Originally opened in 1994, the Guelph Grotto was one of Ontario, Canada’s first climbing gyms. In order to continue growing its member base and expand its programming, the gym recently announced an extensive expansion and remodeling plan that will begin in earnest in November.
“We needed more space. We were constrained,” owner David Perozzo told CBJ. “We found that the size of our current gym, although we are very happy and proud of what we had designed and built, imposed dangers to our clientele on busy evenings. It was a natural time to expand as our city is growing quickly and the community has wanted this project to happen for years. Our community deserves a gym that reflects modern climbing.”
The gym’s original footprint was 5,300 square feet. Upon the completion of the expansion, the gym will reopen in December with an additional 7,800 square feet of ground space. The new design will be intentionally more open-concept: “We want to help foster a better community. We made the design an open concept area and more accessible for people with physical disabilities and we are implementing new policies and community outreach to encourage diversity,” General Manager Nick Perozzo said.
The expanded climbable space will be a mix of rope walls (6,500 square feet) and bouldering surface (3,135 square feet). All top rope walls will be leadable. The expansion will include the addition of a number of new amenities, including a Kilter Board, aerial silk lines for a silks-specific program, a designated children’s section, and a fitness area. A yoga/pilates studio will be unveiled after the expansion is completed, and the installation of air conditioning is scheduled for next summer.
Flooring: Flashed (with carpet-bonded foam for the top-rope mats)
CRM Software: Rock Gym Pro
In Their Words: “We opened in a generation when climbing gyms were not common. Although the first few years were challenging and many people felt we would fail, with the strength of our staff and the great community, we were able to create a positive, accepting community. Our success also came from our ability to adapt to trends. We were one of the first in Canada or Ontario to have seamless mats, e-waivers, and aerial silks.”
—David Perozzo, Owner
Climbing Business Journal is an independent news outlet dedicated to covering the indoor climbing industry. Here you will find the latest coverage of climbing industry news, gym developments, industry best practices, risk management, climbing competitions, youth coaching and routesetting. Have an article idea? CBJ loves to hear from readers like you!