Way, way back in the early 1970’s, a time when Star Wars was a mere twinkle in George Lucas’ eye, there were only two platform tennis courts in Toronto. One was a wooden court at Elijah Jones’ home in North Toronto. The other was an aluminum court at Barb and Don Fergusson’s home on Kingsway Crescent. The Fergusson’s friend Barry Noble became an ambassador of the sport, and took it upon himself to get the neighbourhood playing. Soon after, over 100 adults and kids frequented the court at “Fergie’s”.
In November of 1975, 10 couples and individuals met at the Nobles’ home to discuss the viability of building a paddle facility in the neighbourhood. The idea gained momentum, and as more dedicated and enthusiastic people were recruited, the Kingsway Platform Tennis Club was born.
To secure our backing, our members pursued all contacts and leads at the municipal, provincial and federal level. Money was obtained from a Wintario grant, from corporate sponsors and from individuals- many of whom were introduced to the game by Barry and others at the Bay Street Racquet Club (which had installed two courts in 1976). Some members even joined “on faith” as they had never heard of or tried the game.
The KPTC’s initial four courts and clubhouse were up and running in 1977 and soon the club counted nearly 350 members- about 150 of which were juniors. Many of these juniors are still active, but it isn’t polite to try to guess who they are. Court 5 was added in 1990, and has since become unloved and the butt of most jokes.
The success of the Kingsway Platform Tennis Club is thanks to the volunteers who are active in every aspect of its operation and to the players who love the game- no matter how cold it gets.