Boating Events in Ontario 2024: A Complete Guide to Summer Fun

From poker runs to free concerts, Ontario boating events are your go-to source of fun this summer! Here's everything to add to your calendar.

Editor's Note: Stay tuned for 2024 updates

Ontario is a boater's dream come true. With hundreds of thousands of lakes and rivers, getting out on the water to enjoy the sun and scenery is the best part of Ontario summers.

Here's a comprehensive list of all 2024 Ontario boating events for the summer season.

If you have an event you would like included on the list please email info@northernontario.travel.

Upcoming Ontario Boating Events

June 2024 Boating Events

June 7-9, 2024    
Sunshine Festival    
Orillia, ON    
A revival of the Orillia & District Chamber of Commerce's long-running Spring Boat Show, this event showcases Orillia's unique character with in-water boat displays, innovative marine products and services, free outdoor live music, food vendors, Couchiching Craft Brewing Co. beer garden, and an outdoor market featuring a wide range of unique artisans and vendors. Fully serviced slips are available for boats up to 80 ft. with 5 Ft. draft and nightly moorage rates start at just $2.00 per foot. If you’re interested in attending as a vendor, you can find opportunities and registration information here.    
Region: Bruce Grey Simcoe

June 8, 2024    
Chesterville Kayak Club Poker Run    
Chesterville, ON    
Everyone's welcome to participate in the leisurely paddle from Cass Bridge Conservation Area to the Veteran's Park in Chesterville (approximately a 2.5-hour paddle—return shuttle provided).  Registration costs $30, which includes a meal at the Chesterville Legion, door prizes, and cash prizes for the top five poker hands. All profits from the Poker Run are donated to local charities. Check their site for updates and registration info.     
Region: Southeastern Ontario

June 8, 2024    
Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival    
Peterborough, ON    
Catch the dragon excitement as a free spectator, or take part in the races this June at Del Crary Park. This Dragon Boat Festival is a fundraiser for breast cancer diagnosis, screening and treatment at Peterborough Regional Health Centre. You will also find food vendors, a children’s fun zone, and a beer garden. Register here to paddle at this Peterborough boating event.    
Region: Peterborough & The Kawarthas

June 21-23, 2024    
Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival    
Ottawa, ON    
Running since 1994, North America's largest dragon boating event welcomes 75,000 visitors annually to Mooney’s Bay Park and Beach. Boaters of all skill levels have a chance to compete in races, which begin with the 500m in various Challenge Cup divisions on Saturday, with top teams advancing to the 100m race, 200m race and 500m finals on Sunday. Spectators have free admission to the event’s multiple stages with concerts, amusement attractions, artisans, food, beach-side bar, children's area and non-stop racing. Full teams and individuals can register here, with or without experience.    
Region: Ottawa and Countryside

June 15, 2024    
Performance Boat Club Muskoka Lakes Parade of Power Charity Poker Run    
Gravenhurst, ON    
Get the season going with the Performance Boat Club's Muskoka Lakes Parade of Power, the first of a series of events at various locations presented by Performance Boat Club Canada. More details on the event and agenda will be posted as soon as some additional details can be finalized. Stay tuned!

Register for the event here, and please be sure to reserve your room at the Marriot ASAP, as the space for accommodations is filling up fast!    
Region: Algonquin Park, Almaguin Highlands, Loring-Restoule, Muskoka and Parry Sound

July 2024 Boating Events

July 12-13, 2024    
Belleville-Bay of Quinte Poker Run    
Belleville, ON    
Poker Runs America and Power Boating Canada bring you this year’s poker run, with two different routes for two different classes: Performance and Family. Join the fun!  Call or email to register.    
Region: Southeastern Ontario  

July 13, 2024    
Performance Boat Club Georgian Bay Blast Charity Poker Run    
Midland, ON    
Limited details are available about this year’s event, however registration is open and the $675 fee includes the driver and navigator, with additional crew members at $150 each. Keep an eye on their site or their Facebook page for additional information as it becomes available.      
Region: Bruce Grey Simcoe

