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Be Smart About Getting Fit

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Be Smart About Getting Fit

McGuinty Government Offers Tips To Consumers Joining A Gym

Ministry of Consumer Services

The New Year is here and Ontario wants to help you make a smart choice and protect yourself when joining a gym or fitness club. 

With many Ontarians choosing to join a gym or fitness club at this time of year, here is a simple checklist to help you make smart choices and protect yourself:

  • Do your research. Make sure the gym's equipment is new or in good condition, the location and hours of operation are convenient, and the club is clean.
  • Consumers have a 10-day cooling off period after signing a gym membership contract to reconsider their decision.
  • Do not sign up for more than a one-year membership. Lifetime fitness club memberships are illegal in Ontario.
  • Choose to pay monthly. A gym must offer the option of paying fees in monthly instalments. That way, members will not lose more than a month's payment if the club shuts down.
  • Read the fine print. Review the membership agreement carefully and ask questions before signing. For example, is a fitness test required to join? Is there an extra cost for the test?
  • If cancelling a gym membership, do it in writing. Hand-deliver the cancellation letter or send it via registered mail to be certain the club has received it.

Ontario has more tips on joining a gym at Be smart about getting fit.

Helping Ontario consumers make informed choices is part of the McGuinty government's commitment to educate, protect and serve Ontarians by ensuring a fair and safe marketplace.

Quick Facts

  • In 2010, more than 5.3 million Canadians had a fitness club membership.
  • Last year, Canada had more than 6,200 operating fitness clubs.

Additional Resources


“Joining a fitness club is a great way for Ontario families to get fit, but we all want to be smart consumers and know our rights when shopping for a gym.”

Margarett Best

Minister of Consumer Services



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