Our Story

Learn more about our historic milestones spanning over 160 years.


Once Upon A Time

Toronto was young and raw. But to eight men sitting in a storeroom, that was no reason to be without a boating club. By 1853, the Boat Club became the Toronto Yacht Club. Patriotically - for yacht clubs were naval auxiliaries, the Club applied for a Royal Warrant and was surprised to become, not the Royal Toronto, but the Royal Canadian Yacht Club.



To The Island

No longer so young but just as raw, Toronto’s waterfront was too noisy and industrial for a club. Saying good-bye to its scow-borne and aged-steamer clubhouses, the Club set itself up in a new building on North Island. Open fires and gas lighting ensured a short life for the new home and there were three new clubhouses before the present building rose.



Gloves Off

The first Members sailed epic races around the Lakes, but the gloves came off when Canada won the Cup that bears her name. Twenty-four tough series make it one of yachting’s more durable desirables. Newer contests include the NYYC Invitational (two firsts, one second in four regattas), the C-Class championship twice - did we mention that one-third of Canada’s Olympic qualifiers fly our burgee?



The Royal Cornerstone

A Royal Warrant entailed Royal patronage, and well before he met Wallis, the Prince of Wales visited what amounted to a stage set built on the ashes of the past building. The cornerstone he laid still graces the entranceway, and the building has remained fire-free for nearly a century since its completion in 1922. Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, is the present patron.



New Ways, Always

From the kit-boat-beginnings of Canada, Club boats have been a wellspring of new ideas. In the late forties, a club 14-footer sailor gave the world sail-telltales and the gybing daggerboard. Club Members designed, built and sailed to a stunning win on a yacht that changed the way yachts are built. From International 14’s to cruising catboats to foiling catamarans, RCYC Members have pushed the state of the art.



My God, She Steers!

Once a yacht club for men, RCYC – though still heartily a yacht club – is a club for all. Since embracing the Carlton Club, RCYC has added racquet sports, fitness and swimming within its new winter City home. On the water, women sail as equals in Club and inter-club racing and in our intensely popular women’s social-sailing and women’s racing programs.

RCYC Heritage Today