Annual Heart Lake Dragon Boat Festival - Saturday, September 23, 2017

Event Summary

The Heart Lake Dragon Boat Festival was developed in celebration of the Etobicoke-Mimico Creeks watersheds. Funds raised from the Festival will go towards the naturalization and restoration work being done by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority within the two watersheds. Complementing the action on the water is the natural beauty of what is arguably one of Peel's favourite and most frequented public parks. Within the distinctive setting of Heart Lake Conservation Area, the Festival will deliver a day of fun that will be the highlight of the fall.

To enter a boat, 20 paddlers are required as well as a drummer. Teams that do not have a qualified steersperson will have one available on race day. Teams may also wish to have additional paddlers listed to act as spares.  All teams are required to provide their own drummer.

The event will run as mixed teams divisions as well as women only teams division.  For mixed divisions each team must have a minimum of 6 female paddlers. This does not include the drummer or the steersperson.

This one-day festival is hosted by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority in partnership with the Etobicoke-Mimico Watersheds Coalition and The Living City Foundation.   


What is dragon boat racing?

This sport has a 2,500 year history in Asia where dragons were venerated as rulers of rivers, lakes, seas, clouds, mists and rains. Introduced to Canada during the Vancouver Expo in 1986, the sport has grown to be a favourite for participants and spectators. The crew for the contemporary dragon boat is typically 22. The 20 paddlers sit in pairs facing toward the bow of the boat, one drummer or caller at the bow facing toward the paddlers, and one sweep (a steer-person) at the rear of the boat. While the race is short (250 metres), it is intense. The "art" of dragon boating is getting all the paddlers in synchronization and pulling deep, quick strokes.