History of OHSF and the
Outer Harbour way of life
The Toronto Hydroplane Club was founded in 1951 by a group of inboard-engine hydroplane racers in search of a place to meet and build boats. Charter in hand, the group obtained property on Ashbridge's Bay and built a clubhouse.
In the spring of 1965 a group of catamaran sailors asked the THC if they could use the grounds to store and sail their boats. They became associate members and built a ramp to launch their boats and a small dock to sail from.
At this time, the tract of reclaimed land just east of Toronto Harbour was being created with landfill from downtown Toronto construction sites, forming the headland that is today known as Tommy Thompson Park or the Leslie Street Spit. Originally called the Outer Harbour East Headlands, it was built by the Toronto Harbour Commissioners as a breakwater for a new basin, the Outer Harbour, and was opened to the public on weekends in 1973.
As a result of lobbying initiated by a group of multihull sailors with the objective of creating TMCC, the Toronto Multihull Cruising Club, a perfect mooring basin was formed, the TMCC was given a one year lease on the north shore and future plans were laid to possibly move the plot a few years later onto the spit.
The TMCC settled into their new surroundings and the setting soon attracted an assortment of local day-sailing clubs previously renting or sharing space on Toronto Island. After several years of renewed leases, a decision was made to form the Outer Harbour Sailing Federation in an effort to better reflect the interests of the sailors, and allow each club to develop their facilities.
With the creation of the Outer Harbour Sailing Federation, most of the Toronto Hydroplane Club catamaran sailors moved to the Outer Harbour as the Toronto Catamaran Club, although a core group of sailors stayed at THC, building the sailing fleet with day sailors and keel boats.
In 1988 the Toronto Catamaran Club left the Outer Harbour to be merged into Etobicoke Yacht Club. Westwood Sailing Club seized the opportunity and moved in to the TCC location, leaving their shared facilities with Hanlan Boat Club.
The permanence of the clubs and their contribution to the Toronto Sailing scene soon became a way of life and plans to move the clubs were more or less abandoned.