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Best of Toronto

The Best Fitness Clubs in Toronto

Posted by Natalia Manzocco / October 22, 2014

fitness clubs torontoThe best fitness clubs in Toronto are the city's most beloved places to break a sweat. And that's saying something: Toronto has hundreds of gyms and clubs representing countless activities and workout styles, meaning those who want to stay active have a huge range of options. (Parkour? Yep. Spin classes soundtracked by a DJ? Check. Martial arts of every concievable type? Uh huh.)

What sets these gyms apart from the pack, however, boils down to a few things: Beautiful, well-kept facilities, ample workout equipment and class offerings, convenient hours and locations, and friendly staff. Everything you need to go from couch potato to gym rat is right here.

Here are the best fitness clubs in Toronto.

See also:

The best specialty fitness clubs in Toronto
The best crossfit gyms in Toronto
The best spinning classes in Toronto
The best yoga studios in Toronto
The best martial arts in Toronto
The best boxing gym in Toronto
The best pilates in Toronto
The best personal trainers in Toronto

Goodlife Liberty Village

Goodlife Liberty Village

OK, so this may be an obvious choice. But Goodlife wins for sheer numbers, with 20-plus gyms (including several women-only locations) serving thousands of active Torontonians. The Liberty Village location, in particular, stands out for its 24/7 opening hours and modern atmosphere. More »

West End YMCA

West End YMCA

It's fun to work out at the YMCA at College and Dovercourt. Though smaller than its central-Toronto counterpart, the western YMCA features a sunny lower-level workout room, plenty of weights and cardio equipment, an 18.5-metre pool, and a schedule packed with about 150 classes. More »

LA Fitness

LA Fitness

The name conjures up a lot of really tan, oiled-up people in tight 'n' bright workout gear. But the Toronto locations of the U.S. fitness chain - including their Don Mills "signature club" - have a lot to offer non-perfect human specimens. The training staff are motivating, the equipment is brand-new, and their wide class schedule starts up before 6am at some locations. More »

Hard Candy

Hard Candy

Yeah, it's Madonna's pet project - the pop diva chose Toronto for the first North American location of her gym chain. But the Yonge and Gerrard club's beefed-up selection of yoga and spin classes with live DJs prove that music really does make the people come together. There's also dance-focused classes designed by Madge herself, as well as a surprisingly wide array of equipment. More »

Equinox

Equinox

Another U.S. imported fitness chain, Equinox landed in the Financial District last year. The two-floor club caters squarely to the Bay St. crowd, with a gleaming atmosphere and luxuriously-stocked change rooms. In addition to cardio machines with TV screens and pilates, boxing and yoga classes, you'll find proprietary fitness classes not offered anywhere else. More »

Central YMCA

Central YMCA

Though it's not at the top of this list, the Yonge and Grosvenor YMCA is No. 1 for sheer space - the huge complex boasts two pools (one with a hydraulic floor), an elevated walking track high above a huge court space, spacious workout areas, and rooms for all 150 of their classes. More »

Totum King West

Totum King West

Totum's four locations around Toronto have a strong focus on wellness - they supplement their array of classes with health care and fitness services like physiotherapists and an on-site naturopath. It's not a cheap place to work out, by any means, but the numerous class offerings and attentive staff make up for it. More »

Miles Nadal JCC

Miles Nadal JCC

The Bloor and Spadina Jewish community centre offers 80-plus different classes in its gym and is well-stocked with workout equipment, but it's known around town for its saltwater pool (a rare swimming experience in Toronto). Regulars say it tends to be less busy than Toronto's YMCA locations. More »

Generate Fitness

Generate Fitness

This Bloor West Village gym brings an eco-friendly approach to fitness - their stationary bikes generate off-grid power for the facility, they gym is built with reclaimed and non-toxic materials, and they incorporate self-powered exercise machines. Green initiatives aside, they offer a healthy range of classes, including yoga, barre and TRX. More »