July 26-28, 2024    
Muskoka Boat & Cottage Show    
Gravenhurst, ON    
This year at a new location: the Gull Lake Rotary Park in Gravenhurst. Running alongside the Muskoka RibFest, this show offers free fun for the whole family, including more than 100 boats and cottage exhibits, live entertainment and lots of prizes and giveaways all weekend.    
Region: Algonquin Park, Almaguin Highlands, Loring-Restoule, Muskoka and Parry Sound

July 20, 2024    
Boatapalooza    
North Bay, ON    
This year's Boatapalooza event takes place on July 20 at Average Joes on Trout Lake, North Bay, with a second date on August 10. Bring your boat, canoe, kayak or any watercraft and enjoy a live band at the end of their docks from 12 pm -4 pm. Further details are available here: Boatapalooza Events | Average Joes Eatery & Patio Bar    
Region: Northeastern Ontario

August 2024 Boating Events

August 9-11, 2024    
1000 Islands Poker Run    
Kingston, ON     
Experience the thrill of riding in an extreme performance boat at this ride-of-a-lifetime event. More than 80 of these vessels will be docked in the Confederation Basin Marina on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning and you can check them out at all the card stops, or from your own boat. Afterwards, the fun continues with exhibits and a downtown street party. Register here!    
Region: Southeastern Ontario

August 10, 2024    
Boatapalooza    
North Bay, ON    
Bring your boat, canoe, kayak or any watercraft and enjoy a live band at the end of their docks from 12 pm -4 pm. Further details are available here: Boatapalooza Events | Average Joes Eatery & Patio Bar    
Region: Northeastern Ontario

August 10, 2024    
Upper Ottawa River Race & Paddle Festival    
Pembroke, ON    
In partnership with the Water and Dirt Festival, this event features flat water, white-water races, kayaking, fishing and more. Saturday, August 10 is the big race day, with 13km, 4km, and kids races, by canoe, outrigger, prone, and stand up paddling (SUP). You’ll find a variety of other activities during this event, such as clinics, demos, vendors, food and live performances from local entertainment. Register before July 5 for early-bird pricing.     
Region: Ottawa Valley

August 9-11, 2024    
Orillia Waterfront Festival    
Orillia, ON    
For family entertainment like cardboard boat races, dock diving dogs and vendors, head to the Port of Orillia during the Waterfront Festival. You might even get a late-season deal on a boat for sale, or find an interested buyer if you’re looking to sell.     
Region: Bruce Grey Simcoe

August 17, 2024   
Performance Boat Club’s Lake Simcoe Rescue Run   
Brechin, ON    
Wrap up the summer season with this Performance Boat Club event with Ramara Township Fire and Rescue. Registration is $675 for the driver and navigator, and $150 for additional crew members. Stay tuned for further information and updates.   
Region: Bruce Grey Simcoe

August 16 & 17, 2024   
Georgian Bay Tugboat Festival   
Midland, ON    
Held at the Midland Town Harbour, this event kicks off with a spectacular tugboat parade of lights on Friday, August 16 at dusk. Then, from 10 AM-5 PM on August 17, enjoy a family-friendly event with lots of fun activities including a tug race, tug demonstrations, and a tug push contest as well as live music, buskers, face painting, vendors, and Midway Carnival. This event operates alongside the Northern Heat Rib Series Midland Rib and Beer Fest in Harbourside Park from August 16th - 18th, with live music and carnival food favourites.   
Region: Bruce Grey Simcoe

Make sure you’ve got your boat licensing and insurance, and then plan your trip with our guide to boating in Ontario by region. If you don’t own a boat, here are some ways you can still enjoy the boating lifestyle.

