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Innovation & Job News

True North Climbing rocks Downsview and employs 20

An airplane hangar that was used to build mosquito bombers during World War II has been turned into a rock climbing gym at Downsview Park, one of four new businesses to set up shop at the park's burgeoning Sports Centre during the past year.

True North Climbing owner John Gross says the space was perfect for a climbing gym -- its high ceilings with windows at the top allow space for climbing equipment and lots of natural light. But even better, the steel construction of the hangar allowed the construction of a stalactite suspended from the 36-foot-high ceiling.

As of its opening day in mid-April, the gym has hired three full-time and 17 part-time staff, according to Gross. For the recreation industry, Downsview's Sports Centre has seen a mini-employment boom in the past year. "It's still kind of a secret," Gross says, "but I think we've hit critical mass now -- four new businesses have opened in the past year and people are becoming aware that we're all up here."

Writer: Edward Keenan
Source: John Gross, owner, True North Climbing

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