The Ultimate Clubhouse

ON NOV. 10, MORE THAN 140 UCR CLUB MEMBERS DESCENDED on the GTA’s ultimate automotive clubhouse, the new Toronto Hagerty Garage + Social located in Burlington, just off of the QEW at Appleby Line. Newly opened in the summer of 2021, the Toronto Hagerty Garage + Social is a 34,000-square-foot facility that offers indoor car storage in addition to a cinema, racing and golf simulators, full restaurant and bar, board room, boutique shop, wine-tasting room, cigar and scotch lounge, and more.

Garage + Social locations are purpose-built vehicle-storage facilities dedicated to the preservation and storage of classic, collector and exotic cars and motorcycles. The Toronto facility features dozens of private cars and other automotive memorabilia and artwork in the showroom, as well as dozens of racing suits and helmets dating from present day back to the 1920s.

There are different levels of Garage + Social memberships, depending on one’s desire. It offers a social membership for $250 per month or add on an additional $350 per month for car storage. Memberships include access to the facilities and exclusive events at all Garage + Social locations throughout North America — Chicago, Delray Beach, New York, Miami and Toronto, with a Seattle facility in progress.

The evening began at 6 p.m. with the club’s annual business meeting and election where the 2022 board of directors was elected (see page 8 for details on the election and meeting).

Following the election, club members were able to mingle around the facility and enjoy the appetizer and cocktail reception. Many members who arrived early were asked to park their prized Porsches inside the showroom for fellow club members to gaze upon during the social. Of special note was a new Shark Blue GT3 brought in by Porsche Canada, a Python Green GT4 owned by club member Michael Hutton, and a black 930 slant-nose that drove down all the way from Ottawa.

At 7:30 p.m. things got kicked off with club President Stefan Walther taking the stage. He welcomed all to the event, including over 75 club members who tuned in from a live Zoom feed, and very special guests, Porsche Canada’s Chief Financial Officer Marc Piovesan and Brand Partnerships and Motorsport Manager Daniel Ponzini.

After some opening insights from the stage, the evening kicked into high gear and the announcement was made for who would receive the 2021 PCA UCR Enthusiast of the Year award, presented by Porsche Canada.

This year UCR was fortunate enough to have two members who were both deserving of the award.

First to be awarded was Paul Neto. Christopher Hebert introduced him and spoke about Paul’s dedication to the club through his time spent starting and leading UCR’s sim racing league. The league, which is operated through the iRacing platform, has been highly successful with more than 30 club members participating in the racing league from the comfort of their homes. Paul has gone above and beyond to help members get set up with the right equipment and even takes time to have one-on-one virtual sessions with them to introduce participants to the system as needed. Paul started the league in the fall of 2020 and it quickly gained traction during the long COVID winter. The next sim racing season will soon be underway.

Second to be awarded was David Walker. Past President Michael Pohlmann introduced him and spoke of David’s continued dedication to the club through his time spent on the board of directors and, more recently, as the editor of UCR’s Provinz magazine. In 2021 David and the Provinz team worked hard to reformat the magazine to a full-size layout with updated design and graphics. The magazine was already award-winning and is now even more of a monthly spectacle. David was nearly speechless when he was presented with the award. For those of us who know Dave, this is a real feat.

Both Paul Neto and David Walker said a few words of thanks for their awards and posed for photos with Marc Piovesan, who presented the awards, a gorgeous 1:18-scale silver GT3 with custom engraving on the base, on behalf of Porsche Canada.

Rob Sass was next to take the stage, the editor-in-chief of the monthly PCA National magazine Porsche Panorama, who drove all the way up from Traverse City, Michigan just to attend this social. Prior to joining PCA, Rob was the publisher of Hagerty’s magazine. He has been a 15-year contributor to the New York Times and he’s written for Car and Driver, Sports Car Market, Autoweek and the UK’s Classic & Sports Car magazine. With Panorama circulation at over 100,000 per month, Rob spoke of his passion for reading and publishing Porsche content for PCA members. Rob spoke of Panorama’s four special issues they’ve published to date, including about youth, do-it-yourself, and two issues on design. The Panorama team is looking forward to publishing the December 2021 issue which is themed to feature women, including female-written content and photography. Rob noted Panorama magazine is also looking to source more Canadian content. When speaking with Rob, he noted that he was thrilled to finally be able to cross the border and participate in another region’s events.

Lucas Scarfone was also on hand and took time to say a few words to our members. Lucas is well known in the automotive community for his photography talents and was the speaker at UCR’s 2019 Annual Banquet at Islington Golf Club. He and his business partner, Sean Patrick, are the publishers of the quarterly automotive magazine Autostrada, whose headquarters is at the Toronto Hagerty Garage + Social facility. Autostrada magazine was first published in 2015 and focuses on three automotive pillars: passion, history and journey. During the social, Lucas was thrilled to announce that he has ordered and purchased his own Porsche and will be registering to become a UCR member soon. Follow Lucas on Instagram to keep up with his photography adventures, the handle is @scarfonephoto.

To wrap up the evening’s presentations, Andrew Count, the general manager of Hagerty Garage + Social and also a fellow club member, took the stage to thank all for attending. He spoke about the facility and narrated a building tour while Christopher Hebert walked about live-streaming the tour on the big screen in the showroom and to the Zoom audience.

Following the tour, eight raffle prizes were awarded that included three PCA UCR hats from the Goodie Store and five prize bags with car detailing products provided by Hagerty. Prize winners were John Barkovic, Michael Pearson, Jack Carcasole, Don Drone, Henry Goslett, Craigg Balance, Ken Nguyen and Sandro Stramenga.

Thanks to Andrew Count and the Toronto Hagerty Garage + Social team for organizing and hosting our club members for a wonderful evening. Special thanks also goes to Andrea Heitz and Mark Lowrie who helped with the registration check-in desk, and to Christopher Hebert who provided on-site Zoom connection for members unable to attend in person. </>

Photography by Lucas Scarfone and Eshel Zweig

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