It is obvious that the title of this chapter in the life of THYC is yet another horrible attempt at humour, but one which in the end must be taken seriously. After all, ‘motherhood issues’ are, by definition, totally beyond attack or reproach. The fact that the yacht club on the Humber became a mother officially on May 17, 1978 is not just an historical note. It is evidence of the impact which the Toronto Humber Yacht Club has had on Lake Ontario boating. But all this is getting a little out of order.

By 1970, it was clear that the Humber River posed serious problems for larger boats. At the same time THYC members began in earnest to purchase longer, beamier and deeper cruisers than ever before. The Humber was no longer a Club for runabouts and small cruisers. The number of craft over thirty feet was increasing almost daily. And the problems of water depth and bridge height increased at the same rate.

It was during this period that we began to hear of plans by the Metropolitan Toronto Region Conservation Authority to construct a major landfill project, stretching from the site of the old Palace Pier to a point well beyond the Mimico Creek. Several owners of larger craft moored at the THYC docks expressed interest in this new area, and the hope that some day there would be moorings available at this new property which would guarantee easy access to. Lake Ontario - unrestricted by bridges. They dreamed also that there would be deep water at all times, and that, finally, there would be reasonable protection from the forces of nature and the lake.

At first these plans were merely pipe-dreams, discussed in the smoke-filled dining room at the Humber over and after meals served by that character steward, George Fedoruk. Various bottles and glasses were frequently in evidence.

A about this time the editor of the ‘Signal’ began editorialzing on the subject, and the idea of a Toronto Humber Yacht Club ‘outpost’ was put forth by a number of larger-boat members. As the decade advanced, may members of the Club, too numerous to mention by name, started attending meetings about land usage held by the Borough of Etobicoke, and proposals for boat mooring were put forth.

Local ratepayers became quite incensed at the thought of the newly formed parkland being used by boats. One group presented a series of slides showing boats moored and stored at such places as Ashbridges Bay, and suggested that evils would not be compatible with the real estate nearby in Mimco. Boats would be ugly and would spoil the view over Lake Ontario.

Fortunately the Conservation Authority and the Borough did not buy this argument, and mooring of boats at the new landfill site was approved in principle.

Two groups of boaters began to negotiate with the appropriate authorities for the right to moor their craft and establish yacht club facilities. One of these groups was the Etobicoke Power and Sail Club which at that time occupied space in Marie Curtis Park on a temporary basis. The other was the group from THYC. Eventually it was agreed by those in authority over us (with apologies to the Book of Common Prayer) that EPSC as a homeless yacht ‘club could be accommodated, but that since the Toronto Humber Yacht Club already held a lease and owned a building, it would not be eligible to occupy the new lands.

As a result of this situation, a new Yacht Club was loosely formed from among the members of the Humber and one or two other clubs, notably Alexandra Yacht Club. The majority were from the Humber, although some, like Gord Schwab and Ken Maxwell, held dual memberships with other clubs as well as the THYC.

The clubFinally the ‘powers that be‘ decided that there must be a Boating Federation in the Humber Bay West, and that all negotiations would be carried out with this organization. One member of the new Humber Bay Boating Federation was, of course, the Etobicoke Club. The other was the forerunner of the Mimico Cruising Club. At first the designation Royal Etobicoke Yatch Club was bandied about and a charter sought in this name. However, in this day of egalitarianism the terms ‘royal’.and ‘yacht club’ were opposed by both the Borough and the Conservation Authority. Thus the historical name of Mimico was finally selected and the term ‘cruising club’ substituted. The Mimico Cruising Club was chosen as the second club to occupy the new lands. It's there now.

Under the guidance of a number of people, especially Gord Schwab, Ken Maxwell and "Richard Carr of THYC (along with Bob Valley and Jack Morton) temporary docking was provided at the new landfill site. At this stage we must admit that some members of Etobicoke Power and Sail Club were also involved Bob Davey, Jack Edgar and Finn Stai were among the notables. At this particular (to coin a phrase!) point in time, Jack Moran, erstwhile employee of the G.W. Schwab Company, listed himself as ‘Gentleman’ when asked for his occupation on an application form.

In April of 1978 the first formal meeting of the Mimico Cruising Club took place at ‘the Toronto Humber Yacht Club. It was on this occasion that Gord Schwab received the charter from THYC Commodore, Ralph French.

On May 17, 1978, again at the THYC, the executive of the Mimico Cruising Club held its first meeting. This was the first properly constituted meeting to be actually called by the new Club, so this marks its official birthday. The officers and director of the MCC at that date follow. After each name is the designation of the yacht club to which each belonged at the time of joining the new organization. A quick perusal will show why May 17, 1978 may well be called the day on which Toronto Humber Yacht Club became a mother!

  • Gord Schwab - Commodore (THYC and AYC)
  • Ron MacDonald - Rear Commodore (THYC)
  • Richard Carr - Vice-Commodore and Fleet Captain/Sail (THYC)
  • Ken Maxwell - Fleet Captain/Power (THYC and AYC) Bob Simpson - (AYC, decreased)
  • Bill Sanders (THYC, appointed September 1978)
  • Bill Collicutt - Treasurer
  • Ross Trant -Recording Secretary (THYC) Jack Morton - Corresponding Secretary" (T HYC)
  • Bob Valley - Director (THYC) Ralph French - Director (THYC)
  • Jack Moran - Director (THYC)
  • Jack Sampson - Director (THYC)

It is no wonder that such a close relationship exists between the Toronto Humber Yacht Club and the new Mimico Cruising Club. The founding of the ‘daugher’ club heralds the beginning of a new aspect in the life of Humber boating.

It seems that the history of boating on the Humber is the history of more than one yacht club.


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