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Family of Freemasonry in Ontario

for Everyone


The world’s oldest and largest fraternal organization. Today, there are more than four million Masons worldwide, and some two million in North America. They come from every walk of life, from many religions and many diverse ideologies. All believe in the existence of a Supreme Being and meet as friends and brothers, in peace and harmony. This is one of the great fascinations of Masonry and one of its great strengths.

What is Freemasonry?

Dedicated to the Brotherhood of Man, Freemasonry's singular purpose is to make good men better. Not better than someone else, bur better within themselves. Masonry teaches that each person has an obligation to make a difference for good.

          Freemasonry is kindness in the home, honesty in business, courtesy in society, fairness in work, concern for the unfortunate and respect for one another.


 Is Masonry a secret society?

No! It does have some modes of recognition, but most Masons do not hide their membership, or where and when they meet.

What else?

Masonry's strength is in helping people. Every day in North America, Masons donate over two million dollars to charitable causes.

          In Ontario the Masonic Family donates in excess of three million dollars annually.
This is the commitment to humanity that Masons hold so dear. Most of this funding goes to those who are not Masons.

          Shriners operate the largest network of hospitals in North America for burned and orthopaedically impaired children, free of charge. The Scottish Rite Masons maintain a network of some 150 Childhood Language Disorder Clinics, Centres, and Programmes.

           Other members of the Masonic Family sponsor a variety of philanthropies, including scholarship and bursary programmes. Masons perform a variety of public service activities in their community.

The Masonic Family

          The foundation of the Masonic Family is the Masonic Lodge. It is here that Masonry teaches its lessons.

          In Ontario, there are approximately 64,000 Masons, belonging to some 630 Lodges, in 46 Districts, governed by a Grand Lodge, having its headquarters in Hamilton.

          All applicants must come of their own free will. They must ask a Mason about joining, or as we say,


There is no higher degree in Freemasonry than that of Master Mason. When a man has achieved that status he can broaden his Masonic horizons by participation in other branches of the Masonic Family, such as; Scottish Rite, York Rite and the Shrine.


For over two centuries the Scottish Rite has been the medium for many Master Masons to reflect on their understanding of their relationship in their faith, to their fellow man and themselves. It enables Master Masons to add to their Masonic knowledge and to witness colourful Scottish Rite 'degrees' which are dramatic presentations portraying the philosophy of Freemasonry.

The Scottish Rite (ritual) delves further into Masonic teachings and is meant to provide more insight into living a more meaningful way of life for a Master Mason and his family.  It also includes enjoying the friendships and association with a larger and wider cross-section of like-minded men and their families.

In Canada the Scottish Rite, through their Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation, provides generous research grants and bursaries toward the finding of causes, prevention and treatment of all forms of dementia and mental incapacities including Alzheimers Disease.


The York Rite gives an elaboration on the teachings of the Masonic Lodge.
This Rite is divided into several bodies including the Holy Royal Arch, and the Preceptory.

The Holy Royal Arch

           On your journey through the three degrees of Masonry, you would have learned the proficiency lecture for each degree Many questions would have arisen concerning the meaning of the ceremonies, the historical implications and the 'why' of the legends of Freemasonry.  Most students of Freemasonry agree that the story of the Craft as presented in the three degrees is incomplete and that the degrees offered in the Holy Royal Arch of the York Rite of Freemasonry complete the story and answer many of the questions in the mind of the newly made Master Mason.

In the Holy Royal Arch of Jerusalem is found the essentials of symbolism and philosophy necessary for a Master Mason to understand that which he has received.


The Shriners are known for their colourful parades, circuses and clowns. But there is also a serious side to this international fraternity of approximately 500,000 men belonging to 191 Shrine Centres, throughout North America. For over 80 years, the Shrine has operated a network of specialized hospitals that treat children with orthopaedic problems, burns and spinal cord injuries, up to their 18th birthday, at no cost to them.

The Shrine was founded in 1872 by a group of 13 men belonging to the Masonic Order. It was originally established to provide fun and fellowship for its members. But as the organization grew, its members decided to dedicate their efforts to helping others by establishing an official Shrine philanthropy — a network of 22 specialized hospitals that have provided expert medical care to more than 600,000 children.

Since the first Shriners' Hospital opened in 1922, the Shrine has supported what has come to be known as:

the "World's Greatest Philanthropy".

The best-known symbol of Shrinedom is the distinctive red Fez that Shriners wear at official functions. Because Shriners are men who enjoy life, fun is a large part of the Shrine and the activities that help support the Shrine's philanthropy. Most Shrine Centres sponsor Shrine clubs and special units, such as the motor corps, band or clown units and many other units of interest. They share in the camaraderie, deep friendships and good fellowship that are all part of being a Mason and a Shriner.


The Knights Templar is an Order formed in 1118. Their mission was to protect travellers on the roads to the Holy Land. In short order the Templars blossomed to a very large organization.

Their mission today is to enhance the Masonic virtues of faith, hope and charity, supported by wisdom, strength and beauty, adding the chivalric principles of-the Crusades of honour, duty and courage, so that the results will be in harmony with our Masonic beliefs.

For Other Family Members

The Masonic Family also includes many bodies where other family members can participate, such as:


The Order of the Eastern Star.


The Daughters of the Nile.


Ladies of the Oriental Shrine.


For young men. The Order of DeMolay


For young ladies, The International Orders of Rainbow for Girls,


and Job's Daughters.


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Scottish Rite Freemason York Rite Freemason Knights Templar Eastern Star Order