Fitness trends come and go, but it's not often an institutional gym closes its doors. This past Sunday, Canton Club Health & Fitness informed members that it will be closing after 12 years. The gym's last day will be December 15.
"The last 12 years have been an unexpected business adventure for us," the gym's co-owners Amy and Marty Passen said in the email. "Unfortunately, the business is no longer financially viable due to evolving market conditions."
The 10,000-square-foot fitness facility, located along the waterfront near Bo Brooks Crab House, attracted members with its smaller size and harbor views. The gym also spearheaded innovative classes like aerial yoga, rock-climbing Fitwall, and Surfset over the years. Canton Club also received numerous accolades from this magazine, including being named a "Top Gym" in 2012.
But with boutique studios opening all over the city and customizable fitness plans, like ClassPass, arriving in Baltimore, the competition in the industry is ever-growing.
Not surprisingly, many members have taken to social media to express sadness over the news, saying "Canton Club was in a perfect location" and "the view was spectacular. Nothing like doing treadmill or elliptical looking at the harbor. I am heartbroken."
"I have been very touched by the outpouring of gratitude and sadness that people have expressed through social media," Amy says. "The hardest thing is putting my amazing team members out of work. It's these people that have created a Cheers-like atmosphere that has made Canton Club so amazing all of these years."
Amy continued to say that it's her primary goal to help all of the fitness instructors and staff find new job opportunities. Canton Club's fitness director Patrick Furlow has already announced plans to open his own facility, XPF Studio, in Fells Point in 2016.
"I have seen so many people's lives change," says personal trainer Angie Smith, who has been an instructor at Canton Club for seven years. "I've seen people lose over 100 pounds, train for half-marathons when they never ran a mile before, get married, and have kids and grandkids. I have made so many friends that they are like family to me."