Lake Macquarie History

Toronto Bowling Club

The City Council of Lake Macquarie acknowledge the Aboriginal people known today as the Awabakal, as the traditional Custodians of the land, respecting Aboriginal Elders past, present and future. Lake Macquarie City Council recognise the local Aboriginal community today in all of their diversity, who came forward to share their experiences, knowledge, images and memories.

The first bowling greens at Toronto were established in the grounds of the Toronto Hotel in 1934 by the then publican, Charles Bacon at a cost of £1350. Although the greens were part of the amenities provided for hotel patrons, local residents also played and formally organised tournaments and club membership were set up. Among the earliest members was Mr G .E. Edwards, who became the first President and opened the newly built greens in that capacity in October 1934.

photo: toronto hotel: bowling greens in foreground

Although there was a pavilion adjacent to the greens, refreshments for players and guests were served from the Hotel’s Wintergarden. In 1955, the land on which the greens and pavilion stood was bought from Tooheys Ltd. for the sum of £6000. For the first time the club was able to generate income from the provision of refreshments, heralding a time of great growth.

The club was registered as a company under the Corporations Act in 1956 under the title of Toronto Bowling Club Ltd.

On June 17th, 1961 the new clubhouse was opened by the president of the Newcastle District Bowling Association Mr Frank Brent.

photo: toronto bowling club

photo: toronto bowling club

The architect was a Toronto resident, Timbury (Tim) Mayo of the firm Mayo & Wark.

As can be seen from the photographs the new clubhouse was very modern and afforded magnificent views of the Lake from the surrounding decks. One of the outstanding features was that the main floor of the club was elevated around eight feet above the greens, which provided spectators with unprecedented views of the games.

The club closed some time prior to 1997 when a development application to extend the Coles Supermarket complex onto the site was lodged with Lake Macquarie City Council.