In November 1978, Pierre Elliot Trudeau was Canada’s Prime Minister and John Sewell was Toronto’s newly elected mayor; Wayne Gretzky had just played in his first professional game in the WHA for the Indianapolis Racers; and the Toronto Blue Jays had just completed the second season in franchise history. This was also the month when the Adelaide Club first opened its doors in the heart of downtown Toronto.
Over the past 40 years, the Adelaide Club has seen many changes. From the Club’s overall look and feel to the offerings, nothing is as it once was, and yet, at the very core, it remains the same. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
When the Club opened in 1978, many believed that the location alone would make it one of the best fitness clubs in Canada – and they weren’t wrong. 40 years ago, First Canadian Place was still new and stood as the 6th tallest building in the world. It was a towering giant on the northwest corner of King St. and Bay St. – and that’s exactly how it remains today. The buildings around First Canadian Place may have changed and the downtown core itself might not look anything like it used to, but you’d still be hard pressed to find a better location for a Club in all of Canada.
But the location isn’t the only reason the Adelaide has remained successful for the last 40 years. One factor that certainly cannot be overlooked is how the Club’s management team has continued to invest in the Club. In the beginning, the Adelaide was dominated by squash and racquetball courts – there were 11 total! – but as the times have changed, so has the Club. From integrating a rock wall in the early 90s, to adding the Adelaide Spa (late 90s) and the Strength gym and HUB (in 2017), the Club has worked to stay at the leading edge of the fitness industry, incorporating the best equipment, classes, and amenities, while also creating an inviting atmosphere for Members.
Because we’ve focused so much of our attention on building a special atmosphere, we’ve ultimately created a warm and inviting community for our Members. We take the time to hire the right people – creating a team that not only prioritizes Members and understands the importance of great service, but that also love what they do. In doing so, we’re able to genuinely serve our Members at every possible turn; thus, creating a vibe that our Members and their Guests simply won’t find anywhere else.
I mean, when we bring potential Members through the Club, the number 1 thing we hear is just how “special” the Club looks. How many Clubs do you know of that offer the best in fitness equipment and programming, but also feature incredible art (including our Frank Stella – one of the giants in 20th century art – pieces), a stunning lounge (the HUB is downright cool, and is the heart and soul of the Club), and photos that highlight the history of the community (like our Toronto Collection that features Toronto’s most iconic moments, historic monuments, and more)? The honest answer is there’s no other Club like this.
And that’s why we’re making our 40th Anniversary one to remember. It’s about celebrating our past successes and accomplishments, but we know that it’s about more than that. This anniversary, we’re celebrating our Members and our team; we’re celebrating the people who make this one of the best places in Toronto to work and workout.
So, in November 2018, Justin Trudeau is Canada’s Prime Minister and John Tory is Toronto’s recently re-elected mayor; the Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid is arguably the greatest player in the NHL; and the Toronto Maple Leafs are still looking for their first Stanley Cup since 1967. It’s been 40 years of the Adelaide Club – 40 incredible years – but now, now we look ahead to the next 40…who knows what Toronto and the Adelaide Club will look like then.