Grand River - This is an easy section of river. Class II for most of the year. At summer lows 4-6. It is hardly worth doing even for beginners. However at 10-30 it becomes a fun run for beginners in Kayaks or Canoes. It is also a good level for family canoe trips. There are a couple of mild drops and places to front surf. Great place for taking kids because it is rarely above your waist. However be careful at the base of the dam as the concrete pillars create holes.
As it goes above 30 it becomes somewhat continuous making it more challenging. Some of the surf spots get washed out but new ones form. At the epic level of 300 there was a monster front surf under the 3rd line bridge.
"Fergus to Elora"
The Waterfall is 16-20 feet. It is 16 feet high when you are standing watching people run and it is 20 feet high when you are dropping over it. I don’t know how this happens, it just does. The run the falls it is a straight shot. We run right were the bend in the waterfall is. Best level is around 12 feet on the gauge. Warning this falls has been run less than 50 times that I know of. There is always a chance that you can hit something in the water or tumble under the falls. As fall drops go it is fairly safe but it is high enough to cause severe back injuries. As the water level increases the back wash gets really large. It would be a bad place to be at high water because there is a stone building on one side and a rock ledge on the other. No place for the water to exit. There is a creeky type run on the left. Very rocky, scout it for yourself and make your own decisions.
If you want to continue downtown there are some class 2 riffles and a few front surfs on your way to the drops. The drops come right after the bridge. It is too low to do unless the water is above 10feet. Then you have 3 slides. Very shallow and rocky but pretty straight forward. Far left there is a room of doom halfway down. Far right there is an eddy halfway down with some rebar and old pieces of gear left over from when there was a water wheel. At 60 + or – there was a really good surf wave. However the drops become class IV at that level. Generally because it is cold and the water is fast and shallow.
At the bottom of the drops there are stairs for a take out on the right side. This is called Templen Gardens. There is a parking lot at the top of the stairs so it is a good place to leave a vehicle. This is also one of the best runs ever because there is a pub across the walking bridge on river right called the Goofy Newfie and another pub across the road upstream from the take out near the St David St. bridge called the Brew House.
If you decide to travel downstream it is passable at all levels. The higher the water to more intense. I have not done it at high water so I don’t know how difficult it gets but I would doubt that it gets as bad as class IV. Basically this section of river is class 2+ with some nice little rapids for beginners to practice eddy turns, river running and some basic surfing. It ends in Bissell Park in Elora before the waterfall. This falls is very shallow at the bottom, I have never heard of an experience boater running it.
After the Waterfall there is flat water to downtown Elora then you hit another waterfall followed by the tooth of time in Elora Gorge