About The Optimist Club of Brooklin

Chartered September 28, 1987 and incorporated as an Ontario Not-for-profit Corporation, The Optimist Club of Brooklin, Ontario is a member of the Central Ontario District of Optimist International. Brooklin Optimist Club was one of the first clubs with both men and women as charter members.

General Meetings are held twice per month in Brooklin in a meeting room at the Community Centre. Members are invited to attend all meetings, however, some members choose to complete their community service by regularly assisting with bingo, youth dances, youth clubs and special events held during the year.


2nd & 4th Wednesdays 7:30-9:00 pm, at
Brooklin Community Centre (Optimist Room), 8 Vipond Rd. Brooklin, ON Canada.

100 Years of Optimism in Ontario (1924-2024)

The year was 1924. Toronto was a lot smaller than it is today, with a population of about 500,000. Life was different back then. In 1924, there were no traffic lights, no parking meters and believe it or not, people were buying cars and driving them around without need of a licence.

Optimist International goes back to around the year 1911. A bunch of nice fellows in Buffalo, N.Y., used to get together every so often. They’d eat lunch and shoot the breeze and figure out ways to make their community a better place for everyone. They didn’t have a lot of money, but they had a vision and lots of determination.

Word spread and the first Canadian Optimist Club was finally formed by a dedicated young man by the name of Bill Skilling.

Bill Skilling and two of his friends had begun to meet in December of 1923. Because of those devoted early pioneer Optimists, Ontario clubs, as well as Optimist International survived the Great Depression of the 1930’s and the war years, from 1939 to 1945.

Optimists International had a “men only” policy in force, up until 1981, when the organization decided to allow women to join. This wasn’t achieved until 1987. In that summer of 1987, the first three women to join the Optimist Club of East Ottawa were Claire Duncis, Rita Tanguay and Judy Gervais.

Since 1924, Optimist International has worked hard to provide boys with extra skills that were then not learned in school. They have supported youth sports both in their communities and in association with schools. They not only helped financially, but they also attended games, to encourage the players of the various teams they sponsored.

One of the first priorities of the early Optimist clubs was to form Junior Optimist Clubs, where kids were given the opportunity to help other kids. They believed that building a youth club was a solid investment in the future. Today youngsters enter anything from essay contests to golf tournaments through the support of various Optimist Clubs in Ontario.

Optimist Clubs in Ontario have been serving youth for 96 years.