By Mike Jiggens
Islington Golf Club is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.
Tucked off Islington Avenue, just north of Dundas Street West in Toronto, the Islington Golf Club was an early Stanley Thompson project and part of a wave of golf club development in the area that helped establish Thompson as one of the premiere golf course architects in North America.
Meandering along Mimico Creek, the 18-hole, par 72 championship course retains many of Thompson’s original architectural marvels, challenging even the most seasoned golfer with water hazards in play on 12 of the 18 holes.
“Visitors to the club are amazed to find a course of this calibre so close to the downtown core,” said Dave Fox, general manager. “Since we’re one of the few clubs in the area that doesn’t require a tee time, golfers can leave downtown Toronto and tee off at our club 30 minutes later.”
For the 585 members, IGC is more than a place to play golf. It is a community that offers tremendous social benefits, business connections and an opportunity to bond with family.
“I’ve been a member for more than 60 years,” said John Tyers, who at age 75 still gets in 50 rounds a year. “This place has become a second home for me and my family, and over the years it’s given us a tremendous gift—time to connect.”
Over its 90-year history, Islington Golf Club has found meaningful ways to give back to the community. More recently the club partnered with Toronto Police Services No. 22 Division to teach disadvantaged youth the core values of golf: etiquette, honesty, and discipline. Also, the club hosts charity tournaments with proceeds going toward important initiatives, including Dave and Ken Dryden’s Sleeping Children Around the World charitable organization (SCAW).
To help celebrate its 90-year anniversary, Islington Golf Club held an open house in April. Golf enthusiasts were invited to tour the facility, meet the staff and sample some of the highly rated cuisine by executive chef William Tucker.
For those looking to start the season in full swing, club pro Phil Kavanagh conducted a complimentary spring swing clinic at the practice facility.
Islington Golf Club milestones and highlights
• 1913, club was the vision of three entrepreneurs: Col. Bill Rogers; E.H.A Watson, principal of Riverdale Collegiate; and Mr. Chadwick, a local realtor
• 1923, after the First World War delayed development, IGC officially established
• 1928, introduction of the Millar Cup named after club’s first secretary manager and for four decades became the premier professional match play tournament in Canada
• 1952, Al Balding wins Millar Trophy. Balding would go on to become one of Canada’s top golfers of all time
• 1954, Hurricane Hazel causes significant damage to club. Members pitch in and clean up
• 2009 IGC partners with Metro Toronto Police 22 Division’s Pro-Active Kids Initiative
• 2010 IGC partners with Golf Canada to host a practice facility for the 2010 RBC Canadian Open
• 2011 Club House renovated, offering latest in comforts and amenities.