 

Past Ontario Boating Events

June 2023 Boating Events

June 9-11, 2023
Spring Boat, Cottage and Outdoor Show
Orillia, ON
Held at the Port of Orillia, this annual established trade show for the boating industry and private sector, features the latest outdoor summer adventure gear. It is also one of the few shows offering private owners an opportunity to sell their boat. Other show features include a variety of marine, cottage and outdoor summer adventure products, land vendors, marine safety demonstrations, and food trucks! If you’re interested in attending as a vendor, you can find opportunities and registration information here.
Region: Bruce Grey Simcoe

June 10, 2023
Chesterville Kayak Club Poker Run
Chesterville, ON
All are welcome to participate in the leisurely 10km paddle on South Nation River, from Cass Bridge Conservation Area to the boat launch in Chesterville. Cards can be found along the way to improve your poker hand and the Top 5 poker hands will win cash prizes, with additional chances to win door prizes. This year will feature a post-kayak food event with details to be determined – check their site for updates and registration info. 
Region: Southeastern Ontario

June 10, 2023
Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival
Peterborough, ON
Catch the dragon excitement as a free spectator, or take part in the races this June at Del Crary Park. This Dragon Boat Festival is a fundraiser for breast cancer diagnosis, screening and treatment at Peterborough Regional Health Centre. You will also find food vendors, a children’s fun zone, and a beer garden. Register here to paddle at this Peterborough boating event.
Region: Peterborough & The Kawarthas

June 22-25, 2023
Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival
Ottawa, ON
Running since 1994, North America's largest dragon boating event welcomes 75,000 visitors annually to Mooney’s Bay Park and Beach. Boaters of all skill levels have a chance to compete in races, which begin with the 500m in various Challenge Cup divisions on Saturday, with top teams advancing to the 100m race, 200m race and 500m finals on Sunday. Spectators have free admission to the event’s multiple stages with concerts, amusement attractions, artisans, food, beach-side bar, children's area and non-stop racing. Full teams and individuals can register here, with or without experience.
Region: Ottawa and Countryside

June 24, 2023
Performance Boat Club Muskoka Lakes Charity Poker Run
Gravenhurst, ON
The Muskoka Lakes Poker Run kicks off this year's poker run season, which also includes runs on Georgian Bay, Lake Simcoe, Rice Lake and Kawartha Lakes. Register here for the Muskoka Lakes Charity Poker Run event, and check out sponsorship opportunities here. Be sure to also register with the Town of Gravenhurst if you’ll require a slip overnight. 
Region: Algonquin Park, Almaguin Highlands, Loring-Restoule, Muskoka and Parry Sound

July 2023 Boating Events

July 7-8, 2023
1000 Islands Gananoque Poker Run
Gananoque, ON
Poker Runs America and Power Boating Canada host this year’s Gananoque Poker Run. Bring your boats and watch other performance vessels showcase their power. Registration is scheduled for Friday (you can also register in advance,) while Saturday is the poker run, which will take participants through the Gananoque waterways to Prescott.
Region: 1000 Islands

July 8, 2023
Performance Boat Club Georgian Bay Charity Poker Run
Midland, ON
Limited details are available about this year’s event, however registration is open and the $675 fee includes the driver and navigator, with additional crew members at $150 each. Keep an eye on their site for additional information as it becomes available.  
Region: Bruce Grey Simcoe

July 8, 2023
42nd Annual Vintage Boat Show
Gravenhurst, ON
“Magic on the Water” is this year’s theme at Canada’s largest vintage boat show, taking place at the Muskoka Wharf. The free event has lots for the whole family to see and do, including ride-alongs in some of the stunning classic boats on display, a nautical flea market, and a Boats4Sale area, in case you’re inspired to buy a vintage boat of your own.
Region: Algonquin Park, Almaguin Highlands, Loring-Restoule, Muskoka and Parry Sound

July 21-23, 2023
Muskoka Boat & Cottage Show
Gravenhurst, ON
This show, running alongside the Muskoka RibFest, offers free fun for the whole family, including more than 100 boats and cottage exhibits, live entertainment and lots of prizes and giveaways all weekend.
Region: Algonquin Park, Almaguin Highlands, Loring-Restoule, Muskoka and Parry Sound

