Côte Saint-Luc Tennis Club a gem

BY NOAH SIDEL - The Chronicle

I paid a visit to the Côte St. Luc tennis club on Saturday afternoon, and I must say it was a bit of a revelation for me.

I've been around West End sports for a long time and I've covered everything from hockey to figure skating to gymnastics to volleyball, but for some reason never tennis.

I was there to interview the club's Veteran's League championship team, including former club president and team co-captain Norm Yudin, amongst others. Yudin and company were extremely welcoming and the club's setup allows for an very intimate atmosphere. I'm an experienced enough journalist that I'm never shy going into a strange environment, but I can say that some places are more welcoming than others.

The CSL Tennis Club is one of those more welcoming places. As you walk into the club from its parking lot at the west end of Guelph, the design of the grounds — a former sewage treatment plant of all things — is warm in and of itself.

The courts wrap around a central chalet that looks like a short lighthouse, and there's a nice little picnic table area where people gather to chat and eat. On Saturday, they even had a barbecue and some beers going around in celebration of the Veteran's team.

What was most striking about the club at first glance was that everyone there seemed to be genuine friends with each other.

It was such a nice time, that while it usually takes me half an hour to get one of these stories wrapped up, I stuck around for almost two hours just to chat with the members.

Yudin was also very enthusiastic about drumming up some new blood for the club. While it has a very active membership, the club leans toward the older demographic. At $320 per summer, however, it seems very affordable for both young and older members alike. 

The season runs from April through October and more information can be found in the recreation section of the website.

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