history of toronto island canoe club on the toronto islands

source:"The Book of Champions" by Fred Johnston
Mr. Johnston gives a complete account of the performance at the Nationals and Olympics of a host of great island paddlers: “The first canoe-related club to form on the Islands was the Island Amateur Aquatic Association, established on Centre Island in 1888. Its formation followed that of the first aquatic club that specialized in canoeing, The Toronto Canoe Club, founded in December of 1880. It served an Island-based membership with a number of activies, canoeing, swimming, and tennis suggesting its origins were more socially and recreationally then sport oriented. It offered little competition for the Toronto Club during the 90s. As close as I have been able to come, the I.A.A.A. competed in the CAA for the first time in 1908, two years after the Toronto Canoe Club joined.
Once the CAA competition between the two clubs developed but not until the second decade of the 20th century did the Island club prove real rivalry to Toronto led by Aubrey Ireland Sr. (The trophy for Men’s Sr. Singles 1000m is the Aubrey Ireland Trophy). Ireland won his first CCA medal on C-1, a third in 1911. Ireland had the misfortune to have to compete against the great Toronto paddler Alstair Mackenzie. He followed Mackenzie across the line between 1911 and 1914. With restoration of Championships in 1919, and Mackenzie’s death in battle in 1914, Ireland dominated senior Singles for a couple of years before retiring. Ireland continued to involve in our sport for his lifetime. He was followed by his son Aubrey Ireland Jr. as top C-1 paddler, good enough to be selected to the Canadian Olympic team for the 1940 Olympics, that was unfortunately aborted with the onset of W.W.II. Ireland served as a sport leader in the Western Division, serving as Commodore of the CCA in 1924. Heavily involved with the American Canoe Association, as were T.C.C. club members, Ireland has the distinction of being the first Canadian to serve as Commodore of the Canadian Canoe Association as well as the American Canoe Association. Ireland senior was instrumental in having canoeing added to the 1936 Olympics as a demonstration sport. As well he was an advocate of competition between the Canadian and American Associations. That dream was realized with the founding of the North American Canoe Racing Championships in 1953 and the first competition being held in Toronto on the Island course, largely in honour of Aubrey Ireland Sr. Island legends include Bert Oldershaw, his tandem partner Bill Stevenson and Tom Hodgson. Beginning in the 50s the Island community was dismantled by the city of Toronto and some paddlers from the Island went east providing support for a West Rouge Club and I.A.A.A. provided a great tradition on which to build a modern canoe club."
Today Toronto Island Canoe Club is comprised of a small group of avid canoeists and includes recreational, and sprint racing. Toronto Island Canoe Club is proud to have a collection of images from past members along with memorabilia from former members. The C4 from '54 provided a new CKC Nationals Trophy for the winning Junior Women's C4 crew to honour and celebrate women's participation in Canoe events. A photograph of the trophy is at the club (we have yet to win it!).
Organizational StructureIn 1994 Island Canoe Club merged with Toronto Canoe Club to form the Toronto Island Canoe Club. TICC is a non-profit organization run by a volunteer Board of Directors who meet regularly. Board Members are elected at the Annual General Meeting. Board Members are all members of TICC. TICC is a member of: Western Ontario Division Canoe Kayak Canada CKC Canoe Ontario Ontario Canoe Sprint Racing Association OCSRA and Ontario Recreational Canoe Kayak Association (ORCKA). TICC leases facilities from the Toronto Island Residential Community Trust and the City of Toronto. Acknowledgements: We are grateful to Toronto Canoe Club and Balmy Beach Canoe Club for boats and equipment and coaching support in the 1990s as well as to the Toronto Community Dragon Boat Association. We are grateful to our members, funders and donors for their financial assistance and volunteer time commitment.

Please contact Commmodore, Ian Ramsay by email to: torontoislandcanoeclub@yahoo.ca for further information about our organization and media enquiries.

For Membership please email torontoislandcanoeclub@gmail.com
Commodore - Ian Ramsay
Treasurer - Karen Musytschka
Secretary - Laurie Jones
Membership Director - Lynne Morris