Downtown Toronto Pipe Club

September 18th, 2017 by Eric

2017 BBQ Recap

Once again, pipe smokers descended upon our annual BBQ from all parts of the GTA (and even as far as Calgary) for a day of smoking, eating, and hanging out! The weather was absolutely beautiful this year and I would guess that about 35 people managed to make it out. A big thanks to Lowell, who put a bin of what must have been well over 30 unopened, well-aged tins of tobacco up for grabs. (I didn’t have time to take a picture before the table was swarmed. I have Mike J to thank for handing me a tin of Dunhill 965 or I would have missed out myself!) A big thanks to the esteemed Michael Parks for hosting us at his workshop.

April 1st, 2017 by Eric

Sneak Preview of Club Rebranding

We are very excited to give you a sneak preview of our upcoming re-branding effort! In just a few days the “DTPC” that you know and love will be no longer. Instead, we will be known as “6PC ” and sport a whole new logo as well. Why are we doing this? There are 3 main reasons:

  1. We are no longer simply a “downtown” club. Geographically speaking, we haven’t met within the actual core in years. Increasingly, our meetings have been held West, mid-town, and all the way out to Bowmanville. Our new name reflects this expanded terrain.
  2. Many people assume pipe clubs largely consist of a bunch of white, middle-aged men. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Hence, our new logo better shows our diversity, as well as appeals to a younger audience—the very people that we need to bring into our fold to ensure we pass the flame to future generations.
  3. Every time I go to a pipe show, people look at my DTPC t-shirt and say, “Hey, that looks like just the LA Pipe Club logo!” Then, with great annoyance, I have to explain that ours actually came first, courtesy of designer Jay Fletcher. And yes, it sure does look the same, except with a bear!

I hope you like the change! I can’t wait to get my new t-shirt printed in time for the Chicago Pipe Show in May!

February 21st, 2017 by Eric

IPSD 2017

It was great to be able to celebrate International Pipe Smoking Day 2017 in the Great Indoors this time! (Unlike one year early in club history which saw two brave members freezing to death outside of Trinity Bellwoods Park.) About 20 of us gathered to mark the occasion with our generous hosts for the evening, Zahra and Steve. Special thanks to everyone who helped make this happen!

September 14th, 2016 by Eric

2016 BBQ Recap

Like last year we were under the threat of inclement weather. Fortunately, the thunderstorms held off and we had warmth and even sunshine! People descended to Bowmanville for the fifth year in a row for (once) a true BBQ meal consisting of pulled pork, slaw and pickles. We didn’t keep to our schedule terribly well, but all the things we had planned managed to get done. In the end, the whole point is to get together for fun, food, conversation and smoking — and on all points it was a great success.

A big thanks to Michael Parks who, once again, opened up his home and workshop for the event; to Mike J. for providing the beverages and raffle items; Matt for selling raffle tickets; for the generous tobacco donations and associated swag; John for offering (and providing) rides; Jack for his help as part of the organizing committee and everyone else for coming out and being a part of it!

July 8th, 2016 by Eric

July Smoker Recap

It was great to see so many out for our July Smoker! Even though this part of Ontario has been experiencing the severest drought in 20 years we somehow found ourselves under the threat of rain — a DTPC tradition.

A special thanks to Ian and the folks at the Brigham and MORE on Queen East who hosted the evening.

May 4th, 2016 by Eric

Chicago 2016 Show Report

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the “pipe show scene”, the Chicago one (actually in St. Charles, IL) is the largest of them all, and is the only one that has a significant international presence. If you want to the see some of the “Great Danes” such as Nanna and Lars Ivarsson, this is the one to go to. (And if you want to buy one of their pipes, you should have several thousands of dollars handy.) The flip side of that coin is that it is also the busiest and “business-iest” of all the shows. As a case in point: even though the show is Saturday and Sunday, when we arrived on Thursday afternoon, Ernie Markle had already sold half of his pipes. If you’re a collector or have a serious case of PAD, you need to get there early because many of the vendors and pipemakers have been selling pipes out of their rooms and smoking tent since Tuesday and at the Friday “pre-show”; wait until Saturday morning when the show formally begins and you’ll see tables already with “Sold Out” signs and empty tables. But that’s Chicago.

Michael Parks, Jack and I traveled down by car together and met 6 other DTPC members of past and present. For a pipe-maker like Parks, this show is about work and connections. He brought down about 15 pipes, but 12 of those were commissions that he was bringing down to give to his customers. He’ll end up spending much of the show meeting with them and building on those connections. That invariably brings more work. And since this is a big industry event, it’s also an opportunity to pick up additional briar blocks and acrylic rods – and possibly even look at what the competition is up to.

