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Argonaut Rowing Club

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Title: Argonaut Rowing Club  
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Subject: Toronto sports, Rowing at the 1912 Summer Olympics – Men's eight, Wrestling in Canada, Sherwood Schwarz, David Cynamon
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Argonaut Rowing Club

Argonaut Rowing Club (ARC)
Argonaut Rowing Club logo
Formation 187
Legal status active
Purpose advocate and public voice, educator and network for rowing, coaches, volunteers and events
Official language
English, French
Phil Moorman
Affiliations Canadian Canoe Association, Canadian Dinghy Association, Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons, Canadian Yachting Association,

The Argonaut Rowing Club is an amateur rowing club in Toronto, Canada. The club was founded in 1872. The current head coach is Lubo Kisiov. In the past, the club fielded teams in ice hockey and football, and the football team continues today as the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.


Junior boat in 1925.

The club, the oldest and largest of its type in Canada, dates back to 1872, founded by a group of amateur oarsmen known as the Orioles, which had been participating in races in southern Ontario in the 1860s.[1] The founders chose the blue colours of Oxford and Cambridge universities (the "Double Blue") as the club colours. The first president was H. O'Brien.[2]

The original club house was at the foot of York Street in Toronto Harbour (now filled in and part of the train tracks south of Union Station). It was only large enough for one boat, replaced by a larger clubhouse which was destroyed by fire in 1879 and rebuilt. The club relocated to the current Dowling Avenue location in 1921 after the harbour location was redeveloped for port usage, purchasing land along the waterfront within the new breakwater protected shoreline. In 1947, a fire gutted the club house at Dowling.

Lotte Marks' Argonaut Waltzes (1899) is a musical work dedicated to the Argonaut Rowing Club of Toronto.[3]

Argonaut rowing teams have represented Canada at several Olympics. Argonaut teams represented Canada at 1904, 1908, 1912 and 1950 while Argonaut members represented Canada at other Olympics.[1] Club membership declined in the late 1970s and by 1979, the Argonauts only had four members represent the club at the Henley Regatta. The club made a recovery in the 1980s to the current state.

Clubhouse building on shore of Lake Ontario.

Club members also participated in other sports including the football Argonauts, which was founded as the Argonaut Rugby Football Club in 1873. The football team eventually became a professional club and its revenues subsidized the Club as a whole. The football team was sold in the 1956, and the funds used to set up a trust which funds rowing club activities.

Ice hockey

The club also fielded ice hockey teams in the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) on and off from 1904 to 1923. The Argonauts field a Senior, Intermediate and Junior teams during their time in the OHA. The ice hockey team is credited by Frank Selke as the originators of the modern defense pairing. Until 1906, defensemen in ice hockey were known as the point and cover point. The two points lined up one behind the other at face offs. The Argonaut team moved the players to left and right in the positions used today. The setup is considered to be originated from the style of plays of the Argonauts. The team ran "set plays" reminiscent of football, and moved the players to fit the set plays. The Argonauts were very successful in the first decade of the 1900s and the style caught on in the OHA.[4] The Argonauts never won an OHA championship, but made the playoffs 6 times.

Regular season

  • 1904-05 - 3rd in Group 3, but out of playoffs
  • 1905-06 - 1st in Group 1, but lost in final
  • 1906-07 - 4th in Group 1, but out of playoffs
  • 1909-10 - 1st in Group 1, but lost in final
  • 1910-11 - 1st in Group 1, but lost in final
  • 1911-12 - 2nd in Group 1, but out of playoffs
  • 1913-14 - 4th in Group 2, but out of playoffs
  • 1914-15 - 3rd in Group 2, but out of playoffs
  • 1915-16 - tied 1st in Group 2, lost in Group Final
  • 1919-20 - 4th in Group 2, but out of playoffs
  • 1920-21 - 6th, but out of playoffs
  • 1921-22 - 6th, but out of playoffs
  • 1922-23 - 4th, but out of playoffs


The club uses a 4,000 metre long water course running along the "Western Beaches" of Toronto from the west side of Ontario Place to the mouth of the Humber River within the break wall. The current clubhouse is a two storey brick building.


  • Argonaut Rowing Club
  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^ Sports -The Canadian Encyclopedia of Music
  4. ^ Selke, p. 21

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