2016 Cameron Smedley and Michael Tayler

2016 Cameron Smedley and Michael Tayler

Minden Wild Water Preserve

WO Access and Preservation

36th Annual Gull River Open Canoe Slalom Race

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2016 Victor Starts the Fix-the-Gull Project


The project to return the Gull River to its pre-flood condition is underway.

Victor Ettel is a local paddler who has seen the deterioration to his favourite  paddling spot over 15 years with flows jumping from seasonal 10-30cms to well over 60cms.  This spring Victor was the first person to step forward and say he wanted to help.

Meetings with local paddlers and people who had done previous work carried on the process started by canoeist Dennis McGee in 2014.   We have taken his extensive mapping of all the eddies and walls moved, and added more instructional and group improvements.

The contractor, Bryan Kernoghan, estimates the full repairs with heavy machinery, materials, and a few improvements will come to $50,000.  

Due to the magnitude of the work, we are targeting a 3 year action plan.  Whitewater Ontario is committing $15,000, which leaves $35,000 to fundraise among paddlers, grants, and organizations who use the Gull.

Recently Dave Gillespie of Whitewater Ontario sat down for an interview with Victor.  

DG:  Hi Victor, thanks for stepping forward.

VE:  No problem.  This project is worth it.

DG: How long have you been paddling?

VE:  60 years by now (I know it doesn’t show…)

DG:  What does paddling at the Gull River mean to you?

VE:  It is a lifestyle, especially after retirement – paddling with similar  friends and sometimes sharing a beer afterwards... I know of no other pastime (other than skiing in the winter) that I would want to do instead.


DG:  The Minden WildWater Preserve was constructed over 35 years ago, hosting thousands of people paddling whitewater, fishing, walking, taking wedding photos, and enjoying the river.    For what reasons do you support this next phase of river changes?

VE:  Both selfish and unselfish reasons. I want to keep paddling as long as I can, but also want to preserve this unique place for the enjoyment of the future generations, including my own grandkids and friends. 

DG:  What would you like to see done?

VE:  Well I have thought a lot about these things to fix....

  1. Improved takeout at the bottom.  Its too unstable on RL and RR.
  2. Repair the displaced walls with a better design.  (e.g. the breached wall opposite the kissing bridge). 
  3. Reposition the underwater bars (Earl’s) 
  4. Returning the gravel below the falls back to where it came from (the put-in) 
  5. If possible, make the wall by pond - more flat and easier to walk on.   
  6. Talk to camps.  They bring lots of new young people here.


DG:  In conclusion, what could you say to someone who paddles at the Gull River?

VE:   If you have enjoyed this wonderful sport, the people, and this "Jewel of a river" - join me - let's make it a good place again.




Victor has generously donated $2000 to kickstart the Paddler Fundraising to the Fix-the-Gull Project.  All donations are assigned to "river work" only.   

Next step is to present our proposal for RR Township property to the Minden Hills Township council meeting - Thursday July 28.  10AM.  Their approval paves the way for the MNR application.

In the next update on the Fix-the-Gull Project, we will have the status of permits, and fundraising opportunities for the project's $35k.  



2016 WO Member Update July 15, 2016

wo-logoThis e-Blast has been a long time coming.  Whitewater Ontario has been busy in the background and frankly the calendar got away on us.  Our new board has been occupied with meetings to improve the Ottawa Pumphouse, the Gull River, supporting events and river access, and the hiring of a new provincial Coach, in addition to our personal lives and paddling. 



A number of events have already taken place this spring including:

Three downriver races:


 1) Credit River Race on March 26,  2) Humber River Race on April 2 and the 3) Moira River Derby on April 17. 


Fun times were shared by all who braved the weather and cold water.


MACK Fest (Marmora Area Canoe and Kayak Festival)  Early spring brought early date to the festival but turn out was good and high water enjoyed by all. There were approximately 100 attendants!  Lots of prizes and fun had at Bunkers Friday and Saturday nights.  Big thanks to all the numerous sponsors and volunteers. Thanks to Manny Lawson (KWP) for organizing a successful MackFest.   


