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Toronto Yacht Club (Toronto, Canada)

Last modified: 2018-03-03 by rob raeside
Keywords: canada | toronto yacht club |
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[Toronto Yacht Club burgee] image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 23 February 2018

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Description of the burgee

"The above design was adopted as the Club flag for the season 1853." Image and quote: Club's Minute Book 1853.
Burgee: Pennant 2:3. Red field superposed by a white St. George cross centred 1 unit from hoist.
On the receipt of a letter from Government House, Quebec, dated 4 August 1854, the TYC assumed the title "Royal" and became the Royal Canadian Yacht Club. Snider, C H J. Annals of the RCYC. The Club: Toronto. 2002.
Peter Edwards, 19 November 2017

The image doesn't match the description. I've drawn the burgee in the specified ratio of 2:3 but it's clearly shorter than the one in the image, which is closer to 4:7 instead.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 23 February 2018

While the Royal Canadian Yacht Club started out as the Toronto Yacht Club, and at that time had a red flag with a white cross, this appears to be a different club:

In 1883, the American Yacht list started to include Canadian clubs. They include both the Royal Canadian and the Toronto (leaf drawn in white).
[Scan at Mystic Seaport Museum: https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l0235051883/16]
They still list both of them in the 1891 edition: https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l0235051891/44 and https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l0235051891/45 (leaves yellowish). One would assume that in 8 years time somebody would have noticed if the same club was listed twice.

This Toronto Yacht Club, with a flag similar to the first looks more like a recreation than like a mistake shared by at least two publications. Indeed, looking into this further, I found Heritage Toronto mentioning that a later Toronto Yacht Club had indeed formed as a break-away from the Royal Canadian, when in 1880 the latter moved from the Toronto waterfront to the Toronto Islands.
http://heritagetoronto.org/125-years-of-the-queen-city-yacht-club
Canada's Sports Hall of Fame confirms 1880 as the year the club was founded: http://www.sportshall.ca/stories.html?proID=322&catID=all&lang=en

It would appear then, that this flag is the flag of the Toronto Yacht Club founded in 1880, still in existence in 1891 but dissolved by 1895.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 23 February 2018


Burgee from Lloyd's Register of Yachts 1895

[Toronto Yacht Club burgee] image located by Peter Edwards, 28 January 2018

Burgee: Pennant 4:7. Red field superimposed by a white St. George's cross centred 2 units from hoist with three green (maple?) leaves in the canton.
Source: Lloyd's Register of Yachts 1895.
Note: Caption to image reads "Dissolved."
Peter Edwards, 28 January 2018