Stretching to the far north of Amherstburg is River Canard, Canada’s southernmost river. With shallow waters that weave in and out of different municipalities across 12 (approximate) kilometres, this is the perfect place for kayak and canoe enthusiasts to explore. Quietly maneuvering through the water you will experience an abundance of wildlife from fish and waterfowl, to muskrats, beavers, and more. In the spring or early summer, you will also notice an abundance of majestic water lilies. Often found in tropical or subtropical climates, these beauties are unique to this region of Canada.
Some of Canada’s first French settlers in the 18th century made River Canard home. When you approach the overpass from the main highway you will note a landmark identifying the Dean and Hancock bridge to Nationhood. It was these two soldiers, John Dean and James Hancock, that valiantly fought the intruding Americans in the War of 1812 known as the Battle of River Canard. A historic place of many firsts, the river was home to the first skirmish of this significant war, saw the first casualty and fatality of the war of 1812, and was where the British determined that this land we now call Canada was worth fighting for.
Currently, River Canard is a picturesque community that surrounds the River Canard at the mouth of the Detroit River – which is not actually a river, and rather, a straight. Like many translated words, it has been subject to mispronunciation. The French word “droit” means in “straight” in French, but somehow – ultimately – became Detroit.
True to its French roots there is an iconic Roman Catholic Church, St. Joseph’s, that sits majestically along its shoreline.
To paddle your way through these waters, visit River Canard Canoe which offers canoes, rowboats, paddle boards and kayaks for rent. Experience your adventure solo, or choose from one of the many tours offered! Either way, bring your inquisitive spirit and leave nothing but ripples.