The West Island’s first climbing gym comes to life in an old metal workshop.
Climbing has changed quite significantly in recent years. Increasingly accessible, the sport attracts more and more enthusiasts every year. To meet demand, four young climbers founded Beta Bloc in 2016 with the aim of opening a no-rope, no-harness climbing gym in a sector of Montréal new to this type of activity: the West Island.
The location, an old metal workshop, is expansive, almost monumentally so. Empty and practically desolate with its nearly 20-foot-high exposed steel framing and huge 14,000 ft2 concrete slab, it was waiting for a new purpose to come to life. The climbing walls are set up along the edges of the space. Standing 15 feet high, they offer climbers a variety of angles and grips in bright colours.
In contrast, the inner architecture uses a more subdued palette: raw plywood and spruce planks form the slatted bulkheads and built-in furniture. The large reception desk in the centre links the gym’s three main zones: the climbing walls, the workout space and the coffee bar. Its angular geometry picks up from the angles of the walls. The gym’s bright turquoise walls create an energetic, familiar atmosphere fitting of this young venture. At Beta Bloc, they climb strong!