After news broke online yesterday that SoulCycle’s King Street location in Toronto appeared to be shuttered, SoulCycle has confirmed that the location is permanently closing.
“One of the devastating effects of this global pandemic was having to make the heartbreaking decision to permanently close our King Street studio,” reads the email to its members. “What’s even harder to swallow was the news being broken to you by someone other than us. Our relationship with this KING community is so valuable to us, and we would never leave you in the dark. Our intention was to sit down with our staff and instructors before sharing the news with our riders, to give this place we’ve called home for so long a proper goodbye.”
The King Street location opened in 2017, and was the popular NYC-based spin studio’s first-ever Canadian location. According to the brand, the Yorkville, Toronto location of SoulCycle will reopen when it’s safe to do so. There is no news about SoulCycle’s other remaining Canadian location in Vancouver.
Closures due to the coronavirus pandemic have hit the fitness industry hard, particularly in cities with sky-high rental costs; in Toronto, the average boutique gym pays between $20,000 to $40,000 per month in rent. Earlier this month, popular movement studio Misfit Studio shuttered its two Toronto locations, one of which opened earlier this year.
While some fitness studios have pivoted to offering Zoom or Instagram Live classes, the revenue is not nearly the same. Others have found creative, if perhaps not permanent, solutions: To adhere to government-mandated social distancing rules, Canadian spin brand Ride Cycle Club has rented out warehouses in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto to hold its classes in, which allows for more riders than within a traditional spin studio where bikes are parked closely together.
Still, many fitness purveyors are struggling to stay afloat. “It’s become quite apparent that we don’t have anyone that advocates for [the fitness] industry to the government,” Jennifer Lau, a Nike master trainer and owner of Fit Squad, told us in June, “which is ironic because we touch so many people’s lives and our services are so critical for Canadian’s health and wellbeing.”
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