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.
ARCHERY NEWS IN TORONTO
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January 19th 2017
We have been receiving requests for information about Mounted Archery Lessons / Horseback Archery Lessons, including one request for Yabusame (Japanese style mounted archery). There are scant few places that offer mounted archery, that much is certain. We do have some recommendations however.
#1. We strongly advise that people looking to get into mounted archery to first learn how to ride a horse. Don't try to learn how to ride AND try to learn horseback archery at the same time. That is just plain dangerous. Learn to ride first. You will then also have to learn how to control the horse with just your legs - because your hands will be busy, and that means you will need to learn more advanced riding skills. Expect to spending between $25 to $100 per hour on riding lessons.
#2. Understand the financial costs of owning a horse. Yes, you can get riding lessons without owning a horse, but if your goal is to eventually own a horse and do mounted archery, you should really understand how expensive owning a horse is. Along with stabling, feed, veternarian costs, etc.
#3. Where will you end up practicing mounted archery? You should come up with a plan for that. Not every horse stables/ranch is going to be okay with you doing archery there and treating the place like your own private archery range. You will need to find a place that allows such things.
If people have any information about places in Canada that offer mounted archery then we invite you to email us the details and we will share it here with others - possibly even creating a database of locations that teach both horse riding lessons and mounted archery.
November 20th 2016
The first snowfall of the season was today (Sunday). Now before people start contacting us with questions, lets answer some FAQ right now:
1. Yes, the Toronto Archery Range is still open during the winter. 24/7, 365 days per year. It is just really cold during the winter. See our Guide to Winter Archery to learn more.
2. No, there is not an indoor range for you to practice in. Not yet at least. We have been working on opening an indoor range for several years now, but we need more people to sign up on the waiting list. Please note the indoor range would not be free. There would be a monthly fee similar to a gym, and since we really need people to sign up for annual memberships the real focus would be on getting people to agree to annual memberships. If you are interested in being on the waiting list contact us and we will add you to the list.
3. Yes, there are a few other places where you can practice - in theory. U of T, Ryerson and York University all have private archery ranges - mostly for students, but joining them is sometimes possible for outsiders. For example the York University range costs $120 per month, and is only open about 8 to 10 times per month. So if you only visit that range 6 times per month it is costing you $20 per visit. A few Archery Tag locations also operate small indoor ranges (usually 1 or 2 days per week, during unpopular time slots).
4. Yes, we do know of a few archery instructors who teach during the winter. See the Archery Lessons page and try contacting a few of them.
5. Before asking any questions we didn't cover please read the Guide to Winter Archery and Frequently Asked Questions pages. Have a great winter!
November 15th 2016
Two of the 20 yard target butts were repaired yesterday (#4 and #5 / November 14th) by park staff. Two more 70 yard targets were repaired today (#11 and #12 / November 15th) by staff, including the one target which had been there since 2015.
Target butt maintenance is actually a safety issue, because if they are not maintained archers have a tendency to ignore safety rules about shooting from the line, which other people see and then think it is okay to ignore other safety rules. Please observe all safety rules. The penalty for not doing so is a $4,000 fine and possible prison time.
November 4th 2016
Shell casings from bullets were found early this morning at the Toronto Archery Range, along with a bullet riddled paper target. Significant damage was done to a target butt. If you saw the person or persons who was shooting guns at the archery range this morning please contact police (54 Division).
Please be advised that shooting any kind of firearms at the Toronto Archery Range is strictly prohibited and carries multiple charges which can lead to $4,000 or more in fines, possible prison time, and a lifetime weapons ban.
October 23rd 2016
Someone left a dangerous prank (potentially deadly) at the archery range. We are not going to say what the nature of the prank was, because we don't want people thinking that it is a good idea to leave dangerous / potentially deadly pranks at the archery range. Fortunately it was noticed by an observant regular at the archery range and promptly removed.
If you see someone doing something dangerous at the archery range, like installing a deadly prank, please call 911 immediately. If you can please try to get their name and a photo of their face. Do not tamper with any suspicious devices if you feel your life is at risk. Call the police instead.
October 16th 2016
The washrooms near the Overlea Parking Lot have closed for the season. They should be reopened some time in May 2017.
