Britannia Yacht Club’s roots come from an association of cottagers who spent their summers at Britannia-on-the-Bay. Formed in 1887, they were known as the Britannia Aquatic Club and met for the first nine years in an old saw mill on the water, between Rowatt and Jamieson Street. 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 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 they were known as the Britannia Boating Club.
A RICH & WONDERFUL TRADITION IN OTTAWA
The Britannia Yacht Club History
Gradually, interests in paddling declined and they became a sailing club with a few motorboats. Membership reached a peak of 2000 people just prior to the First World War, but dropped dramatically after the war. With the advent of fibreglass boats, which require far less maintenance than wooden ones, the numbers rose once again.
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. Our harbour was built from an abandoned power canal which lay beside the club property. This harbour has been expanded since its original development. In 1955 our Junior Club was founded to teach our young people to both sail and race.
Britannia has a rich history of volunteer work for the betterment of the club. This extends from the now disbanded Ladies’ Auxiliary who held teas and fashion shows in order to raise the money for 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. Our members are the reason Britannia Yacht Club is the place that it is today! We are proud to have each and every member contribute to continuing the legacy of our Club in Ottawa.
Britannia Yacht Club’s historical Clubhouse has spectacular views of the Ottawa River and is the focal point of the Club’s recreational and social activities.
Harbour, house and grounds facilities at Britannia Yacht Club are serviced by a professional staff and cater to the wide range of recreational and social interests of its members of all age groups.
The Dragon Lounge on the ground floor of the clubhouse is the focal point for socializing and has a full bar and food services. Live entertainment is also provided Friday evenings during the summer months. Movies play on Tuesday evenings during the winter. The lounge also boasts a large bronze fireplace where members can warm up during the winter.
The harbour is a well-protected basin consisting of a main harbour and inner harbour which accommodates 225 Mediterranean and finger-dock wet moorings; unlimited dry-sail storage and launching facilities and secure indoor storage for sailboards, kayaks and canoes.
Drive-up moorings – park your car within 10 metres of your boat
Gasoline and diesel fuel service – the only fuel service on -Lac Deschênes
Annual launch and haul out services
Four launching ramps
We have one dedicated masting crane, a 3,000lb stiff-leg crane for dry-sailing and a 12,000lb for the launch and haulout of keelboats
Dockside electrical outlets
Fresh water at the service dock
Full time Harbour Manager
Marquee and Patio
During the warm summer months the marquee on the patio, with its spectacular view over Lac Deschênes, is a favourite spot for socializing and enjoying bar or food services.
Family activities including tennis, children’s play areas, volleyball courts, basketball courts and picnic areas mean fun for the whole family.
The Upper Deck features a dance floor, bar, tennis viewing area and a covered veranda which overlooks the water. Mainly used to host our many social member events and private functions.
The lawns, flower gardens and woodlands of Britannia Yacht Club’s extensive grounds give a park-like setting for four tennis courts, children’s play areas and picnic areas. The grounds are enclosed by a perimeter fence and on-site security service is provided.