When the Charlottetown was re-organized in the mid 1930s one of the objectives was to have a club-house. The social aspects of the yacht club were important and in the absence of other facilities for dances and banquets in Charlottetown this was an important consideration for the club leaders. Lords’s Wharf at the foot of Pownal Street was crumbling and under urging from boating enthusiasts the area became the site one of the City’s works projects for depression relief. With work on the wharf completed and with assurance from the City that the property would be made available, the clubhouse project proceeded with funds being provided by club members. Even before the Charlottetown Yacht Club was incorporated in the spring of 1938 work on the building had been almost completed.
Under the headline “ATTRACTIVE QUARTERS FOR YACHT CLUB” the details of the new club building were published in the Charlottetown Guardian 0n 30 October 1937 – 77 years ago.
Much public interest has been shown in the construction, now nearing completion, of the club-house for the Charlottetown Yacht Club, situated on the re-conditioned property formerly known as Lord’s Wharf at the foot of Pownal Street.
The building, designed by Mr. J. M Hunter and constructed by Mr. Leo F. Doyle, is a fine example of club-house architecture, combining modern and traditional features with pleasing effect. It is roofed and shingled with fire-proof material and has a water frontage of 60 feet with a verandah 50 feet in length opening upon the main club-room and capable of accommodating twenty chairs, where the view and breeze from the harbour can be enjoyed luxuriously.
The club-room, 45 by 33 feet is lofty and commodious, suited ideally for dancing and other social functions. A nautical effect is achieved by specially designed lighting fixtures, and a cozy touch is added by the large stone and cement fire-place. This fine piece of craftsmanship is the work of Mr. James Gormley.
Ample provision is made for a ladies card-room and cloak-room, stove-heated; a ladies dressing room with shower and other conveniences for bathers; a similar room for gentlemen; a kitchen and washroom and an up-stairs office for club officials.
The land surrounding the club house has been enclosed and leveled off in preparation for seeding next year. The finished effect will be that of a lawn with gravelled pathways to the gate and street entrance, to the west side of the wharf where an apron with shed roof will be built for the accommodation of row-boats, and to the landing stage at the head of the wharf. There a flood-light is being erected, which will illuminate the float and platform and surrounding waterfront.
The construction of the wharf by the civic authorities, and the dredging of the basin by the Dominion Public Works Department were carried out in a very satisfactory manner. Nine feet of water at low tide at the landing stage insures safe and convenient accommodation at all times.
Although no membership campaign has yet been conducted, Commodore Fred E. Morris reports the Club membership be already over fifty, with prospects of it exceeding the hundred mark next spring.
It is planned to open the club house next June, and to hold a regatta in the latter part of July, in which yachtsmen from Halifax and other mainland clubs are expected to compete. This gala event should prove of great Maritime interest and attraction.
In addition to its yachting membership, the club is planning to open an associate membership for swimmers, the facilities provided being equally well-suited to this popular sport.
The Commodore glowed with enthusiasm as he conducted a Guardian representative over the club premises yesterday. He expressed warm appreciation of the courtesy and cooperation received from the civic and federal authorities, as well with the work of the architect, the contractor and others concerned. Everything, he declared has gone smoothly and satisfactorily; and now, at long last, it seems that the hopes of yachting enthusiasts are to be realized, and facilities provided which will be a credit to the city and the province.
Although no press coverage of the official opening has been found the building was in use in the spring of 1938. It was made available for the use of the sea scouts and the 1938 regatta did take place.
By the 1970s the building was beginning to feel its age. An extension had been built to accommodate a bar which was a favourite summer retreat for members and guests. When the building was replaced the general design of the club was reproduced however the bar was greatly expanded and soon became a commercial operation on which the Club grew to depend for revenues. One feature which has been retained is the verandah where still, in the words of the Guardian reporter, “the view and breeze from the harbour can be enjoyed luxuriously.”