Tag Archives: Toronto Events Summer

To Untangle Two Toronto Triathlons in 2012

Since my Oct. 27, 2011 article still has readers, I wanted to follow up “Prepare for the 2012 Toronto Triathlon Event” with some updates. Specifically, I was hoping to find an official registration site.

(Updated April 7, 2012): I did indeed find official web sites, including registration! Please see “How to Sign Up for the 2012 Olympic Distance Toronto Triathlon“.

(Updated July 17, 2012): In the week leading up to the Toronto 5150 Triathlon for July 2012, I added a spectators’ guide, “Where to Watch the July 2012 Toronto Triathlon Festival Races“. The organizers added that “festival” name to their Toronto event.

(Updated Aug. 19, 2012): In the week leading up to the August Triathlon on the Toronto Islands, I added a spectators’ guide, “One Triple 2012 Toronto Triathlon Aug. 25-26 on the Islands“. It provides the venue, dates and times, as well as other useful tips for people who want to watch one or more triathlons in Toronto.

Two Separate Triathlon Organizers for Toronto

Instead, I found that MultiSport Canada organizes triathlons, including a triple event in August at the Toronto Islands. That is separate from the “Ironman 5150” organized by World Triathlon Corporation (WTC).

"North West Triathlon" image by (The contributor of this photo is David Hawgood)
"North West Triathlon" image by (The contributor of this photo is David Hawgood)

Since I was momentarily confused, here is a quick guide to help those of you who want to enter a 2012 Triathlon competition in Toronto.

“Ironman 5150” to bring the Olympic Distance to Toronto in 2012

As I reported before, WTC holds a variety of triathlons. They own the “Ironman” brand name. Their “Ironman 5150 Series” will bring the Olympic distance to Toronto for the first time on July 22, 2012. As reported before, it is for “professional and avid triathletes”. Back in October, most of the media excitement was for the anticipated closure of part of the DVP and Gardiner Expressway to support the 40Km bicycle portion of the race.

Note that the Olympic distance is shorter than the “Ironman” discipline distance that ends with a 42.2Km run. (Again, I had more details in “Prepare for the 2012 Toronto Triathlon Event“).

I’m still on the lookout for an official registration site for this event. (Updated April 7, 2012): I did indeed find official web sites, including registration! Please see “How to Sign Up for the 2012 Olympic Distance Toronto Triathlon“.

MultiSport Canada to hold Three Triathlons in August 2012 on the Toronto Islands

My impression is that the Toronto Island Triathlons have been held for some years. At any rate, MultiSport Canada has three events planned for August 25 and 26, 2012:

  • Shortest triathlon: 400m swim; 10Km bike; 2.5Km run
  • Duathlon: 4.5Km run (not swim); 30Km bike; 4.5Km run
  • Short triathlon: 750m swim; 30Km bike; 4.5Km run

All of these are shorter than the Olympic distance.

The venue is Centre Island, part of the Toronto Islands. Contestants (and spectators!) must take an early-morning ferry. The bike course uses Lakeshore Avenue on the island. (I confused this with Lake Shore Blvd, which of course is on the mainland).

From their web site, my impression is that MultiSport Canada‘s events are suitable for novices in triathlon as well as more competitive athletes at the distances on offer.

The Site for MultiSport Canada’s Toronto Triathlons

More details are available at MultiSport Canada’s Toronto Triathlons page. It has links to the individual races, and each race has at least two pages…one must click to get to the maps.

Summary of the Untangled Toronto Triathlons

There are two different weekends (July 22 versus Aug. 25-26) in 2012 and two different organizers.

The July 22 event is an Olympic distance, “Ironman 5150”, for serious competitors. On August 25-26, there will be three shorter distances.

July 22 will mostly be on the mainland; Aug. 25-26 will be at the Toronto Islands.

The one common feature is that both organizers (likely) can support only a limited number of competitors, so register early if you plan to enter any 2012 Toronto Triathlon.

(Disclaimer: DeHaan Services has no relationship to either organizer; neither reimburses me for writing this article).

Prepare for the 2012 Toronto Triathlon Event

Toronto’s media have reported that an Ironman Triathlon will close the Gardiner and DVP (Don Valley Parkway) in 2012. What is the real story on this “5150 Triathlon” Toronto event?

