• 03 Apr 2021 1:38 PM | Matthew Burpee (Administrator)

    From Norm, Head Rat

    The weather is getting warm (well, it was last week!) and people’s thoughts are turning to sailing and The Water Rat Sailing Club. As the season is starting up, I’d like to take this opportunity to update you on what is going on at the club along with a couple of requests for assistance. 

    Covid Update

    Just when we thought we were in the clear Doug Ford shuts the province down again… probably a good idea but it is tough to swallow… again.

    Having said that the Ontario Sailing Association (OSA) has launched a Covid Task Force. Randy, our Race Rat and Laser sailor, is part of that committee. Part of their mandate is to “Interpret the Legal requirements that the Province imposes on our sport and recreational activities of Sailing including training.” 

    We will use the guidance from the OSA/Covid Task Force and the City of Toronto to determine if we are open and what extra steps or activities might be required.     

    To see the latest OSA Covid Updates check their website link above, our Facebook page, and the OHSF website.

    At the moment, we are open!

    Clean Up Day

    Once again, we will not have a formal Clean Up Day. Volunteer Requests will be posted via email and Facebook for individual projects.  

    New Keys, Locks, Insurance and Transom Stickers

    Please be aware that this year we will be changing the locks.  This means you will need to give us your old key and we will provide you a new key for the new lock. Your old key will not work. 

    Insurance – we will need to see your insurance. For liability purposes you need to have insurance coverage for your boats. 

    May 8th and May 12th are the days the membership committee has set up for you to get your new key and to show your insurance.  Try to make yourself available for one of those days. Covid regulations may require that we change things up… so stay tuned and pencil in May 8 and May 12th in your calendar.

    We will not be changing the lock until after May 12th.

    At that time, we will also be handing out Transom stickers.  We want to make sure our membership system is up to date with the inventory of boats sitting at our club. Note that we have decided not to issue annual stickers (i.e. 2021).

    Water Safety Meeting

    Because of Covid 2020 the Outer Harbour was very congested. As a result, we had several collisions and near misses. A committee of OHSF clubs, along with Kite Boarders and Swimmers has been struck. They have had one or two meetings so far. Their goal is to make the Outer Harbour a safer place for all participants. Stay tuned for more information.


    The board has decided to replace the willow we lost last year with two trees instead of a built structure. The two trees are big (20 -40 ft) and should be planted in the next month. 


    The board has approved the purchase of new picnic tables, muskoka chairs and a new swing. If you have the time and are interested in helping me out with this project let me know... 

    If you have any questions let me know


    Head Rat

  • 03 Apr 2021 12:00 AM | Matthew Burpee (Administrator)

    Less an issue at our club as we are often boat solo but important to note.

    From Ontario Sailing: "Under Recreational Sailing and Boating, boating clubs are currently permitted to be open in all zone classifications.

    Please remember that in Shutdown, Grey & Red, members of the same household are permitted to sail and boat together and do not have to adhere to the minimum 2m requirement.

    We encourage them to follow public health guidelines for their zone classification in relation to the protocols required.

    For a detailed outline of ways to keep safe when you are preparing to go boating during the pandemic, we encourage to you get "A Guide to Responsible Social Distancing for All Boaters".

    Close contact is the highest risk. Limiting these risks is critical to keeping Ontario open and safe. So, no:

    - close contact

    - closed spaces

    - crowded places

    - forceful exhalation

    Related Link:

    Ontario Implements Emergency Brake 

    OSA update from Race Rat Randy

    Ontario Sailing

    COVID Regulations Updated

    (UPDATED: Current as of March 29, 2021)

    Last week, Ontario Sailing shared with the leaders of all our member organizations an update on sailing for the summer of 2021 including an overview of the current COVID Regulations. On Friday, the province announced changes to the COVID Regulations that came into effect today, Monday March 29th, 2021. To allow you to have one current document outlining all the relevant pieces of Regulations, we have simply updated the Regulations Overview portion of last week’s communication. (Changes in Regulations are in bold).

    Some highlights of the changes that may impact some of our member organizations include:

    In Grey, individual sport training/fitness is permitted as long as individuals stay 3m apart (under Racing).

    Several requirements for individual sport activities are listed below that apply to Grey and Red (under Racing).

