Joining a gym can be expensive. But the fitness centres below offer competitive prices perfect for someone on a tight budget. For more affordable options in addition to the ones below, check out Montreal's university and CEGEP sports centres, like at Dawson College. Most are open to the public, and while not always as state-of-the-art as commercial gyms, the prices are generally below average for students and affordable for the public.
- Concordia University Gyms
Concordia University offers the best bang for your buck of any university in Montreal, proposing great deals for the public. A membership at either Concordia downtown or Loyola campuses costs $60 per school semester per Concordia student ($150 for the public, $120 for Concordia alumni). Coincidentally, the Loyola campus gym is where (your humble guide started a fitness regimen a decade ago at the then student rate of $25 a semester. It changed my life at a tiny price: read my story.
Where: Downtown Campus: 1515 Ste. Catherine West; Loyola Campus: 7200 Sherbrooke West
Getting There: Vendôme or Guy Metro
More INFO: Downtown Campus (514) 848-2424, ext. 3860; Loyola Campus (514) 848-2424, ext. 3858
- Aerobie Plus
Membership is only $120 for a full year! Membership includes unlimited access to cardio and weight training facilities as well as aerobics, yoga, hip-hop danse, pilates, spinning, body building, baladi, aero salsa and Thai boxing classes. Other fees apply. But buyer beware. Aerobie Plus has been linked to some bad press in the past. Women's only and men's only fitness sections on location.
Where: 7932 Sherbrooke East
Getting There: Honoré-Beaugrand Metro
More INFO: (514) 355-9966
- Gym Montreal
While the prices are not dirt cheap per se, the facilities are decent and offered at a price lower than at other well-known commercial health centres. Payment options are more flexible as well (e.g., year plans at $360, three-month plans at $125 and pay-as you go one-month plans for $55) which is great for beginners not sure if they want to commit to a full year or for people who are often out of town. The gym is a three-floor setup, large enough to eliminate wait times for equipment. The hours -- 24 hours on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends -- are also more convenient than at most gyms. Overall, a suitable no-frills cardio/weights fitness centre for a serious, no frills, budget-conscious health enthusiast in need of a downtown location.
Where: 680 Ste. Catherine West, 3rd Floor
Getting There: McGill Metro
More INFO: (514) 875-2766
The prices are mid-end, comparable to commercial fitness giants but the YMCA's nine Montreal locations propose a sliding scale. Unlike competitors, the Y is charitable organization with a mission to enhance community life and in that spirit, it won't shun potential members experiencing financial difficulty. Ask your local Y about their Access for All program that gives discounts to community members in need. You'll need to bring your lease, latest tax return information, and other documents that prove your precarious economic situation. Another way of getting really affordable access to the Y's facilities (weight room, pool, squash court, aerobics classes, etc.) is to ask about their volunteering program: a weekly time commitment is agreed upon and volunteers must then honor that commitment in order to retain discount privileges. This option is particularly attractive for people looking for ways to feel more involved in their community and join a new social circle. It's a great CV filler too.
Where: several locations
More INFO: call the YMCA closest to you
- Fitness Life Gym
I can't recall the last time I heard of a deal like this, if ever. I'm also not sure for how long the downtown gym will continue offering 15 months for only $100 taxes included package. It's not clear if there is a deadline on it, provided you utter the password. Open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., that $100 gives you all-inclusive access to their 20,000 square foot weight room, cardio machines, and all of their fitness classes (yoga, belly dancing, aerobics, step, etc.) There's just one thing. Read some of my readers' comments.