The story of the Ottawa Rowing Club is steeped in history. Founded in 1867, Canada’s oldest rowing club is a non-profit, volunteer-driven, community organization. Its founding father was Sir John A. Macdonald and it has been in existence for more than 150 years.

The ORC’s story isn’t just a story of early hours and intense training to go fly on water. The ORC – and the sport of rowing – is about committing to a communal goal larger than any one person. It’s about team. It’s about giving heart and soul in pursuit of something great, something special, meaningful, inclusive and for many, life changing. While the ORC has always been and is still is today driven by the big, warm hearts of volunteers and rowers who make it a mission to strengthen and unite our greater community one stroke, and one smile, at a time; it is built on resources made possible by the generosity of sponsors, donors, partners and people like you. Rowing shells, blades, docks, motor boats, dryland training equipment and essential tools for our volunteer coaches are critical to our mission.

We are in the midst of a severe flood at the ORC. It is the second one the club has faced since 2017. The Ottawa River is our playground. But it has a life of its own and it will live, breath and go where it likes. We are at its mercy and right now it is devastatingly crippling. The clean up will be monstrous, the recovery challenging. We’ve done it before and will do it again. But not without all hands on deck and many kind hearts contributing to our team.

We are gratefully accepting donations to support our non profit. Tax receipts will be issued for donations given to the ORC via the National Sport Trust Fund – Ontario. Below are donation links to two ORC fundraising initiatives. Donations to Let’s Row Ottawa support equipment and general operating expenses. Donations to Shell Out for Shells support investment in rowing shells only. By giving though one of these links you will receive a tax receipt and you will make a big difference:

Let’s Row Ottawa: http://www.sport4ontario.ca/lro.html

Shell Out for Shells: http://www.sport4ontario.ca/sofs.html

When the water level recedes enough and we can install our docks and clean up from the flood, we will need many, many volunteers to help. We will put a call out when that time comes. It will take many hard hours to put things back in place. These hours will be easier with well fed and cared for volunteers. We are grateful accepting donations of food, baked goods, beverages (i.e, water, juice) to help fuel the clean up that’s to come. If you are in a position to donate this way please reach out to melissa@ottawarowingclub.com.

Thank you for contributing. Our community is an incredibly strong, tight-knit one, for which we are so grateful.

Photo credit: Christian Weber