Warmer weather arrives in Toronto- shortly after the frozen barricade across our harbour front begins to melt away something unexpected breaks the ice between Winter and Spring... the Sea-Doo*! Water sport season is here and its rolling in loud and clear this year!
*It should be noted that when us land folk refer to personal water crafts as jet skis or sea-doos we are speaking in brand names coined by Kawasaki (jet ski) and BRP Motors AKA Bombardier Recreational Products (Sea-Doo). Honda and Yamaha are also players in the PWC game however the preceding two reign in popularity and availability worldwide.
Fellow Torontonians, you may have been wondering who is operating those speedy little machines ripping around lake Ontario at the oddest hours from dawn till dusk; that’s Toronto PWC - Toronto’s first sea doo centred personal water craft community also known as the Doo Crew. These guys and gals have been sea-DOING for years starting out with modest two stroke put-putters and moving up to the newer supercharged “muscle crafts” offered by BRP today. Favoured by TPWC, the RXPX/TX 215-260 line of sea-doos are not for the faint of heart with top speeds skimming the 120km/hr mark, race modes, sport modes, you name it- an adrenaline rush is delivered in every WAKING moment. "Sea-dooing" burns calories, revs your adrenaline engines, takes your mind of the stresses of life, builds relationships, self confidence and releases endorphins as nature man and machine meet & greet in waves of unlimited adventure. It's no wonder Toronto PWC has grown from an idea to a lifestyle!
It’s hard to imagine for most people that Toronto, Canada- an igloo to some and mysterious megacity to others is an incredibly convenient place to own operate and enjoy a jet ski/ sea doo, or motorcycle of the sea as I call it. With all of the marinas, yacht clubs, and recreational parks gracing our water front all along the Greater Toronto Area shoreline from West to East, there is always a spot that welcomes you to tow your toy along. Boat launches are found at various parks and Marinas- Bluffers Park Marina in Scarborough, Humber Bay/Parklawn Bay in Etobicoke, Port Credit in Mississauga, and Bronte Harbour in Oakville are just some examples. These locations have gas stations, restaurants, washrooms and other amenities to accommodate your adventure. An easy way to find and contact the Marina closest to you is at www.portstoronto.com where you can type in your location and get the info you need to LAUNCH your sea doo lifestyle.
A boat license is required for anyone that wishes to operate a personal water craft which includes any motorized water vessel less than 16 feet in length that uses jet pumps - hence the term “jet wash” instead of propellers. Boat licenses are easily obtained through a written exam at trade shows, Bass Pro Shops such as the one at Vaughan Mills Mall, and even online. Want to rip around the harbour or pull up to the Harbour Front Centre and wave at your friends? Don’t. You need a harbour license-without one you can slip by and claim ignorance but I strongly advise against that as the area is highly patrolled ready to slam you with tickets due to the safety and security needs of Toronto Island and Billy Bishop Airport.
Passengers are welcome to ride along without a license so bringing a buddy is not an issue. As long as you have all your safety equipment on board- most importantly your life jacket, license and your machine is registered to the province of Ontario- marine police presence should not be a worry. A lot of people I talk to that have an aching interest in sea-dooing fear getting into trouble or being stranded on the water. Marine Police are there to serve and protect, they will definitely give you hefty fines for reckless driving if you’re blasting through small rivers, or riding too close to shore and etc. However, if you run out of gas or your machine breaks down they will spot and assist you either via telephone (considering you have reception) or you can catch their attention with on board flares/ arm signals as they do their rounds on the water.
So Toronto, after all is said and done and you’re looking for new ways to chase the waking sun- after work, before work, whenever works- a personal watercraft can become the best friend you’ve been looking for! Puns and personification aside, it is definitely recommended to travel with more than yourself or your passenger- one or two more sea doo friends creates a safety net in case your doo or you break down.
Don’t have anyone willing to spark some fun with you? Jumpstart Summer this long weekend and join the Doo Crew for the first annual JETWASH JAM held by Toronto PWC this Sunday May 17th- BBQ, photo sessions-ride time & much more!
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