Politicians lobbied to hold the race in their constituencies in the early years. It was raced in Ontario at Toronto, Guelph, St Catharines, Whitby, Kingston, Barrie, Woodstock, Picton, London, Hamilton and Ottawa before it settled permanently, with the Queen's approval, in Toronto in 1883.
The Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, visited in 1860 and offered £100 to the winner. Times improved in the late 19th century, and in 1901 a crew from Outer Cove set a record time, 9:13.75, that was not broken until 1981 (the crew has been elected to the CANADA SPORTS HALL OF FAME).
The Canadian Canoe Museum, located in Peterborough, Ont, is a national heritage centre that explores the importance of CANOEING to Canadians. Its collection comprises 580 canoes and kayaks and 1000 canoe-related artifacts, including whaling dugouts, bark canoes, skin kayaks, and more.
Rod Warren remembers vividly the first time he competed professionally at the Calgary Stampede. It was 1989 and Warren, a 21-year-old greenhorn from the northern Alberta community of Valleyview, found himself in the company of riders he had idolized while growing up.