The 8th Hell or High Water event went off again this spring with great attendance. The organizer Phil Kompass, states they had a huge turnout with 450 competitors!  They raised $5500 and split the proceeds, donating to the Deep River & District Hospital + the WO River Advocacy Committee.  Well done Phil and the HOHW Team.   This has become a staple event in Ontario whitewater paddling.  Details on this year's race winners and next year's event can be found at    Next Year's race is May 13, 2017.


WO had a group of athletes attend the Canadian National Slalom Team Trials in Rutherford, BC in May 21-22.  We were very pleased to see 2 of our own Ontario athletes meet the criteria for the Rio Olympics.  For a full list of the national team check out :


The Canadian Olympic Committee is proud to welcome:

Michael Tayler (K1) (Ottawa)

Cameron Smedley (C1)  (Dunrobin).

Check out this great clip featuring both of WO's Olympians!



The Andrew Westlake Memorial Race ran the Ottawa Pumphouse on June 25.  It was moved to Ottawa from Minden due to larger number of Ontario athletes competing internationally.  It was wonderful to see some of our veterans paddlers as well as young up and coming cadets and juniors tackle the course. Attached at the bottom of the newsletter is the official results list. Click this link for photos of the racers:






MKC has held instructor certification courses this spring with the following results.

1.  17 lakewater kayak instructors
2.  15 L2I2 certifications
3.  4 L3I3 trained (also certified at L2I2)
4.  2 Learning Facilitators training and evaluation  LF L2I2  and LF L3I3.

Total participants are 34.



Freestyle had an amazing influx of paddlers and spectators for last year's World Championships on the Ottawa River.  It was one of the best world events yet.  The features of the Ottawa really showcase the sport and the athleticism of the athletes.

This season has seen the annual Stakeout on the Ottawa River.  Lots of paddlers from around the world come to the area chasing the big waves of the spring run off on the Ottawa and surrounding areas.
The annual Jimmy Cup squirt boat gathering is on the Ottawa River at McCoys on Saturday July 23, 2016.  It is a great opportunity for paddlers to try out this unique aspect of the sport.

On Sunday July 24, 2016 the Canoe Kayak Freestyle National Team Trials for Squirt Boat will also be at McCoys on the Ottawa.

Later in the summer many Ontario paddlers will be travelling to Valleyfield Quebec. The Canoe Kayak Freestyle National Team Trials is on August 6/7th, 2016.

More details as the freestyle season progresses in the next newsletter.



There has been some significant activity around securing public access takeout from the Ottawa River.  Lots of communication and a few meetings. We are thankful for the donation from HOHW and hope to have more details to share in the next e-newsletter.



King of the Clubs (KOC) will be happening on Sunday July 31st at the Ottawa River.  Clubs / Paddlers are encouraged to join this fun day of paddling and fun competition.  Open to all ages and abilities.  Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for more information.


The MKC Slalom Race is coming soon!  August 10 from 9am-4pm.   It is held on Chalet rapid just down the hill from MKC itself.  This is a great opportunity to get away from the city and enjoy Barry's Bay area.  As you may know it is a friendly Class II with good targets to improve your precision paddling.   Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

On August 13, the Pumphouse Slalom race will run at Fleet Street in downtown Ottawa. This offers the possibility to do some challenging ClassII river in an urban river and enjoy the city! 

Outside of Ontario, the Rio Olympics are only weeks away! The slalom canoeing will be taking place from August 7 to 11. Make sure to tune in order to watch  our two WO members Michael Tayler and Cameron Smedley. 



Anthony Colin (France) has been working as WO's​​Canoe Slalom Head coach since February 1. Anthony has been working with our high performance athletes, as well as coordinating a Junior Development program in the Ottawa area.  His position is financed through a 3-year partnership between Sport Ontario, Whitewater Ontario, and parents of development athletes.  


Anthony will spend all of July working with paddlers at the Pumphouse. He is working with the staff who running ORR's summer kayaking programs with the goal of recruiting potential paddlers into WO's development program. we hope to have him visit and connect with other WO clubs and have him work with young paddlers looking to improve their forward stroke, eddy turns, or maybe consider a fun race.