Discussion

56 Comments

Jason / October 22, 2014 at 02:30 pm
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No love for Xtreme Couture? Massive facility if you include the MMA section, well maintained equipment, dumbbells up to 150 and for the most part, NOT a meat market (people are there just to train).
kenneth / October 22, 2014 at 02:42 pm
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I was hoping to see Fortis Fitness in Leslieville on here. Month to Month Membership and the owners are the nicest people ever.
Jimbo replying to a comment from Jason / October 22, 2014 at 02:44 pm
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So.. I'll assume you work for "Xtreme Couture". Way to flog your Website, jerkface. This is BlogTO's list, not a "everyone wins because you're a gym owner" article. Suck it up, loser.
no-way / October 22, 2014 at 02:47 pm
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NEGATIVE: What happen to Hone Fitness. CLEARLY YOU DID'NT DIG HARD ENOUGH . Oh and btw only $10
Kat / October 22, 2014 at 02:53 pm
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no-way: Shhh! Don't tell them about Hone Fitness! (I don't want it to get super crowded.)
Gabe / October 22, 2014 at 03:08 pm
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Toronto Athletic Club should be on that list.
Jason replying to a comment from Jimbo / October 22, 2014 at 03:08 pm
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Nah. Don't work for them. Just like that gym. It's around the corner from my house.
Chris / October 22, 2014 at 03:16 pm
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Typical BlogTO didn't go east of the DVP lots of great gyms in the east end EH
frank / October 22, 2014 at 03:19 pm
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I don't know if the other post is a plant or not, but Xtreme Couture is pretty awesome. Huge array of equipment- machines and free weights. It's not in the most stylish part of the city, but it's amazing value. I haven't used the classes, but they seem well attended if you're into combat stuff.
Will Lam replying to a comment from kenneth / October 22, 2014 at 03:22 pm
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Going to second Kenneth as well - Fortis Fitness is ridiculously good for the price you pay, especially if you're an experienced lifter.
CaligulaJones / October 22, 2014 at 03:45 pm
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Yes, thanks again for not realizing that part of Toronto east of the Don. My gymn (track, pool, etc.) is safe from overcrowding as well.
Delina Garcia / October 22, 2014 at 03:54 pm
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GOODLIFE LIBERTY VILLAGE? UM....no. Try going there from 5-8 pm. It's the most overcrowded gym ever.
Sergio / October 22, 2014 at 06:37 pm
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What about Fit4less , $145 one time payment /year and most gyms are open 24/7
Greg replying to a comment from Delina Garcia / October 22, 2014 at 09:43 pm
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Agreed on Liberty Ville its too small and memberships have been way oversold. Sure its packed all the time which is good for business but frustrating to actually use, wait for machines, wait for showers, can't get in a class unless you show up like 45mins early and wait outside the class.

That said its an average Goodlife but cancelled my membership after numerous times waking up extremely early to go there for a Sat morning class only to not get in because class size is about 20 people and you have 40 that want in.
Drew replying to a comment from Sergio / October 22, 2014 at 09:46 pm
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I've been interested in Fit For Less which is part of Goodlife and gets the Goodlife machines after they've been used for a few years. Just not sure how to get over the no showers because its close to my work and not close to home. I'd like to work out before work or at lunch, but not sure how I feel about not being able to shower off and go to work.

