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Keighty Gallagher’s Vancouver merges art, food and fitness

Sep 28, 2017

We invited three different tastemakers from across Canada to take us out in the Toyota C-HR and show us where they find inspiration (including really great food of course), in their cities.

In the past five years Vancouver has been changing. The city has been shaking off its no fun reputation as young creatives make Vancouver’s unique intersection of entertainment, food culture, and outdoor living their own. Keighty Gallagher - founder and frontwoman of Tight Club Athletics - has been at the forefront of the city’s shift, breaking through the boundaries between Vancouver’s creative and fitness communities from the start of her brand.

"My happiness and the way I was able to grow into Vancouver was to create as much of a diverse community as I could. That’s why I started Tight Club: to get more people experiencing each other that normally wouldn’t. That’s the Vancouver I want to create.

The initial Tight Club Athletics classes were hosted in Andy Livingstone Park (89 Expo Blvd) and served as an attempt to make fitness accessible to the artistic types that Gallagher met while working in the restaurant industry. “The coolest thing about that first day was that these girls were willing to sweat in front of each other. I tried to make the class shift from feeling like exercise to feeling like this was just another way we were expressing ourselves. What’s really unique to Vancouver now is how an active lifestyle integrates into art; it all informs the way people here create.”

Like Gallagher, the Toyota C-HR is all about breaking through, creating your own path, and finding the right people to take along for the ride. Recently we asked the Tight Club founder to drive us around her Vancouver. What we came away with was an insider’s perspective from a city innovator.


The first spot we hit up was The Field House, Tight Club’s brick and mortar home (261 Union St). While the location is home to Tight Club’s personal training as well as their fun and challenging group workouts (Booty Luv had us feeling stuff we’ve never felt before) the tone of the place is laidback and social. At The Field House people are as comfortable hanging out as sweating it out. That vibe is something Tight Club shares with spiritual sisters Club Row (618 Keefer Street) and The Distrikt Fitness Studio (197 Forester St).

Tight Club Vancouver

After checking out The Field House it was time to refuel with a meal. Conscious eating is crucial to Gallagher’s lifestyle, but eating healthy shouldn't sacrifice taste.  “There is a push to green living and self sustaining food sources here, but it’s not just your typical granola style experience. It plays in with the new normal for the city: knowing how to party and do your thing but also knowing how to take care of yourself.”

Harvest Community Foods

We started with Harvest Community Foods (243 Union St). “This place is what keeps me alive during the winter. They’re this local, sustainable, grocery store but what they’re known for is their noodle soups and their cold salads.” Post soup, Gallagher pointed us towards her other favourites.

Kokomo Vancouver

Just around the corner from Tight Club was Kokomo (611 Gore Ave) for smoothies and their coconut based soft serve Cocowhip. Then Nelson the Seagull (315 Carrall St) for the city’s best avocado toast served on their own daily housemade bread.  While all of these locations veered towards healthy, Gallagher wasn’t afraid to embrace the occasional greasy spoon. “Artisan donuts are cool and all but sometimes you just want that greasy spoon classic. I love Duffin’s Donuts (1391 E 41st Ave). It’s a bit out of the way but their basic apple fritters are totally worth it.”

When asking the former track athlete the best date spots in the city she took us to the kinds of places that only locals can.

The Mackenzie Vancouver

I’m single now and I love to be able to walk into a bar and not sit at a table. I’ll go back to a place if the bartender knows my name and is actually interested in getting to know their customers. The Mackenzie Room (415 Powell St) totally does that.

Then there is Boxcar (923 Main St), this tiny little place with an amazing parking lot patio shared by both hipsters and rats. If you’re looking for something cheesy and boujee all at the same time you hit up Pacific Rim Lobby Bar (1038 Canada Pl).“

Vancouver Skyline

Gallagher’s perfect date spot was also completely unique. “ I love the rooftop parking lot above Matchstick Cafe (213 E Georgia St).

Pizzeria Farina Vancouver

If you want to have the perfect date you start with two full pizzas from Pizza Farina (915 Main Street)  just down the street from the parking lot. You take the elevator up to the rooftop of the place. By that point of the night all the cars are gone. You eat your pizza while taking in this amazing 360-degree view of the city.“

Breaking through in a city is about taking the bits and pieces of a place you love and making them into a whole. For Gallagher it’s all about finding the balance of wellness, culture, and nightlife. As we finished up our Vancouver tour in the C-HR we asked our gregarious tour guide if there was anything that linked her locations together. For Gallagher it was about finding the spots to share ideas and community.  “Growing the relationships in front of me is how I fell in love with this city. My happiness and the way I was able to grow into Vancouver was to create as much of a diverse community as I could. That’s why I started Tight Club: to get more people experiencing each other that normally wouldn’t. That’s the Vancouver I want to create.”

Find out more: Explore the Toyota C-HR here