Colonel Allan Gilmour (1816-1895) and his brother-in-law James Manuel established the curling club in 1851. At the time, both men were wealthy lumber giants in Bytown (Ottawa).
Beechwood cemetary plot
Evolution Of The Club
- Starting with just 14 members, the Bytown Curling Club is the oldest club in the area by 37 years. It began on the Rideau Canal.
- 1855 – The club name switched to the Ottawa Curling Club. Members didn't use rocks - they each brought their own “iron” rocks to play - and did so for a century.
- 1858 – A shed on Lisgar Street provides for 1 sheet of ice.
- 1860 – Gilmour pays for a lumber shed for 1 sheet of ice where the Supreme Court now stands, which was close to his home.
- 1861 – For a cup donated by Joseph Currier, the Ottawa and Buckingham Curling Clubs begin an annual competition that continues today. Another rich lumberman, Currier, after suffering the death of 3 children and 2 wives builds a stone mansion called Gorffwysfa (Welsh for 'place of rest'). The mansion is located at 24 Sussex Drive.
- 1867 – A frame rink for 2 sheets of ice is erected on Albert Street.
- 1875 – The long association of Governors General begins when the Marquis of Dufferin donates the first Governor General Trophy for a double-rink iron competition. The Ottawa eventually wins 31 including 4 of 5 gifted by Lord Stanley and 1 gifted by Earl Grey. The Ottawa has its own Stanley and Grey Cups!
- 1878 – The Albert Street rink is moved south to Vittoria Street at a cost of $510.
Sir Sanford Fleming
- 1879 – Some illustrious members join: Sir Sanford Fleming, the engineer of the CPR and time zone inventor as well as Canada’s second Prime Minister, Alexander McKenzie.
- 1888 – Lead by Sir Sanford Fleming, disgruntled OCC curlers form their own club because of the Ottawa’s temperance policy.
- 1899 – The Royal Victoria Jubilee Trophy is gifted by the Royal Caledonian Curling Club to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The Ottawa wins the inaugural trophy, but does not win it again until 1939. The Jubilee was for many years the most prestigious curling event to win in the country.
- 1906 - John Manuel, President of the Club since the death of his uncle Allan Gilmour in1895,erects at his own expense a modern three-story brick building with three sheets of ice on the Vittoria site. Described as the finest club quarters in Canada, it is officially opened by Governor General Earl Grey, who throws the first stone. Opening day also features a match between Ottawa and Arnprior for the Quebec Challenge Cup, which was initiated in 1874 and is still being contested today.
- 1914 – John Manuel dies and is succeeded by nephew and heir James Manuel, who was a main force in the establishment of the Royal Ottawa Hospital. The Vittoria site is expropriated by the federal government. A similar building is begun by James Manuel at 440 O'Connor Street, with a bowling green alongside for the Vittoria Bowling Club.
O'Conner Street Facade
- 1916 – The 4 sheet O'Connor Street building opens; that same year the Centre Block of Parliament burns down.
- 1921 – The end of an era. The Manuel family line ends with the death of Dr. William Manuel, a brother of James. The Club property is turned over to a trust company for management.
- 1929 - Letters patent are granted under the Companies Act of Ontario, incorporating The Ottawa Curling Club, Limited "to promote the games of curling and bowling". The Club is acquired from the Manuel estate by mortgaging the property and with proceeds from a stock issue (425 shares at $50 each).
- 1931 – The first artificial curling ice in Ottawa is installed and a fifth sheet added.
- 1933 – Women are allowed to curl in their own division and the Vittoria Lawn Bowling Club ceases operation during the Depression.
- 1851-1895: Col. Allan Gilmour
- 1895-1914: John Manuel
- 1914-1917: James Manuel
- 1918-1921: William Manuel
- 1922-1936: George F. Henderson, KC
- 1936-1942: Hugh Carson
- 1942-1950: Darcy Finn
- 1950-1952: Olin Beach
- 1952-1955: W.E. Hodgins
- 1955-1958: Ted Moffat
- 1958-1961: B. Brocklesby
- 1961-1963: Howard Grills
- 1964-1966: Alan Brown
- 1966-1968: Gordie Perry
- 1968-1970: Harold Scrim
- 1970-1972: Bill Davis
- 1972-1974: E. Macdonald
- 1974-1976: Don MacKinnon
- 1976-1978: Dick Rich
- 1978-1980: Dave Smith
- 1980-1982: Stan Grover
- 1982-1984: Ted Root
- 1984-1986: Pat Craig
- 1986-1988: Bob York
- 1988-1990: Rod Matheson
- 1990-1992: Sandra Chisholm
- 1992-1994: Brad Shinn
- 1994-1996: Steve Mitchell
- 1996-1998: Eric Johannsen
- 1998-2000: Barbara Brown
- 2000-2002: Terry Clark
- 2002-2004: Gord Perry
- 2004-2006: Gayle Greene
- 2006-2008: Gord Kritsch
- 2008-2012: Geoff Colley
- 2012-2014: Michael Loewen
- 2014-2016: Tom Sinclair
- 2016-2018: Matthew Kellett
- 2018-2020: Eddie Chow
- 2020-2022: Mike Burke
- 2022-present: Nicole Merriman