According to a recent survey by Mercer Canada, physical health & fitness ranks as the top concern of Canadian employees in 2022, ahead of job security and advancement.
High-end, state-of-the-art corporate fitness facilities have become the norm within commercial office spaces, and those that offer high quality fitness programming and member experience within their facilities enjoy the highest participation rates, member satisfaction and results. The challenge is corporations, developers, building owners, landlords and property management firms are not in the fitness business.
For the needed expertise to plan, equip, operate and staff today’s fitness facilities, these companies turn to an organization such as LIV North, dedicated to offering high-quality health, fitness and wellness solutions backed by reliable service for the past 45 years. The company started in Ontario as Health Systems Group and rebranded as LIV North in 2018 as part of a multi-company acquisition. Today, LIV North offers a turnkey solution for onsite fitness facilities in corporations, residential and commercial towers, colleges/universities, and community centres across Canada.
“As facility managers ourselves, we recognized that contracting with third party equipment distributors and service companies was not providing us with the level of services and product quality that our clients and our management staff require to deliver service excellence,” says Lisa Kendall, President of LIV North Inc. “LIV North was created to provide our clients access to fitness and wellness services and equipment through one single entity. This allows us to have full control over all aspects of our service delivery.”
LIV North is a consulting and management company that specializes in fitness facility management, which includes staffing, programming, equipment distribution, equipment maintenance and services, aquatics programming, and pool services. In serving Canada’s leading corporations, property managers, colleges/universities, and community centres, the company provides a full fitness facility management offering that has become increasingly important in not only attracting, but retaining, the best talent, tenants, residents, students, and community members.
“We recognize and appreciate the significant value we are entrusted to provide,” says Kendall. “Each of our clients are highly committed to the health and wellbeing of their people, and have made significant investments in providing onsite fitness and aquatics facilities and programming, as well as virtual fitness and wellbeing programs.”
LIV North’s Fitness Management Division is often brought in to repurpose space into a fitness facility, or during the planning phase of an office building when lending their expertise in fitness centre design and layout to the buildings’ developers and architects. As part of the Division’s start-up and design consulting services, LIV North advises on facility design, equipment layout design and procurement, financial forecasting, along with pre-opening marketing and membership promotion planning.
Its onsite and virtual fitness centre management services include staffing, facility operations, comprehensive fitness, wellness, recreation and aquatics programming, equipment procurement and management, member services and sales, planning, budgeting and reporting, as well as financial and administrative management. In short, everything a developer, building owner, property manager or corporation would require to plan, start, staff, operate and program a modern, premium fitness facility, which has significant positive returns on the employees who use the facilities.
“Our clients recognize that healthy, active people are more productive, happier and tend to stay longer,” says Tonya Faganely, Vice President of LIV North. “They hire us because we have a proven track record of maximizing member engagement, delivering measurable outcomes, and minimizing the operating burden to our clients.”
Three of LIV North’s most recent projects are LinkedIn’s new downtown office, Phase 1 of CIBC Square downtown, and the new Prosserman Jewish Community Centre in North Toronto.
LIV North, of course, had to adjust during the pandemic. An airborne respiratory virus hit the fitness business very hard, but LIV North decided to live by the saying, “never let a good crisis go to waste.” “We quickly developed a virtual offering that essentially provided our clients with a corporate gym online,” says Faganely. “Our goal was to provide, virtually, the same programming and scheduling that members were used to enjoying onsite. We recognized that during such times of uncertainty, we could provide a way to connect people, and keep them moving consistent with their pre-pandemic routines.
LIV North has consulted with clients on more than 200 fitness centre designs, have managed more than 100 fitness centres across Canada, and provide virtual fitness and wellness programming to more than 150,000 Canadians every day, when that service is perhaps more needed than ever.
“The pandemic has triggered an epidemic of burnout and mental health concerns,” observes Kendall. “We know that fitness and wellness programming, available onsite and virtually, will play an important role in improving the health of Canadians emerging from the pandemic, and LIV North is prepared, and poised, to deliver.”