July 22, 2023
Larry Berrio’s Free Concert at Lake Wahnapitae
North shore of Lake Wahnapitae, north of Sudbury, ON
All the water is a stage at “Berrio on the Banks,” hosted by Sudbury musician Larry Berrio. One of the largest concerts held on water in Canada – and only accessible by boat – this marks the seventh year for the “Berrio on the Sandbanks” event. Access is free, but donations are appreciated and will give you the chance to win a custom Larry Berrio electric guitar.
Region: Northeastern Ontario

July 22, 2023
Boatapalooza
North Bay, ON

This year's Boatapalooza event takes place on July 22 at Average Joes on Trout Lake, North Bay. Further details are available here: Boatapalooza Events | Average Joes Eatery & Patio Bar. Be sure to check out their event calendar too as they have lots going on this summer!
Region: Northeastern Ontario

August 2023 Boating Events

August 4-5, 2023
1000 Islands Poker Run
Kingston, ON 
Experience the thrill of riding in an extreme performance boat at this ride-of-a-lifetime event. More than 80 of these vessels will be docked in the Confederation Basin Marina on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning and you can check them out at all the card stops, or from your own boat. Afterwards, the fun continues with exhibits and a downtown street party. To take part in the Poker Run, call 1-800-354-9145 ext. 252 or email coordinator@pokerrunsamerica.com.
Region: Southeastern Ontario

August 11-27, 2023
Upper Ottawa River Race & Paddle Festival
Pembroke, ON
In partnership with the Water and Dirt Festival, this event features flat water, white-water races, kayaking, fishing and more. Saturday, August 12 is the big race day, with 13km, 4km, and kids races, by canoe, outrigger, prone, and stand up paddling (SUP). You’ll find a variety of other activities during this event, such as clinics, demos, vendors, food and live performances from local entertainment. Register before July 5 for early-bird pricing
Region: Ottawa Valley

August 11-13, 2023
Orillia Waterfront Festival
Orillia, ON
For family entertainment like cardboard boat races, dock diving dogs and vendors, head to the Port of Orillia during the Waterfront Festival. You might even get a late-season deal on a boat for sale, or find an interested buyer if you’re looking to sell
Region: Bruce Grey Simcoe

August 19, 2023
Shake the Lake Charity Fun Poker Run
Lake St. Clair, ON
After a few years off, the Shake the Lake Charity Poker Fun Run is officially back and shaping up to be another epic day on the water and on the dock with old friends and new! Join the event on Saturday, August 19,2023 in beautiful Lighthouse Cove for a fun poker run, great food, and exciting entertainment, all for a great cause. All boats are welcome! Whether you are the first to the card stop or the last, we know you’ll have a blast at Canada's most fun Lake St. Clair Boating event! Visit here for tickets and more information.
Region: Southwestern Ontario

August 19, 2023
Performance Boat Club’s Lake Simcoe Event
Orillia, ON
Wrap up the summer season with this Performance Boat Club event that raises money for charities like The Canadian Diabetes Association, The Children’s Wish Foundation and Camp Oochigeas. Registration is $675 for the driver and navigator, and $150 for additional crew members.
Region: Bruce Grey Simcoe

August 19-20, 2023
Tug Fest Georgian Bay
Midland, ON
TugFest Georgian Bay is back at the Midland Town Dock again in 2023. Tugfest brings a fun family experience that features a host of both historical and distinctive workboats and recreational tug-style vessels. There will be a full lineup of marine and family entertainment activities which will include the spectacular tugboat parade of lights on Saturday night, tug parade and demonstration on Sunday.

About Northern Ontario

Welcome to Northern Ontario, Canada! Bigger than Texas, wilder than the west, more welcoming than a campfire in October, Northern Ontario is like no place else. Sunset Country is famous for its spectacular fishing lakes, Superior Country has friendly towns and a superior coastline, Algoma Country has bucket list drives and epic outdoor adventure, and the Northeast provides excellent vacation destinations close to Toronto and other large urban centres in Southern Ontario.

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