The Best Gyms in Toronto: Where The City’s Fitness Pros Work Out

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 their full-time job? So we asked seven of the city’s top fitness founders to tell us their (second) favourite places to get their sweat on—when they’re not training on their own home turf. –Katie Sin

Julie Harrish, co-owner of 6IX Cycle & 6IX Flow

Cardio: Check. Zen: Check. “Outside of spinning at 6IX Cycle or sweating on the mat at 6IX Flow, I have been training with a group of incredible women in the FENOM program led Jennifer Lau at Fit Squad I have also recently rejoined my partner-in-crime Lauren Ramesbottom for a weekly self-programmed lift at Apex Training Centre.”—Lisa Hannam

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Caleigh Rykiss, fitness and boxing coach BOLO

When Caleigh isn’t hosting boxing workouts on her own Instagram or for Everlast, she mixes things up.  “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. I usually try to hit up a class taught by my long-time pal Kevin Yeboah or Hayles Beth.” —Lisa Hannam

Kristin Jeffery, founder of Scullhouse Rowing

“Obviously, I love to take all the classes at Scullhouse, but it’s also great to get into other studios around the city. 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

Mia Nikolajev, founder of Body Morph Fitness

“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!), Alex Gagnon’s classes at Philosophy Fitness (incredible WODs!), 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

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Sarah Micak, Pilates teacher at Body Harmonics

“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

A 5K run just for fun? Does Supergirl wear a cape?

Heather Gardner, owner of Kardia

“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


If you liked this roundup, 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.

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