From its base on the western shore of Lake Ontario, SailTime Ontario members can reach various ports throughout the North Shore of Lake Ontario. SailTime Ontario offers a way for Toronto-based sailors to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and take a breath of fresh air on the water.
What can you tell me about the history of sailing in Ontario?
Trade between Canada and the United States led to the growth of sailing on Lake Ontario in the 1800s. Sailing has always been a part of the trade routes of the Great Lakes. This made way for the popularity of sailing in Toronto, which is Canada’s most populous city. Several recreational sailboat manufacturers got their start in the vibrant sailing city. The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is now considered a hub for recreational sailing, and it’s a multifaceted sailing industry.
Why do people like sailing in Ontario?
SailTime Ontario is based in Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto, Ontario. Toronto sits on one of the world’s most beautiful lakes and the city’s population is naturally drawn to the water. The waterfront culture thrives in Toronto, and waterfront recreation has always been a part of the community.
The sailing season typically runs from May through October. Because Lake Ontario borders both Canada and the U.S., sailors can easily travel to various ports in both countries. The lake is contiguous to the Thousand Islands, a popular tourist and boating area near Kingston on the eastern shore. The St. Lawrence River leads out of the lake from Kingston and into the Hudson Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Most sailors don’t travel from Lake Ontario to the ocean often, but it’s possible.
Tell me about SailTime Ontario and the team
Navy Point Marine, a marina and boat sales facility based out of New York, owns SailTime Ontario. Steve McPherson, co-owner of Navy Point Marine, operates SailTime Ontario. Steve has owned Navy Point for the past 25 years, along with his business partner, Peter Leubner. The company expanded into the Toronto area a decade ago. It now has sales offices in Toronto, Mississauga, and Rochester, as well as a complete 150 slip marina, service center, and yacht sales operation in Sackets Harbor, New York.
Steve grew up in Ithaca, New York where he spent his days sailing on the Finger Lakes. His cousin owned a sailboat dealership, and Steve worked with him throughout college. After college, Steve became a corporate engineer, and he and his wife moved to the mountains of North Carolina (with no nearby lakes). After five years, they missed the water and moved back north. Steve gave up his career as a corporate engineer to work on the water full time.
Steve’s wife Christy handles the social media for SailTime Ontario (and Navy Point Marine). Dave Hill is the location’s manager and Kathy Andruch is the facilitator.
Steve and Christy have two grown daughters who, like them, grew up sailing.
Can you tell me about a feature member and/or owner member?
SailTime Ontario is actively looking for owner members who would like to join the team. They want to get more people on the water in an affordable way, and the way to do that is through owner members. It’s the perfect way to own a boat and offset the cost. Owner members can also be an integral part of a tight-knit community.
As Steve points out, this is a family-owned business, and he enjoys getting to know his clients. That’s the allure of being in the boat business… particularly SailTime.
What boats are in the SailTime Ontario Fleet?
SailTime Ontario is looking to expand its fleet. There currently are memberships available.