Chester Yacht Club bluenotes racing upwindYou won’t find a prettier site in all of Canada (although I am sure that the west coast sailors would probably disagree!) nestled on the Chester Peninsula extending into Mahone Bay along the south shore of Nova Scotia, with both a front and back natural harbour. The bay is dotted with about enough islands for each day of the year. The village was founded in 1759 during the French and Indian War. Setters from New England were given Shoreham land grants for the area we now know as Chester and the Tancook Islands. These people were known as Planters, as they farmed the land and were also fishermen. During the American Revolution, some Yankee privateers tried to plunder Chester.

 

Queen City Yacht Club in 1939Imagine a club that has been around for 125 years, that used to rent their club house, finally built a club house only to have it go headfirst into the lake, that rebuilt the clubhouse on an island that didn’t used to exist, and then not be able to get there unless you whistled to someone from across the inlet at Ward’s Ferry, to come get you in a rowboat! Sounds unbelievable…it’s the legacy of the Queen City Yacht Club

In 1793 Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe and his wife used to picnic on the island, although it was really not an island at that time, rather a peninsula coming out from the eastern end of the city. As the only way into the harbour was through the western gap, he decided to make Toronto (then York) the military centre of Upper Canada and Gibraltar Point (now Hanlan’s Point) would guard the entrance. Fort York would eventually be built across the western gap to help defend the city.

It doesn’t seem to matter if you are on the east coast, in the Prairies, or on the west coast, sailing clubs often seem to be born out of a desire to be on the water with a group of like-minded friends, and if you don’t have a place to hang out, then you use member beaches until you do. Such was the case with Wabamun Sailing Club (WSC) in Northern Alberta. 

The formation of Glacial Lake Iroquois, at the end of the last ice age, was to have a lasting effect on the boating activity on Lake Ontario. Many years ago, as the lake eroded, it left geological records through alluvial deposits from the Bluffs, which then settled westward to form the Toronto Islands. More recently, the erosion rate picked up quickly in the 1940s when cottages were being built along the bluffs to capitalize on the breathtaking, enticing waterfront view of this “geological wonder” and a unique feature in North America. The result of this consistent and dramatic erosion in the Scarborough Bluffs, has created an impressive portion aptly named Cathedral Bluffs.  The Bluffs were first named by Elizabeth Simcoe, wife of John Graves Simcoe, the first lieutenant governor of Upper Canada, in 1793. She wrote in her diary, “The [eastern] shore is extremely bold, and has the appearance of chalk cliffs, but I believe they are only white sand. They appeared so well that we talked of building a summer residence there and calling it Scarborough.” It runs for 15 kilometres from the Eastern Beaches to West Hill, and soars up to 90 metres at its highest point. A stylized version of The Bluffs appeared prominently on the flag of the former City of Scarborough before it was amalgamated into the City of Toronto. Nestled in the middle and protected on all sides you will find one of the friendliest places on Lake Ontario, Highland Yacht Club.

I remember vividly awaiting the beginning of the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) which also marked the end of the summer, though I wonder now that I must have been crazy awaiting the end of summer! What I was waiting for were the water ski demonstrations in the channel that bordered Lakeshore Blvd and Lake Ontario. Memories of those beautiful ladies perched upon a handsome young gentleman’s shoulders in those gorgeous bathing suits, all tanned and athletic, were enough for me to wish that I knew how to water ski. Oh my how fashion and sports have changed. Little did I know then that the Hudson Yacht Club was making headlines all across Canada and the USA in the 1950s and 60s with one of the best and most active water ski programs in Canada.

A Sense of History and a Bright Future

Club historians are always the heart of a yacht club’s soul and are to be revered and saluted for their tireless work of keeping the club’s archives intact and accurate. David Page is just one of those people, and he sure made my job pretty easy when it came to the beginnings of Kingston Yacht Club.

The Coast Mountain Range and the Insular Mountains that form Vancouver Island make it a truly unique geographical area. Generally it is a region of heavy precipitation, but the mild temperatures and long frost-free periods are the rule and that certainly doesn’t categorize it as Canadian.

