Takaya Canoe Tour

I often get asked about interesting places to discover around Vancouver. Friends and family love to head up this way in the warmer months, and this gets my mind thinking outdoors, to take full advantage of the natural beauty that our city has in droves.

Enter Takaya Tours, a Tsleil-Waututh (slay-wah-tuth) First Nations-owned and operated tour company that’s been leading both canoe and walking tours for 12 years. They can customize a tour, or even do a split tour that includes both canoeing and walking.

Drumming ceremony/ground blessing

Over the long May weekend, I decided to take a two-hour tour ahead of the busy summer period. We met at Cates Park for an introduction, ground blessing, and drumming, followed by a safety and “what to expect on the water” briefing. Once you’ve joined a Takaya Tour, you become a member of their family, by way of the blessing mentioned earlier.

Safety briefing

Armed with native motif paddles and PFD’s, we headed to our 12-seat, 25-foot canoe, where two guides instructed us on how to enter and sit for optimal balance.

Takaya Canoe Tour

Once underway, our guide began to tell tales of the Tsleil-Waututh, as well as their traditions and activities. Another guide played the drum and sang at various points along the way, translating each song’s meaning and a typical occasion when it might be performed.

Takaya Canoe Tour Takaya Canoe Tour Takaya Canoe Tour

This was a unique way to unplug for a few hours and to smell the wonderful spring air and Indian Arm water. The water was calm that day, but I couldn’t help wishing that an orca or two might surprise us (we did see a seal though).

Passing the drum stick Our merry group

Takaya Canoe Tour
[Look carefully to the right in the water: It’s a bird’s head with an eye!]

Visit Takaya Tours online for detailed tour info. I was a guest of Takaya Tours for the purpose of this feature. Opinions, as always, are my own.


  • Comment by Jean R. — May 24, 2011 @ 9:35 am

    Wow, can’t wait to get my brother and nieces out here this summer!! My nieces will especially love this.

  • Comment by Charlie — May 24, 2011 @ 10:05 am

    More great fun things to do with the kids this summer 🙂

  • Comment by Bob T. — May 24, 2011 @ 11:51 am

    Love the photos – We’re always looking for new stuff to do around the city. Thanks for posting the article on Takaya.

  • Comment by Geronimo — May 24, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

    Hey its Geronimo, forgot to leave you my e-mail address, i would like to use some of your photos for my Takaya Tours Blog page if it is alright with you. reymysterio619_@hotmail.com

  • Comment by arianec — May 24, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

    Hi Geronimo,

    It was great to tour with you guys this weekend. You can use a few of my photos if you include the following credit line:

    Photo by Ariane Colenbrander

    Please link any photos used back to http://www.arianecdesign.com

    Much appreciated!


  • Pingback by Ford's Escape for the Day Launch | ariane c design — September 21, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

    […] lesson before we split into two groups and made our way to the dock. I’d taken this tour last May (at Cates Park) and loved it all over again, even though we had much less time on the water this […]

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