There are some really good schools in Canada. Maybe consider Ottawa Kayak School
(Stephen Wright and EJ are tough to beat for great instruction and area also super nice guys)or Liquid Skills
. Nothing beats world class instruction in the beginning. If you get a solid foundation, your paddling will be that much stronger later on, and you won't have to break any bad habits that you pickup by teaching yourself.
in Colorado is great too.....Colorado Kayak Supply
has a great selection of gear, and you can order it to your door w/o paying tax. Their prices and customer service are great. If you've got gear questions, give em' a call......All of the phone people are paddlers and would love to help a beginner.
Check out this blog
For product reviews and education about getting suited up in the 5 essentials.
Stay safe and good luck...