September 11th 2016
Television coverage of the 2016 Paralympic Games is in scant supply. You can see some of it on the CBC or NBC, but if you are looking for specific events (eg. compound archery) then you might want to watch it online instead. The CBC for example is only broadcasting "daily wrap-ups", a summary of various events of the games, instead of broadcasting all of the events live. To get a live stream of the events, visit the CBC website. It is unclear what decision making reason is behind the lack of live television broadcasting of the Paralympic Games: Lack of money to purchase the broadcasting rights? Or a false idea that Canadians might not be interested in watching amazing athletes compete?
September 9th 2016
One of the 50 yard targets (the one which collapsed circa August 24th) has been repaired. Unfortunately the other 50 yard targets has also collapsed. Try emailing email@example.com if you want to encourage park staff to fix the target sooner. (You might want to mention it is a different target, otherwise they might be confused as to which one you are talking about, since it is the northmost target which has collapsed, and the southmost target was the one just repaired.)
September 7th to 18th 2016
The Paralympic Games in Rio are coming up, starting on September 7th until the 18th. Representing Canada at this year's Paralympic Games will be Karen Van Nest of Wiarton, Ontario, and Kevin Evans of Jaffray, B.C. For Karen it will be her fifth Paralympic Games while for Kevin it will be his third Paralympic Games. Both archers shoot compound bows.
In recent years American compound enthusiasts have been hoping to have compound bows added to the Olympic Games (as opposed to only the Paralympics). There is also support for compound archery being added as an Olympic sport in Canada, Mexico, parts of Central America and parts of Europe. However that is where the support stops. Compound archery is not popular in Asia, Africa, South America or other parts of the world. It is a "mostly American" sport, and doesn't have a lot of international appeal. In recent years there has been a push to add Compound Archery to the 2016 or 2020 Olympics, but as it didn't happen for 2016, and now 2020 is drawing closer, it seems unlikely to happen.
Equestrian archery however, despite being more rare, does have international appeal, having been part of archery's culture in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. In the history of "Weird Sports at the Olympics" there are certainly stranger things, such as "Roller Hockey" at the 1992 Olympics, "Live Pigeon Shooting" at the 1900 Olympics, and "Race Walking" which has been at every Summer Olympics since 1904. In a games where race walking continues to persist, but equestrian archery has not been added to the roster, it makes people wonder what the IOC is thinking when they pick these sports.
August 27th 2016
A new archery organization operating on Facebook ("E.T. Seton Archery Volunteers") donated some of their time today to cleaning up the Toronto Archery Range. They also donated and installed two new garbage cans near the "lost and found arrow box" at the south end of the archery range. This should help to keep the range clean of garbage. Several years ago the south end of the archery range used to have garbage and recycling bins operated by city staff, but these were removed under Rob Ford cutbacks and the state of cleanliness at the archery range cycled downwards afterwards as litterbugs were more willing to just throw their garbage on the ground rather than walk to the north end of the range to throw their garbage in the only remaining garbage bins.
Also just a reminder to people shooting at balloons on the targets: Please pick up your broken balloons after you are done shooting them and toss them in the garbage. We appreciate that shooting balloons is fun, but please help to keep the archery range clean. Thank you!
August 25th 2016
TRIPLE HOMICIDE IN SCARBOROUGH - Victims are believed to have been shot with a crossbow at point blank range.
WE WILL BE POSTING UPDATES AS OFTEN AS NEW INFO BECOMES AVAILABLE. Last updated August 30th.
Three people are dead and one person is injured and being held in custody as Scarborough police search for clues this afternoon. The incident happened around 1 PM today inside an east end garage on Lawndale Road near the corner of Mason Road/Eglinton Avenue East. According to an anonymous police source the three victims were related - the three were later revealed to be a mother and her two sons. Their identities will not be released until next of kin are notified. Autopsies were scheduled to take place on Friday the 26th.
The incident was first reported to be a possible stabbing, but police now believe the victims (two men and one woman) may have been shot point blank with a crossbow that was left on the floor of the garage. The 4th person is not believed to have been injured with a crossbow and is believed to have been stabbed instead. Police have a 5th person in custody, who is also injured, and is the primary suspect for the murders.
