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New Climbing Facility in London, Ontario
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grottoco


Mar 1, 2012, 1:43 PM
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New Climbing Facility in London, Ontario
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A few months ago there was an official announcement made about a new gym opening up in London, ON, in partnership with the Guelph Grotto. For those who are interested in an update, we are excited to announce that we have secured a location close to the intersection of Highbury and Oxford! Can't beat that location!
We are in discussion with the property owners and should begin construction on the new facility within the next month or so. We can't wait to tell you more about our exciting plans.


13rdnjc


Apr 2, 2012, 8:44 PM
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Awesome! I can't wait to not be forced to go to a bowling alley when I want to climb. I'm going climb at your gym everyday and I will make sure I tell my friends. Please keep this thread updated as to when you start building and an estimated completion date. I know your gym will be a great success, this is excellent news. Good luck with the construction! :)
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larpy


May 14, 2012, 3:40 AM
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I'll be in London this summer and wondering if there is any news about the gym? Also wondering if anyone is looking for climbing partner


khlimber


Jun 12, 2012, 1:47 PM
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Re: [larpy] New Climbing Facility in London, Ontario [In reply to]
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I too would be interested in knowing when the London gym will be opening up. I've been climbing at Climbers Rock in Burlington, Ontario but may be in London for a bit.

Other than Fleetway and East Park, are there any good places to climb outdoors in London? If someone is interested in teaching me outdoor climbing and wants a partner, let me know.

Thx.


wingmant


Jun 22, 2012, 10:23 AM
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larpy wrote:
I'll be in London this summer and wondering if there is any news about the gym? Also wondering if anyone is looking for climbing partner

Definitely I. I've been waiting and waiting for something local to get back into climbing since I've moved to London.

This has me so ridiculously excited!


sgtrock


Jul 4, 2012, 12:27 AM
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Any updates on the London gym? Sounds exciting. I'd like to dust off my climbing gear that's been in storage since I moved back from Vancouver.


jen_a_n


Jul 4, 2012, 8:34 PM
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Im pretty sure the plan is to be open by 2013 in jan... not completely sure though


Tdub1975


Jul 25, 2012, 3:30 PM
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This is fantastic news!! And long overdue at that. I will pass the word around town. Any idea what the gym will be called?


drkwolf519


Jul 27, 2012, 6:33 AM
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I am really excited to hear that there may be another gym opening up, I haven't had an opportunity to climb since the gym in Spikes closed! (indoor volleyball gym)

I am also interested in learning outdoor climbing and also need a new partner for indoor, I am fairly inexperienced and rusty but love the sport, let me know.
Cheers


Tdub1975


Jul 31, 2012, 2:50 PM
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I'm in the same boat DRKWOLF519. I used to climb off and on years ago but the lack of quality gyms in town severly hampered my ability to train and to get my friends to come out and give it a try. Its great to hear a gym that is run for climbers by climbers is on its way. I really like what the grotto has to offer in Guelph. If its anything close to that, I would be impressed. I too, would need a climbing partner, although I plan to do a lot of bouldering, but what- ever climbing is climbing and I'm pumped.


Tdub1975


Aug 2, 2012, 4:28 PM
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I emailed the Grotto to see if I could get some addtional info and this is all that I got back....

"Final details should be in place in the next few weeks, but currently the opening date for the London Climbing Company is slated for Jan/Feb 2013. YES! We are opening a 9,000+ square foot premiere facility. Updates soon"


Adam
The Guelph Grotto Climbing Co.


Its official they are doing it. I just hoped for some juicy details on location, website and such.


Overide


Aug 21, 2012, 8:01 AM
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Have there been any updates on this? Is there a website?

A bunch of us used to climb at spikes until they closed, we are very excited about this!!!


Tdub1975


Aug 22, 2012, 2:58 PM
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I've been online everyday checking for updates. Unfortuately I have not found any additional info. If anybody hears anything please share.


