Equinox Fitness (Yorkville)
Equinox Fitness has opened its second location in Toronto, a sprawling space in Yorkville overlooking Avenue Road. A global fitness brand, Equinox emerged in New York, and now boasts 79 locations worldwide.
The gym is beautiful and swanky. The lobby ushers you through the Equinox-owned store selling Equinox-exclusive Made Me Do It workout gear.
Past the store, sits an iQ Food Co. cafĂŠ with a menu catered for Equinox, selling a variety of pre- and post-workout foods (two wrapped eggs, smoothies and juice).
The Equinox gym experience begins in the wide-open lobby with its marble tables and plush L-shaped couch, separated by three glass-door offices where trainers expertly get you to commit to them. The Yorkville location is filled with millennials that work at agencies and older members who can afford penthouses in Yorvkille condos.
A membership at Equinox means you don't have to go anywhere else for specialty classes. Its options are well-rounded with heated Pilates (something I've never heard of before, and will definitely be checking out), a range of Yoga classes from Yin to Restorative, and its signature classes like METCON, Stacked and Barre.
With three floors, you have options on how to tailor your workout. On the lower floor is the smaller gym for a more private workout, next to one of the dimly lit studio, which offers METCON and Better Butt classes.
The main floor has the equipment, treadmills, weights, a personal training area.
There's also an intimate cycling studio which is home to the Pursuit by Equinox, an immersive and highly competitive cycling class exclusive to the Yorkville location.
It's on this floor where the beautiful wood-floored yoga and Pilates classes are held in a studio that feels separate from the rest of the gym. It overlooks Avenue Road with floor-to-ceiling windows. I find myself here in a Pilates bootcamp with a Pilates trainer named John who is welcoming and friendly and takes me through some of the basics of the class.
The class, while a lot of fun, is not hard. It's more Pilates conditioning than bootcamp. The sweat is minimal, and the studio is the perfect temperature throughout the workout. I feel comfortable the whole time, not only with the workout but also with the people around me.
The best part is you can make an entire day of this. Take in a class, have a workout, go to the spa and end it off by grabbing a meal and groceries at the Whole Foods conveniently next door.
After class, I indulge and take my time in the locker room which is equipped with Kiehl's products, plush white towels, a luxurious steam room, and showers roomier than what I currently have at home. I get lost in the maze of a locker room twice, proving how big the space really is (and that I'm directionally challenged).
As for cost, a one year commitment requires a $250-300 initiation fee and $175 per month, which gives you access to all the classes and workout facilities. Spa services are, of course, extra.
Photos by Jesse Milns.