Peter gave a very interesting presentation on his family as boat builders, detailing the long history of wooden boat construction in Ontario by the Aykroyds. The remarkable output over the decades is perhaps best highlighted by the Aykroyd 14 foot dinghy. Many were built and many still survive. Some are even still raced.
ABOUT PETER AYKROYD
PETER AYKROYD is one of the sixth generation of Aykroyds in Canada and a grandson of the renowned Toronto builder of fine wooden boats – George Aykroyd, “Dean of the Dinghies”.
After graduating from the University of Toronto in 1965, Peter attended Osgoode Hall Law School before switching to become a Chartered Accountant – a career that he pursued for over forty years. Peter retired as a partner of a Bay Street national accounting firm nine years ago. After a five-year absence from Toronto, he and his wife, Gillian, returned in 2014. He is an officer and director of several private corporations, including Amanti Della Cucina Ltd., an enterprise devoted to researching, preserving and celebrating the cuisines of Italy’s twenty regions.
Peter’s parents met while on staff at the Taylor Statten Camps where his father was the sailing instructor. While sailboats and sailing had been integral to the Aykroyd family since 1868, Peter became more of an avid canoeist than a sailor. Perhaps this watercraft diversion is a attributable to the fact that although he is not absolutely certain that he shares that unique Canadian distinction of being conceived in a canoe, his mother revealed years ago that he was “the result“ of his parents’ 1942 summer canoe trip.
Peter’s attachment to a family history of sailors and boat builders, surfaces in his attendance since 1997 at the Stoney Lake Yacht Club’s annual Aykroyd 14’ Catboat Regatta, where he has presented the George Aykroyd Award. For over twenty-two years he was a member of the RCYC. His role as a family archivist and historian has resulted in his co-authorship of A Sense of Place – a published 200-year account of the Aykroyd family history in Canada that includes Peter’s detailed section on the Aykroyd boatbuilding legacy and the history of the Aykroyd 14’ dinghy.
Peter has appeared on television and has been a repeat speaker on professional topics, personal development and wilderness canoeing to a number of organizations including the Stoney Lake Yacht Club and annual conferences of the Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants and the Canadian Bar Association. He is currently writing a book on his life-long passion for Italian regional cuisines.
On July 1, 2017, Peter and Gillian will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary. They have two adult children and two teenaged grandchildren.
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