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Paddling for a purpose! 750 Paddlers make a once a year journey down the Don River raising funds and awareness about protecting the river

May 02, 2014


For Immediate Release

Attention Assignment and Photo Editors

(TORONTO, May 2, 2014)

Paddling for a purpose! 750 Paddlers make a once a year journey down the Don Riverraising funds and awareness about protecting the river

On Sunday, May 4th more than 750 paddlers of all ages, on 300 canoes and kayaks, and joined by 16 corporate teams will be paddling on the Don River through the heart of Toronto, from E.T. Seton Park to the mouth of the river at Keating Channel, at the Manulife Paddle the Don fundraising event. This event is a once a year chance to experience an exciting 10.5 km paddling adventure in an urban environment and a way to show support and appreciation for this great river. Since the pledge program began in 2002, paddlers have raised over $475,000! Funds raised will help support initiatives that are an environmental benefit to the watershed and the people who live, work and visit the Don.

This year the event supports the Don River Tree Canopy Program which provides funding and resources to the Don Watershed Regeneration Council for projects related to the restoration and management of the urban tree canopy in the watershed. The event will also support the Don River Stormwater Management Program which supports projects and community engagement activities that are directly related to mitigating the impacts of stormwater in the Don River watershed.

Manulife Paddle the Don is organized through Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA), The Living City Foundation, the Wilderness Canoe Association and the Don Watershed Regeneration Council, along with the support of many dedicated volunteers and watershed supporters. The event is sponsored by: Manulife Financial, Black Creek Historic Brewery, The Complete Paddler and Starbucks.

WHEN: Sunday, May 4, 2014 8:15 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


Launch site: The paddle starts at Ernest Thompson Seton Park, access the park via the entrance to Wilket Creek Park and Sunnybrook Park on the west side of Leslie Street, just north of Eglinton Avenue, and follow the signs to the Paddle.

Take-Out Site: The Paddle the Don take-out, located in the parkette on the northwest corner of Villiers Street and Don Roadway. (170 Villiers Street)

Launch Site: E.T. Seton Park

8:15am: Greetings from the Province of Ontario: The Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier, Province of Ontario; Greetings from Manulife: Edwina Stoate, VP Strategic Sourcing, Manulife; Remarks and Greetings, Gerri Lynn O'Connor, Chair, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority; Remarks of Appreciation: Scott Fortnum, Executive Director, The Living City Foundation; Safety Announcements: Bill King, Wilderness Canoe Association; Closing Remarks: Peter Heinz, Chair, The Don Watershed Regeneration Council.

8:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m. Paddlers launch from Ernest Thompson Seton Park

Takeout Site: Manulife Landing Party Event at Villiers Parkette (170 Villiers Street) - 1:30 pm Sponsor Recognition and Announcement of Manulife Corporate Challenge Winners. The Manulife Landing Party is where paddlers celebrate their successful paddle down the Don River. This year paddlers can purchase a Black Creek Beer (ID required), while relaxing and watching other paddlers arrive at the take-out site. The party includes hot food and entertainment from the Don Valley Boyz.

For more information please go to:

To download a route map:

Toronto and Region Conservation

With over 55 years of experience, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) helps people understand, enjoy and look-after the natural environment. Our vision is for The Living City®, where human settlement can flourish forever as part of nature's beauty and diversity. For more information, call 416-661-6600 or visit us at





Media contact:
Rowena Calpito, Supervisor Public Relations
Toronto and Region Conservation
Tel: 416-661-6600 ext 5632 Mobile: 416-358-3446 E-mail:



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Elizabeth Oakley
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