Sailing clubs in Toronto
Sailing clubs come to life in Toronto summers. In Toronto, we're lucky enough to have a beautiful open body of water, Lake Ontario, and numerous yacht and sailboat clubs that offer sailing lessons, a safe place to moor your sailboat, a fun social atmosphere with like-minded people, and hard-core racing competitions.
Most sailing and yacht clubs require members to contribute to the operation of the club itself. This can be anything from administration tasks to boat repairs to mentorship and instruction. Membership requires a commitment to the sport, but sailing requires focus, understanding, quick thinking, and full attention. If you're new to the sport, or interested in learning more, one of the below clubs is a good place to start your journey.
Here's my list of where to sail in Toronto:
The Toronto Sailing & Canoe Club (1391 Lakeshore Boulevard West)
This Sailing Club is a non-profit, volunteer-run sailing club located on three acres of land on Humber Bay on the north shore of Lake Ontario. The club was started in 1880 by a group of enthusiastic sailors and offers racing, cruising, and sailing instruction
Although membership is required to use the club's fleet, one need not be a member to enter the club's Learn to Sail Program. Graduates of the Adult Learn to Sail Program also receive a discounted rate for Fleet membership (prices are scaled, as are privileges associated with each membership level). The club houses 85 boats on moorings, 20 dry-sailed keel boats (crane launched), 175 dry-sailed dinghies (ramp launched), and 80 canoes.
The Toronto Island Sailing Club (Centre Island)
This sailing club is, you guessed it, right on Centre Island, west of the Toronto Island Marina on the north shore. Membership is restricted to people 19 years of age or older, with a maximum of 140 members in any given year. Membership costs $425.00 for the year, but allows complete access to the club's fleet of Albacore and Laser sailboats as well as Hobie catamarans. Members can take part in the club's lessons, clinics, and racing programs, and members have full voting rights at the club's general meetings.
Mooredale Sailing Club (8 Regatta Road)
This sailing club is just east of downtown out near Cherry Beach. Membership for new members is $549.00 plus tax, but includes CYA (Canadian Yachting Association) certified beginner lessons to Level CANSail II. Members enjoy unlimited use of the club's sailing fleet of Albacores, Lasers & Catamarans, race training programs and inter club races, regattas, use of the waterfront clubhouse, and (self-proclaimed) great parties.
Westwood Sailing Club (12 Regatta Road)
Westwood is located just next door to Mooredale. They offer an early bird membership rate of $459 with basic CanSail II Lessons at $75 per course. Full membership is a requirement for all courses WSC offers. Also, members are not able to take out a sailboat until they have proven a certain proficiency with the craft through the club's lessons and practical testing. This is beneficial to beginners because it demands that you be comfortable before attempting to head out in a squall.
Toronto's National Yacht Club (1 Stadium Road)
Toronto's National Yacht Club is more of a keelboat (bigger boat) club, but they do offer an adult learn to sail program for instruction in smaller, more responsive sailboat handling. Courses are open to non-members, and are competitively priced at $399 plus HST. The NYC is an active club with social events and member's restaurant and lounge open all year with a spectacular view of the lake and busy harbour.
Ashbridge's Bay Yacht Club (30 Ashbridges Bay Park Rd)
Ashbridge's Bay Yacht Club is an east-end club near the Beaches area of Toronto. The membership structure is quite diverse, so if you're interested in joining ABYC take a look at which type of membership works best for you. The club offers a licensed restaurant and lounge, and a licensed patio for hot summer days.
St. James Town Sailing Club (10 Regatta Road)
This sailing club is nestled amid the other sailing clubs beyond the port on 10 Regatta Road. Membership fees and members are kept low to ensure easier access to their fleet. If you're a student there's a lower membership rate, and the club offers lessons to bring everyone to the same proficiency. The club is run entirely by members and volunteers, which is why the membership rate is slightly lower.
Writing by Tristan Steiner. Photo by archoneus in the blogTO Flickr pool.