Hello and welcome to ARCHERY TORONTO, your one-stop guide to Archery in Toronto and the GTA.
Here you will find all the information to begin doing archery in Toronto, where to do archery, where to buy archery equipment, where to get archery lessons, the laws, rules and etiquette governing archery, a list of archery clubs in Toronto, recommendations for archery blogs in Toronto, and even local Toronto archery news. If you have any questions please read the corresponding section or check our Frequently Asked Questions page.
So bring your bow and lets shoot some arrows!
Please observe ALL of the archery range rules when visiting the Toronto Archery Range. It is also advised that all archers follow proper etiquette and behave responsibly at the archery range. When in doubt, follow common sense.
Canadian archers will be competing in the Olympic Games in Rio this summer, including Toronto's own Crispin Duenas - who back in September 2015 broke the Canadian record with a score of 685 out of 720. (For those doing the math, that is an average score of 9.513,888~.)
Other athletes representing Canada at Rio include: Virginie Chénier from Montreal, Patrick Rivest-Bunster from Montreal, and Georcy Thiffeault Picard from Montreal. Clearly Montreal is giving Toronto a run for its money by producing lots of Olympic athletes.
Note - Canada has never won an Olympic medal in archery. Canada's best finish was fifth in the women's individual competition at the 1976 games. That particular feat was accomplished by Montreal archer Lucille Lemay, who scored 2,401 out of 2,880. (Her average score was 8.336,805~.)
The current world record for men's is 699 out of 720, by South Korea's Im Dong-Hyun. (His average score was 9.708,333~.)
The current world record for women's is 673 out of 720, a tie between South Korea's Park Sung-Hyun and Ukraine's Lina Herasymenko. (Their average scores were 9.347,222~.)
May 9th 2016
Canada's Wonderland has provided the Toronto Archery Club (and to a larger extent, Toronto's archery community) with a Promo Code for buying tickets at a discounted rate. The Promo Code is used when purchasing tickets online at: www.canadaswonderland.com/tickets
The Promo Code is: Archery2016
Ticket Pricing Starts at 35.99 plus tax. For groups of 15 or more, please contact Amy Dew at 1.905.832.7506 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 29th 2016
Three of the archery target butts at the 20 yard range have been replaced. Update: All of the target butts at the 20 yard, 30 yard and 50 yard ranges have now been repaired.
April 15th 2016
Camp Kirk in Kirkfield (East of Lake Simcoe) is looking for an Archery Instructor to teach archery to children ages 6 to 13. Camp Kirk is a small overnight camp for children who have Learning Disabilities, AD/HD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and/or other types of exceptionalities.
Applicants should be: 19 years of age by June 19th; Previous experience with Archery is mandatory; Strong facilitation and communication skills; Previous experience working with children with exceptionalities is an asset.
To apply, email a Resume + Cover Letter to: Erica Coutts, Director at her email address email@example.com. If you have questions about the position you can also phone: 416-782-3310.
Posting Expires June 30th.
April 13th 2016
The Overlea Parking Lot entrance is now open for the season. To make use of the Overlea Parking Lot, go to the corner of Overlea Boulevard and Thorncliffe Park Drive (East) and then drive south until you the sign for E. T. Seton Park on your left and the corresponding laneway into the park. Drive in to the laneway, down the hill (now you understand why there is no winter maintenance), turn left when you read the T shaped intersection at the bottom of the hill. Drive over the bridge, go past the 2nd parking lot and continue northward until you reach a large doughnut shaped parking lot. You will be able to see the Overlea overpass bridge above you to the north. Park, get your archery equipment out of vehicle, and walk north along the bicycle trail about 4 - 6 minutes. The Toronto Archery Range will be on your right.
The Eglinton Parking Lot is also open year-round, accessible via Serena Gundy Park. Upon entering Serena Gundy Park, turn left at the Y shaped intersection. The Toronto Archery Range is south east of the Eglinton Parking Lot and is approx. a 10 - 15 minute walk. We strongly recommend you check Google maps so you are familiar with where you are going.
March 10th 2016
Is the Archery Fad over?
According to our sources it may be. Sales of archery equipment have been slumping during Winter 2016 compared to the fan frenzy which lasted from 2012 to 2015. Is it possible people are losing interest in our very addictive sport? It may be so.
The fourth and final Hunger Games film came out in November 2015, the Hobbit film series ended in December 2014, Pixar never made a Brave sequel, but there are plenty of other things in popular culture which continue to fuel archery as a sport: Game of Thrones, Arrow, Vikings, etc. So maybe the fad has just decreased somewhat. Time will tell.
In the meantime maybe someone will make a proper Robin Hood film sometime. We haven't had a good one since 1991, and that is 25 years ago already.
