The idea of forming a Sherlock Holmes society in Toronto emerged from ‘A Weekend With Sherlock Holmes’, which was held at the Metro Toronto Central Library in December 1971. At the time, the Library was located at College and St. George Streets.

The inaugural meeting was held in February 1972, in the Music Room of Hart House at the University of Toronto. It was noted that a ‘Mixture of scholarship and whimsy is what is needed at meetings’. That tradition has been well maintained.

In the popular Sherlock Holmes adventure The Hound of the Baskervilles, a boot is stolen from Sir Henry Baskerville. Later in the story we find out it was to enable the Hound to find him and kill him. That iconic boot was made in Toronto by a bootmaker called Meyers. So the Society is called The Bootmakers of Toronto and the leader of the Society is referred to as Meyers.

The Bootmakers have had some eminent members over the years, and to this day we are a refuge for writers, educators, legal beagles, those interested in crime or crime fiction, and those who are fascinated by the Victorian era. Today, The Bootmakers are alive and well and enjoying regular meetings, most of which are held at the Toronto Reference Library. Each meeting is devoted to the study of any one of the fifty-six short stories and four novels which comprise the Sherlockian canon.

Activities include scholarly lectures, slide shows, quizzes about the stories (with prizes for the most knowledgeable), and entertaining musical performances by our own “Irene Adler”, who is accompanied by another gifted musician. And, of course, each meeting includes refreshments prepared by “Mrs. Hudson”. Once a year, our most accomplished members are recognized at the Blue Carbuncle Awards Dinner.

The main characteristics of our meeting are the warmth, enthusiasm, and good humour of the members. To any avid Sherlockian reader who isn’t a Bootmaker, why not come and join us? A warm welcome awaits you.