New Year Packs Gym and Athletic Facilities

A rare quiet moment in front of the Humber gym. (Photo by Andy Redding) A rare quiet moment in front of the Humber gym. (Photo by Andy Redding)
By Andy Redding

New Year, new you? Not so fast.

Humber College students are packing the gym this month, creating even more over-crowding and longer wait times than usual for machines.

“There’s a spike,” said Humber Facility Manager Dean Wylie. “A lot of residence students come back wanting to get into shape, so it starts off strong, but goes back down eventually.”

Kinesiology student Hannah Winters also sees the spike in activity.

“The rush hours are more noticeable now,” she said. “Around lunch time there’s a lot of people. The early evening gets really busy, too.

Wylie said this overcrowding issue is not just a post-New Year’s issue, either.

“At peak times we’re busy, we’re limited by the space, a lot of programs at Humber put a large demand on our facilities with their training and requirements for class,” he said.

Varsity teams and campus recreation intramurals are also putting in a lot of demand for court time, said Wylie.

“When varsity teams aren’t on the floor, campus rec is running programs for intramurals,” said Wylie. “The demand on our facilities is huge, we’re already booking weekends into 2016.”

This large demand for gym space is deterring some people from even going to the gym.

“Some classmates of mine hesitate to come here because of the overcrowding,” said Winters. “It stresses them out and makes it not very enjoyable.”

“A busy gym is a problem,” said media student Chelsea Andrade. “I like to go in between classes but I found it hard because the machines I wanted to use were always taken. The gym for a lot of people is their place to relax, but how can you do that if there is no space?”

Humber is trying to combat this problem at the Lakeshore campus, where they recently broke ground for a new athletic centre that is expected to be done by January 2016.

“We’re not landlocked down there like we are here in the North. I’d love to put a field house in here, I’d love to do all kinds of things, it’s just a matter of space,” said Wylie.

The lack of space is hindering Humber North’s ability to expand at all, said Wylie.

“The problem is we can’t go back into the green space, we can’t take away more parking space, there’s a neighbourhood on the other side of us, and then there’s the Etobicoke General Hospital,” said Wylie. “We’re the definition of landlocked.”