Summer Camps – Head Instructor, Canoe/Kayak

Application Deadline: March 31, 2023

Harbourfront Centre is a leader in providing internationally renowned artistic, educational and recreational programming across a beautiful 10-acre campus at the heart of Toronto’s waterfront. For more than 45 years, Harbourfront Centre has celebrated the best in Canadian culture and the rich mosaic of cultures from around the world, presenting thousands of events annually from music festivals to contemporary dance, to craft and design, to visual arts and more. Welcoming visitors year-round, there is something for everyone at Harbourfront Centre!

Currently, exciting seasonal employment opportunities exist in Harbourfront Centre Camps, one of Toronto’s largest, most diverse and creative day camps. 


Position Title: Head Instructor – Canoe/Kayak Camps 

Department: Recreational Learning 

Reports to: Supervisor

Number of Vacancies: 2 

Type of Employment: Seasonal contract

Duration: May-September 2023 (Part-time training starting in May 2023 / Camps: July 4-September 1, 2023)

Hours: Monday to Friday, 40 hours per week (Additional duties starting at 7:30AM and going as late at 6:00PM may be assigned)

Rate of Pay: $18.50 per hour


Job Description:

The Head Instructors of Canoe & Kayak will work together to design and implement staff training and programming. They will also ensure that the Harbourfront Centre Camps standard of quality and safety is upheld. The Head Instructors will share responsibilities pertaining to staff management, as well as act as coordinators between the Supervisor and Instructors. In the pre-camp season, Head Instructors are responsible for assisting with Canoe & Kayak staff hiring, training, and development of programming. During the camp season, Head Instructors are responsible for the supervision and well-being of campers and staff. Additionally, Head Instructors will work alongside the Supervisor to coordinate day-to-day operations, while providing peripheral support to staff and campers on the water. 



  • Train and supervise staff of 12 Instructors, 14 Junior Instructors and Instructors-in-Training volunteers.
  • Develop programming for staff training which adequately prepares them for the demands of their role as related to: 1. quality and content of relevant knowledge instruction and canoe/kayak skills, 2. program planning & design, 3. group leadership and staff management (based on staff position) and 4. saftey management. 
  • Develop programming and resources that meets programming promise; 
  • Facilitate daily scheduling of camper groups including beginning and end-of-day procedures; ensure Marine Camps Supervisor is kept up-to-date with timing. 
  • Work alongside the Healthcare staff to ensure health, safety and first aid is adequately provided at all times to staff and campers.
  • Assist with staff meetings.
  • Provide ongoing feedback and guidance to Instructors, Junior Instructors and IITs.
  • Conduct administrative duties such as daily attendance, evaluations, incident reports, etc.
  • Take ownership of staff and camper safety during an emergency procedure.
  • Provide superior customer service
  • Other duties as required. 


  • Must be 18 years of age at the start of a program.
  • Previous experience working in a camp setting and/or with children/youth.
  • Ability to develop standardized canoe/kayak programming.
  • Ability to supervise a staff team (collaborate, resolve conflict, provide feedback/tools, etc.).
  • Ability to remain organized throughout the work day (on time submissions, prioritize urgency of daily tasks, camper attendance, etc.).
  • Ability to be responsible (punctual, prioritize safety of campers/other staff, etc.).
  • Ability to bring a positive attitude and enthusiasm to each day. 
  • Must enjoy working with children and youth.
  • Valid Bronze Cross, Canadian Red Cross Assistant Lifeguard, or NLS prior to the start of training
  • Paddle Canada or ORCKA Instructor Certification in Canoeing and Kayaking (relevant courses will be offered prior to start of pre-camp training).
  • Valid Pleasure Craft Operator Card prior to the start of training
  • A Criminal Background Check (with Vulnerable Sector Screening) is required.
  • Valid Standard First Aid and CPR-C certification is required. 
  • Harbourfront Centre recognizes its heightened duty to protect employees from health and safety risks during the current pandemic. Therefore, an offer of employment shall be conditional upon proof of full Covid-19 vaccination with a vaccine series approved by Health Canada or the World Health Organization.
  • Must be legally eligible to work in Canada. Non-Canadian applicants must have a valid employment Visa and proper documentation authorizing their ability to work in Canada for the full duration of the contract.
  • Previous leadership/supervisor experience is desirable.
  • Post-secondary education or training as related to the position is desirable. 

Working Condition:

  • Exposure to inclement weather conditions during outdoor programs. 
  • Exposure to rigorous physical activity (canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding).

Our Values

We’re friendly, welcoming and inclusive, with an experimental attitude that thrives on collaboration.

To achieve our bold ambition we empower and support imaginative risk and we always try to learn from our mistakes.

We are committed to excellence in all we do, ensuring every visitor encounter is safe, memorable and enriching.

We value and respect each other and all our visitors, celebrating difference and striving to realise potential.

How To Apply

Harbourfront Centre’s Camps team is committed to advancing our efforts in equity, diversity and inclusion. We are passionate about learning and supporting participants of all ages and abilities in their growth and development. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply–regardless of race, ancestry, ethnic origin, place of origin, colour, age, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, creed, citizenship, or disability. We strive for a barrier free recruitment process and as such, encourage applicants to request accommodations at any stage of the hiring process.   

Qualified applicants are invited to apply through the Harbourfront Centre Camps Recruitment Portal by March 31, 2023. You will be asked to create a profile and will be taken to the application selection page.  

Our staff team is one of the things that makes our Camps programs so unique.  If you’re looking for new experiences and opportunities for personal and professional growth, this is the place for you! We are dedicated to building a future that better serves our communities—a diverse staff team is essential in achieving this goal. When submitting your application, we encourage applicants to clearly self-identify in your application if you are a member of an equity-seeking group. We genuinely look forward to receiving your application!