Found two old photographs in the City of Vancouver Archives, taken May 24, 1890. They show a holiday scene on the Gorge Waterway, and they're titled "Indian canoe race in gorge, Victoria, BC." You can click here and here to see the image on the Archives website, and look through other images.
Wonderful to see the canoes, and the rowboats much like those newly-available through Whitehall with their reproductions of classic designs. The shoreline is still thickly forested, while nowadays in this industrialized part of the Gorge Waterway there are trees only on a few private lots and in parks.
I think the location of the 1890 canoe race is on the part of the waterway called the Upper Harbour and Selkirk Water. Races were certainly held here in the past. This part of the waterway is below the narrows under the Tillicum bridge, so these holiday boaters would be avoiding the reversing waterfall at the narrows. If you want to see some modern photos of Selkirk Water and the Upper Harbour, check out these posts on Kayak Yak with photos taken by John.