The first project of the newly chartered Rotary Club was the purchase of a special stool for a crippled child.  Funds were raised by selling tickets for a “turkey draw” which was held on December 11, 1952.  Although this initial project was modest, it was the beginning of the Club’s long and close association with the Crippled Children’s Society- now known as The Easter Seals Society.  
During the early years annual average attendance exceeded 90%.  It is obvious from the attendance records that attendance during that period of the Club’s history was very important and the attendance rules were straightly enforced.
A few years later the Club moved its meeting place from Benny’s to the North Toronto YMCA on Eglinton Avenue.  In 1959 the Club moved to the Penthouse Room of the Noshery Restaurant about two blocks west of Avenue Road.  The Club continued to meet there until the late 1970’s.  It is interesting to note that in 1959 lunch for a full course meal was $1.50.  

The year 1967 was significant in the Club’s history because the Club’s name was changed from the Rotary Club of Forest Hill to the Rotary Club of Toronto-Forest Hill.  This name change was made to recognize that the Village of Forest Hill had been amalgamated with the City of Toronto.  The new name more closely reflected the Club’s association with the City of Toronto.
In 1969 club membership grew to a high of 70 members. During this decade, many more of the Club’s new members came from outside the residential and business areas of Forest Hill.  In the same year, the Club founded its first Interact Club at Upper Canada College which later combined with Bishop Strachen and Havergal College to be inclusive of both genders.  By the end of the decade, Club initiation fee had been increased to $75 with $10 of this amount designated for the Rotary Foundation.  The annual club due was adjusted to $50 and the luncheon cost doubled to $3.00. And the gas price was 35 Cents per gallon.
The 1970’s were years of changes and transition within the Club.
In 1979, the Club moved its luncheon meetings from the Noshery to The Ports, located on Yonge Street at Summerhill Avenue. The Club remained at this location until 1982 when the Club moved to the Memories Dining Lounge on Eglinton Avenue West.
In 1977, the Club awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship to its first non-member, her Honour, Pauline McGibbon, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.  During this decade there were many fundraising activities, car raffles, harbor cruises, Christmas cake sales, fun auctions and Monte Carlo nights were some of them.  Fellowship events included the annual President’s Ball and bridge nights. Horse races at the old Woodbine race track had good turnouts and lots of memorable moments. Fellowship and camaraderie were at its best during fishing trips when stories were told over a beer about how the big ones that got away. And the Club continued to build based on those distinguished traditions and friendship events.
1980 was the 75th Anniversary Year of Rotary International.  All clubs were asked to setup a special project to celebrate Rotary’s 75th anniversary. Our Club was certainly no exception in its willingness and success in supporting Rotary’s significant milestone.
The Club decided to sponsor a Vietnamese boat family. The Club not only raised funds to support this family, but helped to arrange accommodation, supply furnishings, clothed the family and guided them in their struggles to become contributing members of the Canadian society. The magnitude of this project was illustrated by the fact that in agreeing to sponsor a family, the Club had to agree to be fully and financially responsible for the family’s welfare for up to a year.
Up to the 1980s Rotary members were all men and the wives formed the Inner Wheel Club, meeting regularly at each other’s homes supporting their husbands’ Rotary functions and events. One of the fellowship events was an annual dinner at Harbour Light where recovered substance addicts cooked and served dinners for Rotarians of our Club. Other activities were the Valentine Dinner Party, Monte Carlo night for kids of Easter Seals, the President’s Ball usually held at the Granite Club, the President’s Walk and the District Conference.
1989 Rotary International abided by the ruling of the Supreme Courts to open its membership to women much to the chagrin of the gentlemen in our Club. Many members threatened to resign should women be invited for membership. But all threats proved to be empty when the first lady member, a travel consultant, was inducted into the Club in November 1989. No one protested let alone resigned. As it turned out women membership added fun and strength to Rotary in general.
The unique and distinguished traditions in our Rotary meetings began when Jack Bennett, one of our chartered members, brought in flowers to our meetings from his flower shop when he was introduced to this Rotary Club some 60 years ago and the tradition continued on to this date, long after his passing. 
Our lunches were always entertained by a pianist. Harry Lewis played during earlier years until 1995 when Doug Clarke took over and is still playing beautifully today. There had also been a rendition of singing right after lunch when Rotarians sang old folk songs. Singing stopped in early 2000 for no apparent reason. Another tradition was the assignment of desk duty to greet members and visitors. The same member was also responsible to bring in three door prizes for lucky draws. Newer members were designated as greeters at the door to introduce themselves to members and guests.
