Unfortunately many parents visiting CardioTrek.ca and contacting me will also note three things:
#1. I don't teach children under the age of 10. I have my reasons for this, chief amongst which are the level of maturity, attention spans, ability to follow instructions I expect from students - especially with respect to safety.
#2. I am not cheap. As a personal trainer I currently charge $50 per hour for my personal training services, and similar rates for my sports training services. An 1-on-1 archery lesson is typically $60 for 90 minutes on a weekday morning/afternoon or $80 on a weekend / weekday evening.
#3. I book up fast, especially on weekends and weekday evenings. Why do I book up so fast?
- People started prebooking for archery lessons in 2015 back in July 2014.
- Some archery students keep coming back for more.
- Some archery students prebook 3, 5 or 10 lessons all at once.
- Weekends and weekday evenings are in short supply and are the most desirable time slots.
- People prebook months ahead of time. (I often receive a flood of prebooking requests in November.)
- Because kids have more availability after school ends in June, many parents wait until June before prebooking lessons - only to discover I am fully booked until August or September. (And by fully booked I mean completely fully booked.)
However I do have several solutions for parents who want to get their kids into archery (or parents being forced by their kids to let them get into archery):
#1. BUY EQUIPMENT
For approx. $100 to $300 you can buy everything your kid needs to practice archery - including a bow, 6 to 12 arrows (more is always better), shooting glove or tab, bow stringer, etc.
- For a higher quality bow go to Tent City in North York (near Steeles and Dufferin) and expect to spend $200 to $300 for everything you need.
- For a more average bow go to Bass Pro in Vaughan and expect to spend $100 to $250.
- For a very cheap children's bow go to a Canadian Tire that offers archery equipment (not all Canadian Tire stores sell archery equipment) and expect to spend $30 to $60 on a very cheap children's bow + the cost of extra arrows.
2nd Note - You might also think it is possible to rent archery equipment, but honestly I only know of one place that does rentals - and I don't know how reputable they are. I do however know they require a damage deposit, as beginners often break arrows easily. So I don't recommend rentals.
#2. MAKE YOUR OWN ARCHERY EQUIPMENT
There are plenty of YouTube videos and DIY archery equipment websites out there for people wishing to make their own archery equipment. Easy option is to make a simple stickbow out of a hardwood branch and some twine, but don't expect it to last very long. Typically, the best bows are those that take the longest to make so a little extra effort is required to make a bow that shoots well.
Regarding arrows you may want to still purchase arrows (see Tent City or Bass Pro) as arrow making can be quite time consuming to get perfectly straight well-fletched arrows. Alternatively you can buy dowels from either Canadian Tire or Home Depot, or you can try making your own dowels for arrow shafts but be forewarned that it will not be easy.
#3. ARCHERY TAG (MUST BE 16 OR OLDER)
Toronto has quite a few archery tag locations available, including one location that sometimes offers archery lessons for children under the age of 16 (Battle Sports in North York). If your kid is over 16 your kid and you (possibly your whole family if they are all over 16) could sign up for an hour of archery tag.
Note - Battle Sports in North York is the only location I currently recommend if you decide to go the archery tag route.
If you visit ArcheryToronto.ca the website has a list of archery summer camps or day camps that are either in Toronto or near Toronto.
However I should warn you right now that many of these camps will already be fully booked (completely fully booked), but I suppose you could always try to contact them to see if they have had any cancellations or can fit one more kid in.
I should also mention that archery instructors at camps basically only teach your kids the safety rules, so be forewarned that your kid may be disappointed by their lack of skills as they will have numerous bad habits that camp instructors won't bother to recognize or try to teach them how to avoid those mistakes. Your kid will doubtlessly have fun at camp, but may end up disappointed if they were expecting to be able to shoot like Katniss Everdeen, Hawkeye or Green Arrow in a hurry.
MAY YOUR ARROWS FLY TRUE
In conclusion if you are looking for archery lessons in Toronto, absolutely, contact me if your kid / you want archery lessons. However I must warn you may need to prebook for either August, September or October, or possibly even prebook for 2016.
Good luck in your archery endeavours and may your arrows always fly true.