For me, the show is definitely about the people. As much as I love pipes, the reason I started a pipe club is to meet and hear from other pipe smokers. So even though I spent hours walking the show floor, I felt happiest when having a chance to hang out with old friends and make new ones. (Listening to veterans Fred Hanna and Tad Gage swap stories and razz each other was a particular highlight.) The more shows I go to, the more I’m also drawn to the pipe carvers that I’ve begun to develop personal connections with and my collection has begun to reflect that.

To cap off my show report, I’ve included a few pictures. (Our DTPC logo was so popular we probably could have sold t-shirts at the show!)

September 14th, 2015 by Eric

2nd Annual BBQ Recap

Despite the fact that the temperature dropped nearly 25 degrees in only a few days (not to mention the wind and rain), nearly 40 people showed up for a most excellent day filled with pipe smoking activities! Thanks to our generous sponsors, everyone walked away with a least a tin of tobacco or a pipe.

Evan, Gio and Mike were a real hit as they gave an informal and very interactive workshop on the craft and art of pipe making.

We had 7 really excellent and interesting entries to our “Canadian” contest, and Nick ended the slow-smoke contest with his 35 minute win. (A certain DTPC prez. fizzled out in less than half that time. For shame.)

Thanks to everyone who came out — it was a pleasure to host the event and see everyone! It was especially rewarding partnering again with the Lakeshore Smokestacks and Mike Parks who worked hard on logistics and garnering such amazing support from the sponsors!

September 3rd, 2015 by Eric

2015 Fall BBQ* with Michael Parks: Did we mention you should go?

We’re nearly a week away!!

With that extended introduction out of the way, we proceed immediately to business-at-hand:

Given we are the “downtown” pipe club we should have figured many of you don’t have cars. (Why? Don’t need ’em. Am I right?) So we are helpfully offering a shuttle service** from the Oshawa*** Go Station to the event. If you need a ride, please email to let us know so we can plan appropriately. You would be expected to aim to arrive at the station for 9:30am.

We have added the option to purchase tickets at the door for 10 bucks****.
 This for those of you too lazy and/or paranoid to pay online. You can select this “pay at the door” option when you “purchase” your tickets. (You can even just show up without telling us, but we reserve the right to put you at the end of the food line. It just wouldn’t be fair to the people who spent the six seconds to click on the link above and enter their name and email.*****)

In case you have forgotten: the event is Saturday, September 12th, runs from 10am until 4pm, and is jointly hosted by the DTPC and Lakeshore Smokestacks.

There is a litany of events, contests and sponsors. If you are attending (or planning to), please take a look at our special page. No, really. Look at our special page!

* There will be no actual “BBQ” food. But at least one (rusty) grill will be on display for good measure.
** Service provided by whoever among us draws the short straw.
*** I think they make cars there.
**** That’s right. Save an 30 cents by buying in advance! No. Thank you.
***** We love you anyway.

May 29th, 2015 by Eric

June Smoker

I’m pleased to announce the date and location for our upcoming Smoker: Wednesday, June 17th. It will be hosted in the cozy backyard of DTPC regular and pipe-maker Giovanni!

When: Wednesday, June 17th beginning at 7:30pm
Where: 11 Alpine Ave. (Dundas and Dupont)
What to bring: Yourself, your combustibles, and libations. DTPC will be providing pizza and other snacks.

As with all Smokers – please check your inbox and/or this web-site on the day of in the event of inclement weather and a rescheduling is necessary.

May 11th, 2015 by Eric

Spring Opener

I’m pleased to say that it’s finally time for our Spring Opener! (Sorry for the radio silence up until now; I was out of the country for the second half of April.) It will be on Wednesday, May 20th beginning at 8:00pm.

Given that patio smoking is now illegal in the great province of Ontario it has necessitated a change of venue: We will be meeting in the middle of Trinity-Bellwoods Park, just a few blocks further West on Queen St. than our previous locale. To those of you who are not familiar with this area the choice of venue may sound a little strange. However, TB is a very large, very busy, and well-lit urban park – it will be so full of people that we won’t stand out in the slightest. The arrow in the map below points to the general location that we will be setting up our (metaphorical) tent: Once you find the giant crayons sticking in the ground you know you are in the right area; just look for the pipe smokers. (More specifically – the ones smoking pipe tobacco.) If we’re very lucky we may even be able to grab a nearby picnic table.

You are strongly encouraged to bring a lawn chair or two. (This is what I will be doing.) I will bring some snacks, but you are asked to provide your own refreshments. On that note: TB park has been renowned for its tolerance of casual imbibing in the park. However, in the last year there were general complaints so the police have shown an increased presence so please be discrete depending on your choice of beverage.

Spring is a temperamental season, and last year despite even sunny forecasts it seemed to rain before pretty much every planned smoker. If the forecast calls for rain or it’s too cold then I will reschedule the event. Please check this website and/or our Facebook page before you head out.