dragon boat festival toronto

Toronto's annual Dragon Boat festival might be canceled this year

Flooding is wreaking havoc across the Toronto Islands, and it seems no one is safe from Lake Ontario's rising water levels—not even boats. 

The Toronto International Dragon Boat Festival may have to be pushed back this year, thanks to dangerous conditions on Centre Island. 

Now in its 31st year, the festival is supposed to kick off on June 15.

But, with water levels reaching record-breaking highs this week, summer events slated for the next little while are being cancelled or relocated to other parks of the City. 

Though Centre Island isn't completely flooded, other areas remain closed, like Hanlan's Point, several areas of Toronto Island Park, Snake Island, and Olympic Island.

Plenty of other areas along Lake Ontario have been affected as well. 

This wouldn't the first time that the Dragon Boat Festival has been delayed to a later date: organizers were forced to push the event to late July in 2017 due to flooding. 

That same year, 20 paddlers were training for the race in Lake Ontario near Marilyn Bell Park, when their dragon boat capsized due to increasingly dangerous waves. 

The only other park able to accommodate the event (along with its food vendors, performances, over 4,000 local and international athletes, and thousands more spectators) is Marilyn Bell Park, which may not be available at such short notice. 

According to the CBC, festival organizers Toronto Chinese Business Association and GWN Dragon Boat will meet with the City this Thursday to see if the event can move forward as planned.

Lead photo by

Toronto International Dragon Boat Festival


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Sports & Play

Canada's Wonderland tickets are now on sale and people are confused

Toronto restaurant offering Kyle Lowry free chicken for life if he re-signs with Raptors

Toronto just got a massive outdoor gym across the street from one of the busiest malls

Toronto not impressed after Montreal Canadiens flag seen flying at City Hall

Here's what we know about CFL player Chris Larsen and the assault at Hanlan's Point

Toronto is opening 10 outdoor swimming pools this weekend and here's where to find them

You can now buy tickets to go swimming in an old abandoned quarry not far from Toronto

Toronto gym owner says city's new outdoor fitness program hurts small business