Tdub1975


Nov 13, 2012, 2:47 PM
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No updates since March? I have to assume this was some kind of joke. It is almost the end of the year and still nothing to report?


grottoco


Nov 14, 2012, 8:22 PM
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Re: [Tdub1975] New Climbing Facility in London, Ontario [In reply to]
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Hello Tdub1975, and the London climbing community,

Sorry to keep all of you in the dark for so long. We’re going to share what juicy details we can, though they probably aren’t as juicy as you’d like.

The space we announced in the spring (which was so awesome it still hurts to think about) got pulled out from under us when the city demanded that we do $200,000 in landscaping upgrades to the parking lot (grading, paving, and installing sewer connections). As neither the landlord nor us could afford that it sent us back to the search, without the city giving us a building permit the landlord would not do the construction we’d planned.

After a couple of failed negotiations for other properties we’ve reached a deal on a new space. We’re excited again, 24’ to 32’ clear in a good central location. However it requires rezoning. We’ve submitted the paperwork and the planning department has scheduled a meeting with us next week where we will find out if they will support our application (what conversations we’ve had with them seem promising, but we’re still nervous). From the meeting next week the application shuffles through various departments until it eventually is approved at council about 4 months from now. Unfortunately that really is the speed at which the process works, and at this point it is out of our hands.

It’s been a long road for us and for you. We thank you all for your patience. We we’re a bit gun shy about going public with new info after getting the runaround on the previous property and didn’t want to announce anything more until we had certainty.
If anyone wants to receive updates directly please PM this account. I’ll add your contact info to any announcements.

Thank you thank you thank you to all the people who’ve called and emailed us with your enthusiasm, we are really stoked to be bringing climbing back to London and every day of delay drives us bonkers.

The Grotto Team

TLDR: First building deal killed by city regulations after lease signed, newest building deal in rezoning process.


djnibs


Nov 14, 2012, 8:48 PM
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I for one am super excited for this to be taking place! Thanks Grotto team for filling in the blanks!


Tdub1975


Nov 15, 2012, 4:20 PM
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Thanks for the update. Its too bad that our citys' bureaucratic red tape has caused so much turmoil in finding a good facility to start building. Glad you guys are putting in all the hard work and haven't given up. Can't wait for the grand opening.


grottoco


Nov 15, 2012, 8:07 PM
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Thanks djnibs and Tdub1975,

It's been a crazy process that hopefully someday we can share. Everyone at the city has been super nice and professional but can only work within their regulations and some of the regulations make it really hard for our kind of business since our use is considered commercial but our space needs are industrial. We also want to make the best gym possible and not settle.

We'll keep you posted how it goes.


grottoco


Nov 29, 2012, 7:02 AM
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Update:

We had our meeting with the city. We are...cautiously optimistic. They did not say no which is key. They didn't say absolutely yes either (they can't really). The general tone was positive with a few outstanding questions. We've a bunch more paperwork to submit now.


Grif


Nov 30, 2012, 12:16 PM
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I'm so very glad to hear that all is moving forward, albeit cautiously. I have been visiting this thread daily with my fingers crossed for updates. I am looking forward to starting to climb again.

Hopefully our current situation with Mr. Fontana isn't making the red tape more treacherous than need be.


OhthatChris


Dec 26, 2012, 10:33 PM
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Is there anything at all Londoners can do to help the process along? any office or official we can call or write to?


jaimie2819


Jan 1, 2013, 1:42 PM
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This is so exciting! I am new to the city this year and I can't believe I moved somewhere without a rock gym...

Because I am new to London I will be looking for a new partner for indoor or outdoor as well, so I'd be down for getting involved if any of you want to go when this new gym opens up!


OhthatChris


Jan 22, 2013, 8:23 AM
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Ditto on the excitment. Ditto on needing a partner.


Tdub1975


Jan 24, 2013, 1:55 PM
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OhthatChris wrote:
Ditto on the excitment. Ditto on needing a partner.

Sad to say my excitement has turned to frustration. This is turning into a painfully long wait to get this done.


jaimie2819


Jan 31, 2013, 1:40 PM
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New Climbing Facility in London, Ontario [In reply to]
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Has there been any more developments? Any news at all?


