True North Climbing is a rope and bouldering gym in Toronto, Ontario. The gym has a whopping 15,000 square feet of climbing area, filled up with over 80 top-rope routes, the world’s largest indoor stalactite, a bouldering area, a training area, a Moonboard and more. True North Climbing is a great place to learn how to climb (I learned to climb here), and still offers many challenging boulders and routes for advanced climbers.
Overall Experience / Vibe
My overall experience with TNC has been wonderful. There is always at least one staff member at the front desk, and all of them are extremely helpful. For instance, TNC has frequent floor walkers! If you have any questions or require help of any kind, there is always a staff member nearby. In my opinion, TNC has the best customer service out of all of the gyms I’ve been to in Toronto.
I recommend going to TNC during the week, and the earlier the better. The gym is so popular, that it gets pretty crowded by 7pm on weeknights. As a result, you might find yourself not climbing as much as you might like if you go to TNC at their most popular times! You can check out their “popular times” information if you search up “true north climbing” on Google. On weekends, the gym can get packed with groups and birthday parties, especially in the afternoon. If you go to TNC on weekends, I suggest a morning session to avoid the big groups.
The TNC community is very knowledgeable and psyched on rock climbing! Introduce yourself to members, and you’ll be sure to make some friends.
Quality of Routes
TNC routes are similar in style to routes you may find outdoors. The hold selection is mostly composed of crimps, pockets, and slopers. They don’t offer the selection of flatholds and volumes that newer gyms do, simply because the walls at TNC don’t accommodate those hold types. All this means is that the style of routes and boulders is different. It is more focused on finger strength and body tension. The bouldering wall angles are limited to overhangs, with a small section of slab. The wall angles of the rope climbs are more diverse. This includes a cave, an arch, a slab wall, several vertical walls, multiple slight overhangs, and the stalactite. Overall, I enjoy the setting at TNC very much! The setters are very friendly, and set many great routes on the regular.
Programs @ True North Climbing
TNC offers programs catered to all ages, and to most skill levels. Kids and youth climbers can get involved in the recreational programs or in the competitive team. If you are not looking to commit to something long term, TNC also offers weekend scramble sessions with their amazing staff. The weekend scrambles are designed for kids aged 7 to 12, and involve 2 hours of supervised climbing. TNC’s day camps are highly recommended as well! Day camp is offered on PA days, during the summer, and on special dates. Click here for more information about camps. For adults, TNC offers private lessons, a lead climbing course, and free technique classes.
If it is your very first time climbing, I recommend the intro lesson. In this package, you will learn how to properly put on a harness, safely tie a figure-8 knot, and how to operate a belay device! After completing this lesson, you will have the tools necessary to climb safely at TNC as frequently as you please!
True North Climbing’s Pricing
TNC is one of the most expensive gyms in Toronto. The adult day pass goes for $24, youth day pass is $21, and a child day pass costs $17. Their youth pass is available to anybody under the age of 18. Their monthly membership for adults is $79.10, and is $71.19 for youth. The annual membership is worth $779.10 for adults, and costs $701.73 for youth. However, I do believe that their higher prices are justifiable considering how expensive it must be to run a route gym. Most noteworthy, their lead certification courses, auto-belay systems, top rope systems, lead wall, etc.
In my opinion, True North Climbing is an amazing gym and you should definitely check it out. Their customer service, community and climbing quality are very impressive. I have no doubt that climbers of all levels would have fun climbing at this gym. Enjoy climbing at True North Climbing!