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Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival 2013
A Tough Test of Team-spirit and Team-work!
The Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival, one of the most appealing and recognized Dragon Boat Race Festivals in Canada, is a two-day celebration that brings sports, multicultural entertainment and team spirit to Toronto.
The event, which began in 1989 with only 27 boats, has developed into one of Toronto's most popular family-friendly festivals of the summer. Now each year the Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival features around 200 racing teams and 5000 paddlers from across Canada and North America competing for championship cups.
Inspired by an ancient Chinese tradition, the annual Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival urges the importance of teamwork, strategy and dedication and offers exciting and engaging experience for participants.
Rush to the Toronto Centre Island in the last weekend of June and witness the amazing display of determination, synchronization, energy and team spirit during the two-day extravaganza. In addition to the thrilling boat races, you can enjoy the spectacular live performances, visit various booths showcasing local arts and sample some of lip-smacking cuisines.
Toronto Islands are great summer getaway and perfect place to unwind from the downtown hustle and bustle. You will find sandy beaches, lush green gardens, picnic areas, walking trails, bike and boat rentals, sports and recreational facilities, fountains and much more. There is also an old-fashioned amusement park with lots of fun rides and activities, especially for kids. So I suggest you to spend some time and enjoy wonderful activities at the Toronto Islands. More about Toronto Islands
Boats and Races
The dragon boats are traditionally very long and narrow, canoe-style vessels, adorned with carved ornamental head sand tails of dragons. Typically, the boats are really heavy and difficult to navigate.
The format of the Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival is very exciting with the participating teams divided into 3 major divisions Premier Mixed Division, Premier Women Division and Junior Mixed Division.
Races occur in the Main Channel at Centre Island over 2 days - the qualifying races take place on Saturday while the finals and championship races occur on Sunday.
At the burst of the horn, the paddlers skillfully manoeuvre their boats along a 500 metre stretch of the race course, allowing spectators to cheer their each move.
If you think that strong muscle power is enough to secure the win, you are awfully mistaken. Along with brute force, it requires decisive strategies, synchronization, teamwork and plenty of practice to steer the boat to finish line ahead of competitors.
Live performances, Art Displays and Food
Besides the breathtaking boat races, the Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival also brings Canadians together to enjoy rich cultural experience.
The festival features two major stages Main stage and Diamond Dragon Village, where you can enjoy several wonderful performances by artists of Chinese, Caribbean and Latin American cultures. First nations cultural performance by native Canadian is something you should not ignore! Main stage is also the venue for opening ceremonies and award presentation.
The small but exciting Diamond Dragons Parade is also one of the major attraction of the festival.
The Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival also encourages local artists through vendor displays, on-site workshops and cultural exhibits.
If you love to enjoy food from diverse backgrounds, the festival offers opportunity to sample varieties of delicious food along with yummy ice-creams and pastries.
Things You Should Bring for the Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival
- Something to seat
- Stroller or wagon for kids
- Lots of sunscreen lotion
- Eyewear and hat/cap
- Umbrella (in case if there are any chances of showers)
Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival - Tourist Information
Venue: Centre Islands, Toronto, M5J 1A1
Event Date & Hours:
The annual festival takes place for 2 days during last weekend of June.
June 22 - 23, 2012, 8am - 6pm
Admission is Free, but you have to take a ferry to go to Centre Island
Transit and Driving Directions:
The only way to reach to the Toronto Islands is to catch a ferry from the docks at the foot of Bay Street on Queens Quay. Here is the options for reaching the ferry docks.
Hop on the TTC bus or subway going to the Union Station in downtown Toronto. From the Union Stattion, take the 509 Harbourfront or the 510 Spadina streetcar south to the Bay Street and Queens Quay stop. The ferry docks entrance is on the south of the Bay Steet.
Take the Go Transit bus or train to the Union Station. From Union Station, the ferry docks are 10 minutes walk away southwards.
From the North - Take Highway 400 into Toronto, exiting onto Highway 401 West. Continue until you reach Highway 427 southbound. Follow Highway 427 to downtown via the QEW/Gardiner Expressway. Take the York Bay exit toward Yonge Street. Follow the signs for Yonge Street/Queens Quay. Turn right at Bay Street toward Queens Quay.
From the South or West - Follow the QEW into Toronto, where it turns into the Gardiner Expressway. Take the York Bay exit toward Yonge Street. Follow the signs for Yonge Street/Queens Quay. Turn right at Bay Street toward Queens Quay.
From the East - Take Highway 401 into Toronto and exit onto the Don Valley Parkway Southbound. Take exit toward Downtone/Richmond Street and merge onto Eastern Avenue. Then turn left at Parliament Street. Continue onto Queens Quay E until you reach Bay Street.
Parking: There are few public parking lots near the ferry docks. Parking is available 1 block north at Lakeshore and Bay, 1 block west on Queens Quay between Bay and York Street, 1 block east opposite Toronto Star building near Captain John's Harbour Boat restaurant.
For more information visit www.dragonboats.com