The History of Dominion Day/Canada Day Regatta

 A Compendium Prepared by Donald May

May 24, 2005
Abbreviations: D.D.R. – Dominion Day Regatta, C.N.E. – Canadian National Exhibition
1872 – The Argonaut Rowing Club started. It is the oldest continuously operating rowing club in Canada.
1878 – The founding of the Don Rowing Club in a house on Vine Street near the Don River. In 1912 the club moved to Ashbridges Bay and constructed a fine clubhouse.
1880 – The American Canoe Association was formed.
1884 – The first D.D.R is held in Toronto.
1900 – The Canadian Canoe Association was formed.
1906 – D.D.R. was held at the C.N.E.
           Toronto Canoe Club’s entry into the C.C.A. (The Canadian Canoe Association burgee adopted the three stars, a symbolic representation of three divisions Western, Eastern, and    Northern.)
1924 – The International Canoe Federation was formed.
1926 – D.D.R. was held at the C.N.E.
1933 – The D.D.R. was held at the Hanlan Memorial Course up until 1937 and as moved to Long Pond, Centre Island in 1938.
1934 – For many years the regatta was associated with the Hanlan Memorial Course at Hanlan’s Point. In the thirties, this course was lost when the Island Airport was extended and enlarged. It was on this course that the famous Mile-with-a-turn Races were held for all sculling and four oared events. Probably the last amateur rowing Races in which the oarsmen were asked to row a half mile straightaway, tum a buoy on their starboard side and return over the same half-mile to the starting point – thus starting and finishing the race in view of the spectators from the same point. From the Hanlan Memorial Course, the regatta moved to Long Pond, Centre Island in 1938 prior to this Exhibition Course.
1935 – Exhibition Front – Jubilee Year HM. King George – H.M. Queen Mary
1940 – Prior to 1940 all paddlers in double blade events kneeled on one knee.
1945 – Following World War II, the regatta came back to Centre Island.
1949 – In 1949 the present improved course and grandstand, constructed by the City of Toronto, was dedicated.
1958 – The founding of the Mississauga Canoe Club by Bert Oldershaw, located on the Credit River in Port Credit. Missy competed in its first regatta on Grenadier Pond in 1959.
The West Rouge Canoe Club started on the West Rouge River located in Pickering, Ontario. West Rouge Canoe Club founder was Peter Connolly assisted by Don May (both former members of the Toronto Sailing and Canoe Club) with financial backing and support of the West Rouge Kiwanis. Peter Connolly was the first Commodore of the Club.
1967 – The first Canada Games were held in Quebec City (Winter Games)
1969 – Halifax-Dartmouth hosted the first Summer Games.
1971 – For many years the Officials had the use of the Harry G. Kimber Yacht thanks to the Toronto Harbour Commission (2005, this boat is still in use and is docked at Toronto’s waterfront)
1973 – There were eight championship trophy’s for canoeing and one for rowing, the Steve Robinson Aggregate Trophy.
1981 – In 1981 on June 7 , Joe Wright Jr. passed away. Joe was a versatile athlete during the twenties and thirties. As a member o’r the Argonaut Rowing Club, he reached the finals in the Diamond Sculls 1927 and 1929 and won the event in 1928.
1985 – First World Masters Games for Canoeing held in Toronto, Ontario at Centre Island, held every four years.
1988 – Jack Guest Memorial Trophy – Senior Singles
1989 – The Western Ontario Division has agreed to let the North Bay Canoe Club join the Eastern Ontario Division of the C.C.A. The Oakville Racing Club amalgamated with the Mohawk Canoe Club and Became Burloak Canoe Club.
1994 – Change in regatta name from Dominion Day Regatta Association to Canada Day Regatta.
On October 13,1994 Metropolitan Toronto named the regatta course on Long Pond (Centre Island) the Allan A. Lamport Regatta Course (Lamport Pond).
1995 – New regatta course straightened out with removal of jutting points and allocation of money amounting to $64,870 dollars.
1998 – The first outrigger race in Eastern Canada held at Canada Day Regatta. Three crews participated. Six paddlers per crew. The OC 6 measures up to 43 ‘long and weighs 400 lbs.
1999 – On Nov 18 Allan Austin Lamport passes away. He is the former Mayor of Toronto and champion of the Allan A. Lamport Regatta Course.
Introduction of the Hudson Boat Works new T-11 touring training boat. These coxed fours are widely used in Europe.
2001 – Incorporation of the Dominion Day Regatta Association was initiated in Ontario with the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations on April 02 in the year 2001, by Donald May. The Letters Patent were granted constituting the charter of the corporation under number 1468495.
2002 – The Canada Day Regatta was moved to WeIland, Ontario for one year due to labor dispute by Toronto City workers. Separate sections of the canal were dedicated to each of the sports.
2003 – Pro Rowing is introduced to Canada Day Regatta for the first time. Money was provided for the winning crews.
Ralph Smith, President of Innovators Inc. and a member of the Don Rowing Club is the prime leader of Pro Rowing.
Dragon Boats introduced to Canada Day Regatta. Proposal came from Jim Farintosh and supported by the Great White North (GWN)

2005 – On February 28 the Constitution for the Dominion Day Regatta Association was adopted, moved by Donald May and seconded by Attila Nagy, carried