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Henley Island

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Henley Island is a small island on Martindale Pond. It is open to the public and pets are permitted. There is a clubhouse on the island that can be rented by the public. The clubhouse for rent is owned by The St. Catharines Rowing Alumni Association.

The Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, a large rowing event is located on Henley Island as well as various other rowing events throughout the year.

Martindale Pond, a small man-made lake close to Port Dalhousie was created to accommodate vessels navigating the earlier routes of the Welland Canal. A weir was built across Twelve Mile Creek transforming the valley into Martindale Pond.

As early as 1840 the sport of rowing was becoming popular in Canada. Rowing had always been a popular sport in Britain and the enthusiasm for the sport was taking hold among the newly established colonists as well.

rowers c1920
Rowers in Port Dalhousie Harbour c 1920

In the 1880's the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta was established in Toronto, Ontario and named after a famous regatta in Britain. In 1903 the St. Catharines Rowing Club hosted the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, and an agreement was made to allow for the regatta to use the site permanently.

In 1904 a shellhouse was built at the south end of the course and a grandstand at the finish line. In 1931 a new grandstand was constructed and in 1965 the racing channel was widened and dredged and Henley Island was enlarged to accommodate a new shellhouse.

Today the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta is North America’s premier regatta and the course on the Twelve Mile Creek is rated as an international-class course.

The entrance to Henley Island is located on Main Street in Port Dalhousie aproximately 2 kms west of Lakeside Park.