Ivy Lea Club Marina | Argue Construction

Metal Solutions Mean Smooth Sailing for Boat Facility Expansion

By Robertson Building Systems

Situated right in the heart of the 1000 Islands, amidst a bucolic 45-acre setting bordering the St. Lawrence River, sits the Ivy Lea Club Marina, which offers state-of-the-art dockage facilities within two natural, protected harbours.

Professional boat handling is a main draw for members of the exclusive club, including three spacious 16,000-square-foot heated boat storage facilities designed to be clean and secure in order to protect members’ large boats during the harsh off-season months. The facilities are all equipped with temperature alarms, a backup generator, and state-of-the-art heating systems, giving club members peace of mind.

Meeting New Storage Demands

The club was expanding and needed space to house even more of their members’ large boats. They had been tarping and shrink-wrapping them, which has its own costs involved. Plus, as a prestigious organization with a high-end clientele, the club owners determined that indoor storage was the logical next step to meet the demand and continue to grow their business.

The Ivy Lea Club ownership brought in Argue Construction, a longtime Robertson builder, to construct the third pre-engineered metal storage facility after the construction firm completed a successful installation of the first two utilizing Robertson products a couple of years ago.

Shawn Argue, owner of the Ottawa-based contracting company, shares that the project—including all three storage facilities—has been straight-forwarded and exceptionally well-suited for Robertson’s pre-engineered metal building systems. Value, flexibility, scheduling, durability, aesthetics and superior service all played a role in Shawn’s decision to utilize Robertson Building Systems for the construction of the three storage spaces. “What we do,” Shawn says, “is we assess a design-build job and we look at what is the best suited material or form of construction to take. And this would be a prime example, particularly due to the height and span requirements, where a Robertson building is exactly the right tool in the tool belt.” 

Providing the Right Solutions

Robertson provided the structural steel, secondary steel, standing seam 24-gauge Double-Lok® roof panels with a Galvalume finish, as well as standard 26-gauge PBR panels in Charcoal Gray and 24-gauge PBR panels in Polar White for the wall systems. Additionally, the wall systems were used for interior liner panels. The fire rating assembly as per the UL90 W606 with a two-hour fire rating became an important factor due to the fact that the three same-sized buildings were constructed very close together—20 feet at the most—in order to minimize land use. Shawn explains that the closer you put buildings together, the more stringent the fire rating is on the walls abutting the buildings. The Robertson products used, he says, aptly accommodates for that concern.  

Robertson sales representative John Gelms adds that the partnership between Robertson Building Systems and Argue Construction on this project was smooth sailing. “They came to us with some general sizes and we were able to put a quick price together and work with their schedule, which was driven in large part by Canadian weather. The facility owners, by right, need to be particular about where those boats are being stored. Robertson was able to provide Shawn with the framework and materials required, as well as offering the right colors and finishes that would suit the property and its natural surroundings.”

The panel colors and finishes (Galvalume for the roof, and Charcoal Gray and Polar White for the walls) were selected mainly for aesthetic consistency with the existing buildings on the property, something that was easily achieved given Robertson’s vast product line.

In terms of the size of the buildings, it was the size of the boats that essentially dictated the dimensions. John attests, “They’re not just storing little canoes here. These boats are relatively large, so the overhead doors that were incorporated into the design were very large as well. To accommodate the large boats to be pulled through, we had two 20-foot-wide by 26-foot-tall doors and the other was 24-feet-wide by 30-feet-tall.”

Shawn adds, “The configuration inside is amazing. The space houses an incredible number of boats; there may not even be six inches between any boat in there right now. I don’t know how they put the puzzle together, in terms of shape and size. It’s quite impressive how they’ve maximized the space.”

Ease, Speed, and Green

Relative ease and speed of construction were also among the most important factors in choosing the Robertson system. “It was imperative to get these buildings enclosed so that the owner would be able to utilize the buildings for boat storage before the bad weather hit and the construction season ended,” Shawn explains. “There’s a certain amount of time where the boats are being pulled out of the water. Under normal circumstances, they need to be shrink-wrapped, cleaned, and then put into storage. Our work had to be done before that window closed, otherwise the construction would have gone into the next season.”

Additionally, from a green perspective, having a pre-engineered building where boats are being stored drastically minimizes the need for the blue plastic shrink-wrap materials, cutting down on waste and helping to keep these materials out of landfills.


The partnership between Argue Construction and Robertson Building Systems resulted in a big win for the Ivy Lea Club boat storage facility project. The addition of the three weather-protected and climate-controlled pre-engineered metal buildings gives the Club much-needed room to store the boats in winter and, more generally, room to grow its business by providing Members with extra value, service and assurance that their investments are well-protected.