1. Is the Downtown YMCA open?
The community programs and the YMCA International Language School are open at the Downtown YMCA. Unfortunately, the fitness and aquatic facilities are closed.
2. Why did fitness activities not resume at the Downtown Y as they did in other YMCA centres?
The context in downtown Montréal has changed, affecting many organizations and businesses, and the Y is no exception. We are facing the same challenges as the downtown area itself, which means we need to reflect on the future of the Y and how it needs to transform. These challenges are mostly associated with the decline in the number people working or visiting downtown, changes in work habits, and changes in fitness habits.
3. Why did fitness activities resume in other YMCA centres but not at the Downtown YMCA?
The post-pandemic context in downtown Montréal is complex, mainly due to a decline in the number of people working or visiting the area and changes in work, lifestyle, and fitness habits. Fitness and aquatic activities resumed at the Cartierville, du Parc, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Saint-Roch, and Westmount centres. However, there has been a decline in membership numbers and in visitors to those centres compared to 2019, before the pandemic.
The Downtown Y is the biggest centre and has the highest maintenance costs; it is therefore not viable for the Y to resume fitness and aquatic activities without putting into place a long-term solution to help cover the costs to maintain the facilities.
4. When will fitness activities resume at the Downtown Y?
We cannot resume fitness and aquatic activities at the Downtown Y until a sustainable and long-term solution is put into place to help cover the costs of maintaining our facilities.
5. Will fitness activities be offered at the Downtown Y soon?
We aim to offer a fitness and aquatic programming in downtown Montréal, however, it will likely be in a different format from what was offered in the past. We are currently reviewing the model to ensure its long-term viability on a redeveloped site.
Fitness and aquatic activities have resumed at the Du Parc, Cartierville, Westmount, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, and Saint-Roch YMCAs. To learn more
6. If fitness activities resume at the Downtown Y, won’t they generate revenues?
Technically, yes. But we have noticed that there has been a decline in the number of memberships in other centres, and downtown will not be an exception. Quite the contrary. We are facing challenges associated with a decline in the number of people visiting or working downtown, changes in work habits, and changes in fitness habits. We can no longer cover the costs to maintain these large fitness facilities without a partner.
7. Can members fundraise or can you increase membership prices so fitness activities can resume at the Downtown Y?
Annual and recurring deficits are too substantial. For downtown, the solution rests on the development of a partnership that will help cover the costs of maintaining our facilities. We do, however, encourage our members to get involved in our philanthropic work and fundraising events to support our community programs Give now via The YMCAs of Québec Foundation.
8. Why is your search for a partner taking so long?
It’s a complex situation and downtown is still in the process of redefining itself following the pandemic. Just like many other organizations and businesses, we are adapting to downtown’s new reality and we are keeping a close eye on its evolution. We are continuing to explore all possible scenarios. So far, our efforts have not succeeded in securing a partner.
Do you have suggestions? Write to us at email@example.com.
9. Will fitness and aquatic activities be included in the Downtown Y’s redevelopment project?
It is too soon to say as we are in the process of evaluating all long-term scenarios. However, one thing is clear: the habits of residents and workers have changed. There are fewer people working out downtown and we cannot cover the costs to maintain the large fitness facilities without a partnership.
10. During this transition, are you renting out your empty premises to organizations looking to rent space?
When possible, yes, of course! We have already approved several requests and we are continuing to examine all the requests we receive. If you would like to rent a space, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.