Tdub1975


Feb 21, 2013, 2:08 PM
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Is there anything that we can do to help this process along? Any updates on the meetings with the City of London?
In reply to:


grottoco


Feb 21, 2013, 5:34 PM
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Thanks for checking in. Not at this point. The application is being 'circulated'--sent through a rather large list (25 or so)--everyone from various city departments to Ontario Hydro to the Thames Valley Conservation Authority and Canada Post. When that is all done it gets posted--an ad goes up in a Saturday edition of the Free Press stating the property is up for any and all to comment. When that happens will be letting everyone know and they can comment. The planners I have spoken to says they really appreciate when people take the time to write in, especially positive comments, since so much of what the see is negative.


Tdub1975


Feb 22, 2013, 12:47 PM
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Yes please keep us posted and I will do my best to get as many people as I can to comment on the posting in the Free Press.


grottoco


Feb 25, 2013, 5:29 PM
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Sweet. We will absolutely. It'd be cool to hit some kind of record for most positive comments.

J


Fournier4


Mar 17, 2013, 3:14 PM
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New Climbing Facility in London, Ontario [In reply to]
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I am brand new to climbing i have only been a couple times indoor and still want to do more I love it. I live in chatham so there is nothing close to me for at least an hours around. does anyone know whats going on with this place and are looking for climbing partner, i may be green but i am willing to learn, i pick stuff up quick.


(This post was edited by Fournier4 on Mar 17, 2013, 6:25 PM)


Tdub1975


Mar 19, 2013, 1:11 PM
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I have heard nothing lately on the progress. Our city counsel must be too busy with their own unsavoury agendas to care about adding local jobs and tax revenues to our community while adding quality of life for the people who desperately want a facility like this close to home. When the gym opens I'm sure there will be many people looking for climbing partners. Just keep your eye on this forum and I'm sure you will get the latest news when it happens.


Fournier4


Mar 19, 2013, 6:41 PM
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That really sucks you think they would pull their heads out of their butts and get this passed so it can be done. Jobs are a plus may not be hundreds but every job helps. Where do you climb in london? Like i said im rom chatham I have to drive an hour to climb just curious as to other facilities while we wait for this one.
thanks eh, I will be checking this forum regularly in hopes of some news.


Tdub1975


Mar 22, 2013, 5:10 PM
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I don't climb in London at all really. Used to go to spikes but when they shut down I didn't like what the other locations offered and got tired of commuting so pretty much quit climbing. With the news of a new gym opening I started again and have been several times to CLimbers Rock and Grand River Rocks. The commute is long though and keeps me from getting out much. We need the London Climbing Company to open!


Fournier4


Mar 22, 2013, 6:07 PM
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Those both look like nice gyms, I go to one in Sarnia called to the stars its small but its a place to climb so im happy. im driving an hour no matter where I go which isnt that big of a deal, but it would be nice for this facility in London to open already! I dont see why they are taking this much time with it and making it so difficult


grottoco


Apr 2, 2013, 11:20 AM
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Hey All!

Update time! We've been talking to the planning department. The application is (slowly) moving forward but in a positive direction. We've also been in touch with a couple of the senior staff at city hall regarding other regulatory hurdles.

The support and interest we've gotten from London has been awesome and humbling. Thanks for being patient with us and your city!

More news next week!

John


Tdub1975


Apr 4, 2013, 4:14 PM
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This is great news!!!I did a little digging on the City of London web site and found this.

1030 Elias Street – The purpose and effect of this zoning change is to permit the Guelph Grotto Climbing Company to develop an indoor recreational rock climbing facility at this location. Possible change to Zoning By-law Z.-1 FROM a Light Industrial (LI1/LI7) Zone which permits bakeries, business services establishments, laboratories, manufacturing and assembly industries, support offices, paper and allied products, pharmaceutical and medical product industries, printing, reproduction and data processing industries, research and development establishments, warehouse establishments, wholesale establishments, custom workshops, brewing on premises establishments, service and trades, automobile body shops, automobile repair garages, building or contracting establishments, repair and rental establishments, service and repair establishments, service trades, truck sales and services establishments, TO a Light Industrial Special Provision (LI1( )/LI7) Zone which permits a Commercial Recreation Establishment in addition to the above permitted uses.
File: Z- 8154 Planner: AB Watson (Dundas)

