The club was originally organized as a civil defense unit. Early in
World War II, small craft in this area, which could measure up to,
certain specifications, were enrolled under the Transport Controller
for use by civil or military authorities. In 1942, the organization was
incorporated as “Vancouver Island Power Boat Squadrons” with the
threefold purpose of:
- Assisting in time of national or local emergency.
- Fostering interest in the safe and efficient handling of small craft.
- Promoting all matters of interest to small craft operators.
Membership at this stage totaled 350 vessels from 25 to 110 feet long,
and the Squadrons undertook patrols in the R.A.F. Gulf Islands training
area, blackout inspections for A.R.P., and training exercises with Army
When the war was ended, a majority of the members voted to perpetuate
the association and added to its objective the functions of a yacht
club. A clubhouse was built at Canoe Cove under a lease arrangements
and late in 1947 the Bylaws were altered and the name changed to
“Capital City Yacht Club.” In October 1957, the club abandoned its
situation at Canoe Cove. Much effort was put forth during 1958 in the
search for and planning of a club-owned site which could be developed
as a club headquarters with clubhouse and mooring facilities. At the
same time, negotiations with Clark Bros. were being held and an
agreement was eventually reached late in 1958 to lease from Clark Bros.
in Tsehum Harbour. A panabode type building was purchased and erected
by the personal efforts of the Club members on Clark Bros. property
during the summer of 1959.
Clubhouse gave the C.C.Y.C. members the feeling of owning and with this
inspiration, suitable property was located in Blue Heron Bay, just
south of Tsehum Harbour. Negotiations for the purchase of some two
acres were completed in May, 1964. During the next few years a
foreshore lease was applied for and received. Plans to move the
Clubhouse became a fact in the later part of 1966. The 1967 programme
included the dredging of the entrance channel on a cost sharing basis
with the Government of Canada. When this project was completed the same
company continued into Blue Heron Basin where a total of 36,149 cubic
yards were extracted. All costs for this were paid for by the club. A
pile driving company was the next step and approximately 30 piles were
driven in the bay. A great deal of praise and credit should be given to
the members, the Ladies’ Auxiliary and the newly constituted junior
members for the work parties, properly organized, in the building of
the floats, wharfs and the grounds surrounding the area. By April 1st.,
1968, 825 ft. of mooring floats and docks were placed in the water
ready for use by the membership.
1968 and 1972 there were boatsheds moved into the newly formed moorage
area. Twelve members worked diligently to design and build a covered
moorage complex, which greatly enhanced the Basin area. The Ladies’
Auxiliary were working hard during this time planning and arranging the
landscaping of the uplands area. The Ladies’ Auxiliary also paid for
the paving of the parking area which was a very great asset for our
The General Meeting in 1972
approved an overall plan for development of the Club. This plan was
divided into five separate phases and presented to North Saanich
Council in April, 1973, for their approval, which was granted. This
first phase consisted of the extension of our present Clubhouse. Many
meetings followed and then construction began with the members taking
part by way of work parties. All the while the Clubhouse was being
constructed, the plans for the dredging were being prepared and in
June, 1973, ten copies were sent to Ottawa and one to the Department of
Fisheries for their approval. These approvals were granted in the
latter part of June and July, 1973.
This then allowed us to
prepare tender documents and call tenders for the dredging and driving
of piles for the wharfs. Tenders were opened September 6, 1973 with
Greenlees Piledriving being the lowest tender received. The contract
was awarded and work proceeded through the winter and following spring.
By June, 1974, the dredging was complete, piles driven and
approximately 600 feet of wharf constructed. During this winter and
spring the Clubhouse was progressing very well and a final drive of
work parties completed the job in time for our Sailpast in June, 1974.
