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Sports & Play

Where to go curling in Toronto

Posted by Robyn Urback / January 25, 2011

Curling TorontoCurling clubs in Toronto carry on a sporting tradition that has gone on for centuries. Though Montreal is credited as the first city to establish an official curling club in North America with the advent of its aptly named Montreal Curling Club in 1807, Toronto has too left its mark on curling history. The city bred the illustrious Red Jackets foursome, and has since played host to some renowned national bonspiels. But yeah--Long Bay, Ontario was the setting of the story for Men with Brooms so we can't win them all.

The Curling Clubs in Toronto range from country-club chic to city-owned casual. There are hundreds of different leagues and, luckily for the novice curler, several options for testing the ice--good news for all of those who don't know a hogged stone from a biter. And no, it's not what you're thinking.

Here's a list and breakdown of some of the curling clubs in Toronto:

Donalda Curling Club
The Donalda Curling Club at Don Mills and York Mills has four sheets of curling ice, and programs for men, women, Little Rocks (kids), Bantams (generally 12-16), and Juniors (generally 17-20). The club has teachers to walk beginners through the game, though you need to be interviewed by two people and the signature of a sponsor beforehand to be granted membership. Donalda does host some curling events open to the public, however such as its upcoming Inaugural Bantam Bonspeil, which costs $160 per team. The club's dress code does apply to visitors, so you might want to leave your "Frankie Says Relax" t-shirt at home.

East York Curling Club
The East York Curling Club at Woodbine and O'Connor plays host to the University of Toronto Curling Club, as well as other curlers aged six to 88. With six sheets of curling ice, the city-owned facility is the home of the World Juniors Curling Championships and the Annual Summer Spiel held in June, which is a big event for curlers in the GTA. Annual fees hover around $450 for men and women, but are significantly cheaper for daytime leagues and leagues for children and youth. The EYCC also offers an adult "Learn to Curl" program ($113) in October.

The Granite Club
The Granite Club on Bayview north of Lawrence first opened as a two-sheet curling and ice skating rink more than 130 years ago. Now it has eight curling sheets and the only third-floor curling rink in the world. If you join as a member (which will cost you somewhere in the five figures as an initiation fee, plus an annual fee thereafter) you'll be in the company of Sir John A. Macdonald, who was listed as a member in 1875. The Brier championships were also held at the Granite Club until the event was moved to Winnipeg in 1940.

High Park Club

The High Park Club near Parkside and Algonquin is home to a five-sheet curling rink where Friday and Saturday evenings are geared towards new members. It seems to offer a friendly environment for those interested in curling but not ready to make a full commitment. The yearly club fee ranges from $350 to $500 (plus some additional costs for food and prize funds) and you can even borrow their brooms until you're ready to buy your own. Like many other clubs in the city, High Park offers a variety of different leagues such as mixed, single-gender, competitive, and social.

Leaside Curling Club
The Leaside Curling Club at Laird and Millwood opened in 1963 as a response to neighborhood demand. (See kids? Curling is cool!) The city-owned facility has eight sheets of ice, as well as a spectator area from which to watch the games. Curling is available for those aged eight and up (well, its website says "8-98") and there are a variety of different leagues including mixed, daytime, and even Sunday pizza. Annual memberships start at about $420 for evening and weekend leagues, $270 for daytime, or you can opt to be a "social" member--just there for the friends, in other words--for $25.

Royal Canadian Curling Club
The Royal Canadian Curling Club on Broadview north of Queen is member owned and operated. It was originally built in 1906 by the Royal Canadian Bicycle Club and once hosted a variety of activities, but now it's strictly curling at RCCC on its six-sheet rink. Besides exempted groups such as seniors and students, curlers are expected to buy a General Membership ($600), which entitles them to perks including a vote at club meetings, a share of the profit if the club if ever sold, and their very own brooms. The fee can be paid over ten years at $65 annually. The RCCC is where Toronto's gay curling leagues play, and is known for its (licensed) events including the Turkey Spiel in December and Curling Night in Canada in February.

Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club
The Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club on Wilson between Bathurst and Yonge was originally an alliance formed from separate cricket and skating clubs until curling joined the ranks in 1957. Toronto Cricket has six sheets of curling ice and offers instructional clinics, as well as a four-week "Curling College" for curling beginners. There are leagues for the whole family, as well as social events and annual bonspiels. And if none of that appeals to you--well then you can head over to another rink at the club and watch retired figure skater Brian Orser, who is one of the skating consultants, teach double axels.

