Backyard Axe Throwing Anyone?


Photos + Words By: Jessica Blaine Smith

Axe throwing you say?!

It is exactly as it sounds. You throw axes at a target. Just like darts. And it’s a whole lot of fun.


If you live in Toronto, you have no doubt heard of BATL – the Backyard Axe Throwing League. BATL was founded by Matt Wilson years ago in his actual backyard. It soon grew into full leagues and he opened a proper space on Sterling Road in Toronto.


A year or so ago, BATL expanded even further to a second larger location located near Cherry Street. The space that is used for the axe throwing leagues are set up like any other sport league. You can also host axe throwing event at either location.


To do an event, all you need is a minimum of twelve people and the space is yours for three hours which gives you time to learn how to properly throw an ax, practise throwing and then run a tournament. The cost is $40 per person.


Even though I have watched axe throwing a number of times, I had never done it so was a little nervous when we went up to Sterling Road for our event. I had booked the space for a bunch for friends on a random Saturday.


The professionals working for BATL were kind and patient in teaching all of us and in no time, we were hitting bullseyes or at least the target, somewhere. I was surprised by how much I enjoy throwing an axe, especially when I had to throw against my fiance. And also surprisingly, I was not that bad at it!


At BATL, you are welcome to bring your own food and drink, including alcohol. They just ask that you do not bring any glass or hard liquor. BATL has become quite popular as an event for bachelor/bachelorette and birthday parties so be warned that they get booked up way in advance. I had booked the space about three months prior to our date.


All in all, it was a very fun event and I seriously cannot wait to get an axe in my hand again.

Jessica Blaine Smith is a Toronto-based photographer. You can see more of her work at: Jessica Blaine Smith Photography.