In the Spotlight: The Canadian Open
This game-day guide has everything you need to know to make the most of the Canadian Open.
For well over a century, the Canadian Open has been a fixture of the country’s sports calendar. In 1904, the Royal Montreal Golf Club organized the first-ever Canadian Open golf tournament, an event Englishman Jack Oke won by just two strokes.
Since then, the Canadian Open has been hosted by one of the other five founding Clubs of the Royal Canadian Golf Association and numerous others. The vast majority of Canadian Open tournaments have been held in Ontario and Quebec, however, with just nine held outside that pair of provinces. Toronto has hosted the Canadian Open seven times since 1905 when the Toronto Golf Club hosted the second-ever Open.
Just eight years into the Canadian Open, the Professional Golfer’s Association of Canada first convened at the Royal Ottawa Golf Club, making it the third-oldest tournament on the PGA tour to run continuously, just behind the Open Championship and US Open. Except for brief suspensions during the World Wars and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Open continues to inspire golfers from around the world each year.
The Canadian Open is next slated to take place at St. George’s in Toronto from June 6 to 12, 2022. If you’re wondering how to make the most of that long-awaited game day, we have the scoop.
Things to do at St. George’s Golf and Country Club
St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Etobicoke has been the jewel of Toronto’s Islington district since 1909. It first hosted the Canadian Open in 1933 and went on to host four other times in 1949, 1960, 1968, and 2010. So you can rest assured that St. George’s knows how to pull off a great tournament without a hitch, and has a lot to offer golf fans making that pilgrimage to one of the biggest game days of the season.
One of the best things to do at St. George’s, of course, is to admire the greens themselves. Designed by legendary course architect Stanley Thompson in 1929, St. George’s fits beautifully into the Ontario landscape with dramatic bunkers, curvaceous fairways, and rolling hills fringed by trees certified as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.
The Club itself is a turreted, chateau-like dream with a vast putting green, training bay, and golf simulators where members can work on their swings. The final three holes of the course offer splendid views not only of the Clubhouse, but also the first hole from across a green valley.
Places to eat at St. George’s Golf and Country Club
St. George’s members love the menu on offer at the club. But tournaments like the Canadian Open mean spectators can try a wider range of foodie fare. Food and drinks are included in many of the ticket prices for special spectator boxes, and a variety of concessions are sprinkled throughout the course.
Before the 2021 event was postponed to 2022, the spectator’s brochure promised a Fare Way food market, too. It was to be located between the 15th and 17th holes with a wide range of options, as well as restrooms and merchandise booths.
The food and wine available at the club are to the highest standard. With an award-winning wine selection and a skilled sommelier, you’ll have the perfect vino to pair with your five-star meal. There are plenty of places to eat near St. George’s Golf Club, too, where you might want to grab a bite before or after following groups at the Canadian Open.
Continue the wine trend at this cozy restaurant with an extensive selection of seafood. The Cajun seasonings will leave you spiced up and satisfied and it’s just a few minutes' drive from the club.
If the glitz and glamour of the Open are just too much for you, counteract the daintiness with a smorgasbord of food from this iconic Canadian eatery just a few minutes' drive from St. George’s. Get yourself a box of poutine soaked in gravy or get a massive burger to hold you over.
For the health nuts, drive a few minutes from the club to get a satisfying and hearty meal from this low-key eatery. Soups, salads and plant-based meals are the perfect fuel for a day walking around the course in the sun.
Fun facts about the Canadian Open and St. George’s
- The Canadian Open is the third oldest on the PGA circuit after the Open Championship and US Open
- A Canadian has not won the Canadian Open since Pat Fletcher’s 1954 victory over Gordie Brydson and Bill Welch at Point Grey Golf and Country Club in Vancouver
- Canadian golf course architect Robbie Robinson made alterations to Stanley Thompson’s legendary design in the 1960s, lengthening the course and adding eight tees
- In 1957, curling was added at St. George’s, though it’s since been discontinued in favour of focusing solely on golf
- Stanley Thompson, who designed the courses at St. George’s, was an excellent golfer in the 1920s and was added to the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1980
- Thompson worked on 145 golf courses around the world between 1920 and 1953
- St. George’s was originally called the Royal York Golf Club because it was linked with the Royal York Hotel in Toronto
- In 1930, a room in the St. George’s clubhouse cost just $3 per night
- The Canadian Open is part of golf’s Triple Crown, which Tiger Woods won in 2000
- St. George’s Country Club has won awards for the diversity and vastness of its wine collection and for its excellent sommelier
How to get to the Canadian Open at St. George’s
By bus: St. George’s can be reached by public transit from Union Station via the Yonge-University subway line to Eglinton West and the 32A bus toward Renforth Station to Eglinton Ave West at Islington Ave. From that stop, it’s a ten-minute walk to the Club.
By car: Driving is the easiest way to get to the Toronto suburbs where St. George’s is located. It’s a 30-minute drive via the Gardinier Expressway West and Islington Avenue.