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Our History

Toronto Workers Club History

The formation of Toronto District Workers Club all started with a group of servicemen returning from war. Compared to overseas, they found that local hotels were unsatisfactory. A group of men got together and determined to establish a club. A committee was formed prior to 1951, this committee used to meet at several places, one being the School of Arts building in Toronto, and they approached the council to obtain a lease.

Toronto District Workers Club was first established on the corner of Donnelly Avenue and Carey Street, Toronto, where Young & Green Car Sales operated. There were only five members at this time, women were not allowed to become members until 1953. The first Club House was made possible when Newstan Colliery donated one of their old buildings which was re-erected and located at this site for a short time.

Toronto Workers Club History

A few years later, a shed was built on a base of chitter and ashes on swamp land along the side of where the current club now stands. After receiving 25 pounds to build a Club House, John Lewis and Allan Woodbine, with Stan Clarke (a volunteer) commenced construction. By lunchtime that day the frame was erected with fibro walls on three sides. However, while they went to lunch a whirl wind came up and blew through the building, causing it to blow to the ground. After starting again they finished and had a Club House of their own. The seats were made from railway sleepers and were placed around three sides of the building, along with a makeshift counter to allow for one keg at a time. A stock of beer was kept at the ice works up the road and when the next keg was needed, they took turns making the quick trip to collect one.

Toronto Workers Club History

The shed remained as the Club House for 2-3 years and was demolished when a new hall was built along the front of where the current club now stands. By 1977 the Club's needs had increased to such an extent that the Board of Directors commissioned Leighton Contractors to extend and refurbish the premises. The then premier, Mr. Neville Wran opened the extensions on November 17, 1979.

Over the next few years the Club again experienced the need for a more spacious premises and another two refurbishments took place. One by New England Constructions and the other by James Clifford Constructions. During these renovations, the entrance to the Club changed from James Street to the Club's Car Park at the rear. Work on the later of these projects was completed in September 1995 and was officially opened in March 1996 by Mr. Bob Carr.

The most recent renovations started on April 1st 2003, again by James Clifford constructions, and all started with first seeing the fish tank in a paddock covered with cobwebs, dirt and grime. From this point the clocks started to turn and thanks to the foresight of the Secretary Manager, Mark Singleton, who visualised its potential, has now turned it into a marine ecosystem and is a main feature of the club's entrance. Full details here.

Refurbishments completed in December 2003, it now stands testament to the determination of our founding members over half a century ago.
Further refurbishments of the club occurred in 2014, with extensive renovations done to the club's restaurant.

Today, Toronto Workers Club has over 14,000 members, and largely supports the community and organisations. It also is a major sponsor of sporting groups in the area.