December, 18, 2022
The Skating Club of Toronto was founded in 1895 and incorporated in the winter of 1913-1914. In the early years, they had exclusive rights to use the Victoria Arena on Huron Street on Monday evenings and Friday afternoons. In 1921 they built their own skating rink at 568 Dupont Street. The archive photo below from 11/05/1921 shows the building as it neared completion.
The club originally allowed only 300 active members and 200 associate members. The 27th annual report was issued on April 12th, 1921 and showed membership at 515 members. The New Rink and Club House project had been fully funded and over $20,000 more had been raised than what was estimated to be needed to construct the new building. At that time the plans for the arena were at the architectural firm of Langley and Howland.
Beginning in 1912 the Toronto Skating Club held an annual winter carnival which was always a great success and had assisted in raising the funds for the new skating rink. It was estimated that the 1921 carnival had been responsible for an additional $50,000 worth of subscriptions for the funding of the project.
In 1956 the Toronto Skating Club amalgamated with the Toronto Cricket Club and the following year the Toronto Curling Club was included in the merger. The cricket club had begun around 1832 while the curling club started up in 1836. The new organization was known as the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club.
In 1957 the rink was converted into a members only Tennis Club which is known as The Queens Club. The facility originally operated a single court on the old ice surface. Adjacent properties were acquired and a second court was added in 1967 as a Centennial project.
This unmarked property used to have an historic plaque on the front corner but it was stolen a couple of years ago. The century-old building does not have any historical designation and the surrounding properties have come under redevelopment proposals in recent years. It stands just two buildings east of the original Model T Factory in the city.
Related stories: Model T Factory
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Leave it to Toronto to not want to preserve this piece of history 😦