It was without a doubt the longest I’ve ever traveled for a workout. Normally when I load up the car and journey out to Collingwood, it’s not just for a yoga class and a nice sauna. Today, however, The Northwood Club – the latest fitness club to flank the uber-fit cottage country community – beckoned my buddy and I to the quaint town.
Mark Kehr and Peter Stevens, co-owners of The Northwood Club and former owners of The Yorkville Club in downtown Toronto, have conceptualized the slightly bigger than boutique gym to align with the vibrant Collingwood crowd.
“Owning a cottage and spending much of my time in Collingwood, it quickly occurred to my friends and I that we didn’t have a place where we wanted to train,” Mark Kher tells me. Once a professional body builder, Mark has spent over 25 years in the business. “This is the most excited I’ve been in a long time, bringing a club of this caliber to an under serviced community of fitness enthusiasts.”
The sleek, state of the art facility has a warmly rustic feel, designed by Blue Hat Studios. Exposed wood and stacked logs side stainless steel equipment. Deer heads (not real) hang on the walls and a sanguine sense of zen could surely exist amidst the space.
With all the glad-handlers, glasses of wine and local food offerings, it was a bit difficult to decipher exactly how the gym would feel, however the all-too-short spin and yoga class I got to take was well executed.
The main floor houses a long shake bar ($7 per protein pop) and lounge at the entrance and flows directly through an open doorway into the workout space. A row of free weights on the right, a bevy of machines to the left. Locker rooms are sauna equipped, and well constructed, though could get a bit squished should the après-ski crowd come in all at once. More than an all-in-one shampoo and body wash that leaves one smelling like a Jolly Rancher, some Q-Tips, and hair product would be appreciated for the $80/month membership fee.
For the not-so-permanent residents, The Northwood Club offers a variety of membership options, including annual, bi-monthly, corporate, daily, and multi-day packs. All classes are included and massage, personal training, and even business services are available.
In fact, Kher is all about the business. “We want to cater to the clientele that come to our gym,” he proudly exclaims. Local business owners who hold memberships at The Northwood Club will have the opportunity to offer promotions and discounts to other TNC cardholders.
While it’s quite the haul for the average Torontonian, some exceptional cottage-goers and swanky locals will surely enjoy the style that The Northwood Club has to offer. Though for now, I’ll stick to more geographically convenient offerings.