The club, the oldest and largest of its type in Canada, dates back to 1872 by the Orioles, an amateur rowing club. The Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League were originally created as an off-season training recreational activity for the club members.
The club is located on Lakeshore Boulevard West, west of the Exhibition Place. The original club house was at the foot of York Street and relocated to the current Dowling Avenue location in 1921. The club began to slide in the late 1970s and was nearly folded in 1979, The club made a recovery in the 1980s to the current state.
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 breakwalls.