he enterprise and patriotism of the Canadians resident in
New York belong the credit for having established a Club which to-day
proudly rears its head among the great metropolitan social institutions,
and whose fame has extended throughout the broad Dominion of Canada.
It has become, under wise and liberal management, a great
national institution for the furtherance of a more complete knowledge of
the affairs of the Dominion and for the encouragement of her art,
literature and commerce. It has knit together, in ties of closer
friendship, the many Canadians who have found their home in the great
metropolis of the United States. It has become the rendezvous of those
of our countrymen who visit New York. It is the neutral ground whereon
prominent statesmen of all shades of political complexion have discussed
Canada’s great future.
The Club was founded April 30th, 1885, and its first home
was at No. 3 North Washington Square. It was formally opened on Dominion
Day, upon which occasion its worthy President delivered a memorable
speech from which I beg leave to make some extracts :
“When it was first suggested that a club, distinctively
Canadian, should be formed in New York, there were some who felt that
the attempt might not be attended with complete success, and that the
objects which could be accomplished were both vague and uncertain. It
was thought— inasmuch as there existed no organization of a similar kind
in this city—that a combination of interests peculiarly Canadian would
be a vain attempt. There was no Texas or Missouri Club, no Ohio or
Pennsylvania Society; and, except the New England Society, which only
dined together once a year, there was no organization distinctively
geographical and having for its sole object the interests of residents
in New York from any special section. Nevertheless, finding that there
were about six thousand Canadians in New York, and that a very large
proportion of these were almost unknown to each other, it was decided
that a club which would bring them together, could not be but productive
of most beneficial results, and that a mission of p1 ac2 ca1 usefulness
might be worked out of the idea, that would be helpful to all coming
within its influence.
“Accordingly, a meeting of the Canadian residents in New
York was called at the Hotel Brunswick. The attendance was surprisingly
large, and representative in character. The first and subsequent
meetings indicated an earnestness and enthusiasm which was a revelation
to'those who had originated the idea.
“It is clear to all who are familiar with the position of
Canadians in this city, that they are workers. They
come here with the avowed purpose of making a fortune, and of becoming
useful residents of the great city that so heartily welcomes them.
“This organization has for its purpose the promotion of
our common interests, the improvement of our social relations, the
cultivation of a more intimate acquaintance with each other; in short,
it is called to guide and direct those who hereafter may join us, in the
pursuit of a career of usefulness.
“I would commit a great injustice, did I fail to
recognize the hearty spirit of good-will with which, in this country,
all efforts for efficient service are welcomed. The treatment of
Canadians by Americans, so far as my observation extends, has been
characterized by the greatest possible liberality and appreciation. The
success of Canadians in the United States is the best evidence of it.
Another indication of this prevailing sentiment is to be found in the
words of .encouragement which have been uttered by the press and leading
men with whom we have come in contact.
"It is to be hoped that the Canadian Club will foster
intimate intercourse between former residents of Canada and visiting
Canadians as it will furnish an effective means of making them better
acquainted with each other.
“It will unquestionably bring together men who would
otherwise have proceeded in their respective paths without benefitting
from an experience which is to be derived only by a closer acquaintance.
Suggestions and ideas, which would otherwise have lain dormant, will be
given shape and life. The formation of committees, whose special duties
shall be to publish facts of material interest upon all matters of
importance to Canada, together with a library of reference, will result
in diffusing reliable information for the benefit of journalists in this
country. Public men, members of Congress, or others who desire to
intelligently discuss subjects relating to Canada, will find our Club
the fountain-head of information.
“The walls of this beautiful room, should be devoted,
during the autumn months, to an exhibition of the works of Canadian
artists. If Canadian art could but have a chance to impress itself
favorably upon the wealthy picture buyers of this city, and the names of
Canadian artists could be made as familiar in New York as they are in
Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, the Club would have achieved a purpose of
the noblest and most beneficial kind.
“The pleasure which such an exhibition of Canadian art
would afford Canadians, the gratification which the artists would
experience in being thoroughly appreciated by their fellow countrymen in
a foreign city, besides its refining influence ought to make the attempt
worthy of the effort. There are other exhibitions of Canadian artistic
skill which the Club might well encourage. They might take the form of
collections from the Societies of Decorative Art, of woman’s work,
which, in Toronto and Montreal, have of late years been so successful.
Embroidery, fancy work, sketches, and all those
delightful conceits of woman’s leisure and woman’s love, would exemplify
the refinement, skill and taste of Canadian women.
“With time, still larger conceptions of the duties of the
Club, will suggest themselves. It is sufficient for me to say with what
pleasurable anticipation we may look to an enjoyment of each other’s
society, and to the conviction that the usefulness of our lives, the
completeness and faithfulness of our services, and the growth within us
of all that is manly and best, will be promoted by such an association.
Mutual forbearance, hearty appreciation, and a better knowledge of each
other, may confidently be expected to result from the formation of the
How fully the plans for the Club’s usefulness, so well
outlined by the President, have been realized, this book in part bears
The present home of the Canadian Club is at 12 East 29th
The house is one of the few ornate buildings in this part
of New York. Remodelled for the Saint Nicholas Club, which occupied it
for the several years previous to its removal to Fifth Avenue, it was
then leased to the Canadian Club for a term of years, and was completely
overhauled and refurnished.
The Canadian Club has a membership of four hundred, which
is steadily increasing. Its aims have been high, and probably, outside
of the Lotos, no other club has given so brilliant a series of literary
entertainments. Many distinguished American and Canadian men of letters
and science have read papers from its rostrum. Its art exhibitions have
been encouraged by the contributions of almost all prominent American
and Canadian artists.
The Club is a great boon to Canadians visiting New York,
and that they thoroughly enjoy and appreciate its benefits the large
non-resident membership roll attests.
G. M. FAIRCHILD, Jr.
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