Although gym owners across North America have felt pandemic-related pressures, none have suffered quite as long as those locked in the Greater Toronto Area. Toronto Gyms have felt the burden.
Where the rest of the continent has opened its doors, Toronto gyms remained closed due to public health guidance following the volatile waves of the pandemic. Where many small businesses across the city have closed, some Torontonians have absconded from North America’s most locked city. Some have left on vacation, while others have begun life in another province.
While the pandemic rages on in much of the world, Canada and the United States step closer to a post-pandemic reality. Although it remains unclear what that will mean for people, for climbing gyms it offers the hope of a post-Olympic rush of new climbers.
As with every industry, parts of the climbing industry have suffered over the course of these last 17 months. Fortunately, the sport remains in a spotlight and has the capacity to grow well beyond its current bounds. This functions from an increasingly professional presence.
World Çups have responded well to the new measures in place. Viewership in competitive climbing has never reached such an altitude and will surely reach new heights altogether following the Games. On July 16, 2021, after 243 consecutive days closed, Toronto will open its doors to climbers.
For athletes already involved in the sport, this event comes with new job opportunities at many of the province’s newest or largest gyms. For some, the July 16-19 opening weekend will see the ribbon cutting of Ontario’s newest climbing gym. Community members will once again find a home in their favourite sport.
For now, the gyms have decided on maintaining their booking systems, time slots and chalk policies. Capacity limits remain in place, but as vaccinations increase, this could change. Ontario may join its western partners in the slow, but steady easing of restrictions.