Terry is the owner/operator of Tennis Clubs of Canada. He started in the tennis industry as a tennis instructor for the Borough of Etobicoke Parks and Recreation Dept in 1968. He taught tennis for a number of towns and cities all across Ontario and taught for the summers while attending the University of Waterloo. In 1976, he accepted the position of Head Tennis Pro at the Aurora Highlands Golf and Country Club and continues to work in the tennis industry.
Along with his son, Trevor, and his General Manager, Adam Siegel, they have been establishing and operating winter tennis facilities throughout the northern GTA, all of them as private/public partnerships with the various municipalities. And they recently opened the Milton Winter Tennis Club which is their sixth facility.
We had asked Terry to tell us a little about those Private/Public Partnerships for tennis facilities in Canada.
TENNIS CLUBS OF CANADA AND PRIVATE/PUBLIC PARTNERSHIPS
By Terry Redvers
Forty-one years ago I was the head tennis pro at the Aurora Highlands Golf and CC. It was only a three-court bubble at the time and tennis back then was bustling. I went up to Newmarket and negotiated a deal with the recreation dept to put up a bubble for the winter, again just a three-court facility. A community club ran a summer program and I put up the bubble for Oct 1st and ran a winter club until the following May 1. It was extremely popular and is still going strong!
Ten years later, I founded a new winter facility, in partnership with the Town of Richmond Hill. When I partner with a Town, I urge them to keep the costs down (rent and taxes) in order to keep my prices competitive. This club is a six-court facility, and like Newmarket has a clubhouse with a lounge and changing rooms.
Over the years I have expanded my operations and now have ‘bubbles’ in Thornhill, Richmond Hill, Newmarket, Aurora, Barrie, and Milton. The operation in Aurora is unique in that it is a permanent dome that we operate year-round. If you ever get up to Toronto please come and see us. We have branded our clubs as Tennis Clubs of Canada and I don’t think anyone in Canada has been as successful as we have, in growing the game of tennis. We are currently in negotiations with four more summer clubs in Ontario and are meeting with clubs in Manitoba and Edmonton, Alberta.
You can get a good idea as to how we operate by going to www.tennisclubs.ca. Milos Raonic grew up at our club and recently came back and gave a fabulous clinic to 100 juniors. I have seen him play at all the majors except the French.
I did not compete in tennis as a junior but got a job teaching tennis in Etobicoke, Ontario when I was 18 years old. I am truly passionate about the game of tennis.
I still teach quite a bit and play senior events across the country. I have represented Canada in the Senior World Championships and as a member of our Canadian IC team, I have played at some awesome clubs in Europe, United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Great Britain.
Milton Tennis Dome is the location of Tennis Club of Canada's Milton location near Mississauga, southwest of Toronto. We found the image on the website of The Farley Group, the company that manufactures and installs sports domes.
The private/public partners have become quite popular in Canadian municipalities, basically, the town provides the courts and a clubhouse if it’s already there. If it’s in a new plan, some towns will contribute monies toward bringing in the services (heat and hydro). We take care of the rest, the four major capital costs are the dome itself, the lighting, the furnace, and the grade beam (the concrete structure that holds the bubble in place).
The major reason for being so successful is simply that I have been blessed with amazing staff, particularly my son and my general manager. If you would like to chat about all this, that would be great!
(You can reach Terry at this email address.)
Marilyn Redvers Tennis Centre in Aurora, just north of Toronto
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