"Is there any indoor archery ranges in Toronto?"
This is a frequently asked question. The answer is "Yes, there are, but it is complicated and difficult to get into them."
The reason why it is complicated/difficult is because of the following reasons.
#1. The Hart House Archery Range (University of Toronto) is full. No new members allowed except for 1 day during Frosh Week in September each year and 1 day at the start of January each year. So unless you are an U of T student or alumni, don't bother.
#2. The Ryerson Archery Club is also full. The club is brand new as of Jan. 2015, and they're already full. Ryerson students come first of course, but even so the club is officially full. So unless you are a Ryerson student and willing to wait until September maybe then they will allow in new members.
#3. Casa Loma used to have an archery range and taught longbow lessons once upon a time, but they have since shut it down due to liability concerns. So you are not going to find any help there.
#4. The Toronto School of Archery has 3 locations in Etobicoke (only on Mondays and Thursdays), East York (only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays) and Beaches (which is full and not accepting new members). The "ranges" are in the basement of a church, a community centre, etc, and only operate between 6 PM and 9 PM. Which severely limits your options if you are busy on weekday evenings.
So unless you are a patient type of person who loves all things zen then you are probably not going to enjoy Kyudo.
#6. Archery District is not a real archery range but I am listing it anyway. It is a facility for people into Archery Tag™, and costs $24 + HST per person for 1 hour of usage. You use the bows and equipment provided and no outside equipment is allowed. During that hour you play with up to 20 people games of Archery Tag™, wherein you shoot each other with boffer arrows. I have been to Archery District twice myself so far and it is a lot of fun, but for people who enjoy accuracy, shooting long distances, just want to practice then you need to find a different place to practice. So unless you want to practice shooting at moving targets you need to find a different place to practice.
#7. Archery Camps / Day Camps is another option if you are looking for a place for your kids to practice. There are a number of day camps and archery camps in or near Toronto which offer archery (either indoor or outdoors). ArcheryToronto.ca maintains a list of archery camps and day camps. However unless you are a kid in the right age group this isn't going to help you.
"So where can I practice indoors then?"
After reading all of the above you are probably feeling a bit disheartened and wondering if you will ever be able to find an indoor archery range in Toronto that is open 7 days per week, is indoors, and will let in anyone as a member.
But do not despair I am working on just that.
For the past year almost I have been building a Waiting List for an Indoor Archery Range - which I am tentatively calling Toronto's Indoor Archery Gymnasium (TIAG). To get on the waiting list please email email@example.com and give your name, email address, phone number and whether you want a monthly or annual membership.
This indoor archery range will be located in the Leaside / Davisville area of Toronto and work on a gym membership basis. Monthly membership will be $100 and annual membership will be $800. Once the Toronto's Indoor Archery Gymnasium is up and running smoothly the rates will come down, but at present the only way to make such an indoor archery range financially viable is to charge the rates mentioned above in order to get a space large enough for multiple shooting lanes.
So far 30 people have signed up for the Waiting List, but we need 50 people to sign up in order to open an indoor range. 50 people x $800 = $40,000. That is how much we need to lease, renovate, and maintain a space, and as the membership grows each year we will lower the annual rates in order to encourage more members to sign up for the annual membership.
Range hours will likely be:
Sunday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Monday 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Tuesday 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Thursday 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Friday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
The range will also be hiring staff to supervise the range + archery instructors - people who have experience teaching longbows, recurves (traditional and Olympic), compound bows and shortbows / horsebows.
The range will be designed to be friendly to hunters, competitive shooters and recreational archers. Everyone will be welcome. The photos shown on this page are photos showing how other archery ranges are designed. The Toronto Indoor Archery Gymnasium will be designed using a mixture of styles. We will also be making an effort to make sure the space is wheel chair accessible (several of the other ranges mentioned above are not wheel chair accessible).
"What if I am looking for a crossbow range in Toronto?
Lastly the Toronto's Indoor Archery Gymnasium will include space for people who are into crossbows - making it the only crossbow range in Toronto. So if you are looking for a crossbow range in Toronto, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to add your name to the Waiting List.
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