Five of the fanciest new places to work out in Toronto
Exercising in Toronto has reached cultish levels of devotion: whether it’s gritty CrossFit, reformer pilates or ballet-inspired barre, the health-conscious are incredibly loyal to their chosen regimens. The fanciest new gyms and studios cater to those who treat their daily fitness rituals like a religion, and provide cushy extras like Kiehl’s shower products and eucalyptus-infused towels. Here, five of the city’s swankiest new places to sweat it out.
The entrance to this new CityPlace spin studio feels more like a chic café than a gym. Similar to Manhattan’s SoulCycle, classes are choreographed to carefully curated playlists that guarantee an unparalleled endorphin high (and involve no angry yelling from instructors). The showers are stocked with apothecary products from NYC’s Malin and Goetz, Greenhouse Juice blends are up for grabs and a retail space stocks Michi leggings and a bold line of branded sports bras. And for the ultimate cool-down: chilled eucalyptus towels.
Who goes there: Socialites like Ainsley Kerr.
Killer class: The signature Spokehaüs class is 45 minutes of high-intensity cycling that incorporates body movements and weights.
Wallet hit: First-timers get three spins (two for you, one for a friend) for the price of a single session. After that, each ride is $28, or you can purchase 20 classes for $440. Rental spin shoes are complimentary at check in.
70 Dan Leckie Way, 416-220-4641, spokehaus.ca.
When Hazelton Lanes rebranded as Yorkville Village and underwent a $100-million facelift, tenant Equinox relocated to the second floor and received a drastic makeover. The new 32,000-square-foot space holds an impressive gym, a full-service spa, a designer-filled boutique and four studios dedicated to yoga, pilates, cycling and group fitness classes like precision running. Anyone who wants an extra boost can enlist the help of one of 25 personal trainers. Also here: more of those chilled eucalyptus towels.
Who goes there: Equinox is a hotbed for celebs, and boasts regular members like Cameron Diaz and Mark Wahlburg (at the Yorkville outlet, you’re more likely to spot people like wellness guru Hannah Bronfman).
Killer class: Ropes and rowers, in which participants alternate between whipping heavy chords and using water-simulation ergs (the same ones Kevin Spacey angrily pulls at in House of Cards).
Wallet hit: It’s a steep $171 a month—but the top-notch shower facilities are outfitted with Kiehl’s products, so you’ll never have to use your own bathroom or toiletries again.
55 Avenue Rd., 416-961-8400, equinox.com.
This new Yorkville gym is aimed at fitness buffs who love the intensity of CrossFit, but prefer not to practice in a dingy basement. The slick space was designed by local firm MCR Interiors and includes a two-storey workout room surrounded by floor-to-ceilings windows and filled with state-of-the-art equipment from Rogue Fitness. There’s also a separate cardio suite, physiotherapy treatment rooms and a retail space stocked with Reebok clothing, nutritional supplements and Biosteel products. The club plans on hosting monthly DJ nights and social events.
Who does it: TBD (it opened April 1), but notable CrossFit fans include Jessica Biel and Channing Tatum.
Killer class: CrossFit Strongman, which focuses on heavy-lifting techniques like yoke work and hauling barrels over your head.
Wallet hit: It’s $210 per month for three classes a week, and it goes up to $280 for unlimited access. Drop-ins are pretty pricey, at $30 each. But hey, towels are free.
175 Avenue Rd., 647-362-2700, crossfitykv.com.
The biggest barre chain in North America recently set up its first Canadian studio on Queen West. The popular toning technique promises a dancer’s physique by incorporating movements used in ballet. This particular space was designed using lots of reclaimed wood, and features one heavily mirrored studio lined with traditional ballet barres. An in-store boutique peddles more merch branded with the signature lowercase logo, including sticky socks (which are very helpful for the classes), graphic tees and Spandex leggings.
Who does it: Anna Kendrick and Amanda Seyfried have taken classes at other locations.
Killer class: The signature pure barre method, a 55-minute mish-mash of easy-to-master moves that strategically exhaust every muscle.
Wallet hit: New clients can get one month of unlimited visits for $99. After that, it’s $195, and drop-in classes are $21 each.
737 Queen St. W., 647-222-4647, purebarre.com.
Studio Lagree Vaughan
The Lagree method is like pilates on steroids. This studio—its third in Toronto—is a light-filled space with 50-foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows, just opened in January. The classes take place on 16 patented Megaformer machines, $7,000-a-piece inventions from founder Sebastian Lagree. They consist of a sliding mat and a series of adjustable bars and resistance bands that work together to totally tire out muscles you didn’t even know you had.
Who does it: Chantal Kreviazuk and actress Laura Vandervoot.
Killer class: The studio’s standard workout, M3 Fusion, is a sweaty 50-minute class that combines pilates moves with an extra bit of cardio burn to work every body part (especially the core).
Wallet hit: The first class is $17. After that, it’s $32 for a drop-in or you can purchase in bulk to score discounts, with the best deal being 20 classes for $440.
1033 Edgely Blvd., 905-738-7800, studiolagree.com.
Spokehaus has updated its original introductory offer (a free first spin) now that it's been open for more than six weeks. The new deal involves three classes for the price of one.