History

Over its history, Toronto Hunt has set itself apart as a club that evolved with the times. From its origins as a hunt club that sprung to life in May 1843, Toronto Hunt has constantly changed to meet the interests of its members.

For the first 50 years of its history, the club moved throughout Toronto. In 1895, the club permanently moved to its present site on Kingston Road, just outside of the city’s Beaches borough. Polo, skeet and trap shooting, as well as tennis were all part of the club’s early history, with golf being introduced first in the 1890s, and more permanently just after WW1 when Scottish golf star and architect Willie Park Jr. designed a nine-hole layout on the north side of Kingston Road. At that point the course was north of Kingston Road, while stables and elements that supported the hunt portion of the club were located near the bluffs overlooking the lake.

The club’s hunt background remained, and the horses and hounds were located at the Kingston Road property until 1931. They were then moved to the Beardmore farm property in Aurora (today’s Beacon Hall Golf Club property). This property then transformed into the Toronto and North York Hunt Club.

At the time, the club was bisected by Kingston Road, and in 1943, The Toronto Hunt sold the property on the north side. The club settled on 71 acres south of Kingston Road that provides 2,000 feet of cliffs overlooking Lake Ontario, and water rights extending 600 feet into the lake.

1840s

Organized Hunts

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Organized hunting gets started by British officers stationed at the New Fort (Stanley Barracks) with a hunting pack that probably originated with the Durand family of Hamilton.

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1860-65

Civilians Participate

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The Hunt transitions from the garrison to more of a civilian-led organization. Variously known as The Garrison Hounds and The Royal Hunt. Hunts take place in Hamilton and Toronto with Aemilius Irving, Henry Erskine Irving, William Steers and John Hendrie involved. British officers still participate.

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1865

Toronto Hunt Incorporates

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First formal incorporation of the Toronto Hunt with civilian leadership. John Hendrie MFH, M. Augustus Thomas, Huntsman, William Copland, President. Thomas’ English Chop House at 30 King St W. serves as the de facto clubhouse. Kennels are located on Bishop St. (today’s Claremont Ave.) overseen by John Halligan.

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1876

Property for Kennels

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The Toronto Hunt buys its first property for kennels on Clinton St. north of Bloor. John Halligan lives in a house on the property.

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1894

Club Reorganizes

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The club is re-organized as The Country and Hunt Club of Toronto. George Beardmore MFH, D’Alton McCarthy, President, Stewart Houston, Secretary. The club absorbs the Knickerbocker Bicycle Club and the Toronto Driving Club. Club office is located at 18 Toronto St.

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1895

Scarborough Heights

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Property at Scarborough Heights purchased totalling 32 acres to house a new clubhouse, stables and kennels.

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1896

The First Nine Holes

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New clubhouse and Men’s Annex opens designed by Darling and Pearson. First nine-hole layout completed on leased land north of Kingston Rd.

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1897

Property Sold

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Property on Clinton Street sold.

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1898

Stagecoach Accident

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D’Alton McCarthy is tragically killed in a stagecoach accident. Lord Minto, Governor General of Canada, is appointed President.

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1902

More Land Purchased

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Additional land east of the property (25 acres) purchased for a polo field and trap shooting range.

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1904

Golf Course Land Purchased

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The leased land for the golf course was purchased and three holes moved south of Kingston Rd. The redesign is attributed to Charlie and Albert Murray.

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1910

Clubhouse Fire

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The original clubhouse burns to the ground and a new clubhouse designed by Darling and Pearson opens the following year.

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1918

Willie Park Design

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Willie Park designs new 9-hole layout with four holes south of Kingston Rd and five holes north.

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1931

Clubs Separate

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George Beardmore retires as MFH and President. D’Alton Lally McCarthy takes over. The Toronto and North York Hunt is established as a separate club at Beardmore’s Beverly Farm (today’s Beacon Hall Golf Club) in Aurora. Stables and kennels demolished.

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1934

Club Reorganizes Again

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McCarthy resigns as President and MFH and the club is reorganized as a non-share capital corporation on a not-for profit basis. President and Board of Directors to be elected every year. MFH position eliminated.

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1937

26 Acres Purchased

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Club purchases 26 acres of land west of the property from the Fallingbrook estate.

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1942

George Cumming Design

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George Cumming hired to design a 9-hole layout south of Kingston Rd.

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1944

New Course Opens

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The new course opens. The 1896 Men’s Annex is torn down to make way for the first hole.

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1950s

Clubhouse Renovation

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The clubhouse undergoes several renovations, including expansion of the original summer porch into the formal Dining Room and the removal of the wall between the original dining room and the Lower Lounge. Upgrades are made to the Men’s Locker Room in the basement and the addition of a Ladies Locker Room on the second floor.

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1988

G7 Summit

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On June 9th, 1988 The Toronto Hunt hosted The G7 Economic Summit. Its guests included Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, US President Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher of Britain, Mitterand of France, De Mita of Italy, Takeshita of Japan, and Kohl of Germany.

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1997

Clubhouse Renovates Again

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Major renovations to the clubhouse including removal of Men’s Annex, the addition of casual dining room and new kitchen facilities and office space, as well as refurbishment of men’s and ladies locker rooms.

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2000

McBroom Renovation

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Complete renovation of the golf course by Tom McBroom covering tee boxes, bunkers, greens, fairway contouring, and the addition of the pond.

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2019-20

New Pro Shop

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New Golf Centre is built to replace the old Pro Shop.

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