Idleness, Water, and a Canoe: Reflections on Paddling for Pleasure

Front Cover
University of Toronto Press, 1997 - Sports & Recreation - 299 pages
0 Reviews

In the spring of 1940, subscribers to Queen's Quarterly read that the 'ingredients of a holiday in Canada are idleness, water, and a canoe.' This statement bears witness to the enduring importance of the canoe generations after the decline of the North American fur trade. Jamie Benidickson explains that the canoe's merit lies not strictly in its function as a transportation vehicle, but in its promise of unrestricted mobility, leisure, and independence. Idleness, Water, and a Canoe is a study of the place of the canoe in Canadian life, with comparative references to the United States and Britain. A blend of history, economic analysis, technical information, and social commentary, it examines the rise of the canoe's popularity and its influence on leisure activity, economics and tourism, and literature and advertising in this country.

Drawing on books, newspaper articles, original records, unusual ephemera, and interviews with paddlers, the author describes the evolution and cultural significance of two centuries of recreational paddling. He explores why canoeists have constantly sought new summer waterways, how they have practised their craft, and how much influence paddling for pleasure has had on them and on the societies in which they live. The many facets of recreational paddling are illustrated and described in a series of reflections on subjects ranging from the paddler's quest for physical and emotional renewal to what the future holds for voyageurs and their sport. Benidickson also discusses the evolution of canoe design and manufacturing, the formation of canoe clubs and organizations, the economics of recreational travel, and the paddler's role in environmental protection.

Not only will this book appeal to those interested in history, sociology, aesthetics, geography, and sports and leisure studies, but its broad scope and accessible style will recommend it to the many outdoor enthusiasts who plan yearly canoeing trips.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Popular Images and Personal Experiences
3
A Trout a Moose and a Canoe
17
The Healing Pines
32
Gods Country
48
The Canadian Summer Boy
65
Women and Wilderness
78
Rock Dodging and Other Perils
94
Clubs and Competitions
110
Native Impressions
157
Destinations
172
Bringing It with You and Finding It There
188
The Price of Adventure
206
Consuming Wilderness
224
The Future of the Voyageur
239
Conclusion
254
INDEX
293

What Kinda Boat Ya Got?
129
The Craft and the Craftsman in Transition
142

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1997)

Jamie Benidickson is an associate professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa, and co-author of The Temagami Experience.

Bibliographic information