Prior to the white seamen arriving in the area now known as the Uplands, some dozen or so native groups who all spoke Salish inhabited and played lacrosse on the sandy beaches that still remain on the coast from Sidney to Beecher Bay. These were coastal, seafaring tribes who always travelled by water, never land, and were, for the most part peaceful.

The power of one is a dominant proclamation that resonates within many small, casual, easy-going boating clubs throughout Canada. These boating fraternities were often started with the vision of one person, who was soon joined by others to create a community of people who loved the water and wanted to participate in outdoor activities that involved a lake. In the early 1960s, a few people in the tiny village of Deauville, Quebec (population just over 3,300 people in 2006) came together to form Club Nautique on beautiful Petit Lac Magog.

Ever thought about joining a year-round boating club where you didn’t have to own a boat to be able to cruise or race with friends? How about placing yourself in an environment where learning is the focus of the club? Imagine coming down and hopping on a boat that is already set to go, with no maintenance worries? I can see that I am beginning to pique your interest, especially the part about being able to go boating without the expense of purchasing and maintaining a boat!

Third Oldest in North America, Located in Both Canada and the United States.  Every boat needs a port to call home and her owner benefits from a sense of camaraderie by sharing interests and his or her experiences with other boaters – hence the need for yacht clubs and marinas. So, I thought I would start by taking a look at a unique yacht club – one that has the distinction of being the only yacht club to have locations in two countries – both Canada and the United States.

  • Biltmore Fibertoon - Campion Boats - with Canadian Yachting magazine
  • Ask the Expert - Marine Solar Panels: Power Considerations
  • Cruising Cape Breton and the Bras d'Or Lake Area with Greg Nicoll of Canadian Yachting
  • Discover Boating's Searchable Dealer Database - with Canadian Yachting magazine
  • Trent Severn Fuel Sales with Al Donaldson and Andy Adams
  • Rec Boat Holdings - Andy Gamble on the Merry Fisher with Canadian Yachting
  • Boating Ontario's Al Donaldson on Changes to Trent Severn-Rideau System with Andy Adams
  • NMMA's Sara Anghel talks to Andy Adams about the Industry Day on the Hill
  • Raymarine at 2015 Toronto Boat Show with Canadian Yachting magazine
  • Toronto Brigantine Sailing School with Andy Adams of Canadian Yachting
  • Ron Huibers of Volvo-Penta with Canadian Yachting magazine's Andy Adams
  • Greg Emerson of Marlow-Hunter with Andy Adams at Toronto Boat Show
  • Swift Canoe & Kayaks talks with Andy Adams of Canadian Yachting magazine
  • Surf Adrenalin Wakesurfing talks with Andy Adams of Canadian Yachting magazine
  • Battery Performance and Longevity - Ask the Experts with Rob MacLeod and Canadian Yachting magazine
  • Ablative Paints - Canadian Yachting's Ask the Experts with Rob MacLeod
  • Maryline O'Shea on Beneteau Sail with Canadian Yachting's Andy Adams
  • Maryline O Shea on Beneteau Power with Canadian Yachting's Andy Adams
  • Tour the Chris Craft Launch36 with Canadian Yachting magazine's Andy Adams
  • Cruisers Yachts' Jon Viestenz on the 390 Express Coupe with Canadian Yachting
  • Sabre and Back CoveYachts News, Bentley Collins with Andy Adams of Canadian Yachting
  • Blue Jacket 40 with Bill Bolin and Greg Nicoll of Canadian Yachting magazine
  • How To Winterize your Marine Engine with an Oil Change - Canadian Yachting's How-To with Rob MacLeod

Destinations

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We’ve dropped the anchor in the northwest corner of Pillsbury Sound, hard by a channel bisecting ...
Just across the border from Canada’s Gulf Islands – and there’s a story behind that – San Juan is ...
After being without a boat for almost a decade, I decided it was time to own one again. My wife and ...
I was ruined...completely and utterly ruined. At the young age of 22, my very first trip to the ...
Dominica has been on “the” list for quite some time now and when I actually get to do something on ...
It’s just so easy to get to Antigua with direct flights offered by Air Canada and West Jet several ...
Some may say that the sailing experience of monohulls versus catamarans is as different as chalk ...
The Presque Isle peninsula is a 3,200-acre – 7-mile long arm that extends northeast into Lake Erie ...
I know of no other boating location quite like the town of Gananoque in the Thousand Islands.The ...
Having cruised the BC coast for several decades, we enjoy sharing information about the remote ...

