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Canada Day and the Tall Ships

Posted by Tall Ships America on July 2, 2010

Hello Everyone! The tall ships are finally here and we’ve just completed the second day of Toronto’s Waterfront Festival, it also happens to be Canada Day.

When we were told how many people were expected to show up to the waterfront in Toronto to see the tall ships, I admit I was a little skeptical. However, all day I was impressed at the sheer numbers that were drawn to the sight of masts and rigs poking out above buildings. Myself, along with Becca and Samara, were at the ASTA booth for most of the day speaking to people about sail training, water conservation as well as handing out Canadian flags and pins to the crowds that were lining up outside of the Roald Amundsen hoping to get a deck tour. Many of the people we spoke to today were so excited to have the tall ships in town, whether they were children or teenagers who had never stepped foot aboard a ship before, or an old salt with many tales of adventure from their sailing days. Although we started around 10am, people continued to gather and admire the ships well after the booths were packed up, and started gearing up for the Canada Day festivities.

Canada Day Crowds

Being a sailor, I am used to finding myself in small obscure towns on Canada Day. Back in 2008, I watched fireworks behind one the local elementary schools in Killarney, Ontario, a small fishing town up in Georgian Bay. Toronto’s Canada Day’s festivities were beyond anything I could have ever imagined. Thousands of people gathered along the waterfront trying to get a good view of both the tall ships and fireworks being set off from a barge in the harbour. I guess I have never really though about the similarities between fireworks and ships before, but after watching fireworks being set off through the rig of a tall ship, it’s hard to not see the parallel effect that both of these events have on people. In both cases people come from all over to watch with wonder, if only for a little while, at these majestic and intriguing creations that somehow have the power to bring people together and connect them on an unspoken level.

Europa Crew

I can’t believe it is only the second day and I cannot wait to see what else Toronto has in store. If you haven’t been down to see the ships yet, you must! There is something indescribable about seeing a tall ship up close for the first time, with its intricate rigs and meeting the amazing people who understand how to use it to harness the winds. And if you do decide to come down, don’t forget to check out the ASTA booth where we can answer any of your questions.

Fair Winds!
Libby.

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