Vancouver Yoga Chain Opens Toronto Outpost

Terry McBridge, YYoga | BCBusiness

YYoga opens the city’s largest yoga centre on Queen Street West

Terry McBride’s B.C.-based yoga empire has expanded to the Toronto market with the opening of its first outpost in the heart of Canada’s largest city.

“I have always viewed YYoga as being a national community and not just a Vancouver community, and there are a lot of people who go back and forth between Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary,” said McBride, YYoga’s co-founder and CEO.

The new 10,000-square-foot location is now Toronto’s largest yoga studio and was opened following a $9-million dollar round of financing announced in 2012. The financing was led by Fiore Capital Corporation and Beedie Capital Partners along with private individual investors and used primarily towards the Toronto location and Vancouver expansion.

The new location follows the YYoga design aesthetic and is open and airy with three studio spaces spanning two floors. As Canada’s largest corporately owned yoga company, YYoga operates nine centres throughout B.C. that host more than 800 classes per week, including 135 classes on offer at the Toronto location.

The Toronto outpost has been in the works for about five years, according to McBride. Close to 200 studio spaces were viewed before he settled on the Queen Street West location, which is a 15-minute walk to the financial district and is situated in Toronto’s bustling downtown.

“We wanted to start at centre ice,” says McBride, adding that he plans to open studios in other areas of Toronto including Liberty Village and the Distillery District.

Queen Street is already an area replete with other yoga studios. In fact, Toronto has more studios per capita than Vancouver, says McBride, who is confident that YYoga will succeed because of its focus on the total user experience and a variety of classes.

“What I wanted to do was offer quite a large variety so I think that is one differentiating factor. The other is YRide and also the overall social experience,” he says. “I was after the whole package.”

YYoga offers styles of yoga including hatha, core and hot classes and also offers YRide, which is a stationary cycling class. All locations feature a tea lounge, infrared sauna and complimentary organic shower products.

“I was trying to make it really easy to practice yoga. The fact that we have mat and towel service and showers and hair dryers, all of the basic essentials that one needs to make this easy,” says McBride.

In addition to Toronto and Vancouver expansion, McBride is now focusing on getting YYoga into more condominiums following YYoga’s partnership with Westbank properties at the TELUS Garden residential tower. He also has his sights on studios in West Vancouver, South Surrey and the Tri-Cities.

“The vision is being in multiple cities with probably 100 plus studios and having a really vibrant community.”