PROVIDING COMMENT
Your comments on these matters are important. You may comment by phone, mail, e-mail or fax by calling 519-661-4980, or emailing the planner assigned to the file you are interested in. Mail should be directed to: The City of London, Planning Division, P.O. Box 5035, 300 Dufferin Ave., London, ON, N6A 4L9.
Please note: Comments and opinions submitted on these matters, including the originator’s name and address, become part of the public record, may be viewed by the general public and may be published in a Planning Report and Council Agenda. If a person or public body does not make oral submissions at a public meeting or make written submissions to the City of London before the application is adopted or approved, the person or public body is not entitled to appeal the decision of the Municipal Council or the Approval Authority of the City of London to the Ontario Municipal Board. If a person or public body does not make oral submissions at a public meeting or make written submissions to the City of London before the proposed amendment is adopted or approved, the person or public body may not be added as a party to the hearing of an appeal before the Ontario Municipal Board unless, in the opinion of the Board, there are reasonable grounds to add the person or public body as a party.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
If you wish to view additional information or material relating to these applications, the files are available to the public at the Planning Division, 206 Dundas Street, or the Development Approvals Business Unit, 6th floor, City Hall, 300 Dufferin Ave., London, ON, Monday to Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm. The notices indicate the office location of the files. Key maps for the lands described in these applications are not provided as they are available for review at the offices noted above. *Please ensure you reference the File Number or address in all communications.


Now is the time to give our city planners all the positive feedback and help John@grottoco and our local climbing community build this wonderful new gym.


grottoco


Apr 4, 2013, 5:57 PM
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Tdub1975 you're too good! Our wicked awesome announcement for next week has been leaked!

Congrats on tracking down our location. We invite any and all interested folks from the London area and beyond to let the city know they want this to happen. Planners are used to getting lots of negative--'we don't want change" type comments from this process. This is a real chance to show how positive the climbing community can be. The planner who is assigned to us is new to the department and is being really supportive and is making things happen as fast as she can--some parts of the process just take time. You can reach her directly at awatson (at) london.ca

Cheers all--we'll have to think of something else for next week!


Tdub1975


Apr 4, 2013, 6:54 PM
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I have to apologize John! I didn't mean to steal your thunder. I thought that maybe the newpaper announcement had already passed, as the one I copied and pasted was posted two weeks ago back on March 21. I did take a short drive to see the location today and all I can say is that I am very, very impressed. I can't wait to see what you do with that amount of space and height. Good job!

My fingers are crossed that everything works out for you and we will be sending out our positive comments/feedback to the city by the end of the week. Sorry again for playing the spoiler.


grottoco


Apr 4, 2013, 8:00 PM
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No worries at all. We take it as an awesome sign of the community that people are so interested. Thanks for the compliments on the property. We're really happy with this building, it's bigger and better than any we've tried to make a go of before.

J


NicM


Apr 8, 2013, 8:28 AM
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Re: [grottoco] New Climbing Facility in London, Ontario [In reply to]
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I've been following this thread for months and I created an account just to reply to this. I'm so excited by the location. I live in Old East, on Lorne Ave., a very short walk from the proposed location on Elias street (which is across from a municipal park and community center). I will be sending *extremely* enthusiastic comments to the city, and since I am a resident of the neighborhood, perhaps it will carry more weight.

(Maybe I can even convince the local resident's association to support the endeavor--there are a lot of parents with kids living around here who would LOVE to climb...)

I'm absurdly excited that I will be able to WALK to this facility when it opens! Heck, if you're hiring...


grottoco


Apr 8, 2013, 10:42 AM
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Re: [NicM] New Climbing Facility in London, Ontario [In reply to]
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Thanks so much NicM. So awesome that you'll be in the neighbourhood. We're really happy to be in a community and not out in an industrial park.

The resident's association is a great idea. If you know the contact info PM it to us and we'll try to reach out to them directly.