The Club continued meeting at the Memories for many years until 1994 when the restaurant’s owners decided to retire and the property was sold and we had to move. The Primrose Club at 273 St. Clair Avenue West proved to be a great venue where parking was free and food was excellent. In fact many visitors were drawn to the Club because of its elegant dinning room and fine food. However three years later in 1997 the Primrose Club was torn down to make room for a new luxury condo and the club briefly moved to the Roehampton Hotel on Mount Pleasant Ave. then to Bradgate Arms at the corner of St. Clair and Avenue Road.
In 2002 the Club finally settled down at the Hazelton Place, built originally as a hotel and now an upscale retirement home for our new meeting place. We continue to meet there for lunch every Thursday. 
Our lunch meetings have been graced with prominent guest speakers, partly because of our Club’s profile and partly because of competent program directors. Joint meetings with the Rotary Club of Toronto produced guest speakers like past Prime Ministers, Premiers of Ontario, Minsters, Senators as well as prominent international figures.
As a sustaining and contributing club in the Rotary District the Rotary Club of Toronto-Forest Hill had a distinguished past. Many members have been well connected in the community and have earned the admiration and respect from the community and the Rotary District. Several members had been appointed in the leadership positions within the District including Chair of the Rotary Foundation, Director of District Club Services, Assistant District Governors and District Governor. 
One of the annual District events was the brain child of members of our club. The Foundation Walk originally called the President’s Walk was initiated by Archie Doyle with the help from Don Payne to encourage every club president to walk 10 Km. on a Sunday in the Fall, to raise funds for the Rotary Foundation. To further his effort Archie a handy craftsperson himself, made a trophy to honour the club with the highest per capita donation to win the contest and to receive the trophy and the honour to host the following year’s walk. In 1992 the Rotary Club of Toronto-Forest Hill won the honour, and was awarded the right to host the walk in 1993. The 1993 walk was unique because guests and members instead of walking along the trails in the open rural areas were entertained with the history and stories of Forest Hill as they strode the streets among palatial homes in the neighbourhood. We managed to raise over 90 thousand dollars for the Rotary Foundation.
In October 1997 the Rotary Club of Toronto-Forest Hill being home of the District Governor hosted its first District Conference in Niagara Falls Ontario drawing over 500 members and guests. The success of that District Conference echoed in the Rotary District as the organizing committee paid back the entire sum of $16,000 to Rotary District, money allotted for organizing the annual District Conference. The success of the event was directly attributed to the hard work and leadership of the organizing committee and every member from this very Rotary Club.
There were also interesting traditions in the past. It was interesting to know that during the early years, Rotary meetings were conducted according to parliamentary procedures and in fact this tradition is still observed in many Clubs. One must asked for a point of privilege before addressing the president and/or its members.
There were also notoriety and interesting episodes among club members.  Sid Ikeda, now our honourary member, was decorated with the Order of Ontario for his effort in promoting racial harmony. Another member caught the news when his private plane landed on a highway in the Muskoka area.
For many years our Club has been the champion of the community. Local community and the City benefited from our many Club projects. Significant achievements and contributions included building of the children’s playground in Cabbage Town, a nine-passenger van donation to the North Toronto Community Centre, a golf cart to the Metro Toronto Police and many many others community projects solidifying the relationship between Rotary and the people of the community.
Internationally we had our share of contributions to peoples of the world. Notable projects were Bosnia clothes drive when our late member Gill Taylor, owner of Beatty’s Clothing Store, donated truck loads of all his unsold merchandize to the refugees living on the hillsides of Bosnia. Another project worth mentioning was the donation of a used school bus full of children’s clothes and school supplies when a Rotarian from the Leaside Rotary Club drove the school bus himself from Toronto to Nicaragua.
The funding of an eye hospital in the Dominican Republic; the famine relief of Ethiopia; donating power generators to help farmers during the Ice Storm in Eastern Ontario and Quebec.  Our member Scott Fairweather with the help of many led the campaign for clearing landmines in the world.  James and Chako generously opened their home to help raise funds for the Japanese Tsunami disaster and the landmine foundation. 
This year we started another tradition when we elected a lady president for the first time after 60 years of male dominance and the gas price ridiculous.
The history of this Rotary Club, like many voluntary organizations, had both difficult and successful periods since it was founded. As we honour the past and plan for the future, the rich history serves as a reminder of our commitment to helping the sick, the poor and the underprivileged and above all to educate our children. 
It is an honour and a privilege to be a member of the Rotary Club of Toronto-Forest Hill and it is hope that our successful past will inspire present and future members to carry on and continue to build on all that have been accomplished since our inception in1952.