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Digiital 09-12-2007 11:08 AM

Marina's in Toronto
So what are the options in the Toronto area(west of the city) for
winter liveaboard? I know of Port Credit Marina, and Harbourfront(full for the season) any others?

Valiente 09-12-2007 11:49 AM

Bluffers' Park and Marina Quay West at the foot of Spadina, plus Port Credit Yacht Club. Since the destruction of the Lakeshore power plant, however, the PCYC has become less appealing as there isn't a permanent flow of warm water in the basin.

In other words, you'll need bubblers and 2 x 4s on hose-covered chains to fend off the occasional ice. Most people enclose their decks in a wood-frame plastic greenhouse, which means you've got a crack at keeping the heat in. You've got to do a number of things with vents and fans to keep the condensation down, however, and it's best to talk with people who've actually learned the hard way.

I would estimate that perhaps 200 people do this in Toronto each winter. It's not as popular as it once was, because people aren't as hardy, or frankly, as young as they once were as boat owners.

I'm doing it next winter for the first time. I expect to run space heaters and a diesel heater 24/7 at certain points.

Digiital 09-12-2007 12:02 PM


Marina Quay West is full for the season. Bluffers is too far for my work(I work in Brampton). Port Credit YC is a option, but not sure if you have to join the club for just winter liveaboard.

I hope to get my boat into the water this Thursday after working on it. I bought it back in August from FL. So I know I still have lots of work to do on it for the winter.

Don't understand the 2x4 on hose covered chains, whats that for? Or how is that setup?

Valiente 09-12-2007 10:39 PM


Originally Posted by Digiital (Post 191699)
Don't understand the 2x4 on hose covered chains, whats that for? Or how is that setup?

The hose is to keep the chains from wrecking the gelcoat/paint on the side of the hull. The chains are chafe- and ice-proof ways of attaching 2 x 4s or planks that sit at the waterline. The movement of the boat and the water itself moves the planks and discourages the formation of ice against the hull. You can glue foam on the "ship" side of the wood to keep it from marring the hull. Hang them from the toerails.

If you sat in a freezer and poked a glass of water with a stick, it would take far longer to freeze...same idea.

Yofy 10-05-2007 06:54 AM

There aren't as many options in west Toronto as in east Toronto... and we hear it's getting harder to find space. Port Credit Marina or Yatch Club are good choices. You can winter in one marina and then summer in another, if you want to move closer to work. Lots of folks do that.

We lived aboard a Catalina 27 for 9 years in Pickering before we fled for warmer climes. Yes you need to be hardy - filling water tanks in -20 *C is no picnic- but there are wonderful moments. You get used to the bubblers and quite proficeint at heat insulation and battling condensation.

Now we battle the odd sand storm and dehydration. It's a great life :D

winterbuoy 10-08-2007 01:33 PM

We live at Mimico Cruising Club year round. 4 boats will be staying in the water this winter. Club rules allow only 6 boats per winter but it's never full. The only thing is you have to join the club and be a member for 2 years before you can stay during the winter months. Winter time has it's drawbacks but where could you live in almost downtown Toronto for the little money we pay? You can't.

Borvaprops 10-14-2007 08:03 AM


I think you should come and stay at the bluffers for the winter. They still have spots for the winter season. Maybe you need to compromise as far as getting to work at least for the winter time. Hope you get in sooner than later



kengoodings 11-06-2007 02:56 PM

Apply now to Marina Quay West! They may keep you on the waiting list for next year. It is the best place to be in Toronto and we enjoyed four lovely winters there. The facility is 1st rate and close to all amenities and transportation with bi-weekly pumpouts, lots of available shorepower, decent washrooms/showers/laundry and free underground parking. Filling water tanks is no big deal. We last a month on ours (no showering aboard) but the whole community fills boats on sunny Saturdays or Sundays.

TheStorm 11-14-2007 05:28 PM

PCYC is fixed at 13 spots for this winter, all of which are full right now, you do have to be a member and it’ll go on a seniority basis if ever they have more Live-Aboards than winter slips. Whether or not they continue to allow winter Live-Aboards and/or the number of slips available will be reassessed every year. It has outstanding facilities.

Port Credit Harbour Marina (PCHM) has the most winter Live-Aboards, around 40 this year. In the olden days they had over 80, but the number has been dwindling over the years. It has an outstanding location in the heart of the village and walking distance to everything – bars, restaurants, train, bus, etc. Getting a slip there isn’t a problem.

Marina Quay West has about 25 or so, you will be placed on a waiting list but the list isn’t very long, although the wait time does depend on boat size. Its facilities are somewhere between PCYC and PCHM but if you work downtime or want to live downtown, you can’t beat its location.

I don’t know how many boats winter at Bluffers these days but from what I saw last year I’d guess about the save as Marina Quay West. It should be fairly easy to get a slip there but the location isn’t great unless you happen to work in the area. Facilities are okay.

There are also about five boats that winter in Hamilton, along the wall next to the Macassa Bay Yacht Club. The facilities are poor but the people who winter there seem happy enough. Both Mimico and Lakeshore Yacht Clubs allow a very limited number of boats, too, but you need to be members for 2-years and the limited spots are awarded based on seniority. That's all I know of between Bluffers and Hamilton, and I'd guess that 200 would be a bit high. Probably around 125 boats or so in total.

-The Storm

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