Boutique fitness studios are different from traditional, open access gyms as we only offer classes or organized activities, and a trainer is present with each person or group at all times; we do not have any open-format weight or equipment areas in our facilities.
Essentially, boutique fitness studios offer the same services as dance studios: aerobic exercises performed indoors. Like dance studios, boutique fitness studios are able to operate safely with the same health and safety protocols including physical distancing, requiring that all members pre-register for classes, and limiting classes to a maximum of 10 people.
Premier Ford’s argument for reopening dance studios relies on the fact that dance studios use a cohort-model. On that note, boutique fitness studios are membership-based, utilize booking systems, and generally have the same people attending the same class/organized activity each day, very much acting like a cohort.
As key members of the health and wellness industry, our boutique fitness studios provide an invaluable service to the province by maintaining and enhancing the physical and mental wellness of our communities. Since the onset of COVID, research has shown a rise in mental illnesses among Canadians. 1 in 20 Canadians (6%) had recently experienced thoughts or feelings of suicide as a result of the pandemic, and 50% of Canadians reported worsening mental health since the pandemic began. Exercise has been proven to have a positive impact on both physical and mental health. The closure of boutique fitness studios coupled with the stresses of a second wave will undoubtedly create a devastating ripple effect across the province, likely leading to increased rates of depression and suicide.