The History of the Bertie Boating Club
In the winter of 1957, a group of six men who had a keen interest in sport fishing and recreational boating formed a club called the Bertie Boating Club. By the summer of 1958, the membership grew to fifty local residents of Bertie Township and the village of Crystal Beach. In August of that same year, the club applied for and was granted a Charter as a non-profit organization from the Province of Ontario.
In 1969, a clubhouse was built on land on the east side of Point Abino Road between the road and shores of Lake Erie. As the membership grew, the needs for launching and docking facilities grew. An extensive development for docking facilities and basin expansion, was approved by the Ministry in 1986. Work is still ongoing in this development, which was partially funded by funds raised through Bingo and membership dues.
To date, the basin includes 161 docking slips along a north and south wall with a double ramp. The basin was dredged in the spring of 1988, which led to an average water depth of 5 feet to accommodate larger boats. In the summer of 1990, the parking facilities were expanded and improved for the increase of traffic flow and parking requirements. That same summer, approximately on half of the conventional fixed docks were converted to floating docks with the remaining docks to be completed in 1991. A patio was built on the clubhouse with a canopy and a liquor license was awarded in 1990. Lighting and paving of the parking lot, as well as construction of a storage shed and a pavilion were completed by 1995.
In 1997 an office was created on the second floor of the pavilion to accommodate the business side of the club. Recently the clubhouse has been renovated with a new bar, fireplace, and new kitchen, the basin has been reconfigured slightly to help deal with the low water and a new style of floating dock completed the renovation in 2002.
Presently, there are approximately 200 members who are residents of the Town of Fort Erie and the surrounding communities including summer residents from New York State and the Toronto area. Not only does the club serve boating members, the club promotes and supports other organizations to utilize the facility both in the summer and the winter.