Inside Altea Active, Liberty Village’s 89,000-square-foot fitness mecca for the hard-core athlete
Liberty Village’s latest offering is a great escape for shoebox-size-condo dwellers. There are more than 185 different classes spread out across five studios: a hot yoga studio, a fusion studio, a cycle studio, a training studio and LF3, an outpost of the group-training phenomenon from Ottawa.
The three-storey gym isn’t just focused on chiselling bodies—although dumbbells and muscle bros are in ample supply. It’s also about helping them relax. A 25-metre natural-light-dappled lap pool is a rarity in downtown Toronto, but it’s the other spa amenities that set Altea apart. Those seeking to unwind can luxuriate in one of the two hydrotherapy pools. Here’s a look inside.
Biophilic design company ByNature created two preserved-moss walls for the space.
The interiors are all Chapi Chapo Design—the Toronto firm behind the St. Regis’s makeover.
Altea isn’t for technophobes: its lockers are Bluetooth enabled (locking and unlocking with your phone), guests can use QR codes to access strength-machine demos, and the Altea app records reps, weight and rest time. The air is purified with medical-grade UV and HEPA filters.
The Tree Lounge is a hangout space for members. Apa Furniture’s live-edge work tables (with built-in power and USB plugs) were designed by Chapi Chapo with the refuse-to-return-to-the-office set in mind.
The space showcases Canadian artists, including three large-scale paintings by Christopher Griffin and one by Christine Boyer. There’s also a street-art-inspired digital mural by Swiss French artist Fabian Froehly, a.k.a. Mr. Pinkbrush.
Fish fans will appreciate Altea’s two large aquariums (675 and 725 gallons), which feature 34 fish varieties including red tail sharks, sunset cora guppies, electric blue peacocks and angel pandas. One is located in the Tree Lounge, the other in the Active Kids Club.
The fitness room is stocked with 150 strength and cardio machines and 10 Olympic lifting platforms.
The six-tier cycle studio is outfitted with 75 bikes, surround-sound speakers, state-of-the-art lights and a 285-inch screen that facilitates escapist fantasies while riding—like careening around Mediterranean olive groves.
The Somadome meditation pod is engineered to provide the illusion of weightlessness ($20 for 20 minutes).
There’s even a Himalayan salt lounge—for those who swear by halotherapy’s reputed respiratory-healing powers.
The slow-paced Yin by Candlelight class takes place in the golden glow of the hot yoga studio—lit only by fireplaces (three of them!) and candles. It has a soporific effect, so you’ll be forgiven for dozing off while holding happy baby.
Beyond the wellness offerings, this one-stop fitness palace also features a supervised kids’ playroom, a restaurant and games rooms. Catalyst Kitchen, headed by chef Ken Lau, dishes out global food with a health slant.
Altea’s bar offers a wide selection of local craft beers as well as cocktails developed by Bar Raval’s Juliana Wolkowski. The list includes Adagio, a hydrating booze-free cocktail that combines Seedlip Garden, matcha, yuzu, coconut water and peach bitters ($5).
For on-the-go fare, there’s also a Starbucks, Ah So Sushi and a smoothie bar.
The adult arcade is outfitted with virtual golf, pinball machines, billiard tables and a duckpin bowling alley.
Members can drop off their tots (from newborns up to 11-year-olds) at the 2,800-square-foot Active Kids Club for two hours per day—enough time for a spin and a shvitz.