The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
Heraldry Today

The contents of this Register are intended for research purposes only. The heraldic emblems found in the Register may not be reproduced in any form or in any media without the written consent of the Canadian Heraldic Authority and/or the recipient.

The Arts and Letters Club of Toronto

Toronto, Ontario
Grant of Arms and Supporters
September 20, 2007
Vol. V, p. 175

Click on each image to enlarge. The blazon and symbolism for each element will accompany the enlarged image.



Azure a Viking longship affronty rayonnant Or;


An open book Argent bound Azure surmounting five paint brushes Or;


Dexter the figure of Athena, sinister the figure of Apollo, both standing on a rocky mount proper;





The design is based on the Club’s longstanding emblem, designed by the artist J.E.H. MacDonald. The ship symbolizes creative and intellectual exploration, and the sun’s rays refer to the illuminating role of art and literature.


The brushes and the book summarize the idea of arts and letters. The position of the brushes gives an impression of sunrise, indicating intellectual inspiration. The five brushes indicate the five disciplines (literature, architecture, music, painting, and sculpture) represented at the Club.


In Greek mythology, Athena was the goddess of wisdom and a skilled artisan, and Apollo was the god of art and music. The supporters also represent the foundational role of classical culture and the men and women who make up the Club. The compartment alludes to the rocky terrain of Algoma in tribute to the work done by the painters of the Group of Seven, for whom the Club was home in Toronto. This indicates that the creative work fostered by the Club takes place far and wide.


Meaning “leisure with dignity”, this has long been used as the motto of the Club. It was devised by Cicero in his works De Oratore and Ad Familiares.


Canada Gazette Information

The announcement of the Letters Patent was made on March 8, 2008, in Volume 142, page 550 of the Canada Gazette.

Artist Information

Original concept of Bruce Patterson, Saguenay Herald, assisted by the heralds of the Canadian Heraldic Authority.

Ilona Jurkiewicz

Shirley Mangione

Recipient Information

Civil Institution
Club & Social Organization