Abandoned Atherley Arms Tavern

Shortly after moving to the area I explored the Abandoned Atherley Arms Tavern!

The former Atherley Arms Tavern also known as The First located in Orillia Ontario was known as a seedy venue with many "interesting" stories found online.  The venue was not only a strip bar but also hosted some rock & roll legends such as David Wilcox.

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As with all strip clubs they are dark however the Atherley Arms had low ceilings & often many questionable patrons mingling with regular citizens out for a good time.  Even as I stood on the stage I was surprised at how low the ceilings there were & wondered how the girls would performer without hitting their heads doing some acrobatic routine!

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The Abandoned Atherley Arms Tavern often lost its liquor licence but would some how manage to get it back in time.  Eventually the venue made headlines when a dentist was found on the pavement with a fatal head injury outside the tavern after a scuffle had broken out.  He was out with 20 buddies on a golfing trip & they were all partying it up when things went sideways. After charges in a criminal trial were dismissed, a civil suit was won & the widow of the dentist was awarded over $3 Million dollars in the wrongful death.  The victim was found 15% responsible for his own demise due to excessive alcohol in his system & the rest put upon the establishment, operator & staff.  Today The Atherley Arms has a severely flooded basement & is in rough shape.  I figure it won't be too long before it's demolished seeing as its a major eye sore.

12 thoughts on “Abandoned Atherley Arms Tavern”

  1. Cheers for the post. Have a feeling 4 of us ended up here in September 99. Layout in the photos exactly how i recall. our pal who is from toronto had a holiday chalet at a nearby lake and i believe the line was, as we were driving along ……’hey let’s stop here, this place does great chicken wings’. it was early afternoon when we arrived, and immediately realised it wasn’t a wing bar. I don’t recall it stating from the outside that it was a strip club, or maybe i just didn’t spot it, but there you go. We were drinking mikes hard lemonade for about 6 hours and scored a bit of gear off one of the girls. One of the guys had turned 30 that day and still talks about it being his greatest birthday. There was 3 other people in the place, we kept getting offered free dances, probably just to keep us drinking, and the evening’s a blur. i do recall one thing though: we never ate any chicken wings.

  2. I live on this street and would really like this place torn down. It has no purpose and is a safety issue now. Who know what still goes on in there.

    1. The basement is flooded too! I believe there is historical significance however its in such terrible shape it really is just a hazard.

  3. Many bands played here in the 70s-80s. Great venue…stage was just big enough for our 7 piece band. We played there a few times.Good times…lol. It wasnt a STRIP CLUB then….there was a SECOND club towards the water that was a peeler bar…it was called the SECOND. Atherly was called THE FIRST.

  4. I used to go there in the early 1970s when I went snowmobiling with friends whose parents had cottages in the area. At that time it wasn’t a bad place, a little run down but they had cheap beer and some pretty good bands. I’m surprised it’s still standing. With all the development along Hwy 12, the property must be valuable.

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