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 1954 the THC was the recipient of the first permit issued by the City of Toronto to hold a sporting event on a Sunday. The hydroplane race was held off Exhibition Park.
Testing and racing of hydroplanes in open Lake Ontario waters was a chancy business. Racing in protected waters was a much safer activity. Members of THC were active in hydroplane racing throughout North America, including Harmsworth Cup events. While racing went on in earnest elsewhere, activity at Ashbridge’s Bay was minimal.
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. When the Outer Harbour Sailing Federation was created, most of the catamaran sailors moved there as the Toronto Catamaran Club.
A core group of sailors stayed at THC, building the sailing fleet with day sailors and keel boats. In the early 80s the THC name was changed to the Toronto Hydroplane and Sailing Club to reflect the change in activity at the club site. Hydroplanes were still being raced in Canada and the U.S. by members of the club.
When Ashbridge’s Bay Park was created and Ashbridge’s Bay Yacht Club moved to the south bay, TH&SC expanded its property and built a three-storey clubhouse. Improvements to the property have gone on since that time with the latest major item completed being new finger docks for moored boats.
There are presently no hydroplanes being raced under the TH&SC burgee. The members of TH&SC are proud of the past glories of their hydroplanes’ victories in international competitions. There are many photos and trophies around the club commemorating founding members’ triumphs. Our present major focus is sailing, both cruising and racing.