Walking into Stanley Park from Coal Harbour the Vancouver Rowing Club is the first structure you see, perched above the water between leafy trees that glow a fiery red in the fall and burst with blossoms in the spring.
The rowing club was formed in 1886 and the building we see today was opened in 1911 — 5 years before Lost Lagoon became a lake and was locked off from the open ocean. The Rowing Club fits perfectly into pictures of the park, where city and Seawall meet forest, so I’ve chosen it as today’s Vancouver Icons photo feature:
There is an extensive multi-part history section on the Vancouver Rowing Club’s website that tells of its beginnings and its legendary members over the years:
In 1910 the decision was made to erect a new clubhouse. Plans were made for “a reading room, reception hall, ballroom, gymnasium and accommodation for all racing boats, canoes and training quarters for the crews”. The Provincial Construction Company won the contract with a bid of $13,000.
The final cost was closer to $15,000, of which nearly $10,000 was raised through the sale of $100 Life Memberships. The new clubhouse was officially opened on September 9, 1911. This building was essentially what we have today, without the Trophy Lounge; which was added in 1936. In 1990 the VRC clubhouse received heritage designation from the Vancouver City Council.
The Vancouver Rowing Club is home to field hockey, rowing, rugby, yachting, and social memberships. The social membership is offered to local joggers who would like to use the club’s member lounges and workout facilities.
Previous Vancouver Icons posts: Echoes, Point Atkinson Lighthouse, English Bay Inukshuk, Hollow Tree, Hotel Europe, Lions Gate Bridge Lions, LightShed, Granville Bridge, 217.5 Arc x 13′, Canoe Bridge, Vancouver Block, Bloedel Conservatory, Centennial Rocket, Canada Place, Old Courthouse/Vancouver Art Gallery, Dominion Building, Science World, Gastown Steam Clock, SFU Burnaby, Commodore Lanes, Siwash Rock, Kitsilano Pool, White Rock Pier, Main Post Office, Planetarium Building, Lord Stanley Statue, Vancouver Library Central Branch, Victory Square, Digital Orca, The Crab Sculpture, Girl in Wetsuit, The Sun Tower, The Hotel Vancouver, The Gassy Jack Statue, The Marine Building, and The Angel of Victory. Should you have a suggestion for the Vancouver Icons series please feel free to leave a note in the comments. It should be a thing, statue, or place that is very visible and recognizable to the public.