Like may of our boaters today, in 1881 the Breithaupt family from Kitchener came to Penetanguishene “for a visit, an stayed to play”. They purchased the property for an industrial tannery business known as Breithaupt Leather Company.
The easy availability of the hemlock bark necessary to the tanning process, the convenience of the rail line and the beauty of the Georgian Bay location was the beginning of one of the largest industries in Penetanguishene.
Today you can still spot Tannery Point on charts and maps. Sons Louis and John Breithaupt, along with a partner Z.A. Hall continued to develop the facility for the next 60 years as a business and summer residence, later known as Bay Moorings.
Z.A. Hall was the Mayor of Penetanguishene in 1896 and Louis’s son Louis Orville Breithaupt Jr. went on to become the 18th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Canada from 1952-1957.
Albert Melchior purchased the tannery property in 1961 and named it Bay Moorings Yacht Club.
The Marina at the time consisted of six covered slips which were later destroyed by ice during the spring thaw. Jack Woltfhart, who continues to boat on Georgian Bay, was the first paying sailboat customer. Over the next 30+ years the Melchier family did considerable upgrades to the facility. The industrial buildings were demolished, additional dockage added, a tennis court, pool, boater’s clubhouse (which later became The Bay Moorings Inn) and beautiful landscaping was introduced to the resort style setting.
The facility changed hands in 1999 when three brothers Frank, John and Bob Lepchi purchased the property and added the marina to their growing business with two additional marinas on Lake Simcoe, Marina Del Ray and Gulf Rock Marina.
In 2004 visionary company Parkbridge Life Style Communities purchased the property to complement their ever growing land lease development and recreational resort business. Bay Moorings Marina became the first Marina property owned by Parkbridge. Four additional marina properties were purchased over the next five years making Parkbridge a leader in the boating industry.
January 2011 a new exciting stage in the growth of Parkbridge was announced with a new company bcIMC coming “on board” to continue with the growth of Parkbridge communities.
bcIMC is an investment management corporation based in Victoria, British Columbia, that manages global investments. Although the ownership of Bay Moorings changed hands the business plan and vision of continuous improvement, quality customer service and growth has not.