On November 28th, 1843 in the village of Paris whose population was nearly 1,000, a score and a half of most enthusiastic followers of the Besom and Stone (mostly Scots) met to form a curling club. There had been curling on the rivers and ponds recorded as early as 1837. Some of the Scots had their own curling stones, but the newly formed club commissioned Mr. John Smith to chip 12 new stones. The favourite curling places were Watt’s Pond and the Nith River, below Distillery Hill (at one time there were 9 distilleries in Paris). If the ice was good, they often curled around the clock by the light of bonfires.
The first covered rink was built in 1877 on Elm Street, called the Paris Curling and Skating Rink. Several curlers contributed money- one to eight dollars, some gave time and labour. It was recorded that 7-1/2 days of work amounted to $7.50 and 1-1/4 day’s work was $1.25. Others donated hardware and building materials. Some curled and others skated in this building until January 19th, 1921, when the rink burned to the ground.
The Paris Arena (now the Syl Apps Community Centre) was built the same year and a “lean-to” was built on the south side of the new building, which housed three sheets of ice and a club-room. However, this curling arrangement did not prove too satisfactory for curling because of very poor ice resulting from changing temperatures due to its southern exposure. After several years with little curling, but plenty of euchre, the roof caved in.
The curlers in Galt heard of the predicament in Paris and offered special rates for the use of their ice. Paris curlers continued there until around the mid-1950s. In order to retain continuous membership seven gentlemen continued paying OCA fees.
In 1957 club rules were changed to allow women to join the Club and curling resumed at the Paris Arena on 5 sheets of ice twice a week with the rest of the week reserved for hockey and skating. The popularity of hockey and skating eventually overtook curling and the club once again found itself without a curling venue in or around Paris.
In 1961 the present Paris Curling Club was built in conjunction with the Paris Agricultural Society. The Club continues to offer curling to Juniors, Women, Men and Mixed groups.
The Club is celebrating its 175th Anniversary with several special events throughout its 2018-19 curling season.