The Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Club is a boxing gym unlike any other.
It’s the first women-only boxing gym in Canada and the first to open its doors to the trans community.
Located in the basement of a warehouse on the corner of Carlaw Avenue and Gerrard Street, it has become a hidden gem for women and trans people who want to explore boxing.
Savoy Howe, the owner, opened the gym in 1996 when she realized how empowered women felt throwing punches.
“Women are taught that they are the weaker sex and when women are frustrated or angry we’re not taught to express it, so we turn it inwards,” Howe said. “When you give women a venue to let that out, it comes out and it’s very healthy.”
Howe decided to name the club after the Toronto Newsboys Boxing Club, where she had been boxing at the time.
The Newsgirls Boxing Club made headlines last year when they stopped Roosh V, a self-proclaimed anti-feminist, from holding a rally in Toronto.
When they threatened to crash his rally, armed with boxing gloves, he quickly cancelled stating he could no longer ensure the safety of himself nor the men attending.
The boxing club’s mission is to offer individuals help to achieve their own goals, whether it’s to get in better shape or become a professional boxer.
The environment is laid back and inviting. By providing a women-only space, members can feel comfortable and focus on themselves.
Howe welcomes all cis and trans women to the club, whether they have novice or advanced skills.
“Why are we different? We have so much fun,” Howe said.