The Renfrew Curling club has a long and rich history in the Ottawa Valley. Founded in September 1874, the first curlers threw the first iron stones on the Bonnechere river. The Chairman of the first meeting was a gentleman of Scottish descent by the name of McLeod. A Board of Directors was formed at this meeting led by Dr. David O’Brien as the first President.
The original facility was built on land leased from the Sons of Temperance Society for one dollar per annum. It was two sheets of natural ice. The club and facility has evolved and grown over the past century. Most importantly , it is now licensed. The current facility was built in 1917 and has stood as the town’s curling club ever since! It too was built on land purchased from the Temeprance Society.
Many people passing by notice the bricked up windows on the ice shed and wonder what this building was prior to being a curling club. Well folks it has always been a curling club. Members curled on natural ice until the 1950's. The club canvassed it's 150 members and secured pledges of $14,000 to build the the ice plant and install artificial ice. Followed by approval to replace the old iron stones with the granite stones in 1953.
? Did You Know
A curling stone is made of 2 types of granite that can only be found in quarries in Scotland & Wales. Prior to using granite curlers used iron stones!
In 1973 major structural renovations took place to repair the foundation, roof and maintaing the existing brine pipes and ice plant with a cost of about $75,000. The Government assisted the club with the financing under a 'Make Work Program'.
The most recent evolution is the change of the corporate structure which took place in 2008. The club went from private ownership, held by a number of shareholders to ownership by the members. This was a huge step, and means that all members have a say in the management of the club and have a responsibility for the ongoing health and growth of the club.
Since 2009 and with the assistance of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the overwhelming support of the club's members and our community the club has replaced the entire ice plant, the brine pipes, the furnace, water heaters, mechanical room elecrtrical, installed warning and ventilation systems to ensure safety, refurbished the bar and kitchen, installed an alarm system, and have started to replace old lighting to reduce the clubs energy foot print.
Our club has played a significant role in the development of curling in this region. Now you can be a part of that story.