A great deal of credit should go to the Properties Committee for their
hard work and also the Ladies for their donation of drapes, etc.
next phase on the foreshore was the construction of the covered
moorage. W. Campbell Ltd. was awarded the contract to design and build
these structures. They were started in late August and completed in
October, 1974. The new units gave us an additional 46 covered berths
and improved the overall appearance of the basin. Erosion along the
Clubhouse and parking lot foreshore eventually necessitated a retaining
wall. Some creosoted piles were donated to the club, and in 1980 a
contract was let to drive them all along the bank. More support proved
necessary and in 1982 a further contract installed cross ties and
anchors. This has produced a solid and durable retaining wall which has
been capped with a cement walkway. The finishing touch is given by
aluminum guard rails to match the new aluminum ramp. In the same year
the grid was extended five feet through the dedicated efforts of some
Club members. Further improvements are intended as popular use of the
During 1984 the
Clubhouse was extended by 500 square feet and a new garage style
storage building was installed to the west of the parking area. B and C
docks were rebuilt during 1984, 1985 and 1986. The year 1986 saw major
renovations to the Clubhouse heads, a new rear entry and some
renovations to the galley. The seawall was extended in 1987 from the
gate west to the Cole property. This was necessary to stabilize the
parking lot in that area and allow for future dredging in the adjacent
An agreement was reached to
purchase the Cole property in 1985, and this was completed in 1988.
Planning an extension to our water lease was also initiated at the same
time. Development plans and related permits were prepared. Final
permits were received in 1988 with plans for some 37 new berths in our
basin. Approval for the related expenditures was given by the
membership at the Annual General Meeting in November, 1988, and a
contract was let to install a seawall extension west from the existing
wall in front of the Cole property. This was completed in the early
part of 1989 and dredging was done later in the year. onstruction and
installation of E dock was completed in 1990.
The new breakwater was completed in 1991.
1992 - 1993 two new double wide boat sheds were completed.
1994 - Two more double wide boat houses were completed and the electrical upgrading continued.
- Was a very busy year - 3 additional double wide boat houses were
built, an office was added to the storage shed, C Docks roof
replacement was started, a canopy was built over the entrance to the
club house, the electrical upgrading was completed and the Les Cole
house was renovated.
1996 - A year of
Construction and Destruction! During the year three double wide boat
houses were constructed. The main wharf of E Dock was moved back 15
feet and the fingers were replaced with larger ones. The fingers were
also replaced on BB Dock. New dock lighting was installed on A, B, and
E Docks. The foreshore purchase was concluded with the exception of
final documentation. The seawall repairs were completed and the balance
of the plans were to be started when ---- the “Blizzard of ‘96” struck.
C Dock collapsed under the weight of the snow and high winds. A and B
Docks also lost boat houses. 31 boats were sunk and dozens of boats
damaged. Within hours of the disaster the Canadian Coast Guard was on
the scene along with the crews of Campbell Construction and Victoria
Pile Driving. Our members began arriving and assisting wherever they
were needed. So began the lengthy and exhausting task of clearing,
refloating the boats and rebuilding. Our Club has a strong tradition of
volunteerism and if ever it has been put to the test, this is it!
- The beginning of the year saw many of our members undertaking the
massive cleanup of both sunken and floating debris. A considerable
amount of aluminum was salvaged for later sale and under the watchful
eye of ex-fire chiefs the balance of the debris was burned. A contract
was let for 37 piles to be driven and 500 feet of dock space for C
wharf. Before building of the boathouses got underway, a fire on B
wharf destroyed 2 boathouses and damaged a third. Two tenders were
called, the first for a 24 double wide and six single boathouses and
the second, to replace the burned boathouses and the damaged one. Once
construction began Members completed all the necessary electrical,
plumbing, locating and connecting the boathouses together with anyother
miscellaneous jobs. A sale of bonds within the membership raised
$560,000.00 which together with the insurance proceeds was sufficient
to complete the work. Eleven months to the day the project was
completed and all the berths assigned. Also during the year the
membership finished the seawall improvements, the entry gate building
and the installation of the new ramp. The flag pole was refurbished and
relocated and finally the surrounding area was landscaped. During the
next two years our volunteer workers continued to improve the Club’s
facilities. A second entry gate and house leading to D wharf was
constructed. The balance of the lawn area was regraded and seeded to
lawn. During this period a Fire Protection system consisting of mains,
stand pipes hose boxes and fire extinguishers were installed on C
wharf. Mains and standpipes were also installed on A & B wharves
and initial installation was begun on D wharf. The Electrical system
was completed and passed a final inspection. As-built drawings of the
entire electrical system were made and are stored on an auto cad disc.
