to help riders experience all the wonders of the area by water. The seasoned sailor also recognizes the advantage of helming his smaller ships; their compact size not only ensures more intimate tours and more time with passengers, but allows them to duck into the region's narrow channels where larger boats and determined icebergs can't follow.
Big Rideau Lake Boat Rental's owner, Heather Heins, has boating in her blood. Hundreds of years ago, her ancestor William Davidson was the first European to settle in New Brunswick, where he built and launched the region's first sailing vessel—the Miramichi.
Today, Heather continues in her forefather's footsteps, managing a fleet of watercrafts alongside her husband, Robert. Their kayaks and canoes skim across the lake's crystal clear waters, and their motorized pontoons and Sea-Doos roar past shores lined with pine trees, cottages, and sunbathing cacti on vacation. The Heinses also oversee an armada of seven houseboats that are outfitted with sleeping quarters, barbecue grills, and air conditioning, ideal for day trips or voyages down the Rideau Canal that last weeks at a time. For Heather, the pride of the fleet is a simple 23-foot houseboat, which she named Miramichi in honour of her ancestor's historic vessel.
Sculpted into the banks of the St. Lawrence River, Iroquois Golf Club’s links-style course spans 6,158 yards of gently undulating terrain. As players traverse the picturesque par 72, riverside winds, relatively sparse trees, and scorecards printed in Gaelic channel the coastal charms of the old courses of the Emerald Isle. Intervening waterways appear on all but three holes, placing confident swings and sound course management at a premium. Rounds conclude with a dramatic finish at the par 3 18th hole, where approach shots must send golf balls soaring over a water hazard that sits between tee and green and houses a community of great blue herons who raise their young on a golf ball-based diet. Patrons who arrive by plane at the Iroquois Air Strip or by boat at the Iroquois Marine Services can call the golf club and arrange for a shuttle to drive them to and from the course.
Course at a Glance:
Drifters Outdoors keeps water worshipers gleefully afloat with kayak and canoe rentals along the Rideau River. Before paddlers embark on self-guided two-hour trips, the expert staff can point out distinct local scenery, offer tips on paddling technique, and haggle with local beavers for good lumber prices on the behalf of renters. After suiting up in a brightly coloured life jacket, paddlers begin waterborne expeditions of the stately tree-lined river, one of southern Ontario's major waterways. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal is open to kayakers and canoers all week long, and rentals depart from the Kemptville town docks on weekends. Though not included in this offer, Drifters Outdoors also provides stand-up paddleboard rental, paddle-fitness classes, and a summer camp for kayak-crazed kids age 10–14. Water-bound customers are encouraged to call ahead to check rental availabilities and to gossip about the weather.
Real Deal Paintball brandishes field warriors with safe combat gear and diversely themed playing turfs to role-play battle and amp up heart rates. Secure a Tippmann 98 paintball gun and high-pressure air tank to your digital or woodland camouflage garb and harness before trekking through the Ardennes Forest or village of Hutsonville in search of rival targets and stray piñata shrapnel. With 500 paintballs, a secure mask, and Real Deal's seasoned military advisers on guard to light the way, soldiers can experience a thrilling half-day of swiftly blasting biodegradable gelatin capsules into the air while ducking behind sandbags or inside authentic army barracks. The package's adrenaline rush includes free bottled water, as well as photos and videos posted online to share with friends, family, and Santa's team of naughty vs. nice judges. Groupon holders may upgrade to a full day of play for $10, plus HST.
Pawsitively Pets For Kids fosters bonds between critters and kids with classes and camps designed to teach children to care for a variety of animals. Tortoises, chinchillas, snakes, and other exotic animals have all crawled, slithered, and hopped their way into Pawsitively Pets’ wide-ranging curriculum, along with more traditional domestic beasts, such as hamsters, kittens, and guinea pigs. During summer camps or classes held after school and on the weekends, Pawsitively Pets also uses kids’ enthusiasm for animal interactions to fuel projects and cooperative group activities, helping foster kids’ inner creativity and teamwork skills.