Category Archives: Looking Back: Port Carling’s 21 Club

Looking Back: Port Carling’s 21 Club

The 21 Club

A group of unidentified party-goers enjoy a summer evening at the 21 Club, which served light snacks but no alcohol. Photo courtesy of the Port Carling Wall Collection.

By Sarah Ryeland

Back in the 1940s and ‘50s, the summer season in Port Carling was just a busy as it is today. Filled with tourists, local residents and summer workers, the “Hub of the Lakes” was buzzing with life – particularly at night.

The place to be after dark was the 21 Club. An all-ages nightclub that featured bands playing the most popular music of the day, the club was open every night during the summer and offered the best dancing in town.

“It wasn’t fancy,” says Janet Ranney, a Torontonian who spent two weeks in Port Carling in the late 1940s. “You could show up in a t-shirt and slacks. It was very informal, but I thought it was wonderful. We went there every night.”

Ranney and her friends stayed at a nearby resort, walking over to the club every evening…

More about the 21 Club