Inside Move, a swanky all-women fitness club in Leslieville

By Jean Grant| Photography by Kayla Rocca

Move is a seriously chic, ladies-only east-end fitness club that celebrates strength and stamina over conventional beauty. Owner Kelly Taphouse, a personal trainer and former fitness model, was bummed about the fitness industry’s obsession with physical appearances after gaining weight with her pregnancy. She switched her focus from rapidly dropping the pounds to building strength—and felt better than ever. Her new club offers intense strength-based workouts that use a range of innovative equipment.


The gym’s signature 50-minute “Getstrong” classes—which are structured like personal training sessions, but for a group rather than one-on-one—go way beyond weight lifting. Taphouse has filled the large open-concept gym with the kind of hardcore equipment you’d find in a cross-fit studio, like battle ropes, a giant rig, prowlers and something called an “assault bike.” Instead of lengthy endurance sessions (you won’t find a single treadmill in the place), the cardio component of each workout consists of short-yet-effective bursts of high-intensity conditioning, like timed sprints, relays, plyometric exercises or interval training. After sweating it out, members can relax in an infrared sauna, shower with fancy Kiehl’s products, then pick their kids up from Move’s in-house childcare service feeling ultra-refreshed.

Taphouse worked with interior designer Nino Pulsinelli on the space, and there are plenty of luxe touches. This is the mod lounge, where members can hang out and enjoy the free wifi. An organic smoothie bar is arriving soon (drinks will have a female-focused twist, like the “PMS Me Up,” with vegan vanilla protein powder, cashew butter, almond milk, dates and banana):


There are several membership tiers, from a $100 monthly pass that lets you take a class once a week, to an unlimited $240 per month membership:


Taphouse and her team incorporate a lot of play into each workout, with monkey bars and group challenges. Each class has a maximum of 14 participants, and often two instructors. This rig was custom-built slightly shorter than usual to better accommodate female body shapes, and the Olympic bars are lighter and narrower:


These prowlers—which can be piled high with as much weight as you can handle—are pushed across the yellow mat during high-intensity sprints and guaranteed to make members feel super-hardcore:


A row of high-end rowing machines are also on hand for intense two-kilometre races that let you channel your inner Kevin Spacey:


Anyone who’s done a kettleball class knows swinging the things results in killer soreness the next day:


Here’s a sample workout, a.k.a. “movement menu”:


This is an assault bike, which has elliptical-like handles and uses more energy than a typical stationary bike. Taphouse calls it the “death bike”:


Taphouse splurged on the copper taps in the shower area, which were custom-designed by Pulsinelli:


Infrared saunas are a great way to chill out and detox after a hard workout:


There’s no need to bring your special face cream to the gym: Taphouse has stocked the bathrooms and showers with Kiehl’s shampoo, conditioner, facial moisturizer, toner and body lotion:


And tampons, too, of course:


After she had her first child, Taphouse found a lack of affordable childcare options made it difficult to hit the gym every day. At Move, an in-house babysitter is on hand to watch tots while moms sweat it out. An hour and a half of child care costs members $8:


The playful city-themed mural was painted by local illustrator Ellie Arscott:


388 Carlaw Ave., 647-748-6683,



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