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Our Purpose

Making Good Men Better.

Father and SonFreemasonry is the oldest and largest fraternal organization in the world. Its members share a common goal of helping each other become better men. Its body of knowledge and system of ethics is based on the belief that each man has a responsibility to improve himself while being devoted to his family, faith, country, and fraternity.

Its roots go back centuries and its members are diverse: high profile leaders, physicians, construction workers, farmers…and maybe you.

Ancient…and modern.

We’re united by three ancient and fundamental principles—brotherly love, charity and truth—that are made relevant to the 21st century through the personal development, good works and social connections available to our members in the 550+ lodges across Ontario.

Great benefits…for you and the world.

Freemasonry offers much to its members—the opportunity to grow, the chance to make a difference and the means to build a better world for our children. It offers the chance to socialize and work with men who have the same values and ideals.

We strengthen and improve our character by learning and practicing basic virtues of fraternal love, charity, and truth. Our principles extend far beyond our interactions with each other, and we strive to apply them to our daily lives.

And there’s so much more.

It's easy to learn about Masons—starting with the pages of this website. Need more details? Looking for a Mason in your community to share his personal perspective? Send an email, call or drop by your local Masonic lodge.

Who are Masons?

Masons are spiritual and moral men who choose to associate with groups of like-minded individuals for mutual benefit. What they find in Freemasonry is a disciplined and systematic course of self-improvement based on the Golden Rule: always do to others what you would like them to do to you.

There are 3.2 million masons across the world and more than 40,000 in Ontario.


Everyone is welcome, regardless of race, colour or creed.

Masons are spiritual and moral people, but there’s no room for discussion of sectarian religion or partisan politics in freemasonry. Members are free to follow their own path, as long as it fits with the ethical principles of integrity and virtue symbolized by the square and compasses—the icon most commonly associated with Masonry.

Masonry stresses the principles of kindness and consideration at home, honesty in business, courtesy towards others, dependability in one’s work, compassion for the less fortunate and being a good citizen of the world. Masonry recognizes that each man has obligations to his family, his work, his religious beliefs, his community and himself - these must take priority and Masonry does not interfere with his ability to meet these obligations.

Masons participate in three progressive degrees, each one teaching an important lesson through the use of symbols. The degrees help a Mason think about the big questions: Where did I come from? What am I doing here? And what comes next?

A lodge is not a building…it’s the men that form it.

The foundation of the Masonic family is the Masonic lodge. It is here that Masonry teaches its lessons: kindness in the home, honesty in business, courtesy in society, fairness in work, concern for the unfortunate and respect for one another. Most lodges are clearly signed and located on main streets in communities small and large across the globe.

With over 550 Lodges in Ontario, there should be a lodge that meets in a location near you.

Masonry is not a secret society…we’re happy to share what we know.

Any information about Masons can be found at a well-stocked bookstore or local library. Masonic buildings are clearly marked and listed in the phonebook and members often identify themselves by wearing Masonic jewelry.

The so-called Masonic “Secrets” are confined to modes of recognition by which a visitor can prove himself to be a Mason and thereby become eligible to enter a lodge in which he was otherwise not known.

The Extended Masonic Family.

A Mason can choose to broaden and deepen his experience of Masonry by participating in other branches of the Masonic family:

the Scottish Rite, York Rite, Shriners and Knights Templar.

Masonry is for men…but it’s a family affair.

Women, girls and boys who share Masonic values are welcome to participate in the many social and charitable events hosted by lodges. But there are affiliate organizations for those looking for ways to become formally involved. Young men can join DeMolay, young women can join the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls and Job's Daughters International.

What do Masons do?

Masonry is first and foremost a fraternity rather than a service organization, social club or benevolent society. However, charity in the form of helping other people, is considered to be a cornerstone of the fraternity.

Community Involvement:

Masons Community Involvement

Masons are encouraged to be actively involved in their communities. Some of the community outreach programs that Masons are actively involved with are listed below:

The Masonic Foundation of Ontario, a public charity registered with the Canada Revenue Agency, supports hearing research, a bursary program for university and college students, autism services, prostate cancer research and alcohol and drug awareness programs in elementary and high schools.

The Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario sponsors the MasoniCh.I.P. child identification program. And we’re not above bleeding for a cause—every year, Ontario Masons support the Canadian Blood Services donor program with approximately 35,000 donations.

Shriners operate the largest network of hospitals in North America providing free care for burned and orthopaedically impaired children. The Scottish Rite Masons maintain a network of some 150 childhood language disorder clinics, centres and programs.

Individual districts support their own charitable projects.

Want to learn more about Masonry At Work?

Why become a Mason?

Masonry offers the opportunity to make each man better through its teachings, his Masonic associations and a philosophy that has served the social needs of men for centuries, by promoting:

  • Tradition: when you become a Mason, you become part of ancient tradition that spans centuries. From the original stonemasons that produced some of the most majestic architectural wonders of Europe to modern day Masons who participate in numerous charitable foundations, you’ll feel connected to a vital, growing and spiritually uplifting organization of moral men;
  • Self Improvement: learning portions of the Ritual and participating in the Degree stimulates the mind and, coupled with committee work and lodge management, presents the opportunity to develop leadership and organizational skills, build self-discipline through commitment, poise and self-confidence, and strengthen presentation and public speaking proficiencies;
  • Sense of Accomplishment: participating in lodge projects, be they charitable or social in nature, provides the opportunity to contribute, work with others and enjoy the success of effort well expended;
  • Fellowship - Belonging to a Like-minded Group: the modern work environment has reduced or eliminated social association with co-workers; joining with lodge members in a fraternal atmosphere can substitute for that former workplace fellowship lost;
  • A Break from the Workaday Routine: Masonry brings together in lodge men of diverse backgrounds, where the daily pressures of a career can be left outside the door and where fellowship is the common theme.

These attributes are summarized in the tenets, or fundamental principles of Ancient Freemasonry: Brotherly Love; Relief; and Truth. If these values address your needs, Masonry welcomes you.

How can I join?

To find out more or to be contacted by a local lodge member, please complete the information below. Our response may take some time depending on your interest. We may use any of the options you provide (email, phone or surface mail) to contact you

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Masonic Foundation

For the Cause of Good.

Masonic Foundation LogoThe Masonic Foundation of Ontario is a registered charitable organization that funds one-time and ongoing projects to benefit the community. The Foundation receives gifts and bequests from lodges, individual Masons and others who wish to share in its work. It was founded in 1964 by the Grand Lodge as a means of extending Masonic charity beyond helping members and their families.

The Foundation's capital fund, initially endowed with $160,000 by the Grand Lodge, was worth almost 11 million dollars in 2009. Investment income is used to support programming—in 2009 that support exceeded $800,000.

The Foundation provides bursaries to Ontario College and University students who need financial help, assists hearing-impaired children, supports deafness research and autism services, funds alcohol and drug education programs and raises money for prostate cancer awareness.

“Consider a woman faced with losing her home and her independence. She's handicapped. All she needs is a special lift. We help her buy one and keep her out of a "special needs" residence. The hand of humanity makes life livable, partly because it says someone cares.”

- V.W. Bro. Ted Morris

Visit the Masonic Foundation website.

Masonic Blood Donors

It’s in us to give.

Since 1958 the Blood Donor Committee of the Grand Lodge of Canada in Ontario has worked hard to ensure that all Masons know about the work of Canadian Blood Services and are encouraged to give blood.
 

“The good news is that one blood donation—in just one hour—can save up to three lives.”

- Canadian Blood Services


Masonic Blood Donors

Our commitment to blood donation goes back even further, to 1941, a time when blood couldn’t be stored but had to be donated directly to a recipient during a time of need. In the early ‘40s, most of the donors on a list maintained in Hamilton were Masons. Shortly after a horrific fire at the Moose Hall in 1944, Hamilton Masons worked with the Red Cross to improve the system for recording and contacting blood donors.

Today, the Blood Donor Committee compiles statistics from every lodge on annual donations. Many lodges have a blood donor chairman, and some lodges support or sponsor blood donor clinics.

Learn more about Canadian Blood Services

 

“Every minute of every day, someone in Canada needs blood. In fact, according to a recent poll, 52 per cent of Canadians say they, or a family member, have needed blood or blood products for surgery or for medical treatment.”

