Courses and Clinics

We offer members an essential "Learn to Sail" course covering CANSail 1 & 2 curriculum, as well as a more advanced CANSail 3 course. 

Our instructors are certified by Sail Canada and have years of experience teaching adults to sail in a safe, fun environment.

In addition, we frequently run skill-building clinics, weekly racing-training sessions, Laser sailing workshops, and Nacra catamaran sailing lessons. Watch for announcements of dates.

CANSail 1 & 2  -  Learn to Sail ($80 inc. HST)

Our Learn to Sail programs can take you from “never sailed, but always wanted to learn” to competent sea-dog in a 30 hour course. It will provide you basic sailing skills, boating safety, and familiarity with our fleet of Albacore dinghies. On successfully completing the course you'll be able to sail the club's Albacores in winds up to 10 knots. On completion, you'll be CANSail level 1 & 2 certified.

Our instructors are certified by Sail Canada, and our course is based on the new CANSail standard set out Sail Canada.  The course provides safe instruction for recreation and competitive dinghy sailing.

Dates and Times

We offer several Learn to Sail courses from late April to June. For a complete schedule including dates and times check out our Membership Registration page.

Course Format

Each course consists of an introduction plus ten class units of three hours each. Weekday classes consist of one unit and run 6 to 9 pm, with dinner from 9 to 10 pm. Weekend are two units and run from 9 am to 4 pm, with lunch from 12 to 1 pm.

The first evening of each course is on-land introduction. The club's board members will be there to introduce you to the club, answer any questions, and show you how to set up the sails on our Albacores. For the weekend course the club's board members will arrive at the end of your first day, and go over some of the non sailing attributes of the club.

The first two on-water classes introduce you to sailing. You'll be paired with an experienced sailor from the club - an Old Salt as we like to say. You'll get a chance to control the sails and gain a feel for steering.

A weekday evening class would look like this (all lessons follow the same basic format):

6:00-6:15 pm Arrive, setup and put the boats in the water
6:15-6:45 pm In-class instructions
6:45-8:30 pm On-water instructions
8:30-8:45 pm Put the boats away
8:45-9:00 pm Lesson debriefing
9:00 pm on  Dinner and socializing

We pack a lot into each class, so it's essential that participants arrive on time. Also, carefully review the course schedule and dates for the course of your choosing. Missing more than 6 hours (two classes) of course time puts your graduation in Jeopardy! 


Food is a delicious part of J-Town. After each class, the group prepares a shared meal - students volunteer to supply bread, salad, dessert, or a main course. Cost of the meal is shared by everyone in the class.

Have more questions about courses?

Please contact the Vice Commodore by email:

Intermediate Courses

CANSail 3 ($120 inc. HST)

This fun and challenging 30 hour course runs twice each year and teaches more advanced boat handling and sail trimming skills to those confident in their Learn to Sail skills.

Specific skills covered include:
  • Sail trim for a balanced helm
  • Roll tacking
  • Stopping and starting
  • Backward sailing
CANSail 3 is a fantastic experience for members interested in participating in racing, or those who simply want to push their skills to the next level.

Experienced Sailor Test

New to J-Town but already an experienced dinghy sailor? If you prefer to skip our Learn to Sail course we offer the option to take our Experienced Sailor Test or, as we like to call it, the Old Salt Test.

Tests are conducted in our Albacore dinghies. You will be asked to demonstrate the following:
  • Basic sailboat and sailing knowledge
  • Departing and returning to our docks
  • Tacking and gybing
  • Good sail trim on all points of sail
  • Man overboard drill
  • Capsize recovery
If you haven't sailed for many years, have sailed but not in a dinghy, or you're due for a refresher in any of the above skills, we strongly recommend that you take a Learn to Sail course.

Think you'd like to jump straight to the test? Contact The Vice Commodore at to arrange an Old Salt Test .

Youth Program - Sailing, Rowing and Windsurfing in the Outer Harbour

St. James Town Sailing Club is pleased to partner with the Outer Harbour Sailing Federation (OHSF) to present the FUN & FUNdamentals Water Sports Camp, in which youth of all backgrounds from across the city are introduced to sailing, rowing and windsurfing in a series of half-day or full-day sessions in July and August 2018.

Youths were thrilled to experience first-hand what Toronto’s waterfront has to offer, in a totally different environment from their everyday lives. The photographs and videos tell the story. Learn more and register your children online for their summer adventure.

The OHSF clubs, working through community organizations, have committed funds and resources to allow youth who would not otherwise be able to access this camp. J-Town has also offered to reduce marketing costs by passing on the word to friends and relatives who can afford its very reasonable fees.

The program doesn’t only give young people a wonderful summer experience, it also shows how the OHSF can make a difference in the City and how important it is to have the clubs here on the Waterfront. Thanks to all the volunteers and the clubs for making it happen.
© St. James Town Sailing Club -
10 Regatta Road, Toronto, ON M4T 2P1
(416) 466 - 3421 (May - Sept)
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