Sarah128


Apr 11, 2013, 8:15 AM
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Re: [grottoco] New Climbing Facility in London, Ontario [In reply to]
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This is SO exciting. I too will have to dust off my climbing gear having returned to London after being in more climber-friendly parts of the world! Guelph Grotto Company, if there is anything I can do to help with this development, please let me know. I would be so happy to volunteer my time to make this happen. Thank you!


grottoco


Apr 11, 2013, 8:46 PM
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Re: [Sarah128] New Climbing Facility in London, Ontario [In reply to]
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Thanks! And thanks for the kind offer. A big help is letting the city know that you want this to come to London through the contact info above. Can't wait to be climbing there.

J


NicM


Apr 17, 2013, 12:38 PM
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Re: [grottoco] New Climbing Facility in London, Ontario [In reply to]
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I walked by the proposed location the other day, after taking my daughter to the local park. What an amazing space. Whoa. I got to have a quick look inside since the hangar door was open. The ceiling is super tall--looks like (60-80) make that 35 feet--and it's basically a big, open play area (with support girders running down the middle). Seriously perfect for this kind of thing. Really psyched now!

edit: in my excitement I completely forgot how to estimate height


(This post was edited by NicM on Apr 17, 2013, 1:25 PM)


grottoco


Apr 17, 2013, 1:18 PM
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Re: [NicM] New Climbing Facility in London, Ontario [In reply to]
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Thanks NicM! Our jaws dropped the first time we drove up to it. The actual height is 35 feet, which is plenty. The big doors or awesome though. Having them open on a day like today will be great!


JunctionLondon


Apr 18, 2013, 12:04 PM
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Re: [grottoco] New Climbing Facility in London, Ontario [In reply to]
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Hello All! Check out the new handle in the sidebar! The Junction Climbing Centre, partner with Guelph Grotto, will be opening in London this fall. In the interest of not abusing the non-commercial spirit of rockclimbing.com any more than we already have we invite any and everyone to follow us on facebook and twitter. PM's to this address are also welcome. Thanks all, see you in London!


JunctionLondon


May 7, 2013, 8:12 AM
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Re: [Tdub1975] New Climbing Facility in London, Ontario [In reply to]
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Hey All,

An update--was talking to the planner this morning and she has received more than enough calls to support our application. Thanks everyone who took the time to write in!


JohnnyQ1964


Jun 27, 2013, 10:42 AM
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Re: [JunctionLondon] New Climbing Facility in London, Ontario [In reply to]
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So... I haven't seen an update in awhile... Any word when this facility will open?


(This post was edited by JohnnyQ1964 on Jun 27, 2013, 10:43 AM)


parseeker


Jun 27, 2013, 3:10 PM
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Re: [JohnnyQ1964] New Climbing Facility in London, Ontario [In reply to]
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JohnnyQ1964 wrote:
So... I haven't seen an update in awhile... Any word when this facility will open?

Seconded/Bumped


JunctionLondon


Jun 28, 2013, 7:41 AM
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Re: [parseeker] New Climbing Facility in London, Ontario [In reply to]
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Hey there--Thanks for checking in! We've been kind of quiet on rockclimbing.com as we aren't really supposed to advertise here but we'll sneak in here to say that we are moving forward and looking for a late fall opening. Lots of info at junctionclimbing.com and especially on Facebook--Junction Climbing Centre. We had about 70 people at our open house a couple of weeks ago and are really excited at how things are shaping up.

PM us directly if you have any other questions!


JunctionLondon


Jul 15, 2014, 5:31 AM
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Re: [JunctionLondon] New Climbing Facility in London, Ontario [In reply to]
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It took longer than we thought but the Junction has opened! 35 feet of glorious Walltopia terrain in brightly lit air conditioned comfort! Some of our earliest supporters were on rockclimbing.com so we thought we'd return here to thank you.

We're hosting free climbing to celebrate from 12-3 pm this Saturday the 19th. A free belayed climb for anyone, with climbing $5 and the funds going to support Camp Trillium Childhood Cancer Centre.

We're also hosting a friendly boulder competition from 4 till 7, with all of the fees collected going to support Camp Trillium. Come check us out!


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