Etobicoke Squadron was created in 2009 from the consolidation of two proud Squadrons having a combined commitment of 101 years of experience offering safe boating through education: namely Centennial Park Squadron (whose warrant was dated June 4, 1957) and Humber Valley Squadron (whose warrant was dated September 2, 1958).
Humber Valley Squadron History
2008 - 50Th Anniversary
Humber Valley Power and Sail Squadron, a unit of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons, has conducted safe boating courses in Etobicoke for 50 years. Beginning in 1958, the courses were first taught at Toronto Humber Yacht Club. In later years, they were offered at Kingsmill Secondary School, and finally at Martingrove Collegiate Institute, where they are being taught today.
In 2001, we extended our community base by offering the BoatPro programme at Loblaws Burnhamthorpe Market and also at the Boulevard Club on Lakeshore Road. More recently, we have offered courses at the Mimico Cruising Club.
These courses have always been open to anyone, with a fee to cover the costs. The Squadron is a volunteer organization using trained, competent unpaid instructors. The students in our introductory Boating Course are instructed in such boating safety topics as boat handling, rules of the road, charts and buoys, navigation, and weather. Students receive a certificate on successful completion of the course and the exam. Many successful students have become long term members of the Squadron and have gone on to assist with the instruction of new students as well as volunteering for Squadron Bridge functions.
Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons began developing much-needed courses for children in the early 1980's. Humber Valley was one of the first Squadrons to work with children, largely due to efforts of P/C Harry Streit and his wife. Since 1984, the Squadron has offered the CPS official children's program, BoatWise, for 8 to 12 year olds and short boating safety programs for younger children. These have been given at Brentwood Library, Richview Library, Islington Community School, Humber Valley Village Junior Middle School, various Yacht Clubs, and for several Boy Scout Troops. In addition, one particularly dedicated member, S/C Harold Forbes, ran the BoatWise program every summer for 16 years up on Chandos Lake until his untimely passing in 2006. Over 600 children on this lake benefited form this program.
Humber Valley is particularly proud of the fact that two of our members have contributed significantly to the overall success of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons by achieving the rank of Chief Commander. They are P/C/C George Bruce, N (1969-1971) and P/C/C Ted Phillips, N (1971-1973).
The Squadron has always tried, over the years, to make the public aware of the importance of boating safety. We have set up and maned displays at several Etobicoke shopping malls, promoting safety on our waterways. In addition, our members have volunteered at many Boat Shows in the Greater Toronto area. Many of the people reached through these events have taken our BoatPro course and received their Pleasure Craft Operating Card. Several have then gone on to take the introductory Boating Course and have become long-term members of the Squadron.
New courses are continuously being developed, especially in the area of electronic navigational equipment. Our instructional techniques have been updated with most, if not all, being presented using computers and electronic projectors. In addition, most course material included a CD with useful information and exercises for the students. Many CD's contain simulator programs in order that the students may practice what they have been taught in the classroom.
Humber Valley Squadron will continue to teach boating safety and related courses in Etobicoke to students of all ages. We consider it vital to reach as many boaters (and potential boaters) as possible in this day of crowded recreational waterways in Ontario.
Centennial Park Squadron History
2007 - 50th Anniversary
Centennial Park Power and Sail Squadron, a unit of Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPS), had its beginnings as the Long Branch Power Squadron (LBPS). Centennial Park continues to promote safe boating ideals among boaters on the western edge of Toronto.
As the Commander, Wilbert Ailles was joined by 10 fellow Bridge Members in receiving the Charter on June 4, 1957 from CPS that marked the birth of the Long Branch Squadron. This enabled LBPS to function in partnership with the other squadrons in the York District of CPS, which at that time included the area from Frenchman's Bay west to Port Credit and north to Newmarket.
LBPS quickly got into the training mode by offering its first piloting course for power boaters later in 1957, with students from the communities along the shoreline of Lake Ontario in the vicinity of the Town of Long Branch; hence, the natural choice of the name for the squadron. There were 48 graduates from this inauguaral 20-week class.
Success of the squadron quickly inspired the creation of many other squadrons near and far, as certain LBPS members ventured off to form the Humber Valley, Keswick, Weston, and Ashbridge's Bay Squadrons.
In 1960, CPS set up its first headquarters location in the LBPS area and in 1965, LBPS made a loan of $200.00 to the CPS Headquarters Building Fund, followed by donations of $420, $430 and $200 over the next 2 years; notable gestures in those days.
An observation LBPS has good reason to be proud of, is the rise of many of its Past Commanders to the highest level of CPS, acheiving the ranks of Chief, Vice, Rear and District Commanders.
As all things related to boating were rapidly changing, LBPS sensed the winds and in 1977, the squadron changed its name to Centennial Park Power and Sail Squadron (CPPS), to better identify with and serve the greatly expanded community that eventually became the western part of the City of Toronto.
At the 50-year mark, CPPS takes pride in constantly preserving the CPS Mission and promoting its membership. In addition, the squadron pledges to continue into the future, at the forefront of CPS and the boating fraternity.