Top 5 Axe Throwing Destinations in Canada
So, you want to learn to be Canadian? You’ve bought a plaid shirt, grown a beard, developed a taste for Caesars and started putting maple syrup on everything you eat. But let’s be honest, you won’t truly feel like a Canadian until you’ve discovered your inner lumberjack.
Luckily for you, these days you don’t have to live in the backwoods to experience the woodsman lifestyle. The growing sport of axe throwing is reaching into cities all over Canada, so wherever you’re visiting, you and your friends can find out why throwing axes has always been a favourite Canadian pastime.
Wait, What Exactly is Axe Throwing?
While Canadians have long spent many a happy hour throwing axes at stumps of wood in their backyards, the sport of axe throwing is quickly becoming more refined and more competitive. It’s best compared to darts – except it’s far more satisfying when you hit the target, and way more fun. Like darts, the aim is to hit the bullseye, which will win you five points. You can also grab three points for the inner ring, or one point for the outer ring. Every board also has two dots in the top corner, called clutches. They can steal you a sweet seven points, but only if you call your shot first.
If you’ve never done it, you’ll be surprised how cathartic it is to hear the satisfying thud of a sharp axe into a wooden board. It’s no wonder then, that in the last 15 years, axe throwing has become huge around Canada and the world. There’s even a National Axe Throwing Federation (NATF) these days! As well as creating official rules for axe throwing competitions across the country, they host the National Axe Throwing Championship, with over $16,500 in prize money every year.
We’ve been around Whistler for a few years now, full history here, and we are more excited than ever before to show you the ropes on your next trip.
If you’re excited to go axe throwing, you need to know where to go. We’ve picked five of our favourite locations around the country. Whether you’re in Canada for a week, or a year, make sure to find time to try out this unique Canadian experience.
BATL – The Backyard Axe Throwing League
What: BATL is one of the original, biggest and best axe throwing centres in the country
Where: 10 locations across Ontario and Alberta, including Toronto, Ottawa and Calgary. They’ve even opened up three venues in the US!
Why we love them: BATL are the old boys of modern axe throwing. Founder Matt Wilson started throwing axes with his buddies in his actual backyard back in 2006. Before he knew it, he had a waitlist of people from all over Toronto desperate to get involved with his backyard leagues. Soon enough BATL found a permanent home in a warehouse in Toronto and haven’t stopped since. They’ve now got 13 locations, but still care most about the sense of community that made the original backyard leagues so popular.
What they offer: Of course, axe throwing leagues are still hugely popular at BATL. You can take part in an 8-week season for just $120, with fun competition and coaching from their experts. If you’re not quite up for that commitment, you can also pop along to their weekend public walk-in sessions, where you can learn to throw for just $20. Or, if you’re planning a celebration or a birthday, why not book one of their private parties, where their pro staff will teach you how to throw and organize tournaments for you.
What guests say about them on Tripadvisor: “Having the ability to tip a few back and be ridiculous with lumbering implements for a few hours was a hell of a lot of fun. 10/10, would BATL again.” Andrew S
Forged Axe Throwing
What: Obviously Forged is the best axe throwing experience in all of Canada!
Where: The mountains Whistler, BC, just two hours outside Vancouver
Why we love them: Not that we’re biased, or anything, but we think Forged have a pretty great thing going on. Like BATL, we were inspired to open Forged by the fun we had throwing axes with our mates. We hire the best staff to host your session, we’ve come up with loads of great games to beat your friends at. And we’ll even let you throw our giant axes if you’re really nice to us. Plus, we like to think we’re helping ease the tedium of those rainy west coast days – axe throwing is the perfect indoor activity for the outdoor adrenalin junkies you find in Whistler.
What they offer: We’ve worked out the perfect axe throwing experience for everyone. From one-hour drop in sessions, to parties for up to 110 people, we’ll make sure you get the best axe throwing experience. Children aged 10+ are welcome to take part, as long as they’re with a legal guardian. And we have a pretty cute dog too. If you’re getting serious about your axe throwing, our Monday night locals league has proved hugely popular – come along and meet some new friends while releasing your inner lumberjack.
What our guests say about us:
“Our bachelorette had an amazing time! Krista was phenomenal! She was so knowledgable, professional, and a whole lot of fun. 12/10, would huck large pieces of shaped metal at wooden boards under her watchful eye again.”
What: Riot Axe is a true community organization who know how to make sure everyone has the perfect axe throwing experience
Where: Guelph, Ontario
Why we love them: Riot Axe are a smaller local axe throwing facility with big hearts – and bigger beards! They host loads of private parties, which means you can tailor your experience to your group: from families to bachelor parties to seniors. Plus, they give a lot back to their community, donating to local charities and running loads of charity events in their space. The owners also always make sure it is a inclusive space for everyone to have an awesome time learning their new favourite sport.
What they offer: Riot is perfect for group bookings – they can hold groups of up to 28 people, and reserve their venue for group bookings most of the time. It’s just $39 per person for your own private axe throwing party. They also run drop in sessions on Monday nights from 6-9pm for just $20 per person. And, they helped set up the NATF with BATL, so of course they also run epic eight week leagues for those who can’t get enough of the sport.
What guests say about them: “Best atmosphere with the best people, and you get to throw heavy objects at the wall for fun!” Mike
Rage Axe Throwing
What: Montreal’s original axe throwing home, Rage Axe Throwing is open to all ages
Where: Rage now have two locations: their original home in Montreal, and another venue on the South Shore
Why we love them: Whoever you are, there’s a lot of fun to be had at Rage Axe Throwing. With 11 axe throwing lanes at their original Montreal location, they can accommodate up to 60 people, and they host loads of team building events that receive rave reviews. Rage is also a true family-friendly activity – there’s no minimum age, and kids can try their hand at axe throwing with a specially designed smaller axe. They even have awesome double-ended axes that they’ll let you try once you’ve mastered the basics!
What they offer: Their flexible booking system makes Rage a super affordable axe throwing choice. You can rent a target for just $45 during the week (or $55 at weekends), and each target can fit up to three people. As we mentioned, they’ve also perfected their team building experiences, with loads of fun games and great ways to let off a steam when things get tough at the office. And if you can’t make it to them, they could come to you: they can set up their temporary axe throwing games to make your next event unforgettable.
What guests say about them:
“Unfortunately none of us had a beard and wore plaid or we would have been more effective, one would assume.” Craig B
What: The Timber Lounge is an authentic axe-throwing experience built by a real log-rolling champion lumberjack
Where: Two locations in Nova Scotia: Halifax and Monckton
Why we love them: We’re not kidding, the founder of the Timber Lounge is a real life, world champion lumberjack. So, he knows his stuff when it comes to throwing sharp objects around. He’s created an intimate, authentic Canadian experience, complete with wood burning fire and the scent of freshly cut pine. Not to mention, the crew at Timber Lounge has combined axe throwing with another Canadian passion – local craft beer. Even if you don’t want to throw axes, it’s a great place to hang out and sample some great beer, and watch a great new sport.
What they offer: The Timber Lounge can accommodate drop ins, small group bookings and big private events too. Their professional staff will coach you through the axe throwing technique, and by the end of your 1.5 hour session you’ll be competing in tournaments with your friends, trying to live your best lumberjack life. The Timber Lounge is an adults only venue, so all participants must be aged 19+.
What their guests say about them: “I got to throw axes at stuff and left with all my arms, legs, fingers, and toes.” Robert S
“Fun. Fun. Sharp things hurled through the air fun.” Matthew W
So, there you have it. Wherever you are in Canada, make sure to find time to try out the new craze that’s getting us all in touch with our wilder side!