About Paddling

Big Canoes Return the Club to its Roots!

Returning the Club to its original roots, this program is designed to reach a wide community of people interested in exploring the Ottawa River.

A Brief History

Paddling is in an intrinsic part of the Club’s rich history and dates back to 1883 when it started as the Ottawa Canoe Club. In 1914, the Ottawa Canoe Club combined with the New Edinburgh Canoe Club and became a powerful force in competitive canoeing. In the first half of the twentieth century, the Club won nine Dominion championships in the war canoe (C-15) events, five of them in the half mile.  Many of the ONECC paddlers were on the Club’s team and some also played for the Ottawa Senators. Horace Merrill was a member of the team which won the Stanley Cup in 1919-20.Merrill won three Dominion championships in the single blade singles (C-1) between 1904 and 1909 and captained three consecutive championships in the mile war canoe (C-15), beginning in 1909. In the 1920s, the Roy brothers, Eric and Ivan, won many Canadian medals, especially in the single blade tandem (C-2) category.

In 1965, the Club became the Ottawa New Edinburgh Club (ONEC) and canoeing was dropped some years later.

In 2016, ONEC acquired six Camp Canoes that can carry six paddlers plus a bow and stern person. With the donation of these Canoes to ONEC, the club launched a pilot program in 2017 and created the Big Canoe Program in partnership with Big Canoe Adventure Excursions in 2018. The program continues to expand and, in 2019, ONEC purchased a Rabaska canoe – which is similar to a voyageur canoe carryingnine paddlers plus a bow and a stern person. With the Big Canoe Program, the ONEC is able to offer paddling opportunities on the Ottawa river that harken back to the Club’s glorious past.