February 22nd 2016
Spring is fast approaching and beyond it lies summer. Already we are getting requests from parents who are looking for archery summer camps / day camps in Toronto / GTA. Unfortunately our list of summer camps / day camps that offers archery is likely incomplete, thus we are asking the public that if they know of a place in Toronto or the Greater Toronto Area that offers archery summer camps or day camps to please email us the location of the camps in question and we shall check them out and add them to our list. (Also please send us complaints if you hear of any camps that are behaving unsafely or irresponsibly. Positive reviews are also welcome.)
To be extra helpful please include the camp's name, address, phone number and website. Thanks!
February 5th 2016
So far this winter Toronto has been breaking warm weather records. On February 3rd Toronto saw a record high of 15.5 degrees Celsius, making it great weather for shooting some targets at the Toronto Archery Range. That 15.5° beat a previous record of 14.9° from February 1984, making it the warmest day in February ever recorded in Toronto history.
Compared to last year when Toronto was getting -20° to -15° weather and it is a remarkable shift.
Temperatures during January were also consistently mild and warm with bouts of colder weather, but no record breaking heat. For Toronto archers this meant they could still enjoy a trip to the range as long as they were willing to brave temperatures between -5° and 5° C. For those brave souls who do we recommend reading our Guide To Winter Archery.
December 26th 2015
A father and son duo was cautioned by police yesterday that it is illegal to shoot arrows into trees at an uptown Toronto park. Duty officer Gary
Long tweeted about the call on the afternoon of Christmas Day, speculating they may have been trying out a Christmas present which turned out
to be correct. The father apparently didn't know shooting arrows a park was illegal and apologized. The pair were sent on their way a little
smarter about Toronto's laws.
Unfortunately the officer didn't tell them about the Toronto Archery Range,
where they could have immediately gone to if they wanted to continue practicing.
December 22nd 2015
We received the follow well wishes from Sue at Great Lake Arrow. Check out their store at greatlakearrow.com:
"Wishing you and your families a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for a very Happy New Year.
I am very thankful and grateful for your continued support! It has been wonderful getting to know you either via email, meeting through friends, or at a shoot. I wish you every success in your archery pursuits this coming year!
With many thanks and best wishes,
Great Lake Arrow
October 12th 2015
The family of a Kitchener man who was killed with an arrow on October 5th may have to wait a long time for police to find the killer. Michael Gibbon was found lying outside a home in Kitchener on October 5th around 7 AM, after being shot with an arrow. It is believed the archer was shooting illegally in Breithaupt Park across the street around 6:30 AM. Kitchener does not have a public archery range, thus the archer who was shooting there illegally must have known what they were doing was illegal and thus decided to practice very early in the morning in order to avoid being seen.
Kitchener police say they have 30 persons of interest that they have narrowed the crime down to, including a man who was involved in shooting a police officer with a pellet gun. They have also released a composite drawing of a person of interest they believe was in the area at the time of the shooting (image of the suspect is shown on the right).
On behalf of Toronto's archery community we extend condolences to Michael Gibbon's family. We hope that Kitchener police find the scum who was shooting illegally swiftly and that they receive the maximum sentence for manslaughter with a firearm (20 years).
UPDATE, October 20th: Eric Amaral of Kitchener has been charged with first-degree murder in the arrow shooting death of Michael Gibbon of Kitchener, Ont. Amaral, age 29, appeared in court on October 19th to face the charge of murder. Eric Amaral was also involved in a pellet gun incident with a police officer in which he fired at least two rounds at an officer attempting to pull Amaral over. Amaral also has a court order prohibiting him from possessing firearms.
Police have yet to release a motive.
Right: Undated photo of Eric Amaral.
October 10th 2015
Five of the target butts at the 20 yard range have been repaired. Unfortunately 1 of the target butts at the 50 yard range has collapsed (Update: It was fixed later in October). City staff have been repairing target butts at record speed this year largely due to the well organized complaint emails they have been receiving. The faster and more frequent repairs is indicative that city staff have realized that the archery range is now significantly more popular these days than it used to be, and that popularity means the range needs more frequent repairs.
If you want to see the target butts fixed sooner please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org asking the city to fix the target butts. The more complaints the city receives, the more likely they are to earmark more funds for repairs.
Battle Sports, to the Victor goes the Spoils
August 3rd 2015
As 'archery tag' heats up in Toronto we have decided to put the spotlight on one of the archery tag locations which has been heating up the industry and leaving the other archery tag locations in their dust. Archery District may have the honour of being the first location in Toronto, but Battle Sports is quickly becoming the best location for people to spend their $$. With eight locations to choose from, Battle Sports in the clear victor when you consider the glaring differences between Battle Sports and other locations.
Battle Sports is located at 26 Ashwarren Road, North York / Toronto. Visit BattleSports.ca to book time in a game of archery tag or to book time at their indoor archery range.
