Three New Goodlife Fitness Locations Coming to Winnipeg
Image by richardgiles

Safe to say that Winnipeg is experiencing a building boom when it comes to fitness center across the city. The reasons for this vary but in part it can be explained as community centers not having nearly enough space or resources for a mature market of people wanting exercise centers. After graduating from schools and universities the choices for the adult fitness market are more often than not private fitness places. Moreover, how people keep fit can change as we age out of school and community sports like hockey, football and basketball. It is difficult to keep active with team sports due to work, family commitments or wear and tear.

Fitness is a solo thing save for joining group exercises such as yoga, cycling or dance/weight classes. We can still do our regular stuff such as swimming and biking, gardening and golfing but Canada is a winter country and daylight hours wane away so have created an infrastructure of indoor recreation facilities nation-wide.

Until recently you would really only be able to point to the Y as being the one true national fitness center. However, the Y kind of gives away its mission statement. It skews young and always will. It is a family friendly place and make no apologies for it. And over the years many of their facilities and services have upgraded and they do their job very well.

Goodlife, on the other hand, is a genuine Canadian coast to coast fitness center with a large presence in Winnipeg. That presence is about to get bigger. Goodlife is going to spend $30 million on two new clubs, relocation of one club and renovations on the rest. And by big, that means big. As reported already here on this blog, a 60,000 square foot club is going up on Bishop Grandin between Pembina Highway and Waverley along the north side. It will be double the size of Grant Park and Kenaston locations.

The Bishop Grandin location above will have a women’s only section, a pool, a hot yoga studio and meditation space. The fitness center is scheduled to open in December. It would appear to be that it is in a race with the Altea fitness center which looks to be complete about the same time in the Bridgwater area on far south Kenaston. The Altea will be even larger and feature its own exclusive amenities. The continuing residential development and density building along Kenaston and now Bishop Grandin might generate the population to sustain the large facilities. In the case of Bridgwater, this growing area seems to have an anemic public recreation area so Altea might be only place for several years to come. As far as Bishop Grandin, the new bus rapid transit and high rises are right along the route the new Goodlife will stand on.

The Kenaston Goodlife is likely to benefit from a huge residential component in Kapyong and along Sterling Lyon while the Grant Park location is surrounded by apartments and is also adjacent to bus rapid transit. A lot of thought has gone into these multi-million dollar developments. Winnipeg is growing and the competition to serve the city means we are seeing some top notch building taking place.

Goodlife has indicated clubs in existence will be getting renovations. In this heavy competition, fitness centers will have to look to upgrade faster lest people look elsewhere. As far as other fitness centers like Shapes, Planet Fitness, Snap or Anytime Fitness, they will have to compete on price, location and amenities. Big won’t always win the race. For those not in a car, the presence of a gym in a place such as the Osborne Village will be the choice they often make.

It is obvious Winnipeg has seen a dramatic increase in fitness centers across every geographic area but one area has been sadly lacking: St. Vital. The rumours have been true all along and Goodlife will be building in St. Vital Mall likely in the old Sears location. The location will be 27,000 square feet and be ready in spring on 2020.

The third new club will be at 330 Main Street in what people still call the Trizec building. It will be part of the residential/commercial component being building above Winnipeg Square and will be ready in summer of 2020. Once it is complete, the old Goodlife in what was the TD/Canwest building will be shut down. The new club will be about 24,000 square feet.

Once complete the new clubs will add about 200 jobs to the market.

The growth of Winnipeg by the tens of thousands in recent years and a desire to get healthy will probably fuel this competition for the next few years. It is interesting to note that malls such as Winnipeg Square, Garden City, Grant Park and now St. Vital Mall are adding fitness centers to drive traffic. It is difficult to imagine it happening 10 years ago in the city.

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