If you like this roundup of the best gyms and studios in Toronto, you need to check out Class Action, FLEETSTREET’s workout review series. We get sweaty to give you the low-down on what the workouts are really like.
We’re always looking for the best gyms and studios in Toronto, and who would know better than the women who’ve basically made staying fit (and getting others fit) their full-time job? So, we asked seven of Toronto’s top fitness founders and #fitfluencers to tell us their favourite places to get their sweat on—when they’re not training on their own turf.
Caleigh Rykiss, fitness and boxing coach @caleighfit
When Caleigh isn’t travelling, hosting boxing workouts on her own Instagram or for Everlast, she mixes things up. But when in Toronto: “I like to include Reformer Pilates classes at Studio Lagree from time to time. It’s legitimately the best core workout in the city. And because we don’t have treadmills, I’ll do a Barry’s Bootcamp class when I want a serious, no-mercy sweat.” —Lisa Hannam
Mia Nikolajev, fitness trainer @therealmiamazin
The owner of Body Morphology likes a challenging workout. You can trust what Mia says: “As a strength coach, personal trainer and competitive powerlifter, I don’t often get to visit gyms, outside the time I spend with my clients and for my own training. I only get to do classes for fun when I’m outside of my competition season. My faves in the city are: Steph Dykstra’s wicked boxing conditioning class at Iron Lion Training, she times the combos to the music; Jela Tubei’s RedRoom classes at Barry’s, she’s awesome all around; Sam Ushedo’s spin classes at Sweat & Tonic (they leave you spent physically and lifted mentally). These ladies pack energy, knowledge and amazing playlists into their classes. They will work you out and leave you stronger and smiling and feeling so great!” —Lisa Hannam
Sarah Micak, Pilates teacher @sarahmicakpilates
This Body Harmonics instructor notices all the details. “In my line of work as a Pilates and movement professional, I spend a lot of time working through very focused and specific movements to help the body stay aligned, functioning well and feeling good! When it comes to my own movement practice outside of my home base, Body Harmonics and my home studio, my fitness focus is cardio – getting a good sweat in while getting my heart rate up. Prior to the pandemic, spin studios, like Torq, were a favourite for their high energy and motivating classes, and I also loved The Running Room run cubs to challenge my cardio, and meet people in my community. Over the past few months, my new favourite space for cardio is the outdoors and running trails, like the Beltline. Getting outside has become meditative for me, an opportunity to get my cardio in, experience hidden gems throughout the city and think about everything (or nothing), all at once.” —Beth Thompson
Heather Gardner, studio owner @catchingheather
Heather’s focus on her own classes at her own studio Kardia is fun and social. So when she trains on her how, she treats it as me-time. “As a triathlete, I created my studio, Kardia, to be almost everything I need to train for my next race, so if I’m heading somewhere else, I enjoy taking my workouts outdoors riding and running along the waterfront trail or leaving the indoor pool to swimming outdoors at Cherry Beach. Swimming outside, in the sun, the fresh air, is pretty perfect for a summer day. Plus, the post-workout beach lounge isn’t too bad either.” —Beth Thompson
Julie Harrish, fitness instructor and coach @julieharrish
Cardio: Check. Zen: Check. Now based in Calgary, the former Toronto spinning studio owner says: “Outside of spinning at 6IX Cycle or sweating on the mat at 6IX Flow, I have trained with a group of incredible women in the FENOM program led by Jennifer Lau at Fit Squad.” —Lisa Hannam
Kristin Jeffery, fitness coach @kjjeffery
In addition to her online rowing classes, Kristin loves supporting Toronto-local studios and gyms. “I believe staying fresh and on top of your game requires you to step outside your own walls and experience different things. I love Torq cycling studio. Torq echoes our own emphasis on form, while having amazing playlists and energy. I love Justine’s classes. She has great music and contagious energy. In order to stay limber and flexible with all my rowing, I also try to take yoga classes as often as I can, and I really enjoy Iam Yoga Midtown. As a yoga instructor, I always appreciate their well-organized flows and attention to detail in poses.” —Katie Sin