It's usually packed though, and open 24/7.
Jimbo is a loser / October 22, 2014 at 10:26 pm
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"Everyone wins because you're a gym owner". You win the internet for worst chirp of the day.
GL replying to a comment from Gabe / October 23, 2014 at 12:11 am
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it should not. For what it gives wins on ambience it totally loses in the price. The facilities themselves are neither unique nor do they offer anything special (don't even have a pool).
I remember / October 23, 2014 at 01:43 am
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I can remember when old Madge claimed she'd never come back to Toronto, along with slagging the city off a LOT. But, as it happened, it never stopped her from dropping in regularly to take our money. After that, I've never put one more penny into her pocket.
moopy / October 23, 2014 at 08:09 am
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the YMCA is the best bang for your bu ttocks
Marco replying to a comment from moopy / October 23, 2014 at 08:45 am
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Best bang for your best is actually the City of Toronto weight rooms. At $142/year you can't beat that. If you want better quality, then an all-access pass corporate rate to Goodlife at $350/year is the next best thing.
Mike / October 23, 2014 at 11:46 am
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Fitness 365 is Etobicoke is hands down the best gym I've ever been to. No frills, lots of equipment, and hard-working patrons. It's not for Debby down the road, but if you want to go to a gym to lift heavy weights and not be yelled at for deadlifting, then Fitness 365 is for you. (Plus, they have more squat/power racks than any other gym that I've been to.
hair salons toronto / October 23, 2014 at 12:09 pm
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Actually we go to Wynn Fitness on the Esplanade and it is absolutely fantastic!
Gabe replying to a comment from GL / October 23, 2014 at 02:52 pm
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Toronto Athletic Club does in fact have a pool. It is expensive but it is also the only gym in the financial district where you can work out at prime times without ever having to deal with overcrowding. The studio spaces are also unparalleled and there is no issue with getting into any class at any time.
NJM / October 23, 2014 at 07:40 pm
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Really? Liberty Village Goodlife is first on the list? I was a member there for a year and to make a long story short, the place is too small for all the [egos] people coming in and out. A number of commenters have suggested gyms that actually look / sound interesting and aren't crazy expensive or part of a chain. I guess this is 'Best Fitness Clubs in Toronto that could Potentially Buy an Ad on Blogto.com'.
archive / October 23, 2014 at 09:31 pm
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I prefer the Goodlife location at Richmond and Bathurst over Liberty Village. Better layout, more equipment and bigger changerooms.
marc / October 24, 2014 at 07:37 pm
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I'm not much into fitness but I joined the Cambridge Club for the great blow and hookers
Nicole / November 12, 2014 at 05:19 pm
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Today was the day I tried something new. Today I went to I Love Kickboxing at Keele street and Kirby road in Maple Ontario and I must say " WOW! What a great work out" and that they do live up to their name! Not only is the class up beat and motivating the instructors are absolutely amazing, and friendly and they are definitely there for the result s of their clients not for the paycheck. They made me feel like there is NOTHING to be ashamed of and made me feel so welcomed and gave me so much motivation. There are men and female change rooms both with very clean showers and private washrooms. Also lockers for everyone and not to worry if you forget a lock everyone is super friendly and very nice that there is no need to worry about things going missing. Yes you may think that it is a bit too pricy compared to a gym membership but it is SO worth it. It's like you get a personal trainer and a fun time. Sometimes the gym can feel like a chore but going to I Love Kickboxing makes you feel like you are going to see your favorite family members for an amazing party and get together. I would never ever think twice about joining and amazing place like this n that's why I joined on the spot after my first class!!

Thanks ILoveKickBoxing!!
Stephanie Richardson / November 26, 2014 at 10:07 am
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Central YMCA could be good, but while some of the equipment is new, some dates back to last century and is barely functioning. Clearly, the management there does not direct their staff to check this..or clean them either.. sometimes the machines, like where you put your head down, smell really disgusting.
because it is close to where I live, I go there from time to time and the conditions never change- even when staff are advised of the situation.
mike / December 1, 2014 at 01:06 am
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I'll second the vote for Fortis Fitness in Leslieville. Seriously — no BS month-to-month memberships, tons of space, lots of gear, and great people. 11 Carlaw just north of the Lakeshore.
Kevin / December 28, 2014 at 01:16 am
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Let's be honest all the gyms in this city are small and over priced. There are no real hardcore gyms in the downtown area. it's a shame.
pool service riverside ca / December 28, 2014 at 01:55 pm
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Sam / January 21, 2015 at 03:21 pm
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If you're looking for a "different" kind of workout, I highly suggest Power Institute at Bloor and Yonge! This is the only studio in Toronto that offers Power Plate technology. I worked out for 2 days a week for 30 minutes and within 2 Months I already saw results!! http://powerinstitute.com/ The staff is very friendly and for someone who doesn't like working out, the one-on- one training really motivated me!
camila / January 21, 2015 at 09:28 pm
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Ilovekickboxing is the best place to get an awesome workout!
It’s the perfect workout for anyone who is looking for something high energy. It's also nice that class participants can go at their own pace. The instructors are fantastic, fun, and super motivational. I’ve learned so much since joining; see a huge difference in my confidence and strength. It's an awesome feeling when you see yourself improving and getting better with each class. I recommend to anyone willing to give it a try.
carolina / January 23, 2015 at 02:49 pm
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ILOVEKICKBOXING.COM - VAUGHAN!!!

