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Grand River Access Development


The experience-seeking, nature-bound explorer values the abundance of a thrill, be it be soft or avid. Southern Ontario is home to some of the most unique four-season water adventures to satisfy any outdoor-searcher. Through the paddle, Ontario has celebrated its wilderness of ancient forests and pristine waters – one in particular, the Grand River. A Canadian heritage river, it lends to many activities and experiences, and is a proven catalyst to paddling and fishing – an economic driver. The paddler can take on a canoe and kayak, but beyond the typical, there is so much more to experience – be it the ultimate lounge-chair paddle and drift of the turbo tube, or perhaps a cultural discovery with a First Nations story-teller aboard the voyageur 12-passenger vessel, or yet a more surreal single paddle boards to the grab your friends and do the 8-person stand-up paddle board, known as “The Beast,” or for the scenery and serenity, the cruiser aspires for a popular dining and entertainment river cruise, on board Grand River Cruises. On the water paddle excursions come in traditional forms as well, guided canoe and kayak passive to immersive, dip your paddle trips, or the roaring white water avid ride on the Nith River by raft, or kayak.


The tourist is coming from nearby and across the globe to experience our unique products and offers – the river continues to perform as a trip motivator in the outdoor tourism space. Our regional Grand River outfitter experts serve over 80,000 paddlers, annually. Considering this only accounts for the booked outfitter business, we also must consider organic individual paddler who is coming with their own equipment and enjoying our waters independently. Together this is an active audience and one we continue to target – through product development, infrastructure initiatives, and sector specific campaigns. What’s more exciting is that we understand the value of the paddler – the canoeist, the kayaker, but moreover, not discounting other contenders: the trail-riding cyclists whom skim the river shoreline paths, and together we consider this market the triple crown of the outdoor water-based adventure enthusiast. Avid outdoor enthusiasts, families, explorers, knowledge-seekers and new Canadians are the recognized target audience through Destination Ontario of which we align our marketing. Regional Value Proposition The business of the Grand River and its tributaries drives an inspiring audience of new adventurers for Canadians and for locals to visitors from all over the world. Building the foundation of this destination and natural asset includes:

  • Plenty of natural attractions, experiences, dining and shopping
  • Year-round river offerings, including on and off the river
  • Cultural variety: indigenous story-telling and heritage
  • Safe, vibrant and welcoming towns, cities, and communities Opportunities for Grand River Development
  • Attracting more visitors, including high-yield visitors, multiple day stays
  • Destination awareness – local, regional, provincial, national, international
  • Tourism partner engagement
  • Building a strong visitor experience
  • Pan-regional collaborations
  • Product and market development: Local, Regional, Provincial
  • Digital asset acquisitioning
  • B2B engagement and purchase cycle initiatives
  • Marketing our iconic and world-class river destination


A significant recreational asset that includes three sections of the river: upper, middle and lower. We continue to support infrastructure development of the river, in collaboration with RTO 1 and 4, through stakeholder engagement. Visitation, by locals and visitors alike, has increased in recent years, which has generated increased activity on-the-river and off-the-river. Together, we have strategically identified opportunities of the overarching economic spin-off for tourism businesses and operators. We are conducting our 2nd Grand River Visitor Experience Forum, targeting topics around river access development in a three sections of the river. Working directly with our engaged stakeholders, a Grand River Access Point Technical Committee is tasked with identifying risks and safety issues for river users. Some of the current projects are kilometre marking and civic addresses identification. There is progress in the upper river, which began with the development and launch of the pilot access site, Wilson’s Flats, in 2018. In the middle river section (RTO3), we continue to work with the County of Brant, the City of Brantford, and Six Nations of the Grand River, on an on-going basis for river access development.