With a long winter ahead and no real mountain for thousands of kilometres, Toronto’s a difficult place to rock climb. But where Mother Nature is lacking, human entrepreneurial spirit has prevailed: There are several top-notch climbing gyms in and around the city. Here are some of the finest.
Featuring two bouldering caves and three climbing walls (20, 40 and 60 feet tall) Rock Oasis is also highly convenient. It’s the closest place to the downtown core, so it’s well placed as a pre- and post-workout facility. Tuesdays you can climb as early as 6 a.m. and most nights they’re open to 11 p.m. 27 Bathurst St., 416-703-3434.
Toronto Climbing Academy
One of the preferred spots of the Alpine Club of Canada, Toronto (their chairwoman climbs here), the Academy features 16,000 square feet of climbing space, including caves and overhangs. 100a Broadview Ave., 416-406-5900.
The first rock-climbing gym in Canada (established 1990) is still the largest. Consequently, over 1 million people have learned to climb here; the gym prides itself on the quality and safety of their lessons. Comprehensive beginner lessons are three hours long and show you how to top-rope with confidence. 29 Fraser Ave., 416-538-7670.
Boulderz Climbing Centre
As the name suggests, this place specializes in bouldering – climbs that are close to the ground and don’t require ropes and clips. Technically difficult, bouldering is an excellent form of strength training. A year-long membership at the brand new facility is just $440. 1444 Dupont St., 416-516-6666.
Image courtesy of BethyKae.