[Updated 2012-01-31: Learn about an alternative set of triathlons on the Toronto Islands in “To Untangle Two Toronto Triathlons in 2012“].

(Updated April 7, 2012): I did indeed find official web sites, including registration! Please see “How to Sign Up for the 2012 Olympic Distance Toronto Triathlon“.

Triathlon? Yes. Ironman? Yes and No.

This will indeed be a triathlon, the triple discipline of swimming, bicycling and running.

However, it is a “5150 Triathlon”, or “51.50 Triathlon”, which many non-triathletes would recognize as the “Olympic distance triathlon” discipline. It consists of a 1.5Km swim in Lake Ontario, 40Km bike ride, and 10Km run, for a total distance of 51.50Km.

By contrast, the “Ironman Triathlon” discipline requires a 2.4 mile (4Km) swim, 112 mile (187Km) bicycle segment, and 26 mile, 385 yard (42.2Km, which is exactly one marathon) run.

However, “World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) is a Tampa, Florida based company that owns the Ironman brand”. They organize a number of triathlon events around the world. “In 2009, WTC bought Trisport Canada, the owner of the Subaru Triathlon Series, the largest triathlon series in Canada.” (See PDF reference, below). WTC refers to their international series of Olympic-distance triathlons as “Ironman 5150 Series”.

"North West Triathlon" by (The contributor of this photos is David Hawgood)
"North West Triathlon" by (The contributor of this photo is David Hawgood)

What Triathletes Need to Know about the 2012 Toronto Triathlon

This is a “51.50 Triathlon“, covering the Olympic distance. It is not the Ironman triathlon distance.

According to the local promoter for WTC, Jeff Chong of Sports Focused Consulting, the Toronto event should attract “professional and avid triathletes”. (See PDF reference, below). My guess is that there will be an open registration at some time in the future. However, there might only be room for about 1,000 participants. (See second reference). At press time, I don’t know the website to watch for registration information.

My guess is that you will swim in Lake Ontario at Ontario Place.

The Toronto media have reported that the 40Km bike segment will use the Gardiner and DVP. My very rough guesstimate is that you would cycle up to about York Mills to reach a 20Km mark. That should be a challenging, rolling climb; the return to downtown should be a very fast descent.

Goodness knows where the 10Km run would be held, although my guess would be that the Martin Goodman Trail westbound to the Humber River would be perfect. From a competitor’s viewpoint, it would be better to use Lake Shore Boulevard, but I cannot imagine the city blocking cars from both the Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore. An alternate route would be eastbound, probably closing Queen’s Quay and whatever else.

My apologies for not knowing the website to watch for registration information. This will “be the only Canadian event of the (WTC-sponsored Ironman 5150) series”.

(Updated April 7, 2012): I did indeed find official web sites, including registration! Please see “How to Sign Up for the 2012 Olympic Distance Toronto Triathlon“.

Reserve This Date: July 22, 2012

Triathletes should plan their training to peak for July 22, 2012, the date for the Toronto 5150 Triathlon.

Residents of, and Visitors to Toronto, Take Heed!

Anyone planning to drive the DVP or Gardiner on July 22, 2012 should come prepared with adult diapers, valium and prepared angry quotations. I recommend “How dare they close a highway? I’m a driver”!

Seriously, my prediction is that Highway 401 (aka the MacDonald-Cartier Freeway) will be jammed in the vicinity of the DVP. So will all main roads within 4Km either side of the highways.

Importance of this Toronto Event

With the upcoming Pan-Am Games, it is vital that Toronto sports organizers gain experience in hosting events in the city. Toronto is fortunate to have a legacy of marathons, but has held few other international events. (The Dragonboat races come to mind).

Fitness buffs should take pleasure in the opportunity to see triathlon in Toronto.

Stay tuned…sometime next year I’ll suggest some vantage points (and how to get to them) to watch one of the disciplines (swim, bike or run) in the 2012 Toronto Triathlon Event.


