Did You Know? Before the invention of the light bulb or telephone, before there was radio or automobiles, and even before Confederation - there was the YMCA. The first YMCA in North America got its start in Montreal, Quebec in 1851.
The Sault Ste. Marie YMCA has grown up with our community, ever changing to reflect the needs our community. The first organized meeting of the Young Men’s Christian Association was held at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, with Rev. W.A. Duncan chairing the meeting on December 17, 1900.
The YMCA began in Sault Ste. Marie with boarding rooms located on the south-side of Queen Street near Spring Street. By the October 1913, the YMCA has acquired property on March Street, raised funds and constructed a new building and opened the doors to Members.
Women were allowed to use the facilities for the first time in November of 1914.
During the 1940’s, YMCA affiliated clubs begin to emerge. Also, at this time, Teen Dances commenced, as well as numerous fashion shows, teas and other social activities.
Throughout the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s the YMCA continued to introduce new programs to meet the community’s changing needs. These included swimming for the disabled, ChildCare and a Youth Employment Service.
As we continue forward through the new millennium the Sault Family YMCA makes history every day. A student finds an internship. A child makes her first friends in an early learning program. Her parents renew their energy through a fitness program. Each carries their YMCA experience with them and is in turn woven into our history.
Our History is made by those who have tread on our boards on the basketball court, dived from the board at our pools and sat on our Boards as directors.
For more information about the history of the Sault Ste. Marie YMCA and YMCA Canada, check out the following links;
Sault Ste. Marie YMCA Timeline
Download the YMCA Canada History Booklet
YMCA Canada Interactive Timeline