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Ontario Gyms Reopening for January 31

Ontario's climbing gyms will reopen tomorrow, although owners will have to wait for full-capacity

On Monday, January 31 climbing gyms will return to operation in Ontario. After closing on January 5, climbing gyms across the province braced for what felt like the beginning of another winter-long lockdown. To everyone’s relief, the provincial government maintained its promise to partially reopen climbing gyms.

Although Ontario’s gyms will become operational on Monday, they will have to wait until February 21 to return to full-capacity operation. New COVID cases hit a peak on January 6, totalling 13,339 new reported cases in Canada’s most populous province. Lockdown measures have reduced that number to 4,855 new reported cases as of January 29. The seven-day average of reported deaths has climbed over the month of January from 8 on January 1, to 63 on January 29.

While lockdown can feel like a step back, it appears that Ontario hopes to reopen quickly. The greatest evidence for this comes from the stable reopening date that has not moved despite the increasing death count. To that effect, Ontario is moving ahead with the removal of lockdown restrictions despite the fact that there are fewer available ICU beds now than there were on the day of closure.

On January 5, there were 559 adult ICU beds available and 285 adults in ICU for COVID-19. On January 29, there were 496 adult ICU beds available and 588 adults in ICU for COVID-19. Still, the ICU could have accrued more patients if lockdown had been avoided.

With that said, many of Ontario’s climbers look forward to brandishing their freshly vaccinated biceps. Most of Ontario’s climbing gyms will require bookings for sessions. The many facilities around the province make finding your slot just that little more attainable.

Some gyms will automatically reopen their climbers’ memberships, while others will keep them on pause. Check with your gym to see their policies. All reopening gyms will require masks and a proof of vaccination. Some may require a vaccination-associated QR code. Some facilities will not require the reshowing of vaccination status if they already have it on file.


In Quebec, restaurants will reopen to half capacity on Monday, January 31. So far, no reopening date has been decided for bars and gyms. Climbing gyms fall within a grey area as an individual sports activity and may open earlier than other fitness facilities.

As the only two provinces with closures in the country, Canada’s most populous places have worked hard to keep their citizens safe. As winter continues to push people indoors, many will hope for an early spring to alleviate the pressure resulting from COVID-19.