The fiftieth edition of the Toronto International Boat Show docks for nine days at the National Trade Centre starting Saturday. Boating geeks, wannabes, and reluctant family thereof all descend on the show every year, seeking everything from fishing lures to gazillion-dollar yachts.
With their displays of enormous outboard engines and boats bigger than most condos, boat shows are sometimes dismissed as the domain of boys who lust after big toys. But boating isn’t just about zooming around the cottage lake at top speed and volume, annoying the neighbours and ignoring the “No wake” signs. More genteel visitors can get the skinny on sailing dinghies, canoes, kayaks, and other wind- and self-propelled water transportation. And like any large consumer show, don’t forget the guys in the back selling all the neat-o gadgets and doodads.
One of the show’s best-known features—the annual tranformation of the Coliseum’s floor into the world’s largest indoor lake—is getting a makeover this year. The old static displays of previous shows have been banished, replaced by ongoing demonstrations, seminars, and free boat rides. With giant fans providing winds up to 12 knots for the sailboats, you know you want to be there on the off chance that something goes terribly wrong.
The Toronto International Boat Show opens on Saturday, January 12 and runs daily through Sunday, January 20 at the National Trade Centre.
Photo by PDPhotography from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.