Britannia Yacht Club has its roots as an association of cottagers who spent their summers at Britannia-on-the-Bay. What was known as the Britannia Aquatic Club was formed in 1887 and met for the first nine years in an old saw mill on the water between Rowatt and Jamieson Streets. The name was changed to the Britannia Nautical Club and then to the Britannia Boat House Club, and was incorporated in 1895. The following year the members built a fine building for storing their canoes and rowboats. The club flourished and paddlers won many national championships. Frank Amyot won a gold medal for Canada at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
The members decided that they would like a larger, more elegant place to hold their dances and other social functions. A new clubhouse was built in 1907 on the end of the Ottawa Electric Railway pier at Britannia Park, but was unfortunately destroyed by fire in August 1918. The social affairs of the club were then moved back to the old clubhouse and remain in the same building to this day. At this point the club was known as the Britannia Boating Club.
Gradually paddling declined and we became a sailing club with a few motorboats. Membership reached a peak of 2000 people just prior to the First World War, but dropped off dramatically after the war. With the advent of fiberglass boats, which require far less maintenance than wooden ones, the numbers rose once again about forty years ago.
Over the years the clubhouse has undergone many additions and improvements, although it still retains its historical appearance. In 1950 the name was changed once again, this time to the Britannia Yacht Club, and our harbour was built from an abandoned power canal which lay beside the club property. This harbour has been expanded too since its original development. Our Junior Club was founded in 1955 to teach our young people to both sail and race.
Britannia has a long history of volunteer work for the betterment of the club. This extends from the now disbanded Ladies' Auxiliary holding teas and fashion shows in order to raise the money to purchase furniture and draperies, to many members pitching in to build the harbour walls, sandbag the property in times of flooding, build docks and organize and run many regattas