Canadian Club of Toronto
The Canadian Club of Toronto is a club in Toronto which meets several times a month to hear lunchtime speeches given by invited guests from the fields of politics, law, business, the arts, the media, and other prominent fields.
In the days before radio and television, the Club provided a chance for influential Torontonians to have contact with Canadian and international leaders in a variety of fields. Even today, the club manages to attract notable speakers. Some examples of speakers to address the club since the year 2000 include Paul Martin, Stephen Harper, Vladimir Putin, Paul Bremer, Bob Rae, Michael Dell, Jean Charest, John de Chastelain, Ted Rogers, Roy McMurtry, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Margaret Atwood, Karen Kain, Ralph Klein, David Frum, Pamela Wallin, John Manley, Beverley McLachlin, Dalton McGuinty, Belinda Stronach, David Dodge, Pinball Clemons, Gordon Campbell, Louise Arbour, Adrienne Clarkson, Donovan Bailey, Anne Mulcahy, and Jack Layton.
The Canadian Club has long had a role in Canadian life as an opinion-formation vehicle for some of Toronto's most prominent citizens.
The Canadian Club of Toronto was founded in 1897 by a Hamilton journalist. Speeches were initially given in the evening, but starting in 1899, the club moved to its present lunchtime format. In 1903, several members of the Canadian Club, concerned that the club was not sufficiently opposed to the wave of anti-British sentiment being expressed in the wake of the Alaskan Boundary Tribunal decision, left the Canadian Club to found the more pro-British Empire Club of Canada.
As of 2010, the Canadian Club's luncheons are normally held on Mondays in the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. As noted on their website: "The Canadian Club is not-for-profit and holds no political or religious affiliations. There are currently forty Canadian Clubs in various cities around Canada."
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