Dinner and a Movie? Try Workout and a Smoothie. As the boutique studio market continues its runaway growth in Toronto, we’re seeing a major shift in our social life. We’re meeting up with friends for workouts instead of drinks, and taking dates for a sweat sesh rather than to an upscale restaurant. With that shift comes the need for studios to build in spaces for post-workout hang time, and our city’s best are answering the call.
Barry’s Bootcamp, the newest US import, has a few options for post-workout socializing, from their Flex Room where you can stretch and chat, to the spacious lobby with its big table, pair of plush chairs, and photo booth, to its downstairs Fuel Bar with hi-top tables.
Down the street, BOLO has curated a hang space in their pop-up studio that includes a bar, as well as kombucha and Station Cold Brew on tap. Our friends at RedLeaf, the city’s newest CrossFit box, have devoted serious real estate to the pursuit of community, from a co-ed infrared sauna, to a long communal table, cozy couch and lounge chairs, and plenty of options to refuel with friends (Station Cold Brew on tap, smoothies on demand, and bites and meals from Impact Kitchen). Over on the east side, MOVE Fitness, the strength-focused studio for women, has built a strong community around not only their physical space (which is impressive with its food, merch, and lounging options), but with curated events as well (think: choreography classes on Sundays).
For those studios and others around the city, it’s about more than just getting you in for a sweat sesh and sending you on your way; it’s about building community among members. And while CrossFit has long been known for it’s tight-knit (lovingly referred to as cult-ish) communities, we’re seeing more boutique studios following suit, especially here in Toronto.
In a city that moves nonstop, we’re excited about the growing options to take advantage of some in-person community time at our favorite studios.