Bloor Street Boxing and Fitness
Bloor Street Boxing and Fitness is one of Toronto's most iconic gyms. Founded by former lightweight National Champion Paul Ryan as a non profit to get kids off the streets, the gym started as a boxing gym with the ring, the bags and the facilities to train local youth into champions. That was back in 1993.
Since that time Bloor Boxing and Fitness has not only become a leading boxing training facility for competitive men and women fighters but it has also transformed into a full service fitness facility. The main floor boasts a good selection of machines, free weights and cardio equipment while the boxing ring and classes have moved upstairs.
Boxing classes take place every day of the week except Sunday. There are lots of punching bags to go around, but the real centerpiece is the ring itself - it's the same one that Mohammed Ali and Rocky Marciano battled in New York's Times Square.
The overall vibe seems pretty casual, in keeping with the no-attitude aesthetic the owner is looking for. Here it's all about the work-out and members tend to be drawn from the surrounding neighbourhoods - Parkdale, Roncesvalles and The Junction. Most people working out here are in their 20's or 30's but the actual membership spans from 16 to 75 years young. Music tends to be of the standard satellite radio variety and satellite TV's are embedded into most cardio machines.
Rates and Initiation Fee
The cost to join is fairly reasonable and will work out, on average, to be around $40. An initiation fee may apply depending on the length of the membership. The kicker is probably the mandatory $30 Fitness Assessment with a personal trainer. While this might be beneficial to some, the gym should really just do away with it and make it optional. Otherwise, it just stinks as a hidden initiation fee.
Towels, Lockers and Showers
For rates at this price point don't expect too many frills. This gym is strictly BYOT (Bring Your Own Towel) which works for some people but I'm probably not one of them. If I don't plan correctly I might be forced to occasionally dry myself with something a bit on the soggy and crusty side. The locker room is also bare bones and could use an update. An overnight locker costs $10 a month but day use is free. On the bright side, at least the showers aren't communal.
Personal Training, Yoga and Spin
The focus here is boxing which means don't join this gym for a wide range of other classes. They do offer yoga twice a week (it's included in the price) but there aren't any spinning bikes or classes. Personal training is available. Rates vary as there are several packages to choose from.
Food and Juice
The gym doesn't offer much to re-fuel at the moment but apparently they're planning to add a juice bar soon.
The gym has boxing every day but Sundays. There's also salsa and Muay Thai.
Days and Hours of Operation
At the time of this post the gym is open Monday to Friday, 6:30am - 10pm; Saturday from 10am - 6pm and Sundays from 9am - 6pm. It's always best to check the web site for the most up to date info.