What is Freemasonry?
Freemasonry (sometimes just "Masonry") is a set of philosophies and ideas that can be used to improve one's self, family, and community. By studying and contemplating the lessons it provides, members have the opportunity to improve their position in life. The symbols and tools of Masons teach the basic principles we follow: brotherly love, charity, and truth.
All Masons are encouraged to practice these principles in their daily lives. Freemasonry takes place in a fraternal environment, where men meet as equals regardless of race, age, religion, or economic or social status.
This environment provides a safe refuge when we can work together to improve ourselves and each other.
Masonry does not offer salvation, or eternal life, or even "all the answers". It is not a religion (although we embrace men of all faiths) or a political movement (but all philosophies are welcomed). We do not seek to impart any influence over anyone or anything but ourselves. We are a brotherhood, united together in a campaign to better our world one man at a time.
Freemasonry is the oldest and largest fraternity in the world. Our traditions can be traced directly to the associations of operative Masons who built the cathedrals, abbeys, and castles of the Middle Ages.
With the decline of cathedral building in the 17th Century, many guilds of stone Masons started to accept into their membership those who were not members of the Masons' craft and called them "speculative" or "accepted" Masons.
It was in these groups, called lodges, comprised mainly of "accepted" Masons, where Freemasonry as we know it today had its beginning.
In 1717, four such lodges, which had been meeting regularly in London, united to form the first Grand Lodge of England under the direction of a Grand Master. From that first Grand Lodge, Freemasonry has spread throughout the world. Today, some 150 Grand Lodges have a total membership of approximately four million Masons.
What Freemasonry Does
As a fraternity, Freemasonry provides an opportunity for men to meet and enjoy friendly companionship. In the spirit of helpfulness and brotherly love and guided by moral principles it encourages goodwill toward all mankind.
Freemasonry is of a personal nature in its private ceremonies. Its ritual dramatizes a philosophy of life based on morality, and promotes self improvement. The tools of operative Masons are used to symbolize and teach the basic principles of brotherly love, charity, and truth which Masons are encouraged to practice in their daily lives.
Membership in Masonry
One of Freemasonry's customs is not to solicit members. However, anyone should feel free to approach any Mason they know to seek further information about the Craft.
The doors of Freemasonry are open to men who seek harmony with their fellow man, feel the need for self-improvement and wish to participate in making this world a better place to live.
Membership is for men, 21 years of age or older, who meet the qualifications and standards of character and reputation, who are of good moral character, and who believe in the existence of a Supreme Being. After approval by the members of a lodge, he will be accepted as an applicant for membership in Freemasonry.
Note that it is NOT necessary that a candidate have a father or family member who was a member.
Becoming a Mason
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a member or would like an application, please
click here to email our Secretary with your questions.
Links on Our Site
Joining a Lodge
looks at the process of becoming a Freemason in simple terms.
About Us provides a
look at our history, our members, and why we feel our lodge may be for you.
Frequently Asked Questions is a comprehensive
series of questions that you may have about Masonry and us.
Where are we?
Prince of Wales meets in the beautiful West Toronto Masonic
Temple, located at 151 Annette Street, Toronto. Click here for a map.
Still want to know more? Click
here to email our Secretary with your questions.