Summer comes to Toronto boat show

The action takes place on the Lake, a centrepiece of the Toronto International Boat Show. (Handout)

The action takes place on the Lake, a centrepiece of the Toronto International Boat Show. (Handout)

JIM FOX, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:30 PM ET

If you’d rather be sailing, boating, wakeboarding or paddling, better head to Toronto for some summer-like fun.

Check out the Toronto International Boat Show that drops anchor from Jan. 12 to 20 at the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place. 

Ahoy mates

This mid-winter rendezvous is a 55-year tradition for the boating community and offers one of the best opportunities to discover that dream craft.

There are boats to match “every lifestyle and budget” from fishing, cruising, sailing and paddling along with gear for watersports’ enthusiasts and the latest marine products and services.

“It’s a fun-filled day of on-water boating activities, boat rides, wakeboarding and boat-handling demonstrations on the world’s largest indoor lake for boaters and more than 140 special guest seminars,” said publicist David Holmes.

Board a luxury yacht and see “awe-inspiring boats,” canoes and kayaks at the show that offers free seminars and demonstrations. 

The show’s Top 10 list

- Boat deals: Talk to the experts and dealers about that perfect boat to fit a lifestyle and budget along with all the accessories. Showgoers can also obtain their Pleasure Craft Operator Card on site.

- Go Boating: Known as the Lake, this water spot is open to families for leisure activities such as paddleboating, kayaking, canoeing and inflatable boat rides, all free, supervised and with lifejackets provided.

- Island Village: This is nestled amongst colourful sailboats is an island oasis to sample the tastes and sounds of the Caribbean. It’s complete with palm trees, tiki huts and lounge chairs along with island and charter boat information.

- Wakeboarding: For anyone wanting to try this sport, there are demonstrations, lessons and practices offered on the Lake. Trained experts will be using the innovative Sesitec System that gently and safely pulls riders across the water.

- Pro-rider wakeboarding: For anyone not quite ready to try this, pro wakeboarders will demonstrate their flips, tricks and stunts in a display of acrobatics.

- Kids’ Boating Zone: This is a “safe and fun place” for kids to take a break from navigating the show floor with paddleboat rides on a mini-lake especially designed for them only.

- Duma the wakeboarding dog: This cute Jack Russell Terrier returns to wakeboard on the Lake and drive her owner’s boat. She poses for fan photos after the shows held twice daily from Jan. 18 to 20.

- Go Fish! There are plenty of live trout to catch assisted by Fish TV’s Leo and Ron as well as practising fishing on a video simulator. Adults can hone their fishing skills at the Great Canadian Fish Tank and see a fish-eye's view of how they react to different lures and techniques.

- Henry’s Fishhouse: This famous Georgian Bay fish and chips’ spot returns for a taste treat with its “vibrant atmosphere” and bar.

- Confessions of boater mammas: Alyson Schafer, Kathy Buckworth and Maureen Dennis discuss the hidden benefits and parenting strategies of raising kids on the water. They will share photos, stories and advice on Jan. 12 at 3 p.m. At 1 p.m. that day, Schafer will speak about how boating provides what children need for success. 

VIP evening

There is a “special preview night” on Jan. 11 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. to check out the show before the crowds.

“Embrace the VIP experience and enjoy live entertainment, delicious food and beverages, and the opportunity to bid on more than 100 silent and live auction items,” Holmes said.

Since 2000, the nights have raised some $585,000 for children’s charities. Tickets are $40 and $100. 

Need to know

Where: The Toronto International Boat Show is at the Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto (100 Princess Blvd.).

When: Jan. 12 to 20; Monday to Wednesday, 11a.m. to 8 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 11a.m. to 9p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.to 7 p.m.; and Sundays, 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Cost: Tickets are $18; $15, seniors, 65 and older; $20, unlimited weekday evening pass, 4 p.m. to closing; $25, two-day adult pass; $19, two-day senior pass.; free for children to age 16. Buy online through Jan. 11 and save $3 off the regular admission price.

More info: torontoboatshow.com; (905) 951-0009


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