Ottawa Magazine

Capital Clubs

- —Laura Byrne Paquet

Founded in 1881, the Ottawa Tennis and Lawn Bowling Club in Old Ottawa South has survived several moves, competitio­n from young whippersna­ppers such as the Royal Ottawa Golf Club (founded 1891), Depression-era bankruptcy, and the onslaught of rival amusements such as talking pictures. Perhaps cautious change has been key: the club long ago stopped requiring female players to wear white bonnets and ankle-length skirts, but waited 125 years to relax its ban on coloured tennis clothing. The city’s enthusiasm for grassy gaming was further entrenched by Westboro’s Highland Park Lawn Bowling Club (pictured), founded in 1914 on leased farmland. Other long-standing clubs in the capital include the Ottawa Curling Club (1851) and the Ottawa Rowing Club (1867).

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