    Day camp programs are now permitted in all zones including Shutdown areas (under Sailing Schools).

    Additionally, while we do not address all the food & beverage related Regulations, we would like to highlight that one other change is that outdoor dining is now permitted for boating clubs located in grey zones.

    Also, with our sincere apologies, the last version of the COVID Regulations had the incorrect use of the term Lockdown. Lockdown is the equivalent to Grey, the term Shutdown, in the overview below, refers to the stricter set of Regulations introduced during the Stay-at-home order. It has been updated to the correct terminology below.

    The Province’s COVID Response Framework documents clearly state:

    There are several risk factors that help drive transmission of COVID-19, including:

    close contact

    closed spaces

    crowded places

    forceful exhalation

    Close contact is the highest risk. Limiting these risks is critical to keeping Ontario open and safe.


    Double handed and multi handed sailing can result in a combination of the risk factors listed above, particularly close contact and forceful exhalation during periods of exertion during rapid sailing maneuvers. These key risk factors should always be considered in the context of the activities you are contemplating offering. Each situation is unique and needs to be decided individually.

    Regulations Overview – UPDATED March 29th, 2021

    Below is an overview of the Regulations currently in place, broken down by different activities common to our member organizations. Please consider reading all areas to fully understand how you may be impacted. Each organization has to use the broadly written Regulations as the starting point for decisions about the risks they are willing to undertake as an organization recognizing their own unique situations. We recognize that each of our member organizations face distinctive items impacting their risk assessment. For example, consideration needs to be given to items such as size and space, both indoor and outdoor, and what type of activities they are undertaking, also the number and variety of activities. Each organization’s Board will have to consider all the factors in their situation to determine their potential risks and how to address those risks.

    All Activities & All Colour Zones

    All staff & volunteers need to complete the workplace screening before attending each day and confirmation should be documented and securely saved.

    Signage is to be conspicuously posted for others about self-screening prior to entering the relevant premises.

    You need to track the attendance of anyone coming inside the facility. (While this is not required in green, it is strongly recommended to maintain in green for consistency). This information is to be stored for a month and released, if requested, to Public Health.

    Each organization needs a written safety plan that covers the procedures you have in place around COVID including screening, distancing, masks or face coverings and cleaning. This plan is to be posted conspicuously and available upon request.

    Masks or face coverings are required inside facilities and recommended whenever within 2m of others.

    2m distancing must be maintained except in special situations in specific colour zones highlighted below.

    Overall Clubhouse Activity

    All colour zones and Statuses – can attend to check on property; staff and specified volunteers can get ready for opening.

    Inside access is limited as follows:

    Grey & Shutdown – allowed to access washrooms, first aid & food take-out / pick-up areas and the path to access those areas.

    Red - allowed to access storage, washrooms, first aid & food take-out / pick-up areas and the path to access those areas.

    Green/Orange/Yellow – limited to 50 people inside of building (as size permits).

    (Note: if running different types of operations such as meeting space or Food & Beverage, there are different regulations specific to those activities to be aware of).


    Allowed to be open in all colours to launch but need to follow all workplace guidelines and consider recommendations based on colour zone.

    Staff (including volunteers with specific job descriptions) are permitted to work under rules for marinas/boating clubs.

    Ensure all workplace related rules are followed from regular health and safety to the screening requirements.

    Maintain physical distancing as much as possible and masks or face coverings following Public Health Guidelines.

    Recreational Sailing

    Boating clubs are currently permitted to be open in all colour zones (subject to applicable restrictions in each colour zone).

    Recommend following public health guidelines for your colour zone when sailing with others and maintain proper physical distancing and mask or face coverings.


    Shutdown – no sport allowed - this would include any organized sailing activities such as practicing, training, racing or instruction.

    Grey - Individuals are allowed to practice/train singlehanded – no competition (racing) or teams (no doublehanded or crewed boats). Participants are limited to 10 people at any time, and they must pre book a time slot and have been actively screened. Collecting and saving information for contact tracing is required. Individuals are required to stay 3m apart and shouting/loud talking is not encouraged.

    Red – Same as Grey, except individuals to stay 2m apart.


    Can come within 2m of each other only while engaged in sport.