At the same time general maintenance was carried on throughout the
property. In the all of 1999 the Cole house was repainted and a
contract was let for the repaving of the westerly portion of the
parking lot. At the end of 1999 a second repayment of the bond issue
was made leaving a balance of only $182,000.00 to be carried into the
Between the years 2000 and
2004 a number of changes and improvements have taken place. Repayment
of the bonds was completed. The first lady was appointed to the
Directorship and the members agreed by vote to construct a new
clubhouse. Sadly the Ladies Auxiliary was disbanded and an Auxiliary
was formed to include all members. “A” wharf was rebuilt and four
double wide boathouses were added replacing old ones. The end of B
wharf was rebuilt. The complex was split replacing one half with three
double wide boathouses. In all 850 feet of services and wharves were
rebuilt on A and B wharves by volunteer members. In 2007, after a
three year period the members of the Auxiliary unanimously decided to
revert back to the name Ladies Auxiliary and change the bylaws
accordingly. The volunteer work crews continued to be kept busy with a
number of projects. The Ladies Auxiliary made a significant
contribution towards replacing the old sign and the volunteer work
crews erected the sign along with supporting structures, landscaping,
street improvements and a new entrance. “D” wharf fingers were upgraded
and a new sewer pumping system station for the Cole house was
completed. Fobs replaced the keys with the installation of a computer
operated security system. After two unsuccessful meetings the members
of the Club finally approved the financing cost of a new clubhouse. In
May 2009 the old clubhouse was demolished and the construction of a new
one began. 2010 saw the completion of the new clubhouse and the first
Lady Fleet Captain in the history of Club.
In 2010 the new clubhouse was completed on the site of the old
clubhouse with a much larger footprint. Some work was contracted out
and some was done by the volunteering of our membership. New
landscaping was completed around the building and we were once again in
the business of club activities in our new facility
In November 2012 CCYC elected its first Lady Commodore, Teresa Sandwith.
In 2013 the seawall was replaced from A kiosk to B kiosk and a new
railing, walkway and decorative planters were constructed upon the
completion of the seawall. New dinghy docks were installed along with a
winch lift for small boats and motors.
In 2014, the work crews build a covered BBQ open hut outside the
kitchen back door. The Barbeque is hooked up to our natural gas line.
Lights were installed inside the open hut. After having the seawall
replaced the year before, the club had the parking lot repaved with new
lines and handicapped spots put in.
2015, the work crews installed drainage in the lawn of temporary
parking area for improved drainage to enable earlier use of this area.
The fall saw work start on replacing the old walkway in front of the
clubhouse with the capping off the breakwater with concrete with new
railing on top and the rebuilding of the flagpole and adjacent area.
2016 the Work Party completed the seawall concrete cap and walkway with
post and chain railing. The next project was memorial garden area and
improved landscaping. Started the upgrade and enlargement of the Cole
House parking area complete with continuation of the hedge.
In 2017, the Work Parties completed Cole house parking area repaving.
Installed a new sound system complete with video projector and screen.
Started the first phase to replace safety ladders with aluminum drop
down ones and also started the future storage building, includes
permits, excavation, and pouring the foundation. An anchor was also
placed at the driveway entrance to our club property.
In 2018, Work continued with the construction of the storage building which
included the cement work of the retaining wall, floor and walkways.
Upgrading water systems to the Cole house, “D” dock and irrigation
system around the storage building. Completed the landscaping around
the storage building and installed the electrical supply to the
building. In the Fall framing was completed with installation of a
metal roof and electrical rough in. This was all accomplished by the
volunteer members of our work parties. Phase 2 of the aluminum dock
ladders was also completed.
In 2019, construction on the storage building was completed and the
occupancy permit was granted in October.The Grounds Crew, Fleet Captain
and Members’ workshop moved into the new building along with 20 storage
lockers finished and rented. The “bottle depot” in a metal garden shed
was moved into the new storage building and the metal shed removed. The
Ladies Auxiliary changed its name to “The Auxiliary of the Capital City
Yacht Club”. A new ice machine was purchased for the Clubhouse, made
possible with donations from the Bar Committee and The Auxiliary.