Since 1983, three-time Canadian bowling champion Richard Grubb has owned and operated North Shore Bowl and ensured that the lanes live up to his elite standards. The alley itself has welcomed bowlers since 1961 and offers 16 lanes of traditional five-pin bowling with open hours seven days a week. The lanes, which host men's, women's, and seniors' leagues, welcome luminescent bowlers each weekend for glow bowling. North Shore Bowl also hosts a collection of classic arcade games and a party room so that groups can sing privately to cakes before eating them.
Rolling strikes is in the Marino family’s blood. The family has presided over Grandview Lanes for three generations, ever since Louis Marino established the alley back in 1947. In those days, the pins had to be set by hand, a task Louis's son, George, remembers all too well. As he told Westender reporter Mary Frances Hill, "You'd have 40 women bowling during the day (in the 1950s), and only two pin setters […]. So we'd run around like crazy."
Today, machines act as the alley’s pin setters, but the Marinos are still around and running the show. George's daughter, Tammy, manages the modernized alley, where automatic scoring makes things easier for a younger generation that has never seen a real wooden pencil. Some things haven't changed though. Bowlers can still visit the lunch counter once run by George's mother, fuelling up between frames with burgers or pizzas laden with a dozen different toppings. And, of course, the game remains relatively unchanged. Downstairs, guests choose between 5-pin or 10-pin bowling, and upstairs, black lights and neon wall murals set the psychedelic stage for the sport's most modern update—glow bowling.
Aside from providing a hub for clean, family-friendly fun, Grandview Lanes actively supports the community by helping the fundraising efforts of organizations such as the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and The Kensington Foundation for Animals in Crisis.
The next generation of professional bowlers could very well be lacing up their small, adorable shoes at Sandcastle Bowl Bar & Grill. The alley hosts a youth league for bowlers as young as five, which is the earliest age Santa accepts requests for bowling gloves. Luckily, strikes and spares don't end once players reach adulthood. Adult leagues let grownups compete across the alley's 20 lanes, which accommodate both five- and tenpin bowling.
While competitive, Sandcastle Bowl Bar & Grill's leagues are primarily social gatherings, with plenty of opportunities to make new friends (bowlers can join teams or sign up as individuals). This spirit of friendly sportsmanship also extends to casual events. The alley hosts after-school bowling on weekdays, and on Saturdays, the staff cranks up music and turns on special effects lighting during an all-you-can-bowl party called Strike FX.
Visits often spill over into the onsite restaurant, Zachary's Grill. The menu puts standard snack bar food to shame with dozens of options such as handmade burgers and shareable baskets of dry ribs.
Deemed one of the top places to hold a birthday party by readers of the Richmond News, The Zone Bowling Centre and its gleaming lanes host several leagues and themed parties at each of two locations. For an added element of mystique, cosmic bowling takes place on Fridays, featuring dimmed lights, atmospheric music, and bowling balls that form various constellations at will.
At Duncan Lanes, 20 well-oiled lanes hasten balls toward clusters of 5 or 10 pins. On Friday and Saturday evenings, Rock & Glow sessions cast incandescent hues upon the lanes, balls, and pins, simulating the rainbow eclipse that scientists have been anticipating for eons. The centre also hosts open-bowling hours throughout the week, along with leagues for adults, children, and seniors. Its on-site Lane 21 Lounge provides visitors with refreshments and a relaxing environment to help them forget about the stresses of losing balls in the alley's challenging water hazards. To keep orbs in top shape, the pro shop staff is adept at ball fitting, drilling, plugging, and resurfacing.