The sport of sailing or yachting has been a part of Canadian sporting culture ever since it was first introduced in the early 1800s. The earliest sailing clubs took root in Halifax, Toronto, and Kingston and by the end of the century, yachting was popular across the entire country. Canada’s Cup, a yachting competition that pits a Canadian sailing club against its American counterpart, has been keenly contested since 1896 with honors equally split between both sides. Let us look at some of the best Canadian sailing clubs.
Royal Canadian Yacht Club
The most prestigious yachting club in Canada, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club was the winner of the first Canada’s Cup race and has since won it 8 times. The club was founded in 1852 in Toronto, making it one of the world’s oldest yachting clubs. 48 members of the clubs have qualified for the Olympics and it has won Olympic glory for Canada in 4 events. Other than yachting, the club also offers racquet sports, lawn bowling, aquatics and other fitness activities to its members. The club has one of the best collections of yacht models in North America, which is housed at its clubhouse in Toronto.
Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron
Founded in 1837 as the Halifax Yacht Club, the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron is the oldest sailing club in North America. In partnership with the Boston Yacht Club, the Squadron has been organizing the Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race since 1905. The club serves as the finishing line for the biennial race. Competitive sailing is one of the main focus of the club with at least one national and one international event being held every year.
Royal Hamilton Yacht Club
The Royal Hamilton Yacht Club was founded in Hamilton, Ontario in1888 and has promoted competitive yachting in the region since. Members of the club have won laurels for Canada in various international sailing competitions and the club is a 2-time winner of the Canada’s Cup race. In 1924, RHYC member Norman Robertson became Canada’s first Olympic sailor when he competed at the Paris Olympiad. The club’s Youth Sailing Program and Graduate program are geared towards preparing young sailing talent for international competitions.
Britannia Yacht Club
The Britannia Yacht Club was formed in Britannia, Ottawa in 1890 by a group of sailing enthusiasts. The BYC provides sailing access to 45 km of the Ottawa river and has a marina with a main and Inner Harbour. The club, which also provides tennis, social and youth programs, has about 1200 members. Many of the club’s members have won international competitions for Canada. The club’s library contains books, periodicals and audio-visual material related to sailing and its archives containing posters, souvenirs, photographs, portraits, letters, newspaper stories, and memorabilia reflecting its rich history of 125 years.
Royal Victoria Yacht Club
The Royal Victoria Yacht Club is located in Okay Bay, near the city Of Victoria. Founded in 1892, it is the oldest sailing club in British Columbia. Its members have competed and won in international competitions, including a silver medal at the Paralympics Games in Atlanta, Georgia. The club offers a sailing training program which is open to all the children in the Greater Victoria area.