How It All Started
The sport of urban axe throwing that has taken the world by storm started just as you might think it would: at a cottage with friends. In 2006, founder and CEO Matt Wilson to a cabin in Southern Ontario with his closest pals and after hours of rain, they had to find a way to keep busy. The group began throwing hatches at a tree, and instantly felt the cathartic release of sinking an axe into softwood. Little did they know this was the start of something huge.
Upon returning home to Toronto Matt decided to set up a target in his backyard and invite some friends over to show them just how enjoyable throwing an axe could be. They didn’t need much convincing. Before long a point system was created, and soon enough a group of 8 friends would meet every week and engage in some friendly competition. 8 friends quickly grew to 16, and 16 quickly grew to 32. Before he knew it, Matt was hosting 2 full leagues of a total of 60+ per night in his backyard, not including all the spectators that would stop by to catch a glimpse of our exciting new sport.
213 Sterling Road
It didn’t take long for the crowds of people that had heard of our weekly axe meetings in a downtown Toronto backyard to make us realize that we had outgrown our small space. In 2011, BATL made its first move indoors into a nondescript warehouse in the west end of the city. With Matt still working his job as a bartender 3 days a week, our new location could only host leagues 4 nights a week – and believe it or not, that wasn’t nearly enough. The waitlist continued to grow, and we quickly realized that we had to make this experience available to not just our league members but also the more casual would-be axe thrower. BATL instantly started offering private tournaments, and that’s when axe throwing began to take off.
2013: The Expansion
Our only location was fully booked three months in advance year-round, making it obvious to us that the demand for axe throwing wasn’t going anywhere. In December of 2013, BATL opened its second location in a huge space in the east end of Toronto (nearly 5 times the size of our Sterling Road location), and the rest is history. Since then, BATL has ballooned to have 19 locations (including Toronto, Vaughan Pickering, Ottawa, Niagara Falls, London, Kitchener, Hamilton, and Calgary in Canada; in addition to Novi, Nashville, Scottsdale, Houston, Orlando, Charlotte and Chicago in the United States – with more on the way!). BATL now employs over 500 expertly trained axe gurus that teach over 300,000 people a year how to have an amazing time while throwing an axe. Countless celebrities have since graced us with their presence at locations everywhere, and we’ve been featured on TSN, CBC and The History Channel, MTV, Vice, and more – in addition to The Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post in print.
BATL Premium Events | Axe Throwing
It’s no secret that our axe throwing leagues are what paved the way for our business – we do call ourselves The Backyard Axe Throwing League, after all. But our private events are our real bread and butter, and much more accessible for someone who is just looking to get a taste of what axe throwing is all about.
Perfectly suited for any type of gathering, BATL Premium private events are the perfect way to get acquainted with the sport of axe throwing. BATL Premium private events run for 1.5 hours completely under the guidance of our expertly trained coaching staff, who just so happen to be some of the best axe throwers in the world. BATL Premium private events also give you your own private space, meaning you can keep the intimate vibe for you and your guests. Most BATL locations offer full bar service and food menus, meaning all you and your guests have to do is show up and leave the rest to us. BATL also offers both personal and corporate team trophies at each venue. Made from a small woodshop in Toronto, you can send the winner home with some hardware that they’ll be sure to want to show off.
Get Together Ideas For BATL Premium Events
Are you looking for ideas when planning a bachelor/bachelorette party everyone will enjoy? If bowling, paintball, or escape rooms have already been done, or if you’re looking for an exciting activity for the entire group – no matter what their age, skill or fitness level, then think about axe throwing. Constantly ranking at the top of “Bachelor/Bachelorette Party Destination” lists on web blogs and magazines, a trip to BATL will ensure a day to remember for the bride or groom to be.
Looking for a new idea to celebrate a birthday that everyone will enjoy? If you’re looking for a fun activity for an entire group no matter what their age, skill or fitness level, then consider axe throwing. Catering to adults since 2006, a trip to BATL is the perfect place for you and your friends to ring in another trip around the sun.
BATL is also the perfect venue to host your next staff outing. A little friendly competition is a key to a team-building outing so if you’re looking for the perfect event for your next corporate party, look no further than BATL.
No matter what you’re celebrating, or even if you just want a reason to get together with friends/family after these trying times, a BATL Premium private event booking is the perfect opportunity to reconnect while experiencing first hand the unique thrill of urban axe throwing.