News Release
July 4, 2024

Earlier today, Councillor Stephen Holyday (Etobicoke Centre) was joined by The Honourable Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure, Government of Ontario, to celebrate a $433,000 investment in Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) funding for improvements to the James Gardens Lawn Bowling Club. This is the largest OTF grant awarded to the City of Toronto and the largest awarded to a lawn bowling club. 

This grant, through the OTF’s Community Building Fund, has helped make significant upgrades to the facility that include improving the artificial playing surfaces, lighting and ditchboards (boards protecting the lowered pit surrounding the edges of the green) and improving accessibility with ramps and paved pathways on the grounds. These improvements help create a more accessible recreation facility for Torontonians. 

James Gardens was purchased from the estate of the James family in 1955 as part of the Humber River flood plain acquisition program.  

On June 14, 1969, the James Gardens Lawn Bowling Club officially opened and, for the next thirty years, the club membership grew with both recreational and competitive bowling becoming increasingly popular. In-club bowling became an important aspect of community life and traditions

In 2007, artificial turf replaced natural grass as the play surface. Since then, the James Gardens Lawn Bowling Club has attracted many championship level players to the club including the Canadian National Team members who practice there. 

The OTF, an agency of the Government of Ontario, is helping build healthy and vibrant communities across Ontario. For more than 40 years, OTF grants have made an impact on the social, cultural, and economic well-being of the people of Ontario. OTF funds projects that update buildings, enhance spaces, and purchase fixed and non-fixed equipment so people and communities can thrive. 


“It is exciting that there are facilities such as these that keep Toronto residents active into their senior years. This significant investment by the Ontario Trillium Foundation helped make James Gardens Lawn Bowling Club more accessible, which will provide more opportunities for people of all abilities to enjoy this sport.”  

– Mayor Olivia Chow 

“The funding by Ontario Trillium Foundation is important investment in our community of Etobicoke Centre that will help James Gardens Lawn Bowling Club to improve the existing facilities and allow many residents to continue practicing lawn bowling and let the tradition of playing bowling and facilitating friendship around the sport live for many more years to come.”  

– Honourable Kinga Surma, MPP for Etobicoke Centre 

“Whether it’s helping people learn new things, connect with their community, or simply have fun, organizations like the City of Toronto’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation division deliver experiences that make a difference. That is why grant support through the Ontario Trillium Foundation is so important. This funding will help ensure that the James Gardens Lawn Bowling facility remains at the heart of the community for decades to come.” 

– Honourable Stan Cho (Willowdale), Minister of Tourism, Culture and Gaming 

“This is a very welcome investment in Etobicoke Centre, especially for seniors living in this community. By making these improvements to James Gardens Lawn Bowling Club, players can continue to enjoy this support well into their senior years while continuing to stay connected to each other and the local community.” 

– Councillor Stephen Holyday (Etobicoke Centre) 

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