Eliminating equipment wait-times since 1979!

VRC Fitness Gym – History

Since VRC opened in 1979 as the first fitness club in Abbotsford, we have strived to bring our members the latest and greatest in fitness technology. We were the first gym to introduce cycling classes, recumbent bikes, and the Stairmaster to British Columbia. In the Fraser Valley we introduced Aerobics, Step Classes, and Circuit Training. We have also updated the club frequently, removing components that have lost popularity and adding new ones in their place. The constant updates and great customer service over the years are the reasons that VRC Fitness has been voted the Abbotsford Times’ Best Gym for years. The following is a short timeline of all the changes VRC has experienced in the years since we opened.

October 20th, 1979

Valley Racquetball Club opens up and becomes the first private fitness facility in Abbotsford, BC. At the time of opening, VRC Fitness had seven Racquetball courts, one Squash court, an exercise room, meeting room, nursery, proshop, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, saunas; and licensed lounge and restaurant with an outdoor dining area called the Broken Racquet.


VRC adds 3 additional Racquet courts with gallery seating for 400 spectators. January 16–18 of this year, VRC also hosts the 1st annual Abbotsford Open.

Summer 1982

VRC brings Aerobics to Abbotsford with morning, evening, co-ed, and Ladies Only classes choreographed to music, and designed for all levels of fitness. We also receive a member suggestion to offer Family Day, which we have been running with great success since then.


The popularity of racquetball starts to wane. In response, VRC begins phasing out 3 of the courts and removing the spectator seating in what is now the main weight room. VRC also promotes Wallyball, a game similar to volleyball which can be played in the courts.


The Broken Racquet closes and re-opens as Cheers Bar & Grill in a new building attached to VRC Fitness. The extra space from absence of the Broken Racquet leads to an Aerobics dedicated room. Previously, classes had been held in the free weight room and courts.


VRC enters the computer age with the latest in computerized equipment like the rowing machine and Aerobicycle. We also introduced computerized fitness analysis.


VRC Fitness opens the Valley’s First Aerobic Super Circuit, a 14–28 minute exercise routine that included cardio and weights.


VRC introduces Reebok step classes to the Fraser Valley. The step class trend would revitalize aerobics between 1990 and 1995.


In addition to one court’s previous conversion, two other racquetball courts are changed over to squash courts for the Western Canadian Summer Games Squash Championship. The result of the conversions is 4 each of racquetball and squash courts.


VRC bring Power Pacing to Abbotsford. It is one of the first instructor led indoor cycling programs.


VRC Fitness’ 20th Anniversary party is held. 100 of the original 700 members are still working out at VRC Fitness.


VRC opens its Ladies Only section in the club due to popular demand.


With the increasing popularity of basketball, VRC alters one of its racquetball courts so that it can double as a half-court basketball.


The pool is updated to brighten the room and skylights are installed in the roof.


Following the success of the pool room renovations, skylights are added to the main weight and cardio room.


Members spend the summer showering in portables so that they can have renovated change rooms with steam rooms and more lockers.


VRC replaces over half of its cardio machines in the Cardio Loft, Circuit Weight Room and Ladies Only. All the new machines come equipped with private televisions. This year is also VRC’s 30th Anniversary, where over 35 original members are celebrated for being with us since the beginning.


VRC becomes greener. We install motion sensors in the courts to save electricity and in August the floors in the weight room and circuit weight room are replaced with rubber tiles made from recycled tires.