Holly560Fitness Corner and Fitness Corner South owner Holly Vanderzwet working out on some of the equipment at her Southampton location. Fitness Corner South is celebrating its 10th birthday with an Open House on November 27.

Hub Staff

Fitness Corner South is celebrating 10 years in Southampton and is opening their doors to everyone from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 27.

“It's an open house, it's a celebration, a birthday party,” said owner Holly Vanderzwet. Member or not, everyone is welcome to come and take a tour of the fitness facilities and join in the celebration. Staff will be on hand and coffee and cake will be provided. There will also be door prizes and a chance to win a year's membership.

Vanderzwet, who also owns Fitness Corner in Port Elgin which is due to celebrate its 20th birthday next year, reminisced about the two decades in business.

As a fitness instructor in the area, Vanderzwet became partners with Scott Christie, who at the time owned Victory Fitness, where the current Port Elgin location is. “We renovated there, added on the studio and renovated the locker rooms,” she said.

Once the partnership formed, the building, which was being leased at the time, was purchased and the name changed to Fitness Corner. After two or three years, Christie returned to school and is now a chiropractor in Toronto. “Instead of taking on another partner we just purchased his share and became sole owners there.”

Vanderzwet said that the Fitness Corner South location on Meadow Lane in Southampton was built by a well known area builder, Clayton Long. “He had developed this subdivision and had built this.” She was approached by Long to come and look at the building and see if she wanted to take it on. “When we saw it, it didn't have any floor, it only had the walls so we didn't see it completed and he wondered if we could run it as a gym.”

Vanderzwet said the building was designed as a Florida style recreation facility, not necessarily a gym. “It was supposed to be shuffleboard and cards, a meet and greet kind of thing, but the people here I guess put pressure on him to put [fitness] equipment in. But then of course you've got a little bit of an issue with the equipment if it’s not supervised, so he approached me to see if we would want to take it on, so we did.”

Shortly after the Southampton location opened, Long passed away and after a few years she purchased the building.

Vanderzwet said she gets asked all the time to open another fitness centre. “I get emails from Kincardine, and Sauble Beach, and Tobermory,” but said that two is plenty. “It's kind of nice if you can be physically in the business. I'm spread pretty thin but I've got a really good team of staff right now, instructors and desk staff but it’s still kind of nice to be able to be in the facilities a few times a week.”

Fitness Corner South has approximately 400 members with Fitness Corner in Port Elgin having close to 800 members. “The gyms are quite different. I think they meet different needs of different people,” explained Vanderzwet. She added that more women and people over 50 tend to join Fitness Corner South and more men join her Port Elgin location, which also has a much wider range in terms of age.

Vanderzwet said her oldest client in the Port Elgin location is going to be 94 years old, while her oldest Southampton client just turned 90. “They're still active and they're still coming to the gym. Age is just a number and I think it’s good to keep as active as you can for a lot of different reasons,” she said. “I think my thing is train for living, train for life, just to be active, not really train for anything specific necessarily, be as active as you can. Just keep moving.”

To find out more about services and classes visit

Fitness Corner South560Fitness Corner South, located on Meadow Lane in Southampton, is celebrating 10 years in business.