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Ontario gyms are finally reopening: here's what to expect on your next visit

Totum Life Science (Instagram) Totum Life Science (Instagram)

After months of closures, most Ontarians will be allowed to hit the gym again starting this Friday.

As Ontario moves into Step 3 of its reopening plan at 12:01 a.m. on July 16, recreational fitness facilities in most parts of the province, alongside indoor fitness classes and personal training services, will be allowed to resume operations at 50 per cent capacity and with social distancing policies in place.

The City of Toronto announced Wednesday that it would wait until July 19 to reopen indoor fitness facilities, with the same restrictions in place.

In many parts of the province, gyms and fitness centres have been closed since the fall of 2020 and it’s been a challenge for gym-goers and owners alike.

Tim and Stacy Irvine, owners of Totum Life Science, told CTV News Toronto on Wednesday that the last year has been “extremely difficult.”

 “From a business perspective, the length of the lockdown here was extreme,” Stacy Irvine said. “And we have also noticed detrimental things happening to our client’s health.”

The pandemic has affected the way people interact with sport and fitness, the Irvines said.

“So many young girls, especially, are dropping out of sports and, for me, that was particularly heartbreaking,” Stacy said.

But, Friday will provide an opportunity for most Ontarians to start their fitness journeys again.

“I can hardly wait to see actual members coming in and using the facility for its intended purpose,” Tim Irvine said. “We're really excited. We want them to be excited and they can be assured that everything is going to be safe.”

To help ensure the safety of customers, Totum Life Science has decided that it will implement indoor masking at all times.

“We will maintain that [rule] until Toronto goes into Step 4 where indoor masks off are allowed,” Irvine said.

They will also conduct screening on all customers and equipment will be sanitized between each and every use, said Totum.

Not every gym will have the same approach when it comes to COVID-19 policies. 

GoodLife Fitness centres across Ontario, for example, will allow customers to remove their masks when at the workout station only.

They are also asking their Ontario customers to limit their workouts to 90 minutes time slots and are implementing social distancing practices within their centres.

If you’re heading to a GoodLife location and plan to use their shower services, you’re going to want to bring a towel because they are no longer renting them out. They are requesting that shower services only be utilized if necessary.

Replying to a user question via social media, GoodLife said that, in accordance with current privacy law, it will not request information on employee or customer vaccination status.

If you’re not quite ready to hit the gym in person, GoodLife is still offering personal training remotely, as well.

Regardless of restrictions, Irvine said the thing that he’s most looking forward to is the return to human interaction.

“You can actually engage with somebody in person. You give that person a lot more and they give you a lot more, so it's much easier,” he said.

“It's been way too long since we’ve been able to do this together, so come have some fun!” Top Stories

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