The abundance of natural splendour surrounding Burnaby's small lake inspired the creation of Deer Lake Boat Rentals. With blue herons standing tall in the waters, eagles soaring overhead, and turtles playing duck-duck-goose with Canadian geese, the region is teeming with wildlife. Fourteen years under the current ownership and opened in 1972, Deer Lake Boat Rentals rent kayaks, rowboats, pedal boats, and canoes to make the lake and its wildlife accessible to families. They are also equally focused on safety, so they provide all the requisite necessities, including lifejackets and staff a skilled crew ready to assist in any way necessary.
The non-profit Burnaby Canoe and Kayak's nationally certified coaches impart paddling techniques to all ages and skill levels on peaceful Burnaby Lake. The lake is nestled in a wildlife sanctuary where birdwatchers often glimpse great blue herons, belted kingfishers, and airplanes and the scenic North Shore Mountains peer over its waters.
The organization's fleet—one of the largest in Canada—even encompasses the War Canoe, a uniquely Canadian boat that holds 15 paddlers. Students can hone their skills during drop-in sessions or during more structured summer camps and sprint programs, where members develop strength, endurance, and technique.
Takaya Tours takes patrons gliding across the waters of the Burrard Inlet and Indian Arm on trips accentuated by the cultural heritage of the Coast Salish Nation, the indigenous inhabitants of the area. Guests plumb the open-water majesty astride a replica of a 25-foot Salish canoe or in a single or tandem kayak as the guide imparts nuggets of cultural lore and sings ancient songs that echo off of the rock faces surrounding the placid waters. Guides expose tourists to the area?s native flora and fauna and the sites of original Coast Salish villages while implicitly affirming the principles of buoyancy. Takaya Tours also rents out kayaks to let individuals or duos explore the scenic waterways and start splash fights with pelicans on their own time.
Aboard an outrigger canoe, paddlers at Lotus Sports Club gain hands-on experience on the water, manipulating paddles and steering boats during classes and eventually races. Nonmembers can try their hands at paddling during drop-in sessions, where they can get acquainted with the outrigger canoes, paddling techniques, and the waterfowl of the Burrard Inlet.
When most of the local boating club's members decided to venture into sailing large cruisers and racing, a small group of sailors remained loyal to their first love—sailing dinghies. This tightly knit crew formed Rocky Point Sailing Association, which today encompasses a fleet of about 40 boats and a staff of more than a dozen Sail Canada instructors.
At their headquarters inside of Rocky Point Park's Old Mill Boathouse, the sailors instruct kids as young as 4 years up through adults in all levels of sailing. Rocky Point's team also extends membership privileges, such as the use of a restored Columbia 27 cruiser, the Orane. To indulge competitive spirits, RPSA's crew also maintains a race team.
Operated by the Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival Society, Dragon Zone Dragon Boat Paddling Club makes it easy for people to experience the ancient art of dragon boating, as well as many other types of paddle sports. In addition to 10- and 20-foot dragon boats, the club equips guests with marathon canoes, six-person outriggers, one-person outriggers, and kayaks.
For those who are new to dragon boating, Dragon Zone Dragon Boat Paddling Club offers four-week classes that introduce basic techniques and get students used to working as a team. More specialized workshops supplement foundational skills with more advanced instruction, which is especially useful for anyone who decides to join a racing team.