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More than 600 Urban Voyageurs to Paddle Down the Don River

Apr 29, 2011


For Immediate Distribution


(TORONTO, April 29, 2011) This Sunday, May 1, more than 600 paddlers in 315 canoes and kayaks will take an urban canoe adventure down 10.5 km of the Don River from Ernest Thompson Seton Park to the mouth of the river at the Keating Channel on the Toronto Harbour, in the 18th Annual Manulife Paddle the Don! This once-a-year opportunity to experience the Don River up close, has received an overwhelming amount of public support. This year's event booked in under 7 hours. The event brings together conservationists, business people and recreationalists to traverse one of Toronto's most important water courses, the Don River, while raising awareness that we all need to be involved in the protection, restoration and regeneration of the river.

 "The Don River is a vital part of our City's natural heritage and that's why events such as the Manulife Paddle the Don, is so important; it encourages people to be responsible for keeping our river healthy," said Adele Freeman, Director, Watershed Management. "This year we are appreciative for the support from Manulife Financial, our new title sponsor for the event. Together we hope to engage individuals and businesses and raise awareness about the role healthy rivers have in our community. Providing the foundation for many of our activities and adventures, rivers and their valleys provide a natural setting for people to walk, ride, bird and enjoy the outdoors with family and friends."

Manulife Paddle the Don remains a free event, however donations to regenerate the Don are encouraged. The Manulife Paddle the Don pledge program began in 2002 and individual paddlers and corporate teams have raised more than $300,000 to date. These funds will go directly towards Toronto and Region Conservation's (TRCA) regeneration and naturalization projects in the Don watershed including regenerating the Maple Nature Reserve, historic Milne House and Baker Sugar Bush, as well as continuing with the installation of watercourse identification signs, and developing more  Walk the Don trail guides.

"Manulife Financial is proud to sponsor the Paddle the Don event," said Sarah Saso, Director, Community Relations. "As a strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking partner, we support and believe in the regeneration of the Don River area as it is important for the environment and the community."

Helping to support the even this year is celebrity paddler Bob McDonald, host of CBC Radio's National Science Show Quirks and Quarks, who will also be collecting pledges for his paddle.

The Manulife Paddle the Don! is organized by TRCA, The Conservation Foundation of Greater Toronto, the Wilderness Canoe Association and the Don Watershed Regeneration Council, along with the support of many dedicated volunteers, title sponsor Manulife Financial and other generous sponsors and watershed supporters.

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For details about the event: please check the media advisory at:


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Media contact:

Elizabeth Oakley
Tel: 416-661-6600 ext 5856

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