I'll start off by saying this place kicks serious a-s-s! By the end of my work out, I feel so frigging awesome. The owner, Linda and the other instructors are absolutely amazing at what they do and encourage all of us to push harder. They are very motivating and supportive. Every class at this place is different and exciting!
carolina / January 23, 2015 at 02:49 pm
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ILOVEKICKBOXING.COM - VAUGHAN!!!

I'll start off by saying this place kicks serious a-s-s! By the end of my work out, I feel so frigging awesome. The owner, Linda and the other instructors are absolutely amazing at what they do and encourage all of us to push harder. They are very motivating and supportive. Every class at this place is different and exciting!
mike Smith / February 2, 2015 at 08:34 am
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Goodlife LV!! Your having a laugh.You have just lost all credibility.
Madcards / February 14, 2015 at 12:03 am
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Fitness freaks always finds a topic on which they love to discuss or brag about. Various views are expressed about the best place for workouts - the gym or outdoors. If you have your own bit of story, then share it with the world via digital platforms like Madcards that allows you to create collectable image, texts, video cards.
Mark Fin / February 23, 2015 at 12:47 am
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Coming from a background in Martial arts, in which I haven't done in years I wanted something new that would not only bring back that side of me but also gave me a challenging work out. At ILKB Vaughan that is exactly what I am getting! The improvements I see and feel are happening really quickly and I am loving it. Doesn't matter what level of fitness you are at from none whatsoever to excellent I can assure you this place is made for everyone. Oh and not too mention the instructors are kick-ass!!! 5 stars no doubt.
Butt Exercises For Women / February 24, 2015 at 12:36 pm
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Three fitness centers offering a variety of classes and special programs for women of all ages, such as dance, cardio and yoga.
Geoffrey Smithson / March 7, 2015 at 10:11 am
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Frankly there is not a gym in Toronto that should be on a best of anything list. Just a horrible gym scene here. Horrible.
Felecia / March 13, 2015 at 10:06 pm
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Just had my first class at ilovekickboxing.com Vaughan, it was a great environment and has excellent instructors. Great full body workout!
Alexia / March 13, 2015 at 10:57 pm
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Had my first kickboxing class at ilovekickboxing.com Vaughan and learnt how to punch people. It was awesome, and I guess getting fit was cool too.
pryce / March 30, 2015 at 04:54 pm
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Not one of these gyms seen to have gymnastics facilities. Very sad about that.
excellent / March 31, 2015 at 11:03 pm
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For some reason or another, I can't see all of this article, stuff keeps disappearing? Are you utilizing DHTML?
marilena / March 31, 2015 at 11:24 pm
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Joining ilovekickboxing Vaughan is probably the best decision/commitment i have made so far this year. I have only been with them for over a month right now and i can confidently say that I actually love kickboxing. I have already toned up a lot because of it and i am loving the change in my endurance, I no longer get tired while walking up 3 flights of stairs. Despite being there for a good, hard working workout, the instructors there are definitely a reason why I like going. They are all awesome to talk to, they are always supporting you throughout your workout. i can’t wait for my summer bod!
Carolyn B / April 2, 2015 at 12:03 pm
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Ilovekickboxing Vaughan has to be the greatest, most energetic, supportive and motivational gym I’ve ever been to! Been here for almost two months and the results are amazing! The instructors are great and friendly and so are the members! Best one hour full body workout and definitely a fun way to get fit!
Lauren Beanblossom / April 7, 2015 at 12:34 pm
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Really great list! I also love coming to the comments and seeing everybody bickering at each other and what-not. ;)

As far as personal training and group-strength-classes go, I would recommend ManTraining.