Jeff Chong, Sports Focused Consulting, “Requested Follow Up Information Regarding Proposed Ironman 5150 Event in Toronto (July 22, 2012)“, Sept. 22, 2011, PDF referenced Oct. 27, 2011.
Every Man TRI.com, “Toronto to host new 5150 Triathlon next summer“, Oct. 27, 2011, referenced Oct. 27, 2011.

How to Find Toronto Buskerfest 2011

Buskerfest 2012 in Toronto in August (Updated July & Aug. 2012; Aug. 2013)

(Updated Aug. 3 and 19, 2013): In 2013, Toronto Buskerfest will move from the St. Lawrence Market to Yonge Street, for Aug. 22-25 2013. See “How to Find the 2013 Toronto Buskerfest” for the new venues. So the locations are out-dated in the rest of this article.

The annual summer event known as Scotiabank Buskerfest will return to Toronto for August 23-26, 2012 in the St. Lawrence Market district. Expect an amazing assortment of artistic acts.

BuskerFest 2012 also is mentioned in “Toronto Ashkenaz Festival 2012 at Harbourfront or BuskerFest?“, since it’s easy to schedule visits to both.

Most of this article is unreviewed and unchanged from last year and should be reasonably accurate; there’s a link to the Toronto Buskerfest official site farther down the page.

The Rest was in the Past: Toronto Buskerfest 2011

We expect it to return in August 2012.

What is Buskerfest in Toronto?

In its twelfth year in 2011, it claimed to be North America’s largest street festival for buskers, performers, magicians, musicians, dancers and entertainers of almost any ilk. Someday I expect to see “interactive street ballet”; take a note, Karen Kain!

"Fireboy, a Busker in Toronto Buskerfest 2009" by Loozrboy
“Fireboy, a Busker in Toronto Buskerfest 2009” by Loozrboy

The long history of “busking”, or performing in public places while hoping for donations, has been somewhat twisted in Toronto. For some years, the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) has been licensing buskers in selected subway stations. Purists may despise organized busking, which normally is one of the last bastions of truly free enterprise. (Running afoul of “aggressive panhandling”and “squeegee kid” laws do make these, and similar pursuits, difficult as routes to long-term self employment).

How to Get to Toronto’s Scotiabank Buskerfest

(This section is out of date beginning in 2013). It is convenient to take a bus along Jarvis Street to Front Street, or as close as it will take you in case of road closures. For the rest of us, please check the next paragraphs.

For out-of-town visitors, consider taking a Go Train to Union Station. Once there, find your way out the main doors; the Royal York Hotel should be directly to the north, across Front Street.

Those already in Toronto with easy access to the subway should head for Union Station, too.

Walk east, away from the CN Tower (more than a tourist attraction, it’s a great landmark!), along Front Street. Cross Bay Street and Yonge Street. The next intersection is Scott Street, the western border of the Scotiabank Buskerfest on Thursday. The St. Lawrence Centre for the Performing Arts is at this corner.

Dates and Times for Toronto’s Scotiabank Buskerfest in 2011

The dates for Toronto’s Scotiabank Buskerfest are Thurday, Aug. 25 through Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011.

Thursday and Friday start at noon, and end at 10 and 11pm respectively.

Saturday and Sunday start at 11am, but end at 11 and 8pm respectively.

Program Notes for Toronto’s Scotiabank Buskerfest in 2011

Take note of the childrens’ programme, called “Buskerplay for Kids“. Go to the north side of Front at Jarvis.

This blog entry cannot possibly do justice to the variety of acts.

“Epilepsy Toronto”, The Charity Connection for Toronto’s Scotiabank Buskerfest in 2011

Epilepsy Toronto is the charity benefiting from the Bank of Nova Scotia’s sponsorship plus public donations at the Scotiabank Buskerfest in Toronto.

Your Money

Yes, you may donate to Epilepsy Toronto; you may pay for specific shows; and you should indeed tip the buskers at Toronto’s Scotiabank Buskerfest, as they will encourage you to do.

Toronto Buskerfest’s Official Site

See the official site for Scotiabank Buskerfest here. This annual summer event has become a must-see Toronto attraction for the last weekend of August.

Looking for More Annual Toronto Events?

Check the “annual events” or “Toronto events” categories toward the end of the left-hand menu for other fascinating, free or frugal annual events in Toronto.