By: Richard Ouzounian Theatre Critic, Published on Wed Feb 12 2014

She’s come a long way, baby.

On Tuesday night, Madonna was greeted by hundreds of screaming fans who braved the sub-zero weather on Yonge and Gerrard Sts. to greet the Material Girl as she swept into the Toronto branch of her international Hard Candy Fitness chain, to shake her butt for the press, lead 30 hand-picked gym members in a class and declare the facility officially open.

“But what am I doing here anyway?” she asked the Star during an interview following her red carpet walk. “Didn’t they try to arrest me here?”
She was referring to the infamous moment on her Blond Ambition tour, immortalized in the 1991 documentary Madonna: Truth or Dare, when she’s told the Toronto police are going to stop the show and take her into custody if she simulates sex acts while singing “Like a Virgin.”
But on those nights in May 1990, Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone called authority’s bluff and her show went on without any interruption.
“I’m not going to be masturbating during my workout tonight,” she grinned slyly, “or simulating masturbation, so I guess it’s cool. Yeah.
“I think Toronto’s finally learned to accept me.”

The 55-year-old superstar looked glam, if a bit weary around the edges, in a slinky black blazer-skirt ensemble from the Canadian design team of Dean and Dan Caten, known more prominently as DSquared2.

A trademark black bustier kept her cleavage front and centre while a reasonably discreet crucifix nestled underneath. Her left ankle was taped due to an injury variously attributed to a mishap during dance and/or exercise, although to Madonna they’re often one and the same, with her patented dance workout called “Addicted to Sweat.”

“If dancing wasn’t a part of Hard Candy Fitness, I wouldn’t be here,” she said, speaking of the chain whose Toronto opening joins the roster of locations in Berlin, Mexico City, Moscow, Rome, Santiago, St. Petersburg and Sydney.
“That’s what makes my gym different from everybody else’s.”