Calgary Yacht Club at Chestermere Lake

“In 1923 the first sailboat, owned by Morris Shyback, made its appearance on the water,”  according to Mrs. Anne Hinds. In 1924 Roy Lea purchased a 15′ craft called The Native Daughter and interested Mike O’Sullivan (an RCMP officer) in the sport. Thus, these three men formed The Calgary Sailing Club.  (page 387 Saddles Sleighs and Sadiron)

This year 2020, the CYC decided to start celebrating the upcoming 100 years of  what eventually became the largest sailing club in Alberta, The Calgary Yacht Club.  A major celebration is planned for 2024 but meanwhile stories and photos are being published both here and at the CYC webpage.

Two other Chestermere history books ( besides Saddles Sleighs and Sadirons 1971) have documented the history of the club, ‘Growing Through Time” (1981)  edited by Elaine Peake, and ‘Chestermere a Home for all Seasons’ (2005) edited by Audrey McDonald.  all three books are available online at

‘Chestermere a Home for All Seasons’ is still available for sale. Click here. History Books about Chestermere

(photo right of Mike Sullivan and his boat ‘The Gleaner.” and an article from the Calgary Herald about the early days of CYC Sailors.) 

The Yacht Club Shed 1933 to 2020 

As the club grew the members found that they needed a club house and a place to store boats. The first photo on the right shows a small pier located on the East shore north of Founders Point.  These early sailors set up a  clubhouse in the 1920s ( is is believed this was a repurposed house) and that photo is shown in the second panel. In the 30s the little store on the east shore was owned by George Hoffner ( referred to as Hoffner’s Planks by locals.)  Mr Hoffner supported local rowers and sailors and the trophy he donated for dinghy sailing is shown in the next photo in front of the gathered sailors.  The rowing trophy is now owned by CHF, kindly donated by Robert Walker). 

With the moving of highway #1  across the lake to the north, the club was cut off from sailing the length of the lake so a new clubhouse was built by AB Himmelman further south, on the property approximately where Chestermere Dockside Landing is today.  It is behind this clubhouse shown in the third photo, that a boat shed was built, also by AB Himmelman, a boat builder, contractor and the first Commodore of the CYC. 

It had rail tracks to ease the hauling of boats into the shed.   It can be seen in the background of this photo of Fred Paasche (L), a CYC member,  sailing his boat The Lorraine with a friend.  (Photo from Chestermere A Home for All SEasons p. 511 )

The north end of the lake became too busy and unsuitable for sailing, so this second clubhouse was moved in 1951 to the present location of CYC, 635 East Chestermere Drive, it is believed that this shed or part of it, came along.  And in 2020 with the expanding membership and need for storage for boats and materials a decision was made to demolish the shed.  The photo in the centre, courtesy of the Penley family shows a view of the club entrance looking west, part of the shed can be seen on the left (photo August 1973). 

And in the final panel, (photo  to be added) the shed as it was just prior to demolition in 2020.  It took three work days and lots of volunteers. RIP old shed, 1933 to 2020, seventy seven years of service.  Thanks AB. 

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