The expedition is complete!

Date of the Expedition

From August 6 to August 15, 2022

Registration Deadline

31 May 2022




North-West Mistassibi River, QC

Age Group

14 to 18 years old

  • In remission

Number of Participants

14 maximum


This expedition will offer to a group of teenagers living with cancer, the chance to go on an adventure and to discover the joy of canoe-camping on one of the most beautiful rivers in Quebec.

In the summer of  2022, On the Tip of the Toes will offer a canoe trip on the North-West Mistassibi River, in the northern Lake-St-Jean region. This expedition will allow the participant to be introduced to white water canoeing and to share memorable evening around the camp fire or on one of the many sandy beaches along the river. The pandemic situation slowed our process a little bit, but we will soon be ready to launch inscriptions. By then, if you are interested by a river adventure with a group of young adults you can apply online now and we will get in touch with you with more details soon.

We’ll start our journey in Montreal on August 6th. We’ll travel by bus to Girardville, a small town located northern Lake-St-Jean. It will be a big day of travel, but it will give us the opportunity to get to know each other.

In Girardville, we’ll be welcomed by our guides at our partner’s basecamp. For this project, we’ll be collaborating with Aventuraid. Located by the Mistassini River, the basecamp is a fascinating place where live a wolf pack (in captivity!) and sled dogs, that you’ll get the chance to spend time with… and hear howling! We’ll have a first welcome night with a discussion circle around the campfire. We’ll sleep in cabins.

From the basecamp, we’ll spend the next two days getting ready for the North-West Mistassibi descent. We’ll distribute and familiarize ourselves with the equipment and initiate the learning of basic white water canoe skills on two sections of the Ouasiemsca River nearby. Each night, we’ll come back to our basecamp and sleep in cabins.

On August 9th, we’ll finally leave our basecamp, and we’ll embark on our 6-day adventure down the North-West Mistassibi River. Every day, we’ll travel between 7 and 22 km, for a 100 km total. We’ll cross sections of calm water snaking in between rocky walls in a majestic valley, the immensity of the “au foin” lake that runs for more than 18 km, and a succession of white water as well as class 1 and 2 rapids, which we’ll have the time to tame during our preparation on Ouasiemsca River.

During our expedition on the Mistassibi River, we’ll be in complete autonomy on an authentic natural territory. Each day, we’ll set up our camp in the wilderness for the night. We’ll sleep in tents or under tarps. Participants will be asked to take part in all the chores on the campsite: setting and putting down the camp, collecting wood, cooking, etc. Our guides will cook delicious warm meals on the fire. We’ll have moments of paddling, but also some free time, when we’ll be able to swim, fish, chill on the beach, or simply appreciate the landscape and the people surrounding us.

On August 14th, we’ll reach our takeout and head back to the basecamp for on last night of celebration around the campfire. The next morning, we’ll get back on the road to Montreal.

Expedition Members

On each expedition team there are two adventure facilitators whose role is to ensure the smooth running of all the activities. They are supported by a medical team – composed of a doctor, an oncology pivot nurse and a psychosocial worker – whose shared mission is to ensure the good health of all members of the expedition. In addition to these experts, each team includes professional guides with extensive knowledge of the activity as well as the area covered by the expedition, and a blogger responsible for capturing every moment of this great adventure in words and images.

Geography and History

The Mistassibi River is a 298-km long river surrounded by wild boreal landscapes located north of Lake St-Jean. The northern part of the river is divided into two branches, the North-West and the North-East Mistassibi. These two branches meet 100 km to the north of Dolbeau-Mistassini and discharge in the famous Lake-St-Jean. Its name originates from the Crie language and signifies “grand river” (mishta for “grand”, sibi for “river”).

The Saguenay-Lake-St-Jean region has a rich historical background. Traveling down the North-West Mistassibi River, you’ll have the chance to follow a path formerly paddled by the indigenous people to reach the Pekuakami (Lake-St-Jean), where they used to spend the summer. These people would meet to celebrate the beginning of the warm season and trade resources. Fur commerce attracted the first colonisers on the territory. The abondance of game and fishes, including beavers and land-locked salmon, then forged the wildlife tourism, bringing visitors from all around the world. Nowadays, the exceptional landscapes and resources the North-West Mistassibi River – Lake au Foin section are recognized by an aquatic reserve project



Waiting list

If, for any reason, the expeditions currently offered are unsuitable for you, we can put your name on a waiting list. We would then contact you when we launch subsequent expeditions.

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