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Monday, September 26, 2022
Exploring Photos: Remembering tennis in NOTL
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With the Canada Summer Games tennis matches happening right here in our hometown, we have the privilege of witnessing some of Canada’s future Olympians compete. To see the best tennis 135 years ago, you would have headed to the Queen’s Royal Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake (Queen’s Royal Park off King Street). With six grass tennis courts, the hotel could host tournaments of the quality of Wimbledon. A tournament established in 1886 was known as the “The International at Niagara-on-the-Lake” and it quickly became a “must do” for the major players of the day. Over the next 25 years, all the American and Canadian champions would play The International, along with a number of Wimbledon champions. In 1895, the Canadian Lawn Tennis Association (forerunner to Tennis Canada) moved the Canadian championships to Niagara-on-the-Lake from Toronto. In both these international tournaments, men and women were accorded equal treatment, a significant element during a time when women were denied the vote, had limited access to higher education and were excluded from most sports.  In tennis, they competed on the same stage as the men.