- Canadian Blood Services





MasoniCh.I.P.

A sigh of relief for Ontario parents.

MasoniCh.I.P. LogoNo parent wants to think that one of the 55 children who are reported missing to police in Ontario every day could be theirs. MasoniChip, a comprehensive, non-invasive child identification program, started in 2007 to help Ontario parents be prepared for the unthinkable—at a time when seconds can count.

 

“MasoniCh.I.P. is one of the most comprehensive child recovery and identification programs in the nation.”

-The National Center for Exploited and Missing Children

 

The MasoniCh.I.P. program consists of five major components: digital photographs, digital video, digital fingerprints, vital child information, and a dental bite impression or intra-oral swab for DNA. The photographs, video, fingerprints, and child description are burned onto a CD that’s compatible with Amber Alert.  Combined, this five-part process provides an important, time-sensitive recovery tool for authorities.

The kits are prepared for free at events hosted across the province. It takes only 10 to 15 minutes to collect, process and provide the information to the parent or guardian. The only item retained by MasoniCh.I.P. Ontario is the signed permission slip.

Thanks to the support of Ontario Masons, more than 42,000 kits have been distributed since 2007.

Visit the MasoniCh.I.P. website.

 

“Even though it is our hope that no parent should ever need to use their kit, Masons remain committed to providing this comprehensive program ‘just in case’.”

- Ray Dobbs, Program Director, MasoniCh.I.P.

 

Brock University Partnership

The partnership established between the Grand Lodge and Brock University, St. Catharines, has proven most productive and mutually beneficial to both educational institutions. Its beginning was with the initiative of the Heritage Lodge No. 730 to support and maintain the Masonic collection in the James A. Gibson Library, and continuing with the posting on line of the Proceedings of Grand Lodge from 1855 to 2010.

The Seventh Annual Dr. Charles A. Sankey Lecture in Masonic Studies at Brock University, funded by the College of Freemasonry, will be held on Sunday March 20, 2016: 

Sankey Lecture Series in Masonic Studies - 2016
Searching for the Apple Tree: What Happened in 1716?
By Dr. Andrew Prescott, University of Glasgow
Dr. Andrew Prescott FSA FRHistS Professor of Digital Humanities, AHRC Theme Leader Fellow for Digital Transformations, University of Glasgow. Dr. Prescott will be delivering the lecture on work done jointly with Dr. Susan M. Sommers Professor of History, Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. They will be looking at the history of the Apple Tree tavern, Covent Garden, where the first meetings that led to the formation of the Grand Lodge in London were supposedly held.
 

The Sixth Annual Dr. Charles A. Sankey Lecture in Masonic Studies at Brock University, funded by the College of Freemasonry, was held on Sunday March 22, 2015: 

Sankey Lecture Series in Masonic Studies - 2015
The Masonic Empire of Thomas Dunckerley: England to Quebec and the Broad Oceans In-between
By Dr. Susan M. Sommers Professor of History, Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania

Click here to watch the 2015 Sankey lecture.

The Fifth Annual Lecture was held on Sunday March 30, 2014: 

Sankey Lecture Series in Masonic Studies - 2014
Brothers in Arms: Freemasons and the War of 1812
By Dr. Renée Lafferty, Associate Professor, Department of History Brock University

Click here to watch the 2014 Sankey lecture.

Click here to learn more about the Sankey Lectures, this year's lecture, as well as to view videos of all the previous years' lectures.

 

District Projects

Many hands make light work.

Projects originating in the Districts and lodges and undertaken in partnership with the Masonic Foundation play a major role in bringing Masonic charity to communities, where funds are raised locally to support projects of great significance to the residents of the community.

Every year, participating Ontario Districts select a charitable project. Many involve raising money for local hospital foundations. A number are youth-oriented, supporting children’s camps and organizations that provide services to children with health or developmental challenges. Districts can register their projects with the Masonic Foundation and receive a financial “top up” for their cause.

Learn more about district projects.

 

“District charity projects are important in making communities better places to live and work. The primary objective of these charitable activities is to meet and work together in the peace, harmony, and fraternal affection which characterize our great fraternity…for the cause of good.”

- Douglas Nichols, President, Masonic Foundation of Ontario, 2011