In 1929 a group of Agincourt men who had been travelling five miles to Unionville to lawn bowl decided to make a bowling green closer to home. About 40 men subscribed $25 each toward buying a property at the corner of Main Street and First Avenue (now Sheppard Avenue and Agincourt Drive)
About a dozen men worked daily with a team of horses plowing, harrowing etc. to get the ground fairly level. The men used hand rakes to level the earth and make it ready for seed. Watering and weeding and rolling for two years made the green ready for play. A well was dug, a tool shed erected and the hand-pulled roller converted to power. A 40-by-12 clubhouse
was built. The ladies furnished it with an electric stove and dishes, etc
A former club member still reminisces about the magical scene of a warm summer night on Main Street, floodlights illuminating the old Lawn Bowling Club, crickets chirping, people strolling along Main Street, stopping to take in the action for a few minutes. The vision is the whole panorama of life in a small village in the 40s and early 50s. Nearly all the men of the village played the game two or three nights a week.
The men's and ladies clubs used these facilities until 1957 when the installation of water mains and sewers and the resulting increase in taxes made it impossible to meet expenses. It was decided to look into new arrangements. The Agincourt Lions Club donated land to Scarborough parks for a new Agincourt park and they stipulated that space was to be set aside for lawn bowling in perpetuity.
When arrangements to build a new green on Heather Road were completed, it was decided to sell the original greens property to Cities Service Gas and Oil, who built a service station on the site. Each shareholder obtained about 28 times the amount of his original subscription. However, a good number of the original shareholders had passed on. Their shares were held by sons and daughters or estate executors who were not interested in lawn bowling and wished to have their share in cash. This meant that the New Agincourt Lawn Bowling Club had to start from scratch. With the generous financial donation of some members, and the help of Scarborough parks and recreation, and many hours of enthusiastic work by volunteer members, the new Agincourt club greens were laid out in the northeast corner of the Agincourt parkland facing onto Heather Road.
Originally there were 10 rinks, each 12 feet wide. This was later changed to the current eight rinks, each 15 feet wide. The first equipment storage facility was a converted wooden real estate building situated at the south end of the south green.
From the start, the greens were watered with hand-moved hoses and sprinklers. An automatic watering system was eventually installed. Improvements have been made over the years through the efforts and hard work of our members with the co-operation of the parks and recreation department. Shelters were built and erected around the greens; a retaining wall and patio was built to the north of the club house; new lights were installed and power corrected to 220 volts; sewers were installed; a six foot fence was erected around the perimeter of the club; and a patio and shelter were built to the east of the clubhouse.
For 90 years, the real success of the Agincourt Lawn Bowling Club has been due to the active participation of the club members. Work parties in the spring and fall are an important part of life at the club. Volunteers run tournaments sponsored by, and named for, prominent club members; they provide refreshments at tournaments and social functions; and offer free lessons. Through the years members of the club have won Ontario, Canadian and U.S. championships. Many pennants hang in the clubhouse to celebrate their bowling skills. Social bowling activities are planned regularly during the day, evenings, and weekends. Many lasting friendships are made within the membership. As Cathie Riddock, a longtime member of the club, says, "This is what the Agincourt club is all about - friendships, social times, competitiveness and good sportsmanship."
Give it a try! Join us at our Open House on June 6, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lessons and bowls supplied. For further information call Jack Davidson, 416-299-7014.