The First Property
In the early thirties, the Club had begun to outgrow its shared facilities at St. Joseph's School so the decision was made in May 1934 to purchase property at 966 Wyandotte St. E. for $5,000. Unfortunately, shortly after the property purchase, economic hard times followed and many Members could no longer sustain their membership and were forced to leave the Club. Despite the loss, the Club continued to function buoyed by the efforts of the remaining Members. By 1940 however, the strain of World War II forced the Club to surrender its beer license and close its clubrooms to the general public. This was a dark time for Italian Canadians as we were seen by many as "enemy aliens", and many Italian Canadians, including some from this area were sent to internment camps. It was not until the war was over that Italians and the Caboto Club were once again part of the community as a whole.
Post War Immigration Spurs New Growth
The Second World War had taken its toll on Europe and once immigration was opened up again, a new influx of Italians began to come to Canada eager to build new lives for themselves and their families. The new immigrants also found a place to meet in the Club and it was not long before the Wyandotte location was too small. In 1948 the Membership decided to look for land to construct a larger building and in March 1949, the decision was made to purchase the current site at 2175 Parent Avenue. Members came forward and generously offered their time and materials to the construction project, and opening in 1950, the new building was the most modern facility in Windsor and soon became the popular choice for banquet hall rental and catering services. For the first time, the Club required a full time manager to run day-to-day operations. The Club was such a popular fixture in the community, that the mortgage was paid off within five years.
In 1958, the club added to its land ownership with the purchase of an existing park located on Lake Erie in the Village of Colchester. The Caboto Park, still open today, was for the benefit of the Members to use as a haven away from the drudgery of city life. The park still features a swimming pool, picnic areas, clubhouse and bocce courts, and is open to anyone from Victoria Day to Labour Day.
Expansions Elevate the Club to World-Class Standings
More land was purchased to accommodate further expansion and in 1972, the Club grew to more than twice its previous size. The expansion of the main kitchen in 1978 afforded the opportunity to provide rapid, well-organized food services for banquets and corporate events, and enabled the Club to cater to as many as 1,800 people at one time. In 1986 another expansion again doubled the size of the Club and brought it to the World Class Standing that we enjoy today, with the ability to provide a full scale banquet experience to over 3,000 people. Remarkably, just like in 1949, these later expansions were made possible by the devotion of our Members, tirelessly volunteering 1,000's of hours of labour to the Club that we all hold so dear to our hearts.