Central Tennis Club History
In September of 1954, a group of tennis enthusiasts applied to Etobicoke Parks and Recreation for the exclusive use of the unfenced public courts west of Mimico Creek in Central Park, accessed from Islington Avenue. Their request was put on hold, but the group continued to play together on the public courts and called itself the "Central Park
In April of 1967, Parks and Recreation built three fenced-in tennis courts south of Central Arena on the east side of Mimico Creek, accessible from Montgomery Road. Parks Commissioner Tom Riley officially opened the gates for the members of the Central Park Tennis Club and gave them exclusive use. This left the original courts, south of the Lawn
Bowling Club, open for instructional classes sponsored by the Etobicoke Recreation Department and for the general public. The new courts were standard black asphalt and had no windscreens. However, in due time the members made many improvements.
In 1971, the Etobicoke Parks Commission arranged for a group of daytime lady players known as the "Montgomery Tennis Club" to share use of the Central Park Tennis Club courts. During the same year, the President of the Central Park Tennis Club, Eric Cater, spearheaded the building of a clubhouse for which he personally guaranteed a loan. Soon after this, the two clubs amalgamated.
In 1998, with the help of a long-time member—who anonymously loaned funds—, a major renovation saw the clubhouse enlarged and equipped with a new kitchen and washroom facilities. In 1999, Mr. Riley retired as commissioner and "Central Park" was renamed "Tom Riley Park" in his honour. At the annual general meeting that year, the members voted to rename the club "Central Tennis Club".
Central Tennis Club offers a full range of daytime and evening programs, including house leagues, tournaments, social round robins and teams for both adults and juniors, from April to October. The club has a tennis pro who coaches and offers lessons and clinics. The club has been built on the strength of its member volunteers who maintain the courts, clubhouse, and grounds, and set the programs for both casual and competitive play. The club has an annual membership of approximately 350 adults and 150 juniors and maintains a waiting list.