Great news! Through Ontario’s One Fare Program, transit riders can now enjoy free transfers between GO Transit and the TTC.

Friends walking off a GO Train.

GO to the Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival!

Friends walking off a GO Train.

GO to the Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival!

GO to the Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival!

The Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival returns for its 34th year on June 17 & 18, 2023 at Toronto Centre Island!

It’s easy to get downtown Toronto to catch the ferry to Toronto Island when you use GO Transit.

GO Weekend Passes are perfect for affordable travel on either day of the Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival, or even if you’re attending both days! You can enjoy one-day unlimited travel on Saturday or Sunday for $10, unlimited travel all weekend for just $15.

With GO Weekend Passes, getting to the Dragon Boat Race Festival is easy and affordable. 

If you’re bringing the whole family to the festival, remember that kids 12 and under ride free on GO

Plan Your Trip!

DragonBoat

What is the International Dragon Boat Race Festival?


The International Dragon Boat Race Festival is one of the most exciting things to do in Toronto this summer! 

Teams from across Canada, the U.S., the Caribbean Islands, Europe, and Asia compete in one of the most prestigious dragon boat festivals on the North American dragon boat calendar.

And, it’s completely FREE to attend!

Which teams will win trophies at the Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival? Be there to see them cross the finish line and find out.

Where is the Dragon Boat Festival from?


The history of the Dragon Boat Festival can be traced back to ancient China over 2000 years ago, with several different stories regarding its exact origin. 

The first Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival happened in 1987 and only 27 completed. Over the last 34 years, the festival has grown to become one of the most prominent dragon boat racing events in North America. The festival is organized by the Toronto Chinese Business Association in collaboration with GWN Dragon Boat.

If you’ve ever wanted to try dragon boat racing, GWN Dragon Boat offers programs to introduce people to the sport.

How does the Dragon Boat Festival work?


The Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival is committed to fostering inclusion in the sport of dragon boat racing. Teams can compete in a variety of classes including Mixed (male and female paddlers), Women (all female paddlers), Open (any combination of men, women, non-binary, gender fluid, gender non-conforming and gender queer paddlers), ParaDragons (paddlers with varying types of disabilities), BCP (breast cancer paddlers) and ACP (all cancer paddlers).

Teams can compete in 200m and 500m races, and trophies are awarded to winners in each class.

Volunteers are an important part of the Dragon Boat Festival, and ensure that the races and festival run smoothly.

Things to Do at the Festival and the Toronto Islands


The Dragon Boat Races are the main event, but there are other things to do at this fun Toronto festival. There will be music, demonstrations, and authentic Chinese cultural performances happening throughout the festival. Food vendors will be at the festival, as well.

There are also other things to do on the Toronto Islands while you’re there. There are plenty of places for a picnic on Centre Island, so feel free to bring some food and plan to stay for the day. If you want to stretch your legs, you can walk to Centre Island Beach and dip your feet in the lake. 

Kids will love running through the William Meany Maze and discovering Franklin’s Garden, or you can head to Centreville Amusement Park for some rides.

Getting to the Dragon Boat Festival with GO


Use your GO Weekend Pass to take any GO service to Union Station and then walk south down Bay St to the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal. From there, take a water TAXI or the ferry to Centre Island. Be sure to check the Toronto Island ferry schedule when planning your trip.

If you only have time to attend one day of the Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival, a $10 Weekend Day Pass is the perfect affordable option for you. Choose Saturday or Sunday!

If you don't want to miss any of the Dragon Boat Race excitement, then a $15 Weekend Pass is the right choice for you. Ride any GO bus or train for the whole weekend and enjoy the entire festival! 

Kids 12 and under travel free on GO Transit, so head out and have a fun and affordable day with the whole family!

Plan Your Trip!