10 Reasons Why Battle Sports is So Good
#1. Battle Sports offers a more unique experience by adding throwing weapons (foam axes and throwing stars) to the list of weapons players can use during the games. (Maybe they will even add foam spears to the mix in the future too?)
#2. Battle Sports also provides molded vests for added safety, anti-fog masks so you can see who you are shooting at easier, and has walls / other obstacles that be moved / stacked into fortifications so that archers can crouch / stand behind the obstacles for added protection.
#3. 30 minutes of practice time before the game begins (most archery tag locations only offer 10 to 15 minutes of practice time), with an instructor - as opposed to other locations where staff barely even explain proper archery form.
#4. The various games during the 60 minutes of game time include narrative stories. (Note - Some other locations only provide 50 minutes of actual shooting time.)
#5. Battle Sports offers archery lessons for large group events (up to 20 people). So if you are looking for a place to host a large group archery lesson, Battle Sports is the place to go.
#6. The "Rage Room", a place destroy stuff if you are the type of person who wants to engage their anger management side. As opposed to chopping wood with an axe in your backyard. But lets pretend you don't have a backyard, don't have an axe, and you are really upset you don't have either and want to destroy stuff to vent some anger.
#7. A pro shop where you can purchase bows, arrows, paintball masks, vests, arm-guards and more. After all, lets pretend you try archery for first time doing archery tag and decide you want to do it more often.
#8. A rewards program that offers free games, discounts on buying archery equipment and other activities at Battle Sports.
#9. A 20 yard indoor archery range for normal target shooting which is open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays - 6:30 PM to 11 PM; + Sundays - 9 AM to 12 PM. The archery range time is for people who just want to practice their aim / archery form. (To our knowledge Battle Sports is the only archery tag location currently with a proper indoor range just for target practice.) The drop-in rate is $15 if you have your own equipment or $25 if you want to rent equipment.
#10. Last but not least, Battle Sports is price wise one of the best locations in the GTA and currently offer a 20% discount code: "VIP" off their regular $24.99 price, bringing the price per person to a mere $19.99 + HST. (The only place cheaper than that is way over in Brampton.)
Thus it is no surprise that we have declared Battle Sports to be the clear winner in terms of both quality of service and price. (Plus we've been wanting to see an archery tag location with a proper archery range, so it is about time one of the locations finally did it. This means archers will be able to go practice in the middle of winter, or on rainy days, or on super windy days. We will come back to this topic further below.)
Five Archery Tag Tips
#1. Bring something to drink with you, preferably something like Powerade or Gatorade, because playing archery tag is very thirsty work and you will want the extra sugar and electrolytes.
#2. Pace yourself. Archery Tag involves a lot of running and dodging of arrows, and as such is very cardio intensive. Because you are having so much fun however you don't necessarily realize how tired you are, so try to pace yourself by giving yourself a minute or two once in awhile hiding behind obstacles and providing cover fire for your friends.
#3. If someone knows you are aiming at them, they are likely going to be able to dodge your arrow easily. The arrows fly super slow. Instead aim at someone who isn't expecting it and you are more likely to obtain a hit.
#4. Practice, practice, practice! You can really tell which people have had a lot of archery practice because they're the best shots in the arena. So if you get a chance to get proper archery lessons you should do so.
#5. Learn how to Shoot Instinctive. It is a particular style of shooting and the practice is well suited for archery tag because it works well for people shooting short distances at moving targets.
BONUS TIP - Line up two enemy targets and then shoot. If one enemy dodges, you might still hit the second target.
Toronto's First Indoor Archery Range
Battle Sports is effectively Toronto's first indoor archery range that is open to everyone (unlike Hart House, Ryerson and York which are geared towards student memberships). We at ArcheryToronto.ca have been waiting (impatiently) for someone to open an indoor range that offered either a fee-based system or a membership rate. Maybe in the future Battle Sports will start offering a monthly or annual membership for access to their archery range, but for now the drop-in rate is a good start.
The problem with opening an indoor archery range is essentially first getting money to rent a location and then promoting it to the masses. Since the location is both an archery tag location and an archery range, it means they can use the space as an archery tag facility on weekends (excluding Sunday morning) and use it as archery range on certain weekdays / Sunday morning. This allows the location to be used as an archery tag location during peak times when people want the space for archery tag (mostly weekends), and use it as an archery range during non-peak times.
Over time as demand grows and more dedicated archers start using the Battle Sports Archery Range available range time can be expanded. Compare that to the Toronto Archery Range at E. T. Seton Park which has no bathrooms (E. T. Seton Park does technically have bathrooms near the Overlea parking lot, but they're often broken), no air conditioning, no pro-shop, etc and it is suddenly a great option for people who want to be able to practice shooting in comfort.
And since Battle Sports also provides archery lessons it means that Torontonians now have a new option for where to go for archery lessons - and it means they can do so in the dead of winter.