The regattas were an excellent opportunity to show the work of the newly formed park. At the time the parks board was criticized for spending too much money for park improvements in connection with the lake.
Prizes were given for races, swimming, canoeing, best dancers and best decorated boats. In the evening the parade of decorated boats was held. The illuminated boat parade was the main feature of the day and the route took on the lake beginning at the park the boats were rowed down the river to the dam and then back again to the park where dancing was freely indulged late into the night.
By 1920 the interest in boat regattas was dwindling and in 1932 when the Old Boy reunion committee tried to organize one, it had little success. The river continues to to be a popular attraction for leisure events including the Dragon Boat festival.
The photo above is of the boat regattas which were popular at the turn of the 20th century. The old Dufton Woolen Mills (see Huron Street) complete with the smokestack can be seen in the background behind the boat house. The photograph above also appears on the cover of Images Canada Stratford Book by Carolynn Bart-Riedstra