    Masks or face coverings required except when exercising or playing sports.

    Stand-alone racing regattas are allowed – to a maximum of 100 people.

    “Leagues” – any organized series of regular races, such as club race nights (registered/awards etc.), is limited to a maximum of 50 people per group. (You could have 2 groups run in one evening as long as groups are separated). The Regulations indicate that each “team”, or in sailing a boat crew, is not permitted to compete against teams outside of their group or against teams outside their league.

    Given the evolving nature of colour designations, Notice of Races should include a note that due to COVID related restrictions there may be changes without advance notice.

    Club Events

    Organized club events with protocols including cleaning, physical distancing and masks or face coverings are subject to the following number maximums:

    Sailing Schools – Day Camps

    (For programs offered to youth in a Monday to Friday full or almost full day design that could provide care while parents are at work)

    Permitted in all colours including Grey AND Shutdown.

    Need to follow Ministry of Health Guidelines for Day Camps.

    Last updated Version 3 - August 13th, 2020, watch for an updated document.

    Major change in Version 3 – Cohort size a maximum of 15, not including staff.

    Screening of participants must be more actively done than with other patrons.

    Cohorts cannot mix.

    Check with local public health for local interpretations of their guidelines.

    All Other Sailing Instruction – Cruising & Dinghy

    (This includes all adult instruction and any once or twice/week or weekend program design).

    Grey & Shutdown – no programs permitted.

    Red – Recreational based programs permitted ONLY if 2m distancing can be maintained throughout for participants and instructors (Emergencies exempt). Indoor group size in whole facility limited to 10 participants, outside to 25 participants.

    Green/Yellow/Orange – programs permitted to run; maintain 2m distance unless needed for specific instruction; masks or face coverings are required except when exercising or playing sports.

    Questions about COVID Regulations

    We have provided as much clarity as possible based on the Regulations themselves. If you have questions, please contact Lisa Roddie at or Glenn Lethbridge at

    Please Note: Ontario Sailing does not set any COVID-related regulations or restrictions regarding your activities. We are sharing publicly available information regarding Provincial laws. Each organization’s board or owner is responsible for understanding your legal situation, managing your risk, making decisions on how to proceed, and managing any consequences; Ontario Sailing takes no responsibility for your reliance on the information we provide in our COVID-related communications.

  • 17 Nov 2020 9:39 AM | Matthew Burpee (Administrator)

    2:00pm, Sunday, November 22

    Please RSVP on website at The virtual AGM details and private link to the Zoom call will only shared by email.

    We ask that you get ready in advance. Please download and setup the virtual meeting software from We will be using the polling function within the application. How to use Zoom:

    Please contact us or reach out to others in the Facebook Group if you need help or have any questions.

    Thank you

  • 10 Nov 2020 8:39 PM | Bruce Hanson

    Help us Keep Ontario Beautiful (our little part of it):

    Mowing leaves into mulch:

    - last call, quick pass with the mowers to get the last of the leaves, including outside the front gate

    Removal of invasives:

    - dig out 2 dozen phragmites on the wild spit

    - cut down a big buckthorn, uproot a few babies on western bank

    - dig out isolated knotweed babies from the sand by the ramp

  • 07 Nov 2020 3:58 PM | Matthew Burpee (Administrator)

    We need your opinion! Waterfront Toronto has recently released a Marine Use Strategy that includes a proposal for public marine transportation services (water taxi or seabus) to facilitate access to points throughout the Outer Harbour - with a stop at our club.

    While the proposed public transportation service is a great way to provide more access to the points indicated on the map such as M6 (Cherry Beach), M7(Water Rats) and M8 (Leslie Spit) on page 19, it doesn't address the concern for the safety and security of recreational water users (including sailors and kayakers and their boats). It is also lacking consideration of other options to provide access, such as improvements to existing transportation routes (i.e.: lighting on Goodman Trail), augmented TTC bus service along Unwin Rd, or increased bike share locations.

    Waterfront Toronto is asking for comments on their plans. Please take some time this weekend to review the proposal and complete the survey before it closes on this MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9th. Let's make sure that our concerns are taken into consideration.

    Proposed PlanThe Survey

    Thank you Dianne Davis for bringing this to our attention. 

