Tell us about your business?
Bloor Street Fitness & Boxing was opened in 1994 by former national lightweight champion Paul Ryan. The gym began as a non-profit organization to help at-risk youth get off the streets. From its boxing beginnings, the gym has grown into a fully equipped, two-level boxing and fitness centre serving Toronto’s west end community.
Bloor Street Fitness is an inclusive, dynamic and fully equipped fitness centre, with all the amenities of a big gym and none of the pretension. The second floor contains a full-size boxing ring, originally from New York City’s Time Square where Muhammad Ali and Rocky Marciano boxed in 1969. At BSF, we pride ourselves on being a “no-attitude” neighbourhood gym with professional and dedicated staff and amazing members. Whether you’re looking to box your way to a better body, take group fitness or train with our certified personal trainers, there is something for everyone at Bloor Street Fitness.
What attracted you to the fitness industry?
I was involved in sport from an early age and was always looking to gain the competitive edge. My goal was to become a better rotational athlete and to find ways to overcome past injuries and decrease the risk of future injuries as to lengthen my playing career. This pursuit of knowledge led me to further study the body and eventually to the fitness industry.
What made you choose to operate your own business?
I got involved at the gym level with the goal to help more people. I am able to share more knowledge with a team of trainers and this gives us the ability to reach more people looking to become better movers.
What has been your greatest challenge as a business operator and how did you overcome it?
A challenge I have faced is keeping a well educated, cooperative, and productive team of personal trainers together to service our members. It is always hard on members when their trainer moves on from the gym. We have worked to create a working environment and a cooperative team that enjoys being together. We educate our trainers to be at the top of their profession through in house team training and development sessions, inviting industry experts to teach our trainers and having our staff attend canfitpro conferences.
What do you hope your member’s achieve within your facility?
My hope is that each member will gain the confidence, knowledge and support to achieve their goal. Our trainers strive to help members become better athletes and movers so any life or athletic skill can be easily done.
Tell us your greatest memory or highlight in your career?
The highlight of my career is seeing the light bulb go off in my clients/trainers minds when they understand and feel the improvements happening in their bodies. It is rewarding to me when they hit the golf ball further or get through a round of golf pain free or accomplish whatever else their goal may be.