gyms open in toronto

People are lining up to get into gyms as Markham and Vaughan enter Stage 3

After being forced to take more than four months off from the gym due to COVID-19 emergency orders, many Ontario residents are stoked to get back into a fitness routine and lose that fabled "COVID 19 lbs."

Or maybe they just really like working out, I don't know. Fitness is about so much more than weight.

Whatever the case, gym-goers are literally lining up outside fitness clubs in some parts of the GTA today as they enter Stage 3 of the province's economic reopening plan.

Seven more of Ontario's 34 public health regions entered the next phase of reopening today, in addition to 24 that have been open since last Friday.

Toronto (as well as Peel and Windsor-Essex) still remains in Stage 2, but the nearby regions of York, Durham and Halton are all celebrating the reopening of everything from gyms and spas to indoor restaurants and movie theatres.

It's not as if customers can exactly stroll right in, however — strict gathering limits still apply to higher-risk settings, such as gyms, capping the number of people allowed inside a single facility at one time.

Knowing that only 50 patrons, maximum, can hit the gym at once, people eager to workout in a formal setting started lining up outside an LA Fitness in Markham early Friday morning.

Gym-goers in other parts of the GTA also reported waking up early to line up for a chance to get their fitness on, later tweeting such things as "It felt so good to be back in a gym" and "WOOOOO. Feels so damn GOOOOOOOD to be back at the gym!"

Some people are still leery, however, to go back into a place filled with sweaty, heavy-breathing people in light of the ongoing pandemic.

While public health officials have okayed gym use with proper health and safety measures in place, outbreaks linked to fitness clubs have been seen in other jurisdictions recently.

More than 40 people in Calgary are thought to have contracted the 2019 novel coronavirus from an indoor cycling studio between June 6 and June 13, according to the Government of Alberta. 

Hopefully the intense COVID safety policies in place at gyms resuming operations today will prevent anything similar from happening here.

Lead photo by

Carl Hanstke

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