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


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