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Health and athletic club

Here’s an ad that appeared in the October 21 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

I looked The Health Club up in the Toronto city directories. It first appears in the 1936 directory as the Toronto Health Club, located on the third floor of 2 Toronto Street. In 1937, the club moved to the second floor of this building, and Fernley J. Bull was listed as its director.

By 1939, the club was gone. Its space was taken over by two barristers and by the Automotive Transport Association of Ontario, the Canadian Automotive Transportation Association, and the Toronto Milk Transport Association. The building at 2 Toronto Street still stands.

Robert E. Bernier was not listed in the 1938 city directory, but a Blanche Bernier was listed at 107 Springdale Boulevard. Robert E. then appears in the 1939 directory at 105 Springdale, and is not listed in the 1940 directory. My guess is that Blanche and Robert were relatives, Robert was about to head off to fight and needed a place to stay, and Blanche knew that her neighbour was looking to take on a boarder.

Mr. Bull wasn’t listed in the 1939 or 1940 directories either. My guess is that if you were fit enough to run a health club, you were able and willing to fight the Axis Powers.

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