BY JIM RANKIN | THE STAR
“A Canadian is somebody who knows how to make love in a canoe.” — attributed to Pierre Berton, 1973
Pierre Berton was fairly certain he never uttered this oft-cited line about a highly specialized Canuck skill. But, says his son Paul, editor-in-chief of the Hamilton Spectator, his late father thought “it was a good quote and he was happy to take credit if people kept insisting.”
So, no, dear newcomer to Canada, you will not be required to demonstrate this ability at your citizenship ceremony, nor is there any mention in the oath of promising to make sexy time in the most Canadian of vessels.
But the act itself, and why this line endures, is worthy of examination.
We begin by asking: is this a thing at all?
A cheeky 2013 poll conducted by Playtex and Environics revealed nearly one in 10 of us had committed some manner of sex in a canoe.
Geraldo Rivera claimed to have had relations with Margaret Trudeau in a boat of some sort in New York’s Central Park, a tale Trudeau denied.
Canoes make romantic cameos in camp movies, including Meatballs and Little Darlings, another coming-of-age film starring Tatum O’Neal and Kristy McNichol, who play teenagers competing in a race to lose their virginity. McNichol succeeds after fetching Matt Dillon from a boys camp in a canoe. She deftly paddles him away. But the deed takes place at an empty boathouse.