Five new Reformer Pilates studios to try in Toronto
Reformer Pilates is having a moment. From candlelit classes to pre- and post-natal sessions, here are Toronto’s newest workout spots
Reformer Pilates has seen a resurgence lately, thanks in part to TikTok and celeb endorsements from Harry Styles and Kim Kardashian. Unlike its mat-based counterpart, this style of Pilates uses a Reformer machine for a low-impact full-body workout. Here are five new spots to try out Reformer Pilates in Toronto.
For over a decade, studio owner Clio Templeton lived in Melbourne—a Pilates hub—where she did her Reformer training. In March 2023, after returning to Toronto, Templeton opened Assembly Movement in Little Italy with 12 Reformer machines. Then, in January 2024, the studio reopened after merging its two smaller rooms into one larger, light-filled space that accommodates 18 Reformer machines to meet higher demand. Classes here are all full-body workouts with barre-style elements, like arm reaches and pulses, and the use of props such as hand weights, squish balls and bands to dial up the intensity.
Who it’s for: Parents and pre/postnatal Pilates practitioners. It’s one of the only studios in the city with pregnancy- and baby-friendly—a.k.a. BYO baby—classes (Templeton herself practised Reformer Pilates through two pregnancies).
Killer class: The 45-minute Reformer Pace is a heart-pumping session using a jump board attached to the end of the Reformer. The horizontal jumping movements are completed while lying down on the Reformer for a low-impact sweat that incorporates cardio, strength and balance.
Wallet hit: $32 for a single drop-in Reformer class or $230 for unlimited monthly reformer classes.
832 College St., assemblymovement.ca
After opening mat-only Pilates studios in Vancouver in 2019 and Toronto’s Queen West in 2022, Jaybird’s third location is the first to introduce Reformer machines in addition to traditional mat-based classes. The sessions at this chic studio are dimly lit, with battery-operated candles and no mirrors to help practitioners concentrate on their own movement instead of the people around them. The music is louder and more radio-friendly than at a typical Pilates class—think Frank Ocean and Britney Spears remixes—with motivational instructors pushing attendees to complete that last squat, bicep curl or lunge.
Who it’s for: Sweat-seeking spin fans looking for an intense but low-impact Reformer experience.
Killer class: The Burn, a full-body Reformer session that starts off each set of reps with a hold for an extra, well, burn.
Wallet hit: $42 for a single drop-in Reformer class or $399 for a monthly membership of 30 Reformer classes.
110 Bloor St. W., jaybirdjaybird.com
Strong Pilates, which originated in Australia, now has over 60 locations across Asia and the UK. They offer “rowformer” and “bikeformer” machines, with either a rower or a stationary bike in front of a Reformer. The Little Italy location, the chain’s first in Canada, opened earlier this month and has 20 machines in a bright 5,000-square-foot space. A second location, in Liberty Village, is slated to open later this year. A refreshing perk: both spots offer cold eucalyptus towels after workouts.
Who it’s for: Adrenalin seekers (think HIIT and bootcamp enthusiasts) looking for a low-impact, high-intensity fitness option.
Killer class: For those who crave variety in their workouts, the Strong Body class combines Reformer Pilates with a rowing or cycling element and heavy dumbbell exercises.
Wallet hit: $42 for a single drop-in class or $80 a week for unlimited classes.
533 College St., strongpilates.ca
After opening her Corktown pilates studio in 2021, founder Jennifer Winter, a former professional ballet dancer, transitioned to a Reformer-only studio in May of 2023. Nice Day now has six Reformers plus a seventh machine in an alcove for private classes. In these sessions, expect music on a lower volume (breath work is at the forefront) and stylish props like U-shaped weights to challenge the muscles. The studio also offers on-demand video classes with cosmic, cotton candy–toned backgrounds, allowing disciples to practise mat pilates in the comfort and convenience of home.
Who it’s for: Movers seeking a welcoming place to practise. The studio hosts monthly Black Folks Pilates Reformer sessions and has a diverse roster of instructors.
Killer class: The studio’s one and only offering, the Nice Day Reformer, is a 50-minute contemporary take on classic Pilates that incorporates elements of strength, posture and balance.
Wallet hit: $45 for a single drop-in class or $375 for a membership of 12 classes per month.
398 King St. E., nicedaypilates.ca
Altea’s three-floor, 89,000-square-foot location in Liberty Village opened in March of 2022. Last September, the fitness club converted a former meeting room into a cozy Reformer studio overlooking Strachan Avenue. There are only five machines here, so participants get plenty of personalized attention from the trainers. Altea offers two to four classes a day, each focusing on different parts of the body, and the studio is also available for private sessions with a trainer. Those wishing to attend Reformer classes need to be existing members (or guests) of Altea Active.
Who it’s for: Gym rats who want a side of Pilates to complement their sweat sessions.
Killer class: Reformer Intervals is a bootcamp-style session that uses timed intervals and circuits for a challenging cardio and strength workout.
Wallet hit: $30 for a drop-in class plus $94.95 to $134.95 bi-weekly for a gym membership.
25 Ordnance St., alteaactive.com