Boat Reviews

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After a week of overcast skies and no wind, I was pleasantly surprised and relieved to see the ...
It was a particular pleasure to visit the home of Neptunus Yachts in St. Catherines, Ontario to ...
I felt like I’d gone back in time to the War of 1812 when I arrived in the lovely village of ...
We had the pleasure of being invited to the Cruisers Yachts Dealer meeting in Sturgeon Bay last ...
Bernie Luttmer of Swan’s Yacht Sales, has finally had his brainchild come to life, and he tells me ...
The BC builder takes a big step forward with its largest yacht to date: stylish, fast and ...
Modern graceful elegance is what Dufour’s Umberto Felci was trying to achieve when he designed the ...
The very first Sabre yacht, was a Sabre 28 sailboat appropriately named Patience. Sabre repurchased ...
When the time finally comes to do the dream destination cruising you've always talked about, you ...
The Offshore series from Canada’s largest aluminum pleasure boat builder offers practicality, range ...

DIY & How to

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Winterizing your boat in the fall is important and may be a daunting task for some boat owners.  ...
Boaters who prefer to be on the hook, such as ourselves in our Islander 36 sailboat Holole’a, ...
Will traditional paper charts soon be a thing of the past? And what will that mean for recreational ...
With built in functions for radar, weather, chart plotters, engine data, and radio controls, boat ...
Understanding how systems really work – and degrade over the winter – can help you prepare your ...
The Interlux® Boat Paint Guide has gone digital with the launch of a free app for Apple® IOS and ...
Convenient, Cool and Low-cost!From simple organizational Apps for your smart phone to complete ...
Navigation light repairs and replacements you can do yourself.In researching this article, we spoke ...
If you are new to boating, how do you start searching for the right boat at boat shows? We put the ...

Environment

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Boating and astronomy can be a match made in the heavens. The inky black canvas above the boat is ...
The 30,000 Islands of Georgian Bay is a boater’s dream destination with crystal clear waters, ...
New rules severely restrict where and how salt-water boaters can discharge sewage. Is your boat ...
Many Canadian Yachting readers have likely experienced the beauty of British Columbia’s Gulf ...
Many newspaper headlines appeared in the spring of 2012 with these two names highlighted. The ...
Investing in a reusable winter cover is a sound environmental choice and a practical way to ...
I’m on vacation! Things can turn ugly in paradise when you finally reach that secluded anchorage. ...
I've been a pilot for 37 years and spent 28 years flying passenger aircraft for the airlines ...
There's been lots of talk about electric boats recently, but few examples are actually out on the ...
I think it’s a given that as a Canadian Yachting reader, you are passionate about ...

Marine Products

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Weego has announced the launch of its Weego Jump Starter Battery+ for the marine market. A compact ...
LEHR, LLC has unveiled its new 25 hp Propane Outboard to the worldwide press and the boating public ...
The world’s first permanently sealed waterproof camera, the SeaLife Micro HD, is ready for ...
Until now, owners of boats 30’ to 50’ put up with a rolling vessel in rough weather, or simply ...
In a world where frequent system updates for your phone, tablet and computer are the norm, it is ...
The adjustable-width ramp assembles in seconds, features a quick connect system for joining ...
The SailTimer Wind Instrument™ is a new high tech masthead anemometer that transmits directly ...
Just like diamonds, stainless steel is forever. Combining beauty and strength, stainless steel ...
The compact McMurdo Smartfind Plus G5 GPS EPIRB features a high performance, multi-channel GPS ...
50 amp cordsets from marine electrical products manufacturer Furrion feature Powersmart™ blue LEDs ...