This is a history of how the MTADL was founded in 1979.

Metropolitan Toronto Area Dart League

History of the MTADL

By David Holmes

 

In 1978 while playing a fun game of darts at the newly opened Victoria and Albert Tavern (Sheppard and Yonge) I fell in love with the sport and decided to form the V&A Dart Team. Most dart players at that time were throwing Legion Darts and playing in the Inter-City Dart League. I think the change in the Ontario Liquor Law that allowed you to carry your drink around in a bar is when darts began a new era. But trying to find bars with boards or teams to play against was not that easy.

Every Monday night we had a singles tournament at The Fox Tavern (Eglinton and Yonge) this is where the best dart players went for competition during the week.

It was here that I met Ron Murphy and Rob Hills, we soon became very good friends. Ron decided to form a team at the Hayloft Tavern (Front Street), Rob played Inter-city with the Blackwatch (which I joined later) as well as the Hayloft. While playing at the Fox we heard other bars were forming teams in Toronto and they also had no competition. It was decided one Monday night at the Fox that Ron, Rob, Dave and our newly formed teams would try and join the Eastend Dart League.

We arranged a meeting at the Mansion House (Danforth Ave. and Danforth Rd.) with their executive. At the meeting with the Eastend Dart League executives were Ron Murphy, Rob Hills and Dave Holmes. Their first concern was the number of players that we had playing Inter-City darts, They seemed to think that they were the elite dart players and too good to play in the Eastend Dart League. We assured them that they were just dart players like everyone else. We got rejected.

Two days later after having a meeting they agreed for us to join then changed their minds a couple of days later. Another meeting did not persuade them, we had no competition other than ourselves.

On our regular Monday night at the Fox Ron, Rob and myself decided to form a new league, even though we only had 2 teams at the time. It was decided to call it The Metropolitan Toronto Pub Dart League (MTPDL). The word ‘AREA’ replaced the ‘PUB’ 3 years later – this allowed a team that was outside the city limits to join. We were looking towards the future and expansion. We decided to play on Tuesday nights. (Fox tournament on Monday, Inter-city was Thurs.)

I quickly designed the MTPDL badge logo (which is still be used today) on a napkin at the Fox and we were off and running. Ron Murphy was our spokes person and the real force for getting other taverns and bars to form teams and join the MTPDL and for looking after all the legal issues involved.

With no members at the time, who should run the league. We decided to make Gord Fulton the first President of the MTPDL. Gord had experience with other leagues and played darts for many years. After a summer of recruiting teams, hanging & measuring dart boards and approving playing areas we were ready to go for the MTPDL inaugural season 1979-80. We decided on format of play, games to be played, all star points, stat sheets, logistics, and the future schedule etc.

The First captains meeting was held at the my local the V&A with inaugural teams Victoria and Albert, Hayloft, Sagamore Hotel, Camelot, (if anyone can remember the other 2 teams please advise me). Gord did a great job with the first year being a learning curve, we were so well organized that the Eastend Dart League (the same league that had rejected us) wanted to join the MTPDL for the 1980-81 season …and so we started to grow.

At a steady pace we grew 6 teams first year, 12 teams second year and before long 24 teams, We had a great ‘A’ Division (for the really good players) ‘B’ Division (for the up and coming) and ‘C’ Division (for those learning the game). We also started a Women’s Division on a Wednesday night that was just as competitive and fun as the others.

“At the height of the MTADL
we grew to over 85 teams
and over 1100 members”

We joined Darts Ontario as a member in good standing, always donated to worthy causes and had great banquets. (ask anyone who was there at the Old Fort York or Harbour Castle Awards Ceremonies).

Unfortunately there are always issues with large groups such as ours and the biggest was costs and the amount of travel time to get to a Tuesday match that was far away. I am happy to say that other leagues started because of ours (through good or bad ). Even though not associated with the MTADL but through necessity the Scarborough Dart League (founded 1986), Queen Street Dart League (founded 1991) and others were formed, congratulations to all these great leagues.

 

Ron Murphy (1980-81), Rob Hills (1981-82, 1983-84) and Dave Holmes (1984-85) each became President of the MTADL and enjoyed many more years on the executive. I am proud to say along with Ron and Rob that I was one of the founding fathers of the MTADL.

Founders of
MTADL

Ron Murphy

Dave Holmes

Rob Hills

 

Enjoy a video from
the MTADL in 1985

CLICK HERE