Pickleball is growing very quickly across North America because not only is it a game that’s fun, social and easy to learn it’s also a sport that can be played by people of all ages. For those who are just discovering pickleball and live within the Greater Toronto Area, you may notice that the sport has not yet caught on in Toronto, which leads to the question: where can one go to play or learn to play pickleball?
For anyone just getting into the sport, I recommend you reach out to your local Pickleball Ontario Ambassador for their suggestions on where to play. The Ambassador program was developed to help grow the game of pickleball in respective regions across the province. Your Ambassador will provide you with plenty of helpful information as to where and when to play based on your interest and skill level.
The City of Toronto recreation centres predominantly offers pickleball as a drop-in to the 60+ age group. These programs will either be free or cost about $4 for a couple of hours of play. There’s typically a minimum of 3 pickleball courts, and a convenor will be present the entire time to shuffle the players around every 15 minutes. To find a recreation centre near you, it’s easiest to Google your closest recreation centre and include the word “pickleball” in the search. Click the “Drop-In Program” tab, then “Sports” to find pickleball. Days and times will be specified.
Note: some recreation facilities do offer pickleball for a younger age group.One option that keeps getting busier and busier each month is Progress Pickleball Club, located in Scarborough. This club is membership-based - although they do welcome non-members - and operates 7 days a week. The floor is a rubber-material that can be soft in some places and so players will experience dead spots, but there are 5 courts and a very wide range of players, so you’re guaranteed to play with people your skill level and more.
Finally, if you are a part of a private racquet or sports club, chances are drop-in pickleball is already being offered as an extra amenity. Some clubs may even offer instructional pickleball. Racquet clubs in Toronto that we know to offer pickleball include Mayfair Racquet Clubs, Boulevard Club, Granite Club, Thornhill Country Club (summer only). Benefits of joining a private club include less congested recreational play, become part of a community, and pickleball is often played on a hard court surface, which is an ideal surface to play on.
If you know of a location that hasn’t been mentioned, be sure to leave a comment below.