This Gym is Nicer Than Our Apartments

Cult favourite fitness brand Equinox opens up new branch in downtown Vancouver—and, yeah, there's a fireplace.

November 17, 2016

By Stacey McLachlan / Photo: Luis Valdizon

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Though we live in nature’s playground (Mountains! Walls by the sea!), Vancouverites still manage to be obsessed with getting their sweat on indoors. Spin studios and yoga boutiques and Beyonce-themed booty workshops form the foundation of our city’s fitness fervor, but a new challenger has entered the ring and Class Pass holders will soon find their allegiances challenged: the master of the fitness luxury lifestyle, Equinox, opened its doors on West Georgia this week.

The high-end gym has built a cult following with its outposts in New York, Toronto, London and beyond, but each space is custom-designed with local sensibilities in mind. So while the Hollywood location is decked out in bright, glossy colours, Western Canada’s first Equinox is a study in classic West Coast finishes: rich walnut panelling, textured wallpaper in sophisticated neutrals, concrete and glass.

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It’s a look that feels more like a high-end hotel than a workout hub, but that’s the goal: with a cafe, wifi work stations, a fireplace lounge and fitness wear shop in the lobby—plus a day spa and dry sauna—you could spend an afternoon here without having to work out: good news for those of us who prefer to keep our Lululemon gear in pristine condition. Even the locker room is nice enough to move into—think Kiehl’s products, rain showerheads and USB ports hidden in the lockers.

Along with a selection of top-of-the-line equipment (perhaps you’d like to enjoy a row on the same machine Frank Underwood uses?), Equinox offers a wide range of inventive classes: along with yoga and boxing, the gym will be developing a new figure-skating-inspired program with Olympian Tara Lipinski, along with coached treadmill classes and spin studios that utilize an interactive gamified screen that beams your metrics straight to your digital tracking app like you’re in some utopian version of Minority Report.

The gym opened Wednesday and memberships are still available. Sure, it’s a little more than a Club 16 pass, but it’s a small price to pay for a taste of the good life. And, uh, a place to workout to improve your health for well-being and longevity—we suppose that’s a perk, too. If you need us, we’ll be in the “locker room.”

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