Get archery lessons in Toronto - Contact or visit

Learn more about archery in Toronto by visiting, or the Toronto Public Archery Range Facebook page
or by joining the Canadian Toxophilite Society.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Women in Archery during Early 21st Century

In recent years archery has become increasingly popular - and nowhere is this rise more noticeable than the number of female celebrities being shown in films, music videos, photography doing archery - often just posing with the bow and not actually learning archery.

Below is a collection of female celebrities from the last 15 years or so doing archery - or at least posing with a bow and arrow. It is a long list too. Everyone from actresses Anne Hathaway and Keira Knightley to fashion supermodels like Daria Werbowy and musicians like Ke$ha.

To Anne Hathaway's credit she at least got an archery lesson and presumably learned something. Many of the photos of fashion models and actresses below clearly show a complete lack of formal training in archery. You can usually tell easily by their form and stance whether they have had any lessons or not.

To be fair, if we found a similar number of photographs of male actors, male fashion models and male musicians doing archery, they would likely look equally inept.

Women in Archery during the Mid 20th Century

Below are a collection of photos of women doing archery - often celebrities from 1940s, 1950s, 1960s.

According to my research archery saw a bit of a revival during the 1950s - and a small revival in the 1970s.

Basically it was suddenly kewl to be seen with a bow. So everyone from Marilyn Monroe, Bette Davis, Anita Ekberg, Candice Bergen, Cyd Charisse, Gene Tierney, Jean Parker, Susan Hayward, Lana Turner and others were picking up archery - not so much as a sport or something they do regularly, but just so they could be seen as part of what was essentially a fad at the time.

This fad even extended into the 1970s when people like Jane Fonda also picked up the bow.

Balancing Point of Arrow

Learn more about the Balancing Point of Arrow by reading "What the eff is FOC weight?"

Bow from the TV show Arrow

Female Archer with Horse

3Rivers Pilgrim and Squirt Bows for Kids

3Rivers has two really great bows for kids.

The two bows are known as the "Pilgrim" and the "Squirt" and they're designed for kids 5 to 7 years old and 8 to 10 years old. The Pilgrim is the larger of the two and can even get some impressive accuracy in the hands of an adult.

I saw the Squirt in action for the first time at the Toronto Public Archery Range (E. T. Seton Park) and was immediately impressed by the small kids bow. It is $120, but well worth it.

The Pilgrim costs more, $199, but definitely a quality bow if you want to introduce your kids to archery and don't want them using a shoddy $30 bow from Canadian Tire.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Archery Coaches in Toronto

If you are looking for an archery coach in Toronto you have several options.

#1. Charles from

As a personal trainer and an archery coach Charles is a great person to go to if you are a beginner who is just learning archery for the first time. He provides all the equipment, is patient, good at teaching both adults and teaches kids 10 years old and older. He has been teaching archery since 2010. So if you are new to archery and looking for archery lessons in Toronto he is the person to go to.

#2. Joan McDonald

A former Olympian Joan teaches Olympic archery. She does not provide equipment however, so you will need to invest $1,000 to $2,000 on Olympic equipment and furthermore Olympic archery coaches are not cheap. Expect to spend $20,000 per year on an Olympic coach.

#3. Japanese Kyudo

If you visit you will find a list of Toronto places that gives archery lessons. The JCCC (Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre) is one of them. However if you are serious about learning Kyudo you have to realize it is a seriously ritualized practice - similar to Japanese tea ceremony. Your goal here is not to actually hit the target. The form of Kyudo taught at the JCCC is very ritualistic, ceremonial and designed to be a form of meditation.

The other form of Kyudo, Kenzodo (the style taught by the great zen archer Awa Kenzo), is not taught in Canada and is only taught in Japan.

So if you are really serious about learning Kenzodo then you need to go to Japan and study under one of the people who are passing down the techniques taught by Awa Kenzo.

Outside of Toronto there is also various archery clubs in the Durham Region, an archery school in Etobicoke, and a few other small places way out in the boonies. So if you are looking for archery lessons you are best going to one of the options above.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Longbows and Pyramid Bows from Toronto Traditional Archery

I ran into Mike at the archery range recently where he was testing out two new pyramid bows he had made.

He also makes longbows, bowstrings and other things too - all traditionally made.

He doesn't have an official company name yet so for now he is using "Toronto Traditional Archery". (I will update this later I am guessing when he picks a more permanent name for his company.)

Here is what he has to say:

"I basically make traditional wooden bows using mostly hand tools and traditional materials (Rawhide, linen, hide glue etc).   I charge from $150 (basic bendy handle flatbow) to $250 (Stiff handle, pyramid, tropical wood riser and nocks).
I just need to know – max draw length and draw weight. Right hand or left hand draw and the preferred bow design – Bendy handle longbow (hybrid longbow), Center shot longbow, non-center shot pyramid etc. 
It takes about a month from start to finish (most of that is waiting for glues to dry and finishes to cure). Bendy handle bows take the least amount of time, since there is generally very little gluing involved (just the nocks unless you prefer self-nocks) with a stiff handle bow taking the most amount of time."
If you live in Toronto or the GTA and are looking to buy a traditional longbow, flatbow or pyramid bow you can contact him at
Above and below are samples of Mike's work.