The closure of the Canadian Fitness and Squash Club in Kanata has left customers frustrated and likely out of luck when it comes to getting money back for memberships already paid.
Linda Leinan had been a member of the gym for more than a decade, but on February 2, she received an email from the gym saying their doors were closing the following day.
The owners, who identified themselves as Richard and Tim, said in the email they bought the gym from the previous owner and attempted to upgrade the facilities, but said they were unable to continue it as a viable business.
In a follow-up email on Feb. 4, the owners said they would not be reimbursing members.
"A few of you have asked if the club will be providing refunds," the email read. "If we were able to do so, we certainly would. Unfortunately, this is not the case and we cannot."
Leinan said she and her husband were only halfway through an $800 yearly membership.
"I was hugely disappointed and distressed for so many reasons. It's been a great club to have in the community," she said.
Debbie Ahronson — the owner of a shop next to the gym — said she's been hearing similar complaints.
Allan Hubley, the city councillor for the area, said the owners seemed to be making improvements and called the decision to close "disappointing."
He said people who hope to recoup their money should contact the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services.
The Ottawa Better Business Bureau said people have no recourse if their fitness club goes out of business, so it advises people avoid signing up for 6 or 12-month memberships.