Spas were also allowed to reopen, and many were doing brisk business on Valentine’s Day as couples treated themselves.
After a two-month hiatus due to pandemic restrictions, John Hernan and his son were among thousands of fitness buffs across Montreal who returned to their favourite hobby on Monday.
“I missed the exercise, but also meeting the regulars that come here all the time,” Hernan said during a workout at the Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA in Snowdon. “I come here with my wife and kids, and it’s special. I love it here. Everyone knows each other.”
Gyms and fitness centres across Quebec have reopened at half capacity, after being shut down before Christmas due to the fifth wave of the pandemic.
On Monday morning, Isaac Sadowy was back at the Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA doing what he loves best: exercising and strengthening his biceps. The 16-year-old said he found the latest restrictions difficult because so many places were closed. “It’s good to be back and see familiar faces,” said Sadowy, who works out several times a week.
Steve Goffman, the Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA’s general manager of health, fitness and wellness, said he was delighted to see so many regulars. “They missed the camaraderie, the exercise and keeping fit,” Goffman said. “A lot of people didn’t do anything since we shut down. They’re hoping it will be the last time we have to go through this.”
When the YMCA in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce opened its doors Monday at 6:45 a.m., six people were waiting outside in the cold.
“People are very, very happy,” said employee Alla Podvalniuk. “This is a community. People are always here, and they have been waiting for this moment.”
Podvalniuk fielded several calls from members inquiring whether the YMCA had reopened on Monday. The organization also emailed and phoned members to spread the good news.
Spas, indoor golf facilities and climbing gyms were also allowed to welcome users on Monday as part of the latest phase of Quebec’s reopening plan.
Indoor sports can resume for adults, with a maximum of 25 people per group and mandatory masking. Indoor artistic and cultural activities can also operate with a maximum of 25 people.
Many spas in Montreal were doing brisk business on Valentine’s Day as couples treated themselves.
Spas were among the thousands of Quebec businesses forced to shut their doors in December as COVID-19 hospitalizations surged.
Although massage therapists were allowed to continue working after the latest restrictions were announced, some suffered financially because their clientele mistakenly believed they had also been shut down.
“We started getting bookings as soon as they announced spas were reopening,” said Isabelle Fournier, manager at Spa Centrale Parc. “We are very busy today; couples are celebrating Valentine’s Day.”
Allowing spas to reopen is crucial because many people are feeling down due to ongoing restrictions, Fournier said.
“We see that people need care for their well-being and mental health,” she said.
At the Klub 20 gym in Beaconsfield, Ian Gergovich said he felt euphoric after his morning workout.
“I love the big gym experience, and when it was closed, it was tough,” he said, adding that working out improves his mood. “I work out almost every day and when it closed, it was in the dead of winter. It was demotivating.”
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