And that's my two cents!
Luciana / April 8, 2015 at 10:42 am
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Ilovekickboxing Vaughan has changed my life! It’s a phenomenal workout that will push your physical and mental limits every single time! It works the muscles you can see, and the ones you didn’t even know you had! The mental game is just as important as the physical in the fitness game; they’ve got you covered on that one too! The environment is fun and upbeat; they push you to be your best self in a positive and respectful way. The facilities are modern and clean. I would recommend this place to anyone, regardless of fitness level; they will get you started if that’s what you need and if you are already in a fitness program, they will push you to new limits!
James Lucas / April 10, 2015 at 04:53 pm
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Ilove kickboxing at vaughn is a great place to train and great vibes I recomend this place to anyone.
Pat / April 12, 2015 at 07:40 am
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Catalyst Health is worth checking out.
danielle ben-haim / April 27, 2015 at 12:38 pm
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iLoveKickBoxing.com in Vaughan is my jam!
I always look forward to the next class and never feel like I am dragging myself to go.
Amazing instructors, amazing workout, great music and I feel like a million bucks at the end of class.
5 stars!
kale / April 28, 2015 at 01:21 pm
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Never join Goodlife
They misrepresent themselves. Here is my story.
After being a member through my ex’s work for 8 months I decided to get my own membership.
For the last 8 months I have been paying full price (as far as I am aware) in bi-weekly payments of $39 or $78 a month. The front of the contract that I signed with them allows them to do automatic withdrawals from my bank for 1 year and the only condition outlined on this part of the agreement, on the front of the form, is that I must provide written notice 30 days in advance of cancellation.
This is the only condition I was made aware of at the time of signing. It made sense to me that since I am not getting any kind of special deal (that I am aware of) so I should be able to cancel by just providing written notice.
I was under this impression the entire time I was with them under this contract. It was never verbally expressed that there were any other conditions and the representative never showed me that the back of the form that I signed or made me aware that there were further conditions buried on a the back of the form I signed.
Now I want to stop my membership four months early (apparently, but I had no idea I was committing to anything beyond given them cancellation notice). I wanted to stop so that I can do other activities and now they are saying that I must pay a $100 cancellation fee (I have been a loyal member for nearly a year and half and they don’t care).
I made them show me my contract and sure enough the front where I signed doesn’t say anything about a cancellation fee. They circled the back and explained in was buried on the other side of the form. I complained that I was never shown the back of the form or verbally told that this was a condition. They just said too bad.
Not only have I been a loyal member for nearly a year and a half, I was considering possibly joining again in the future or recommending Goodlife to friends. In fact at one point I had met with a Goodlife Representative to discuss starting Goodlife group plan in my workplace and trying to recruit 100 coworkers (I consider that a loyal customer). I didn’t set that up because I realised that I was going to switch to a different department before too long and possible want to do other things in the summer.
Anyway they didn’t care that I had been a customer there for a while, that I had been misled when I signed up, or that I am a person who had been recommending them (up to this point).
Now I have to say I will NEVER go back and I absolutely advise against joining them because for me a company that is dishonest and that willfully withholds information (or if it was an error that doesn’t take responsibility for their error) is a company that you should have nothing to do with. I believe that the information if being willfully withheld because they bury it on the back of the form and the only place they ask you to sign is on the front. If they were being honest they would put that information on the front along with the requirement to give 30 days’ notice to cancel.
In truth the belief that I had a no strings attached account was one of the things I like about them. Since joining I have had many friends tell me they pay less at other gyms where there are no strings.
Knowing what I know now I can definitely recommend looking into other options. Goodlife is the biggest and easier gym to find but there are other gyms which cost less and treat their customers with enough respect to be up front and honest.
Julianna / July 8, 2015 at 12:35 pm
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iLoveKickboxing.com in Vaughan is a great option for those outside of the downtown core.
Awesome workout with great and supportive staff!
Dallas / July 9, 2015 at 07:37 pm
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ilovekickboxing.com in Vaughan is amazing! it is one of a kind in Canada and gives you a great workout. Definitely worth the drive.
Andrew H / July 21, 2015 at 12:26 pm
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I have been going to iLoveKickboxing.com in Vaughan for the past month and I don't have anything negative to say about the place. The workouts are great and encompass the full body. It seems that everybody who goes there actually wants to be there and I share that notion. There is a communal feeling and this is driven by the staff. I'm excited to go to later today.
Kathy Hosseini / July 24, 2015 at 11:25 am
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This place is all around amazing! The workouts are intense and the instructors are passionate. Would definitely recommend

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