Large-Format Fitness Concept ‘Altea Active’ Opening Biggest Location to Date in Ottawa with National Expansion Plans [Interview]

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Altea Active is continuing to change the face of the Canadian health and fitness industry, growing its unique wellness and social club concept to new locations.

Its latest location will open this fall in Vancouver and on Thursday it announced it will also open in Ottawa in late 2024.

Altea Active currently operates a state-of-the-art, 80,000-square-foot facility in Winnipeg, which opened November 2019, and an 89,000-square-foot wellness and social club in Toronto’s Liberty Village neighbourhood which opened March 2022.

The Vancouver location will be 43,000 square feet while Ottawa will be 129,000 square feet in an old Canadian Tire building at 1660 Carling Avenue. Ottawa will be its largest location and will include an indoor pickleball club.

And David Wu, Co-Founder President and CEO of the company, told Retail Insider Altea is looking to expand by about two projects each year.

Click image for interactive Google Map

Wu said the company has also acquired 4.8 acres of land from First Capital in Milton, Ontario. It is currently working on the development of that project which would be a new build of about 76,000 square feet. It is also looking at a site in Calgary.

“We design these projects carefully with the real estate selection going through a very robust and rigorous data review and we designed these projects really focused on the audience in the community,” he said. “Winnipeg is our suburban business model and we tailor a lot of the amenities to cater to that family audience . . . For our Toronto project a lot of Millennials crave and enjoy our social amenities.

“At the foundation of all these different clubs is really the value proposition of what we provide whether it’s Winnipeg or Liberty Village, Toronto, Vancouver. The value proposition is really built around our group fitness program, highly curated, beautiful space, amazing instructors and providing that value proposition against the individual smaller boutiques or smaller clubs that don’t have that comparable value in terms of what people pay for versus an Altea membership.

“In Vancouver, in Winnipeg, in Toronto, we’re offering from 150 to over 185 classes a week as part of that membership price . . . Any of the studios that we designed into these clubs what we look at is how do we stack up these studio designs and the programming and the quality of that consumer experience against some of the best concepts in the UK or Spain and in New York. That’s how we look at our competition. We look at what are the best global brands out there and how do we compete against those types of products. That’s really setting the bar for ourselves to deliver that type of wellness experience.”

Altea Active: West 6, located in Southeast False Creek at 425 West 6th Avenue, will offer state-of-the-art strength and cardio, personal and small-group training, and luxury hospitality. It is currently under construction. The company describes the concept as where “five-star hospitality meets first-class fitness.”

Altea Active: West 6 will feature six boutique fitness studios within 43,000 square feet over three floors of Cressey Development Group’s newly constructed, LEED Gold Certified building, strategically located where the neighbourhoods of Fairview, Mount Pleasant, and Olympic Village converge. 

Photo: Altea Active
Catalyst Cafe + Wine Bar – Photo, Altea Active

Over 150 classes will be offered per week in their respective large- and small-group studios, such as: Boxing, HIIT, Hot Yoga, AntiGravity Fitness, Pilates, Barre, and Cycle. A Functional Turf Zone will also be available for sport and performance training.

Members will also benefit from luxe change rooms equipped with dry saunas and steam cabins, Aveda hair and body products, and haircare by Dyson; Recovery Lounge services include massage therapy, compression and vibration therapies, and cold plunge immersion; and a Meditation Lounge with its own Himalayan salt wall.

More than a workout space, Altea Active: West 6 will offer comfortable and bright relaxation spaces and informal meeting places in addition to the Catalyst Café + Wine Bar, where members and their guests can kick back and relax.

Altea Active Ottawa will offer over 129,000 square feet of boutique studio fitness, state-of-the-art strength and cardio, personal and small-group training, and luxury hospitality.

Altea’s new Ottawa flagship club will offer 200+ classes per week across nine multi-purpose group-fitness studios: a Hot Yoga Studio; a theatre style Cycle Studio; a Boxing Studio; an AntiGravity Fitness Studio; a Fusion Studio; a Small Group Training Studio; a Private Reformer Pilates Studio; a dedicated Women’s Only Studio, and the Signature Studio featuring HIIT, core, dance, boot camps and other strength and cardio sessions. The club will also feature an eight-court indoor Pickleball club; a five-lane 25-metre lap pool aquatic centre; a Women’s Only club with top-of-the-line Technogym cardio and strength training machines, as well as a Private Women’s Only fitness studio.  

Altea Active Toronto (Image: Altea Active)
Photo: Altea Active

Members will benefit from luxe change rooms equipped with dry saunas and steam cabins, Aveda hair and body products, and haircare by Dyson. Recovery Lounge services will include massage therapy, compression and vibration therapies, and cold plunge immersion, and a Meditation Lounge with its own Himalayan salt wall.

Altea Active in Ottawa will also feature co-working and social amenities, including: Topgolf Swing Suites sports simulators, and a 6,200-square-foot outdoor Sky Deck that will be used for member socials and private functions. The club will also feature comfortable and bright relaxation spaces and informal meeting places including a smoothie bar, Starbucks, and the Catalyst Kitchen & Cocktails, where members and their guests can kick back and relax. 

Altea Active Ottawa will also offer an Active Kid’s Club featuring a Mini Gym, arts and crafts, and quiet zones to support members with children ages 0 to 11 years. 

“Altea Active is not a gym,” said Michael Nolan, Co-founder, and COO of Altea Active. “It’s a social wellness experience that offers premium studio fitness programs, equipment, and services to like-minded, wellness-conscious people sharing the same journey. Our mission since day one has been to elevate and encourage the social connections that organically develop in our clubs.”

Nolan and David Wu previously owned 16 Movati Athletic locations for close to 20 years before selling the business in 2017.

“After we left Movati, we said to ourselves how do we take this Movati business model and how do we improve it even better for that consumer experience,” said Wu. “Really, what we looked at for this upcoming Altea brand is we wanted to curate a better consumer experience by providing them with more social components and social wellness components.”

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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