Photo by girltravel in the blogTO Flickr pool

Discussion

26 Comments

Antony / January 25, 2011 at 01:48 pm
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Good article but terrible timing. Curling signups are in October, or possibly as late as December if through the Toronto Sport and Social Club ( http://www.torontossc.com/ ).
mikeb / January 25, 2011 at 02:12 pm
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Weston Golf and Country Club has pretty good facilities.
Honestly? / January 25, 2011 at 02:26 pm
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Not, where, but why?
Cornish / January 25, 2011 at 02:40 pm
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The Granite Club rules!...literally, they have rules.
Mike W replying to a comment from Honestly? / January 25, 2011 at 03:21 pm
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What's your favourite sport?
Honestly? replying to a comment from Mike W / January 25, 2011 at 03:38 pm
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Trolling.
Honestly? replying to a comment from Mike W / January 25, 2011 at 04:08 pm
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Baseball.
al / January 25, 2011 at 04:11 pm
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What's the best option for those of us that just want to try curling once (not join a league)?
Torontonian / January 25, 2011 at 04:16 pm
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You missed the High Park Curling Club near Parkside Drive.
It's in its centennial year.

As a schoolboy, I curled there and we had special times
where we would play with (and against) our teachers at
Humberside CI and other schools. We also had dads and
lads days.

I haven't been back there in years but it's worth looking
into because it's so close to transit and not as snooty
as the Granite or other places.

It is indeed a community oriented curling club.

Kyle Geerkens / January 25, 2011 at 05:49 pm
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Check out www.startcurling.ca for information on how to get into the sport. Even if you're from outside the GTA

New Commercial Campaign for the Canadian Curling Association
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbvipaWCGKc
Jumpin' Jack Flash replying to a comment from Torontonian / January 26, 2011 at 03:28 am
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um, it's listed, look again!
O_O replying to a comment from Cornish / January 26, 2011 at 08:08 am
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And dues!
Darb replying to a comment from al / January 26, 2011 at 09:23 am
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Call your local club, explain to them what you want to do. They will usually rent a sheet of ice on an off-night and assign a chaperone from the club to teach you the rules and then supervise as you start to play on your own. Get a group of 4 together just to learn, or a group of 8 to actually have a match.
Tricia / January 26, 2011 at 11:33 am
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Not only North America have it but we have it also!Very nice!....
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Kristen / January 26, 2012 at 10:06 am
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Suburban Schoolmasters' Curling Club is Missing! This is a club open to anyone (male or female) ages 18 and older. We are an OCA club that curls out of East York Curling Club in Toronto. Despite the name its not all teachers!

If you are interested in starting to curl or just want another league check out. www.sscurling.ca for more information.
Suzy Frame / August 28, 2012 at 03:44 pm
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Wow this is awesome. I didn't know that curling was such a big thing in Canada. It is awesome to know that there are places to go curling. You really can do anything in Canada. I just wonder if there are places for self storage for your curling devices? Or do you have to find that yourself?
Adam / September 5, 2012 at 04:39 am
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The club has teachers to walk beginners through the game, though you need to be interviewed by two people and the signature of a sponsor beforehand to be granted membership.
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jason / September 24, 2012 at 11:19 pm
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Is there anywhere that allows you to just rent asheet of ice for an hour?
daniel smith / February 12, 2014 at 06:21 pm
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My family and i want to go curling on family day ... where tho?? 4 of us any asssitance would be appreciated were sporty kinda can pay ..
Aeon / September 6, 2014 at 04:08 pm
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It's getting close to that time again!
I've been curling for a number of years at the Thornhill Curling Club, it's a great club.
However, I'm starting to move into the next price range, and I'd like to know if it's worth moving elsewhere. As much as I enjoy curling with the 40-70 year olds, I'd like to play with people my own age. Does anyone know of any curling clubs where there is a decent group of 20-30 year olds?
HS / September 11, 2014 at 11:05 am
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I can vouch for the High Park Club! It's a great building - over 100 years old - and recently renovated. The social leagues on Friday and Saturday are great for beginners and everyone is super friendly. The age demo does tend to skew older, but there were a handful of 30 year olds on Saturday night. I think Friday attracted a younger crowd. They would also have an open house in September where new curlers could actually try it out and receive some instruction before committing.
HS replying to a comment from daniel smith / September 11, 2014 at 11:06 am
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I know this is late, but curling is not really a sport that you can just go out and do with the family for one afternoon. You have to join a league and play all season. I think this is unfortunate because more people would get in the game if there were ways for them to try it out first.
Kathy / September 15, 2014 at 04:35 pm
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Curling at St. George's Rocks! Lot's of friendly people and great atmosphere. Incredibly affordable for Intermediates (people aged 20 to 39) The curling lounge is comfortable and the dining facilities are amazing throughout the club. You become a year round social member so you can enjoy the amazing upper balcony all summer. It overlooks the beautiful fairways of one of Canada's premier Golf Courses with the Toronto skyline in the background. Great for those of you in West Toronto or Mississauga
SP replying to a comment from HS / September 20, 2014 at 11:14 pm
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You don't have to play in leagues to curl, you can join in bonspiels and fun days, also with some planning most places have rental ice available. Some clubs like the one I curl at (St. George's) will even let you try it for a series and if you don't like it they will give you a prorated refund for the seasons fees.
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