Timberlane Tennis and Country Club, opened as a prestigious private club in 1988 on Vandorf Road in Aurora. Timberlane developed 23 acres as the Country Club and the remaining acres were sold to Beacon Hall. Timberlane's founders wanted an alternative to the 'inner-city' Toronto clubs like the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club and The Badminton and Racquet Club, which have long waiting lists and restrictions on getting into various membership categories. Timberlane provided a bold alternative as a private club beginning with ambitious (over $5 million) plans. "Another aspect that separates it from these clubs is it has a permanent indoor structure rather than a 'bubble' for winter tennis, and a quiet, aesthetic summer setting away from the hurly-burly of the big city" (Lorne Main, Tennis Club in a Country Setting, 1988).
International Senior tennis player, entrepreneur and insurance executive Ken Sinclair founded the club and he and fellow tennis players and friends designed, built, and operated the club. During his travels abroad as a top international senior tennis player, Ken Sinclair had the opportunity to visit many of the world's finest tennis clubs and resorts. Mr. Sinclair was very impressed by a club he visited in Salzberg, Austria, and he incorporated many of its features in planning Timberlane Tennis and Country Club. "It was the separation in the layout of the courts, the reception and treatment of members - including the way the Tennis Director insured that members had court time and people to play with, the niceties of the interior, the dining room used by corporate members, and generally the feeling of space that impressed me" (Ken Sinclair, 1988, State of the Art Club opens in Aurora. On Court., April 1988).
Timberlane has a distinctive octagonal clubhouse with a patio which circles around the outside. The clubhouse was designed by Sinclair and his wife Betty, based on the clubhouse they had seen in Austria, it was then produced by Toronto architect Eva Gordon.
The club also has two international squash courts, a fitness area, whirlpools and locker rooms. "Timberlane can boast of first-rate courts, but beyond that the club is able to provide the uncommon choice of three different playing surfaces. The eight fast-dry clay courts are comfortable, forgiving and conducive to a slower paced, tactical style of tennis, while the Nova hard court will appeal to the exponents of a more aggressive, conclusive type of game. There are also five revolutionary TexTenn indoor courts (best described as a type of artificial clay) laid out with plenty of room to give a feeling of spaciousness" (all built by Harry Fauquier and Keith Carpenter's Tennex, a company that builds private tennis courts). (Roth, Sally. State of the art club opens in Aurora. On Court, April 1988).
The original membership was limited to 300 families, corporations and individuals, which equals 600 plus children as preferred share holders. "Our intention is to help six or eight kids become good tennis players by allowing them court time with people like Tennis Director Lorne Main (the 1954 Monte Carlo champion who ranked No. 1 in world over-55's in 1986), Harry Fauquier, Keith Carpenter and Pierre Lamarche" (all ex-Davis Cuppers who are Timberlane Directors who along with Mr. Sinclair began the operation of the club).
Timberlane has been the venue for such events as the 41st annual Gordon Trophy match for male Canadian players over the age of 45 against competitors from the United States, in July 1989. Timberlane also hosted the 1990 Von Cramm Cup, a world team tennis championship for men over age 60 in which seventeen countries participated.
On Saturday, September 15 1990 Timberlane held the first annual "Timberlane Charity Classic" tennis tournament to raise money for Aurora's van for the disabled. The first event raised almost $28,000, close to $8,000 more than the target. The Charity classic continued annually for twelve years raising a total of $270,000 for the Town of Aurora.
In 2000, under the direction of Jack Doak, Timberlane Tennis and Country Club became Timberlane Athletic Club as part of a positive redirection for the facility. Today there are nine outdoor and five indoor tennis courts, but there are also a number of fitness areas, a dining facility, café and library. One of the indoor tennis areas was converted into a fitness centre, the dining hall became a group fitness studio and there is now a bike studio. The membership grew from 300 tennis members to 2500+ fitness and tennis members.
"The interesting thing is that many of our original tennis members are now enjoying a balance of tennis and fitness. Even with all the changes, this is still the best venue for tennis north of Toronto" (Doak, Jack, Manager of Timberlane Athletic Club, December 3 2002, Era Banner)