Parkour is Vancouver’s Latest Fitness Craze

How to turn the city into your personal playground.

October 20, 2015

By Stacey McLachlan / Photo: Andrew Querner

To run, leap, and climb over obstacles and voids, you’ve got to have an impressive fitness level and precise muscle control—and a dash of the daredevil gene. But parkour (the French-designed practice of conquering urban elements with the body) is also about the mind, says 29-year-old Rene Scavington.

When he was an aspiring teen filmmaker, Scavington followed parkour-loving friends with his camera, clambering up buildings trying to capture it all. “I was able to keep up, and soon I got tired of being the guy holding the camera.” A decade later, he decided to open his own gym dedicated exclusively to the sport. Origins Parkour on Main Street now sees over 1,000 athletes a month (kids and adults), though Scavington knows that the city streets are where parkour really lives.

Bring Grandma: Origins Parkour offers beginner classes to improve your moves and increase your fitness. Hone your craft during open gym nights (including a ladies discount on open-gym Wednesdays, $7.50).

Bring Friends: The new PNE-adjacent Plateau Sports Park is a city-sanctioned, all-ages playground designed for putting your vertical jump and precision landings to the test.

Bring a Defibrillator: The landscape of the city is the ideal playing field for the sport—and the best way to get your heart pumping is to access the inaccessible. Just try not to get yourself arrested, okay?

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