Matt Thompson had one canoe and a want to purchase extra two years in the past amid COVID-19 quarantine, so he determined to promote a couple of of his Magic: The Gathering playing cards assortment he began in Grade 8.
“At the starting of the pandemic, I had a pal who messaged [me] and he is like, ‘Hey, it’s best to take a look at the worth on these. They’ve in all probability gone up because you had been in Grade 8.'”
And he did. Now, he has three canoes and a repute as the man who lends canoes for free.
LISTEN | Matt Thompson tells Afternoon Drive why he desires others to use his canoes free:
Afternoon Drive6:21Hamilton Man Lends Out Canoes for Canoe Share Program During Pandemic
“Our relationship with our water has all the time been one in every of like, ‘Hey, it is neat, however do not get too shut to it,’ proper?”
“So, I assumed with the canoe, ‘What does it imply to even have individuals re-examine their relationship with [Hamilton waters]?'”
Thompson started by lending them to pals. Now, his canoes are booked weeks in advance on his social media pages. You can contact him at his Instagram web page.
His title shouldn’t be new to individuals in the Hamilton neighbourhood of Beasley. He’s identified for bringing individuals in the neighborhood collectively.
Whether it’s potlucks, espresso drop-ins or jam nights, Thompson frequently hosts occasions the place everyone seems to be welcome.
“I consider in our city and I consider individuals need to really feel a way of belonging. Still, it may be powerful to be a brand new particular person in an enormous city,” he instructed CBC Hamilton in 2019.
“To me, we should be all the time making an attempt out new, totally different and higher methods to deliver individuals collectively.”
Community members are grateful for his generosity. For lending out his canoes, he typically will get a present in return.
“You borrow the canoe and also you perhaps deliver some doughnuts. You deliver some baked items. That’s nice. I feel that is so cool that persons are looking for one another.
“We’re taking away the revenue motive, however we’re nonetheless making it sustainable as a result of it isn’t an entire lot of labor. The infrastructure is there. Everyone desires us to see it succeed.”
A canoe is a ‘good ice-breaker,’ trainer says
Catherine McLean, a Hamilton trainer who has borrowed one in every of Thompson’s canoes, says it is introduced her nearer to curious Hamilton residents.
“You’re positively exhausting to miss while you’re strolling a canoe a couple of blocks down the method,” stated McLean.
“It was such a very good icebreaker. Aside from infants and canines — strolling your canoe down the avenue — anybody will speak to you about it.”
McLean stated she’s joyful to have entry to a canoe in Hamilton somewhat than having to drive two hours to locations like Muskoka.
“[It] simply made all of it the extra particular.”
He stated “this concept that we will all drive 5 or 6 hours to go to the Canadian Shield and that is the place we will expertise nature has a number of limitations to it.”
Within the city, “we’ve these areas … the place you are feeling a way of transcendence, that there’s something completely larger than you occurring in these areas, and that you’re really a part of that.”