    Check our Facebook discussion as well. 

    See you online at the AGM on Nov 22 at 2pm, and safely on the water in 2021. 

  • 04 Nov 2020 12:25 PM | Matthew Burpee (Administrator)

    We recently took advantage of the lake being low to remove gravel on a beach, and level up some puddle spots.

  • 19 Oct 2020 2:06 PM | Bruce Hanson
    • approx. half an hour (earn credit for one volunteer hour)

    • 2 meter spacing with masks

    • on-shore work, feet stay dry

    • help to slide one dock on top of another

  • 28 Sep 2020 7:03 PM | Matthew Burpee (Administrator)

    Race Results (PDF) | Photo Gallery Event on Facebook | Instagram

    By Beata Sejane, race organizer, and Jonathan Lazdins

    To many, 2020 has presented challenges unlike any in recent history. But the positive spirits and can-do attitude of cat sailors, sponsors and organizers at Water Rats Sailing Club contributed to another successful Regatta. Water Rats hosted the Water Cats Fall Regatta on September 26 & 27. Twenty-four (24) catamarans competed in light to medium air on the first day with strong breeze on the final day. The sun and the beautiful skyline of Toronto were shining along with all those who contributed to the event by supporting the sport. It revealed the remarkable passion, enthusiasm and love for sailing that is present in the sailing community in Toronto.

    It is hard to find words to thank the large team of volunteers who dedicated their time and efforts who made this Regatta successful, Fogh Marine and North Sails taking the lead. A special thank you goes to Morten Fogh, Geoffrey Moore and Louisa Bobyk.

    Huge thank you to Race Committee Maxim Newby, Jimmy Sabourin, Kevin Smith, Peter Eagar, Andrew Mahoney, Rahm De-Undergrad and David Chennels; Race Chairs Beata Sejane and Marvin Coulson; Communications Matthew Burpee and Ed Young; Results Dan Borg, Rahm De-Undergrad and Marty Vandenberg; Weekly race practice Jimmy Sabourin and Dan Borg; OHCC, JTown and Westwood Sailing Clubs for extra crash/pin boats; Jessica Lee, Michael Williamson, Kate McMurray, Dean Goodwin, Murray Kibler for awesome photos and videos; Benoit Friolet, Jessica Lee, Mike Doell and Ray Davies for terrific rescue/race support; Greg Brothers for purchasing and delivering 15 gallons of gas; and a very special shoutout to Robert Wessel for lending us his big cat to be used as a Committee Boat. Thanks to everyone from near and far who came out to make this event a success, from Burlington Beach Catamaran Club, Westwood Sailing Club, Outer Harbour Centerboard Club, St. James Town Sailing Club, Toronto Multihull Cruising Club, Etobicoke Yacht Club, and Mississauga Sailing Club. Congrats to all winners and a special shout out to first in their fleets, Andrew Woods of Burlington Beach Catamaran Club in his foiling super cool A Class cat (Low Portsmouth), along with Andy Warwick and Mike McKnight of Etobicoke Yacht Club in their supercharged Hobie 16 (High Portsmouth).

    Here are some photos and videos from the Regatta, please feel free to add yours!

    Shared Google Photo Gallery

    Thanks again and see you on the water!


    Race Results | Photo Gallery Event on Facebook | Instagram

  • 20 Sep 2020 10:01 PM | Bruce Hanson

    Oct 17, 24 Saturday mornings from 10-12:  This year we're going to mulch the leaves, not throw them away. Each team will have: 

    -  1 person to pull leaves from under boats, clear twigs away and throw them out

    -  1 mower who will be mulching up the leaves

    Need more than two hours? Just bring a lunch! Prefer some other date or time?  Come when it suits you.  Because there’s only two mowers, if you want to come Saturday, please reserve your day.

  • 04 Sep 2020 1:36 PM | Matthew Burpee (Administrator)

    The Regatta Road gate near Unwin Ave will be locked beginning this weekend‬ (Sep 4) for the near future to reduce illegal activity such as garbage dumping and presumably others such as overnight parties and cruising.

    OHSF members must apply their code to use and return key from lockbox and then close gate.

    The City of Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation @TorontoPFR thank you for your cooperation. 

    See Norm’s email for more details on the process.

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