Wellness and Inclusion – at the heart of McGill Recreation

McGill Recreation offers a variety of workout facilities, personal training opportunities, fitness classes, pick-up sports, indoor and outdoor courts and tracks, a swimming pool and sports lessons for all levels

Time and time again we have heard about how physical activity can positively impact our mental and physical health. Therefore, for members of the McGill and greater Montreal communities who wish to keep moving and stay active – whether competitively or not – McGill Recreation has a plethora of options to choose from at both the McGill Sports Complex (Downtown Campus) and the Stewart Sports Complex (Macdonald Campus).

Programming and activities for all

“With pandemic restrictions completely lifted, we are excited to be receiving approximately 17,000 weekly visits at the McGill Sports Complex and to once again be able to offer a full scope of programming,” explains Perry Karnofsky, Director of Services, Wellness Programs and Facility Operations for McGill Athletics & Recreation (A&R). “As believers in the age-old adage healthy body, healthy mind, our team is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment, where everyone feels comfortable taking part in physical activity.”

To this end, McGill Recreation offers private or small group workout spaces in addition to a complete gym at the downtown Campus, personal training opportunities, a variety of fitness classes, pick-up sports, indoor and outdoor courts and tracks, a swimming pool and sports lessons for all levels.

At the McGill Sports Complex, Fitness Pods are available to B2 Gym (Fitness Centre) members for free. These mini-gyms each include bumper plates, dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, a lifting platform, a plyo box, a spin bike, a squat rack, a TRX apparatus and a rower.

At the Stewart Sports Complex, three all-new Smart Workout Studios have been set up. “Each studio is equipped with kettlebells, dumbbells, foam rollers, yoga mats, resistance bands and state-of-the-art Echelon training machines,” confirms MacDonald Campus student, Casey Brennan. “I have incorporated the Echelon workouts into my training routine as an awesome way to spice things up without having to worry about creating my own workout. On days when I don’t feel very creative and just want to follow a workout, I go straight to the studios! The arrival of these Echelons is an affordable way to get private personalized training!”

For new graduate student, Cassandra De Freitas, McGill Recreation’s inclusive spirit is evident. “She lifts, he lifts, they lift, we all lift” is one of the first signs that you see when coming into the [B2 Gym] at the McGill Sports Complex,” she states. Even though it is so simple, I have never seen a sign in a public space such as this that says “she lifts” or “they lift”. It is encouraging to see this signage not only as a female-identifying student, but also as someone who is new to the space, McGill and Montreal […].”


With twelve sports to choose from for all skill levels, including a new badminton league, McGill Intramural sports are a great way to engage in a team activity while reducing stress levels and staying connected. “Sports have always been a big part of my life, so it was great to be able to continue playing at McGill,” says U3 Faculty of Management student, Maddie Birrell. “I have been able to meet friends and make connections with other McGill students, which has made me feel more involved in the McGill community. For me, playing intramurals has been a stress reliever as I am in a competitive program and having a scheduled time to play sports allows me to take a break from schoolwork and have more balance in my life.”

Physical activity and wellness

The bottom line is that physical activity can help you stay well – both mentally and physically – and can contribute to a healthier academic experience.

Virginie Yeba, A&R’s Local Wellness Advisor, encourages all students in the McGill community to connect with peers during their breaks or free time through physical activity at the McGill Sports Complex because, “physical exercise helps you better cope with the stressors of life as a student and beyond.” Moreover, “[…] making time [for physical activity] in your busy schedules can not only make you feel better, but can also increase your ability to focus and achieve your academic goals,” explains Gordon Bloom, PhD, Professor of Sport Psychology at McGill University.

With this in mind, the McGill Recreation Team strives to offer a full range of programming and activities in a welcoming environment for everyone to enjoy.

During the fall and winter semesters, student fees grant students access to the McGill Sports Complex, including facilities for indoor and outdoor running, pick-up sports and swimming. B2 Gym memberships are sold separately. Learn more about what McGill Recreation has to offer.