To see an interview from Anthony



The new summer student, Carley Duncan (Minden area), has started work at the Minden Wild Water Preserve. She has prepared the building, re-stocked the washrooms, and started work on campsites. Carley's role is that of MWWP Welcome Host, and Site Maintenance. Please say "Hi" to her to make her feel welcome.


The new MWWP Site Manager, David Humphrys (Huntsville), and VP, David Gillespie (Peterborough), are sharing some of the work to replace equipment and get logistics running smoother. At the moment, campfire wood in the shed is limited, so please bring what you need, and use appropriate small deadfall from the WO property. Any formal feedback can come through IM. or email to us.

We need your help - the Preserve upgrades come from Camper revenue. Please relay the campground is open. 



After 2 devastating floods on the Gull River, much of the work done in 1983 and 2002 has been moved and created numerous safety hazards.   David Gillespie and a few paddlers have been working on an MNR application to work in the Gull River.  

Last month, we met with Township Officials to get permission for river & trail work. It will take time. We also have the costing on major river work by Kernoghan's Construction. $40,000 to rebuild walls, clear eddies, and do some access steps at the Washout. The application to MNR has split it over 2-3 years. 


A Fix-the-Gull Fund has been started by a very generous benefactor and longtime paddler Victor Ettel (Halliburton).  The proposed details on Fix-the-Gull-River Project and Victor's donation to kick it off will be profiled in an subsequent announcement.   It is obvious that this will be a multi-year project and will require the help of all paddlers and groups who use the Gull River.  Stay tuned for announcements on this. 



Trent Severn Waterway has announced $270million in infrastructure improvements. A small group of paddlers and Whitewater Ontario reps met with T-S staff on April 4th.  We learned the Dam is on the list to be re-built as-is.  Stop-log design with water feeding over the top.  YAHHH.   Also we secured a walkway for boaters.  This includes the Horseshoe Lake Dam re-build is still on schedule for November 2016.




WO would like to welcome a new paddling club, the Red Hawks Paddling Club of Haliburton area.  

The club has been f

acilitated by longtime paddler and enthusiast Russ Duhaime.  

Other clubs have been facilitating local trips.  If you want to profile your club, send me an email.    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Thanks for your support and putting the word out the MWWP campground is undergoing the usual cleanup in recent days and is open.   We hope to see you at one of the WO supported events.  


In Service,

    Your Whitewater Ontario Executive 


Jim Tayler, David Gillespie, Scott Parker, Celeste Corkery, Alison Smedley, John Mason, Carolyn Pullen, Cale Reeder, Eric Betteridge, Jen Adams, Emmett Proulx, Kathleen Tayler, Erwin Ellen, David Humphrys, and Donna Boadway



Our two Olympians Michael Tayler and Cam Smedley 

IMG 2952-Mike  Cam Smedley


Olympian Michael Tayler giving some tips to beginning paddlers at the Pumphouse in Ottawa

IMG 2951 M Tayler Gives Tips


Andrew Westlake Memorial race results   : See pdf attachment below

MKC Slalom race information

MKC-Slalom race Info

Minden Wildwater Preserve






Horseshoe Lake Dam

Horseshoe Lake Dam - July 2016

Roger Parson's Centre

Roger Parsons Centre - Boatwerks-MWWP


Download this file (westlake 2016 results summary.pdf)2016 Andrew Westlake Race Results Summary[2016 Andrew Westlake Race Results Summary]111 kB

2016 Andrew Westlake Memorial Race Moving to Ottawa

Hi everyone, 

We've come to a decision. Thank you all who were planning on driving up to the Gull - very appreciated. Due to low levels of attendance we will cancel the race and move it to Ottawa. Please still sign up on the volunteer google sheet:


We will host the Andrew Westlake Race in Ottawa at the Pumphouse Saturday Morning June 25th from 9-12. The course needs to be free in the afternoon to allow for the catch up camp that is going to use it. 


Registration Link:


9AM Registration 

9:30AM Registration closes and Bib Handout/Racer's Meeting 

9:45AM Forerunner/Demo

10AM 1st Runs and 2nd Runs Back to Back 

11:30AM Team Runs 
Noon Course Deconstruction and awards right after 

Thanks! Kathleen 


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