Founded in 1910, Rivermead Golf Club started out with a 9-hole course designed by Albert Murray, the two-time (and youngest ever) Canadian Open winner. Having acquired more land shortly after opening, the club commissioned George Cumming to extend the course to an 18-hole layout.
Rivermead hosted the Canadian Open in 1920 and a decision was taken to present the winner with a trophy as the victor had previously received only a gold medal. The Rivermead Challenge Cup was duly introduced and claimed for the first time by James Douglas Edgar, who retained the Open title he had run away with the previous year when he won at Hamilton by 16 shots.
A new tournament sponsor instigated its own trophy for the national open in 1936 (The Seagram Gold Cup) and the Rivermead Cup was then awarded to the Canadian professional with the lowest Open score up until 1961. For some reason, this presentation fell by the wayside until resurrected in 2007. Three years later, Golf Canada announced all the winners from 1962 to 2006 would also have their names added.
In 1948, Rivermead, Ottawa Hunt and Royal Ottawa formed the Ottawa District Golf Association, which later became the Ottawa Valley Golf Association. The three clubs host the prestigious Alexander of Tunis amateur tournament – named after the Governor General of Canada in 1950, Lord Alexander of Tunis – on a tri-annual rotation.
Architect Ken Skodacek and Ken Venture renovated the layout at the end of the 1980s but, thirty years later, Jeff Mingay was called in to advise on further improvements. Following his study in 2017, a multi-phase plan was drawn up to upgrade drainage, renovate bunkers, remodel green surrounds and implement a new tree management regime.