New Toronto Lawn Bowling Club
The New Toronto Lawn Bowling Club, located at 153 Lakeshore Drive, has been around longer than many people thought. We recently found the following two snippets in the Globe which actually tell us the true beginnings of the club:
November 15, 1901: “The New Toronto Lawn Bowling Club had a very successful organization meeting Wednesday evening in Reid’s Hall. A location has been secured and work will commence at once to build a lawn that will be second to none in Canada. The election of officers resulted as follows: President, C.N. Ramsay; First Vice-President, Dr. Beemer; Second Vice-President, T. Hunter; Secretary-Treasurer, Geo. Perry.”
June 24, 1902: The members of the New Toronto Lawn Bowling Club formally opened their new lawn on Saturday afternoon last. Rinks from Parkdale and Mimico Lawn Bowling Clubs were present and contested the opening games of the home club. The large Humber present indicated the interest already taken in the game, and there is every prospect for a highly successful season for this new club. Refreshments were served during the afternoon, this part of the programme being in charge of Messrs. Hans and Parker of New Toronto. Skips W.H., Adamson and Dr. Clemens, in neat speeches, congratulated the members upon their enterprise in undertaking and completing so excellent a green, to which President C.N. Ramsay and Vice-President Thomas Hunter made suitable replies. A most enjoyable afternoon was spent by all present.” The score: [to the right]:
For many years, the club operated independently under their own finances. It is believed that the land was originally owned by the Goodyear Company, and that it was given to the club free and clear. All they had to do was pay the taxes. Unfortunately, the documents to prove this cannot be located, and through the amalgamations of the Cities of Etobicoke and Toronto, the land is now owned by the City of Toronto. The club has actually struggled to survive under this structure. In order to meet their financial obligations, it has had to find other sources of income, and as such, the club now also houses a daycare centre.
To the left is a picture donated by John Baycroft, c.1935-1939. Bill Baycroft is the man in the front row, second to the right. Many of the people in this picture were still active in the club in the 60’s.
A trip to the club is a definite plan, whether to play a game or just go for a visit. Inside the clubhouse, there is a little bit of history, with pictures on the wall, and a trophy shelf depicting a span of several years of competition. To the left is one of the photographs of the clubhouse circa 1930. If a peaceful walk is part of the expedition, the tail end of Rotary Park sits just below the clubhouse towards the lake, and provides some very scenic views:
If you are interested in joining the club, or even arranging a company or family event, give them a call – (416) 259-8776.
In the meantime, here are some more pictures to browse through: