February 7, 2023
8 mins

Gym Memberships in Canada and the Cost of a Home Gym

Gym memberships in Canada offer a range of options, including monthly and annual memberships, discounted rates, access to amenities and multiple branches.

If you want an economical way to stay fit, setting up a home gym may be better than paying for costly gym memberships in Canada. Although memberships offer access to a wide range of equipment and services, a home gym can save you money in the long run.

Are financial concerns the only consideration when determining your fitness journey? What are the advantages and disadvantages of buying a gym membership in Canada versus creating a gym at home? If these are your questions, you’ve come to the right place.

Types of Gym Memberships in Canada

Some memberships offer limited access to just one branch, while more expensive memberships permit full access to all the branches.



Canadian gyms provide a variety of programs and membership options, allowing you to customize your membership based on your fitness goals. In addition, membership features such as plan length, discounts, and access to facilities can vary between gyms.

Canadian gyms typically provide three main membership options: every two weeks, monthly, and yearly. Depending on your availability, you can select the plan that best suits your needs.

In Canada, gym memberships vary in terms of the access they give to the different branches of the gym. Some memberships offer limited access to just one branch, while more expensive memberships permit full access to all the branches.

Furthermore, most gyms offer various memberships with diverse access to amenities. Premium memberships in more high-quality gyms will allow you to use several amenities. These amenities may include swimming pools, saunas, squash, tanning, towel services, hydro massage, group fitness classes, personal training, and many more. These options may be more limited in Canada's low-cost and mid-range membership gyms.

Discounts for Designated Groups

Good news for specific demographics such as students, military personnel, and seniors – many gyms and fitness clubs in Canada provide discounted rates and even free memberships. These perks encourage these groups to enjoy a healthy lifestyle without a hefty joiner fee.

Prices of Gym Memberships in Canada

Canadians have many choices when selecting a gym and the membership plan that suits their lifestyle. No matter your budget, you can always find a gym that works.

A research project from SavingSpot determined that Canadian athletes can get gym memberships for the most affordable price globally. A gym pass costs an average of $15.91 a month. Other countries, such as the United States, Switzerland, and Japan, charge significantly more, with fees ranging from $28.58 to $99.19.

To gain insight into the pricing of gym memberships in Canada, we have divided them into three main categories. These categories are high-end, mid-range, and low-cost. The tables below summarize the prices for each.

High-End Gyms in Canada ($100–$250 per month)

Mid-Range Gyms in Canada ($40–$60 per month)

Low-Cost Gyms in Canada ($10–$40 per month)

Low Cost Gym in Canada

The number of low-cost gyms in Canada is increasing yearly, reducing the average cost of memberships around the country even more. In 2014, over 580 new low-cost gyms were opened in Canada. However, the number of new mid-range and high-end gyms opened was only 10.

Building a Home Gym: Initial Cost and Long-Term Savings

Simple Home Gym

Starting a home gym can be a pricey endeavour, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t need to break the bank to get one up and running. You may even be able to create a functional gym using what you already have. So think of a home gym as a potentially wise financial investment.

Regular gym memberships cost you the monthly, quarterly, or annual amount stated in your plan. But, you spend much more when you factor in other items such as gas, car maintenance, and time. That is why having a home gym can help you save a significant amount of money and time compared with having gym memberships in Canada.

How Much Would You Save if You Built a Home Gym?

The best part is that a home gym is your asset.



Over ten years, it is estimated that you might spend over $8,000 when using regular gym memberships. In contrast, you’ll likely spend around $1,500 to build a home gym that satisfies your needs.

Generally speaking, most people need to spend between $1,000 and $2,000 to build their home gym, though this number can be less or much more. Therefore, if a local gym membership costs around $44, it will take nearly three years to recoup the costs of a well-equipped home gym.

The best part is that a home gym is your asset. You can use it for a lifetime, sell it, or trade it for other goods.

What You Need to Build a Home Gym

For a full-body workout, you can spend as little as $1,500 to build a home gym. An example of a basic home gym may include the following:

  • Squat rack with a pull-up bar
  • Barbell
  • Bumper plates
  • Kettlebell (instead of free weights)
  • Gymnastic rings or TRX
  • Jump rope
  • Gym mats

You can add any other piece of equipment to your setup, including adjustable dumbbells, weight benches, treadmills, lat pulldowns, and weight stacks. However, these are things that you might need over time as your needs evolve.

You can purchase some of these items and complete the setup over time.

Gym Memberships Versus a Home Gym: Pros and Cons

Home Office with Gym

Building a home gym provides you with several benefits and drawbacks alike. Let’s review some major ones here.


  • Saving Money: As mentioned in previous sections, home gyms can save much money in the long run compared to purchasing gym memberships. However, you must also consider the side expenses of gym memberships. These expenses may include gas, car maintenance, and time; not to mention those delicious daily protein shakes or smoothies.
  • No Waiting Time for Equipment: When you have your home gym, you do not have to wait for someone else to finish working with different equipment. Plus, you can take as much time as you want to work with all equipment.
  • Privacy and Freedom: Public gyms can be intimidating. A home gym gives you the freedom and privacy to exercise however you like without being judged.
  • One Gym for the Whole Family: In addition to you, other family members can also enjoy using a home gym. It can make them interested in staying in shape, even if they do not intend to.
  • Increase Property Value: A home gym provides your home with added value in case you need to sell your property.


  • Limited Access to Exercise Equipment: Most home gyms are not equipped with all the equipment you can find in a regular gym. Even if you have space, you probably do not have the budget to purchase the latest gym equipment.
  • Continuous Distractions: When exercising in a home gym, many things might distract you from your workouts. These distractions may include pets, kids, and other cares and responsibilities in your personal life.

Pros and Cons of Gym Memberships

The alternative to exercising in a home gym is to purchase gym memberships in Canada. However, this move also comes with both advantages and disadvantages.


  • Amenities and Services: Joining a gym lets you enjoy a wide variety of amenities, including top-grade exercise equipment, saunas, and more. You can also hire a personal trainer. 
  • Childcare Services: Many top gyms offer childcare services so you can drop off your child or children and focus on your workouts.
  • Social Interaction: Gym memberships help you interact with many people, maybe mostly your neighbours. Sometimes, this brings about lifelong relationships.


  • Membership Fees: If you’re planning on sticking to your exercise routine, be prepared to spend a large amount of money over time. And don’t forget to factor in the cost of driving to and from the gym.
  • Open/Close Hours: Unlike having a gym in your home, you cannot exercise on your schedule. Most gyms have set hours of operation and are closed for certain holidays.


The most vital thing is always to exercise continuously to have a healthy lifestyle.



Building a home gym provides you with different types of benefits and drawbacks. Although your equipment will be limited, and you may be distracted by family stuff, a home gym helps you save money. In addition, you can use all equipment anytime you want, enjoy your home privacy and freedom, inspire your family members to exercise, and more.

On the other hand, gym memberships in Canada help you enjoy various amenities, make use of social interaction, and enjoy childcare services. However, you will have to spend more money in the long run compared to home gyms. You may need $1,000 to $2,000 to build a home gym, while it takes just three years to spend the same amount on memberships.

You need to weigh these pros and cons to see which can match your fitness goals better. Aside from the money-related comparisons between home gyms and gym memberships, the most vital thing is always to exercise continuously to have a healthy lifestyle.

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