Spotlight: Toronto's Private Clubs

Barry Cohen


They may be members-only, but the allure of private clubs in Toronto is definitely not a social secret. From modern, trendy clubs to institutions well over a hundred years old, here’s a brief list of some of Toronto’s most exclusive social clubs.


The oldest private club in the city is The Toronto Club. Dating back to 1837, this club is almost 200 years old, and is just as exclusive as ever. With little more known to the non-members in the outside world about this club than its stunning architecture, The Toronto Club remains something of a mystery to non-members.


In an idyllic lakeshore location, The Boulevard Club is Toronto’s only waterfront club, and is fully modernized despite dating back to 1905. With 11 tennis courts, lawn bowling, yoga classes, yachting and dragon boating, The Boulevard Club is definitely one of the more athletic private clubs in the city, and its waterfront location makes it a favorite venue for weddings and events.


A little less expensive than the other private clubs in the area, The Toronto Temperance Society is arguably the best kind of private club: a private drinking club. For those looking to sample cocktails adapted from hundred-year-old recipes and upgrade the usual libations for something a little more sophisticated like an absinthe tasting or a brandy punch, then this is the place. Please note, those under 25 are not allowed, unless accompanied by an adult.


No private club list would be complete without a mention of the London-based Soho House, and, to no surprise, this supper club also has roots in Toronto. With a fitness center, pool, spa, meeting rooms, ballrooms, and valet parking, plus sister clubs in cities all over the world, the Soho House is definitely one of the trendiest clubs in the city.


The Spoke Club is a space where members can come to access “like-minded individuals with an interest in media, entertainment, and the arts.” In order to become a member, the “simplistic” one-page application requires that you explain how you connect with the artistic world and also that you name your favorite book. It’s a literary hub.


Sorry gents, this social club is for women only. And with its very own spa, gym, yoga studio, spinning class, meeting rooms, restaurant and a boutique hotel, Verity is a veritable paradise. What’s more, the club also gives back to the community by providing Christmas dinner to over a hundred single moms and their children each year, as well as participating in other philanthropic events.


What started in 1874 as a home for the Canada First Party has now evolved into a private social club. Featuring a 50,000-bottle wine cellar along with dining and business facilities, The National Club also offers access to guest suites, the Plaza Sports Club and other themed nights and parties.


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