Hike, paddle and climb in your own Toronto backyard this summer – and earn a high school credit as a reward for all the fun! On our three-week program at Don Valley Brick Works Park, students can earn a Grade 10 credit in “Healthy Active Living and Outdoor Activities” for participating in activities like camping and outdoor cookouts, direct teaching from our instructors, and assignments like journal prompts.
Learn more about our high school credit options.
Each week of the program, participants will focus on one activity and develop the skills associated with it:
Week 1 – Hiking
Put your hiking skills into practice on the trails of Don Valley Brick Works Park and Rouge National Urban Park: Home to amazing biodiversity and Canada’s only urban national park. You’ll learn how to pack your backpack, choose the right hiking gear, and build your physical and mental fitness as you explore the city on foot.
Week 2 – Canoeing
Focus on your flatwater canoeing skills on Lake Ontario and explore Ashbridges Bay, the Humber and Rouge Rivers, as well as Toronto’s harbourfront and the famous Toronto Islands: a chain of 15 islands with scenic views of the city skyline. Get a solid introduction or improve your paddling and stroke techniques and expand your knowledge of canoeing equipment and techniques. Enjoy a view of the dynamic metropolis from the water – a whole new perspective!
Week 3 – Climbing
Reach new heights by exploring the high ropes course at Don Valley Brick Works Park and climbing at Rattlesnake Point on the Niagara Escarpment. Explore and improve your physical and mental skills, familiarize yourself with climbing equipment, and learn safety and techniques with your new peers in the beautiful urban wilderness.
And that’s not all: Every Wednesday night there’s an optional overnight as an introduction to camping! In week 1 you’ll camp at Don Valley Brick Works Park, in week 2 at the Toronto Islands and in week 3 at Rattlesnake Point.
About Don Valley Brick Works Park
For a century, Don Valley Brick Works Park was the site of a major brick manufacturer and supplier of buildings throughout Toronto. That changed in 1989 when the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) acquired the site and began restoration work with the City of Toronto in 1995. This involved creating a series of wetlands that provide habitat for aquatic plants and wildlife, and channelling water from nearby Mud Creek through the wetland to filter it naturally before it flows into the Don River and eventually Lake Ontario.
Today, the 200-hectares of wetlands, dry wildflower meadows and forest plant communities create a variety of ecosystem types that provide the ideal setting for Outward Bound Canada’s urban programs, where participants can hike the many nature trails, paddle the Don River and perfect their outdoor skills surrounded by nature in this special area – all within 10 minutes of downtown Toronto and accessible by car, public transit, foot or bike.