The motive for the triple homicide is unclear. Police have released the name of the suspect (Brett Ryan), a 35-year-old male, who is related to the victims. Three charges of first degree homicide have been laid against Brett Ryan for the slaying of the mother and her two sons.
Right: Facebook photo of Brett Ryan, the suspected murderer.
Ryan is described as a "career criminal". He was arrested in June 2008 and charged with 29 offences, including robbery and disguise with intent, in relation with a string of bank robberies under the guise of "the fake beard bandit". In January 2009, Ryan pleaded guilty to 8 counts of robbery and 8 counts of disguise with intent. He was sentenced to 3 years and 9 months in prison. After being released from prison he got engaged to get married (according to family and social media posts). He was scheduled to get married around mid September.
Other "things" found in the garage may have also been used as weapons according to Constable Jenifferjit Sidhu. It is unclear the nature of the potential weapons that were also in the vicinity, but it is possible they were accumulated with the intention of committing first degree murder. When police arrived 2 of the victims were without vital signs. The 3rd reportedly died at the scene shortly after police arrived and was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Jerome Cruz, a neighbour who lives nearby, reports hearing screams that sounded like a fight in the garage. The screaming lasted about 5 minutes before things went silent. No neighbours chose to investigate the cause of the screaming. Cruz said the people who lived in the house seemed normal and "very quiet."
Police investigators later confirmed that a suspicious package found in downtown Toronto earlier today is somehow connected to the triple homicide. Police at the time would not say how the two incidents are related. At 2:30 PM on August 25th police were called to investigate a suspicious package at a condo at 218 Queens Quay, between Simcoe and York streets. A chemical biological radiological nuclear (CBRN) team was called to investigate the package. The area near 218 Queens Quay was evacuated and closed off to pedestrians and traffic. Residents and passersby were told to "to move as far from the building as possible".
Our deep condolences go out to the families of the deceased. We hope the police have the correct suspect in custody and keep them off the streets where they might cause further death or injury to others. Police are asking anyone with info on the incident to contact 416 808-7400.
Update, August 29th: The autopsy reports were announced publicly at 2:30 PM, August 29th.
The cause of death for the female victim was ligature strangulation.
The cause of death for one of the male victims was stabbing with a crossbow bolt in the neck.
The cause of death for the other male victim was stabbing with an arrowhead in the neck.
Police also confirmed that there was no explosives or anything else of danger at Queens Quay, and that the public was never in any danger from the suspicious package found at Queens Quay. They did however confirm that Queens Quay was the home of Brett Ryan. They also confirmed that the fourth person who was stabbed during the incident had been released from hospital. Police said they had significant evidence to prove the murders were premeditated, but did not disclose details. Police refused to release any additional details at this time.
Update, August 30th: The publication ban on the identities of the victims has now been lifted.
The three victims, believed killed by the suspected murderer Brett Ryan, are Susan Ryan, 66, Christopher Ryan, 42, and Alexander Ryan, 29. Susan was the mother of the accused and Christopher and Alexander were the older and younger brothers of the accused. William Ryan, the father of four boys, died last year of natural causes. They are survived by a fourth brother.
This is not the first time a crossbow has been used in a homicide in Toronto. See also Crossbow Murder in Toronto Library to learn more about a separate incident in December 2010 in which an Ottawa man traveled to Toronto and murdered his father in a Toronto library using a crossbow and a hammer.
A crossbow bolt is similar to an arrow, but is typically only 16 inches or less in length. Anything longer than 16 inches is considered to be an arrow. Cocking a crossbow and then loading a bolt takes considerable time and effort, even a person well versed in using crossbows would only be able to load 2 per minute, it would require both hands to reload, and a person under stress and the effects of adrenaline would likely make mistakes that would slow them down because their hands would be shaking. (Ignore what you see on "The Walking Dead", that show has a largely inaccurate portrayal of how long it takes to load a crossbow.)
Under current Ontario regulations, a crossbow can be purchased by anyone over the age of 18, but a person does not need to have a permit or license to own and operate a crossbow. They are sold primarily at hunting stores, conventions, and even larger stores such as Canadian Tire and Walmart sometimes also sell crossbows. Hand crossbows in Canada are prohibited, as they can be used as a concealed weapon. A hand crossbow is any crossbow which is less than 500 mm long.
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