In the summer of 1983 I was searching for two things—a good exercise bike and a new idea for a retail store. Eventually I found the exercise bike at a Sporting Goods Store. What I also found was a salesperson that knew a little about hockey equipment and a little about golf clubs and fishing tackle but not a lot about fitness equipment. Thankfully, I had a general idea of what I was looking for and trusted my instincts. However, I wondered what the everyday shopper relied on to make their decision?
At that time, my brother, John Tummon was the Canadian distributor for Monark exercise bikes and Precor fitness equipment. Stores specializing in fitness equipment were growing in the United States but weren’t situated in Canada yet. With my brother's encouragement and partnering with Susan Asquith we opened Toronto's first specialized Exercise Equipment Store on Davenport Rd in Toronto in September of 1984.
In the beginning, our store consisted of five exercise bikes; three rowing machines; one manual treadmill; a York 2001 weight machine and a Total Gym – no stair machines; no recumbent bikes; no ellipticals and no ski machines. None of these had been invented yet! Still, we dedicated ourselves to understanding our industry and our products inside and out. From the outset we were striving to offer a quality experience for our customers.
The business grew rapidly in the eighties and so did the selection of fitness equipment. Hydraulic rowers were very popular; then came hydraulic steppers followed by motorized treadmills for a more serious user. A Polar heart rate monitor looked like a Dick Tracy watch and cost $500.00. Today, you can buy a Polar heart rate monitor for $69.95. The industry has grown and technology has changed a lot and who knew that by 2010 we would be able to exercise by using vibration!
What was at first thought to be a fad has evolved into a huge and healthy industry and many people now have a piece of exercise equipment in their home. This helped fuel a secondary market of light commercial equipment for the hotel industry, condominium fitness rooms, corporate fitness centres and small studios. This category became a big part of our business - supplying the "vertical market" - hotels, condominiums and apartment buildings with equipment as well as service and maintenance.
By 2013 it was becaming apparent that consumer's buying habits had changed and so had retail in general. Increasingly we were selling more and more product over the phone without the customer ever coming into the store. With a reputation people could trust, they were confident in our recommendations and our advise. After 30 years in the business we took a serious look at the necessity of a brick and mortar location and closed that portion of the business.
From 1984 to 2016, we have always kept the focus clear - offer our customers the best quality equipment at a reasonable and fair price with the after market service to back it up. Its pretty simple. Give us a call. 416 417 5166