Since the Lindsay Recreation Complex reopened its doors on Aug. 31, there has been a major change in its policy. The drop-in pay-as-you-go option, allowing anyone to book time in the weight room or for a fitness class, has been eliminated, and non-members are no longer able to register for fitness classes. Residents must have either a corporate or individual membership, and they must register online.
The drop-in option used to allow adults (aged 16-60) access to fitness classes and the weight room for $11.98 or $9.57 for seniors. Now, for those not associated with a corporation that provides them with a membership, an individual membership is the only option.
Candace McGuigan, the rec centre’s fitness instructor, told the Advocate that before the pandemic, when all activities at the centre (squash, swim, health, fitness classes) are considered, 90 per cent of users had a membership. Of those with memberships, the majority held individual memberships and about one-third had corporate memberships. About 10 per cent of pre-pandemic users were drop-ins or registered for fitness classes without a membership.
A yearly health membership for an individual, which includes everything but use of the squash courts, costs $358.60 for adults and $285.85 for seniors. For those who do not want to commit to an entire year, there is also a monthly option, which costs $35.90 for adults and $28.60 for seniors on a month-by-month basis, or $32.90 and $26.20 respectively, if it’s a continuing membership.
McGuigan said the rec centre introduced the membership requirement for several reasons. First, there is limited space to work out or participate in a class given that health unit restrictions mean a cap on the number of people. “The limit of members that we can have is difficult for the drop-in.”
“Having a membership makes the registration process efficient and easy,” she added. “Almost all of our users prior to the pandemic had memberships, so the transition to online registration has been smooth,” McGuigan said.
The third reason for the change was participants’ feelings about drop-in visitors during the pandemic. “That’s the feedback we received from the community — that some other organizations that were letting drop-ins made them nervous.”
If patrons have any remaining sessions on a 10-class membership that they were not able to complete prior to pandemic-related restrictions, the rec centre will honour them. Anyone in that situation would just have to notify the centre so it can be added to their profile. New 10-pass memberships are not being issued.
Swimming is different from the gym; a membership is not required, and drop-ins are permitted but must be booked and paid online ahead of time. There are new restrictions on swimming, including no access to pool equipment or toys, and requirements for proper distancing in and out of the pools. A maximum of 15 people is allowed in the change rooms at one time, and patrons must maintain physical distance and wear face coverings.
The squash courts are closed, but squash memberships will be honoured as health memberships.
Rec centre staff can’t confirm whether the drop-in option for the gym or non-member participation in classes will return in the future.