Antuanette Gomez is not supposed to be here. For more than 110 years, a guiding principle at the National Club in downtown Toronto was women were barred from membership. And the business leaders that were here weren’t dealing in cannabis.
But times have changed. Gomez is here, at the front of a sumptuous meeting room in one of the oldest private clubs in the country, sitting comfortably under six large, gold-framed portraits of long-dead white dudes including Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Canada’s seventh Prime Minister. This club has some history.
The National Club was founded in 1874 in Toronto’s Financial District and in its early years served as the meeting place for a Canadian nationalist movement called Canada First. But that didn’t last long, and soon the club ditched its political leanings, relocated to its current Bay Street home, and became a private meeting place for politicians and business leaders. In 1992, it