Lake Ontario, ON - Jacob Ke
It’s the fourth year since I moved from Vancouver to Toronto. Lake Ontario offers a very different experience for me as it does not smell like sea and the wind over the lake is not as strong as that in British Columbia. Frankly, I tended to forget the beauty of Lake Ontario even though it was less than 5km away from where I lived. I hadn’t even been to the Toronto Island until the second year I was in Toronto. However, Lake Ontario becomes a unique existence in my life.
Back in 2013, a good friend of mine successfully convinced me to join the school’s dragon team, Victoria College Scarlet Dragon at the University of Toronto. It was the first year that I spent an incredible amount of time on Lake Ontario and since then, I have been doing it every year. We often had practices at the Sunnyside area on the lake along with many other dragon boat teams and recreational water users. The lake had become an important vessel for our team spirits and bonding. There were moments that we fought tirelessly for what we wanted; there were moments that we tried so hard that we couldn’t lift a muscle; and there were moments that we would just looking beyond the horizon on the boat. They all happened on the water. I remember the freezing breezes and ice cold water in spring as much as the hot sand and warm breath in summer. Each June, we spent a weekend on the Centre Island participating in the Toronto International Dragon Boat Festival, one of the biggest dragon boat festivals in the year. By the end of the day, some of us loved hanging out on the beach or going for a swim. The atmosphere for the sport and the ties among communities would not have existed without Lake Ontario.
Indeed, it is fascinating to see how water can bring people together and share their life. I am glad that I have had so much precious experience with Lake Ontario. I can’t be more proud than being a part of Lake Ontario’s many stories and the Watermark that fights for the wellbeing of the lake and its inhabitants.