Winter training can be challenging, not to mention dangerous, when roads and sidewalks are covered in ice and snow. If you don’t have a gym membership or a treadmill in your basement, finding an indoor track may be your best option for maintaining your training during winter’s most treacherous months.
Unlike most gyms, many indoor track facilities offer a pay-as-you-go option, so you can take your training indoors without committing to an expensive membership you may not use.
Here’s a quick-start sampling of some indoor tracks worth checking out this winter. A quick Google search will help you find a facility in your area. (Note that day rates are not always publicized online, so a phone call may be the quickest way to find out how to get in.)
The Canada Games Centre in Halifax has a 6-lane, 200m indoor track. The centre offers day passes for $10.52 or 10-punch passes for $90. 26 Thomas Raddall Drive, Halifax, N.S. B3S 0E2. (902) 490-2400
Complexes Sportifs Terrebonne in Terrebonne, Que., a suburb of Montreal, has had a 3-lane, 350m indoor track since 2016 that’s accessible to anyone, whether they live in the community or not. Three-month, 6-month or 12-month passports are available and start at $130, but you can also go once for $10 to get the feel of the place. 2475 boulevard des Entreprises, Terrebonne, Que. J6X 4J9. (450) 961-9295
Monarch Park Stadium in Toronto’s east end (Danforth and Coxwell area) is used by the Toronto District School Board during weekdays, and community groups, sports clubs and the public during non-school hours. The 370m track is free during the outdoor season (May to October). Day passes ($10), 10-day passes ($90), monthly passes ($75) and full season ($300) passes are available for the bubble in winter. 1 Parkmount Road, Toronto, Ont., M4J 0A5. (416) 466-2255
The University of Toronto Athletic Centre has an indoor 200m track that may be used by community members on a drop-in basis, though hours are limited. A one-day pass is $17.70, one month is $98.94. 55 Harbord St., Toronto, Ont. M5S 2W6. (416) 978-3436.
Located in Scarborough, Variety Village has a 5-lane, 200m indoor track. It offers day passes for $15, or a 4-month fee for $290. 3701 Danforth Ave, Toronto, Ont. M1N 2G2. (416) 699-7167.
The Calgary Olympic Oval speed-skating facility, built for the 1988 Olympics, is located on the University of Calgary campus and has a two-lane, 450m track for walking and running during early afternoons and evenings. Pay as you go for $7, seasonal passes also available for $92 to $155. 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alta. T2N 1N4. (403) 220-7954