High society is as high society does: Exclusive clubs, premium membership cards, being a part of the ‘in’ crowd…It can seem so unattainable and privileged. Well, somewhat surprisingly, you too can involve yourself with the likes of other driven professionals, both young and experienced, by getting a membership at private club. There are a bevy to choose from, all with their own culture and their own breakdown of fees, but most will grant you access to that ever-aspiring clique: the well-to-do and the well-connected. Here’s a rundown of some of Canada’s best members-only clubs you need to check in on…
The Spoke Club
A swanky re-visioned space at the corner of King and Portland, the Spoke Club boasts one of the younger membership crowds, awash with creatives and Bay Street types. The upstairs patio is one of the best after-work drink scenes during the summer, the downstairs gallery is perfect for events, and the dining room delivers delish dishes. Bonus: Membership here grants you club privileges at international reciprocal clubs like The Groucho in London, The Odessa in Dublin, and the Kee in both Hong Kong and Shanghai.
This one’s for the ladies only, so gents skip down to the next. Verity is a womens-only club in Toronto based at Queen and Jarvis, right next to the beautiful GEORGE Restaurant. It houses meeting and lounge spaces, a spa (yes, a spa!), and various other amenities perfect for the YP lady looking to take her social circle – and likely her career – to the next level.
Toronto Temperance Society
Less a private club in the traditional sense, the Toronto Temperance Society is a members-only bar/lounge that serves up gastronomical cocktails that will awaken the senses and inspire your palate. An annual membership grants you access to this “haven for those who enjoy drinking well with other civilized adults.” Gaze upon the spirit selection with awe, and discover true cocktail culture at this College Street haute watering hole. Oh, and ladies, don’t order a Cosmo here, you might be asked to pack up and leave.
The Adelaide Club
This is one of those exclusive ‘gyms’ all the Bay Street movers and shakers flock to. Since ’78, The Adelaide Club has provided an atmosphere of exclusivity intermixed with fitness, providing members state-of-the-art facilities and training programs. The Lounge, with wi-fi of course, is perfect for a post work-out libation over emails, and access to the RMTs at the Spa are worth the membership alone. There’s also a host of reciprocal clubs in the States and internationally as well.
The National Club
One of Toronto’s oldest and most prestigious, The National Club was founded in 1874 and has a slew of benefits, not to mention a 50,000+ bottle wine cellar. Member events abound here, like wine tastings, oyster parties, dinner theatre, and the like, as well as fine dining in the restaurant, access to conference rooms (you’ll really ‘wow’ your clients here), and more. Added benefits include the Brooks Brothers Apparel Corporate Membership Card (15% discount), and access to the Plaza Sports Club. Not surprisingly, you’ll find The National Club on Bay Street.
Terminal City Club
Three restaurants, a billiard room, an ozonated pool overlooking Stanley Park, a fitness centre, and the list goes on for the member benefits at the Terminal City Club. Its history dates back to 1892, and since has become an institution for the well-off professionals of Vancouver. Attached is The Lions Pub, a gorgeous piece of Gastown history.
The Vancouver Club
An aside from this piece: The Vancouver Club has one of the classiest looking websites in this sector in all of Canada. But we digress…The facilities are of course swanky and polished, sophisticated with a modern edge. The Vancouver Club attracts an affluent young professional crowd, and it’s of no wonder. One of the best concierge services in the nation is here, catering to every whim and fancy you may have.
Hollyburn Country Club
One of the best pro-fitness clubs in BC, the Hollyburn Country Club is awash with Hamptons style and the clientele to boot. From your work-out to the post-game massage and then a bite in Bistro 950, membership at the Hollyburn Country Club is like the keys to the good life.
Vancouver Art Gallery, Young Associates Club
For a small annual membership fee, you’ll be granted access to the gallery unlimited for a year, have the opportunity to partake in special members-only networking events, and get invites to some of the hottest art openings. This is the perfect ‘club’ to gain membership to for the art-loving and avidly cultured YP.
The Royal Vancouver Yacht Club
Call it the city’s version of the Yale-style yacht club. It was conceived in 1903, and since has played home to some of the city’s most affluent. For the women, there’s a special RVYC community, but for all there’s the dining facilities, yacht programs, events, and more to appease any member.
It’s a new urban social gathering experience for YPs in Montreal, replete with gourmet food, lounges, spirits and the like. The new breed of affluent young business professionals resides here, all ready to network and get started on that next mutually beneficial relationship. Watch for their many monthly events.
St. James Club
A place where business meets prestige, the St. James Club is a Montreal members-only organization with facilities to match. It opened its doors in 1857, making it one of Canada’s oldest clubs of this nature, and has seen a slew of high-end business members in its 150+ year tenure. The events are great for networking and meeting influential Montrealers of all ages, and the network of 250 international clubs is just icing on the prestigious cake.
This chic and low-profile (as in on others’ radars) club boasts some of the most beautiful spaces in the city, not to mention one of the best restaurants hands down. The space was re-imagined “as a centre that incites cultural and economic dialogues and encourages gastronomic expression and experiences.” 357c has done just that: catering to the fancy of its clientele in a chic and sophisticated manner.
Our top selects for Calgary’s private clubs include the Calgary Petroleum Club, The Glencoe Club, the Calgary Winter Club, and The Ranchmen’s Club. Check them out here.
Photo courtesy Spoke Club, Toronto