GoodLife Fitness Center Coming to St. James
Image by richardgiles

Goodlife Fitness continues their expansion in Canada which has taken them coast to coast and made them the largest fitness company in Canada.

They have been looking at expanding in several parts of the city only to be thwarted by the lack of ideal space or bigger retail giants swooping in and grabbing spots. When Target shut down, Goodlife put in an offer on many of the properties only to be re-buffed. In Winnipeg, Target Grant Park went to Canadian Tire, Southdale Target went to Walmart and Target Polo Park went to owners of Polo Park. Kildonan remains unclaimed but Goodlife is already just down the street from there.

A number of weeks ago, Goodlife listed the latest place for their expansion in Winnipeg and it is in St. James. The address they listed is 3193 Portage Avenue which is home to Real Canadian Superstore (not to be confused with the one on Sargent).

Goodlife and Superstore are old friends. In Winnipeg, the first two Goodlife Women’s Only gyms were set up in or on Superstore properties on McPhillips and in Sargent down from Polo Park. Those clubs remain with the company today.

The Superstore in St. James on Polo Park is an odd duck. It is one of a very few Superstores with an underground parking lot on Canada. Built in 1989 for around $10 million, the company initially tried to buy an abandoned adjacent school site of the St. James school division but were re-buffed. They went ahead anyways and built a heated parkade instead and found success as one of the first large sized stores in the 250,000 square foot range in the west end of the city.

The old school site did eventually get sold and developed and on the corner facing Portage is a Crosstown Credit Union. At the back of the site now is a condo. In between the space as seen above is a space listed for development and could accommodate a 20,000 square foot building. This is the exact size Goodlife needs for a co-ed gym.

There is already a Shapes Women’s gym and a Y on west Portage but they do serve different crowds. The construction of a new co-ed fitness center right in the middle of neighbourhood on the south side is likely to be very welcome.

I am not entirely sure of the logistics of the project that will be complete next year. The configuration of the parking lot will be interesting. Look to see zoning plans for it soon!

This has been a guest editorial by John Dobbin.
To read more from John, visit his blog Observations, Reservations, Conversations