Friday, 14 March 2014

Toronto Neighbourhood Dragon Boat Challenge Cup

The Rusty Dragons are continuing to promote the participation of local neighbourhood associations in the Canada Day Regatta. The first was in 2013 with the creation of the Harbord Village dragon boat racing team.  This neighbourhood is centred on the area between Bloor and College, and Spadina and Bathurst.  Click HERE for the Harbord Village Residents Association (HVRA) website and HERE for the Rusty Dragons HV team page.

Centre Island - July 1st, 2013 - Harbord Village dragon boat racing team.
Another new team in the works is for the York Quay Neighbourhood Association (YQNA).  Click HERE for their official website, and HERE for the team page.  I attended a YQNA meeting on March 11th which was very informative to me regarding some important issues facing the City of Toronto.  Thank you Ulla and Allan for the invitation.  In this neighbourhood the issues hit really close to home.  They are battling the expansion of the Billy Bishop Airport to include an extended runway and addition of jets. This is a very serious issue that should not be allowed or the noise, traffic congestion, and safety concerns will tarnish our great waterfront and efforts underway to revitalize it.  Check out #NoJetsTO on FaceBook or Twitter.   MPP Rosario Marchese was at the meeting to update us on the issue, answer questions, and also address efforts he is leading to remove the OMB from having jurisdiction over Toronto. The OMB causes huge added expenses for city planners, and taxpayers money at many levels.  We want to allow people to enjoy the waterfront, and forming a dragon boat team from here is one way to enjoy the waterfront and highlight the many uses and values of our waterfront.  I introduced the concept of a team to the participants of that meeting and it was received very well.

The Toronto skyline - as viewed from Centre Island - location of the DDRA Canada Day regatta
There is also the possibility of a team being formed from the Corktown, Bathurst Quay, and Annex neighbourhoods.  If you want help forming a team in your neighbourhood, please don't hesitate to ask.

The teams will compete against each other (for fun) for the Toronto Neighbourhood Dragon Boat Challenge Cup at the 130th annual DDRA Canada Day Regatta at Toronto's Centre Island.  This regatta is open to any recreational teams in Toronto, and is one of the oldest mixed regattas in the world (formed in 1884 for canoe, kayak, and rowers, with dragon boats added in 2003).  Rusty Dragon Tim is the dragon boat coordinator for this event, and organizes Ontario Public Service (OPS) volunteers and their teams at the event.  The OPS teams compete for the OPS Challenge Cup.  But this is another blog entry for another day.

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