Some ideas for thought.
(1) Camp on islands wherever possible, on the theory that although bears can swim, they “might” be less motivated to swim to an island than to investigate your camp on the mainland.
(2) Hang your food and don’t let others in a group do it for you. The only time I lost food to a bear was when someone else did the hanging. Use a hanging method and materials that also keep out rodents and raccoons.
(3) Be careful but not paranoid. The thought that “bears can smell food in a can” brings on thoughts like, “Oh no! There was a can in my hatch! Are they going to tear up my kayak to get to that smell?” Or “Oh shoot, these are the pants that had bubble gum in them last week.” I don’t think it’s possible to eliminate 100% of all odors. The only thing you can do is make it as hard as possible for bears to get your food and don’t go to sleep with hamburgers in your pockets.
(4) Don’t camp with people who don’t hang or canister their food. This one is controversial because some canoeists like to camp with large coolers, which attract bears and make it necessary to have something to fend them off (firecracker, gun, whatever). If it’s a gun, this brings up further issues.
(5) Don’t camp where others have camped. This is also controversial, because one line of thought is that all campers should be concentrated in one place to minimize the environmental impact. In the Adirondacks it’s downright terrifying to be at a group site where 75% of your fellow campers are not handling food safely and where the guy before you left hamburger grease on the table. These sites are magnets for habituated bears.
(6) Get a kayak with a large hatch and large hatch cover that can hold a bear canister. This might rule out some brands that have a low deck, like Eddyline.