New Y will be a catalyst for change and enable communities to thrive at every stage of life

Minneapolis, MN – The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, opens today the Douglas Dayton YMCA at Gaviidae, a first-of-its-kind in the world Y serving as an incubator to develop innovative programs and test new ideas for Ys of the future.

The new Dayton YMCA is designed to better serve all in the community by offering one-of-a-kind wellbeing experiences in a contemporary and open space in the heart of downtown Minneapolis where the Y began operating over 160 years ago. The new Y located at 651 Nicollet Mall provides the community unique opportunities ranging from getting fit using state-of-the-art virtual reality equipment, reducing stress through integrative health and healing practices in the George Wellbeing Center, participating in experiential learning and simulations on equity, diversity, inclusion and global realities, and much more.

“We are thrilled to welcome our Y members and community to our new Douglas Dayton YMCA at Gaviidae that builds upon our legacy of providing a place for all to meet, socialize and participate together in programs to strengthen spirt, mind and body,” said Glen Gunderson, president and CEO of the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities. “This new Y is truly like no other Y in the world and the innovations being developed will influence and inspire our community to address critical social needs so all can thrive at each stage of life.”

“Minneapolis is a hub for innovation and consistently ranks among the fittest cities in the country, so it makes sense that the first-of-its-kind incubator YMCA would call Gaviidae home,” said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. “For over 160 years, the Y has made Minneapolis stronger by providing programs that help kids in our city reach their full potential. The goals for the new Y reflect our shared commitment to the wellness of all Minneapolis families.”

Douglas Dayton’s Legacy of Service Lives On at the Y

The new Y is named in honor of Douglas Dayton’s generosity and volunteerism to the YMCA. Douglas Dayton’s six decades of service deeply influenced the YMCA’s growth in the Twin Cities. He helped the Y expand community impact by inspiring others to advance the Y’s mission of serving all. Because of Douglas Dayton’s leadership and generosity, hundreds of thousands of people across the Twin Cities lead better, stronger and healthier lives.

“My Uncle Doug was deeply committed to and supportive of the YMCA, and I know he would be honored that the new downtown Y will bear his name,” said Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. “This innovative new facility will provide more Minnesotans with opportunities to learn, grow and succeed.”

Donors to the Dayton Y include The Douglas and Wendy Dayton Foundation, Penny and Bill George and the George Family Foundation, the Mooty Family, Target Foundation and many other individuals and foundations in the community. 

Groundbreaking YMCA Innovating for Today and Tomorrow

Together with community partners and worldwide leaders in healthy living and social responsibility, the YMCA is developing experiences that are new to the community including:

  • Equity Innovation Center - the Center brings together diverse stakeholders from all sectors including arts and culture, corporate, faith-based, healthcare, law enforcement, nonprofit, education and social services to develop a common understanding of and design solutions to
  • challenges related to equity, diversity and inclusion. This space is the first of its kind within the YMCA national movement and provides an interactive simulator designed and built by the Science Museum of Minnesota.
  • George Wellbeing Center – a first-of-its-kind wellbeing center connecting individuals with integrative health and healing practices shown to reduce stress, promote healing and improve health outcomes by offering an array of new services, including lifestyle coaching, nutrition counseling, massage therapy, guided meditation, light therapy, aromatherapy, reiki and acupuncture and more.
  • Virtual reality strength and cardio classes using technology new to the United States.
  • Fitness studios that have immersive music and visual experiences new to the community.
  • Digital tools and technologies including heart rate based training with MyZone and In Body, a medical-grade body composition analyzer and more to make the most of workouts.
  • Dynamic fitness experiences including heated yoga studio, hydromassage, Turf area for plyometrics and other advance training techniques, rooftop studio and more.

For more information on the Douglas Dayton YMCA at Gaviidae, visit

About the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities

The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities is a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.  Established 161 years ago, the Ys provide life-strengthening services across the greater Twin Cities metro region, southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin communities.  The 29 Y locations and program sites, seven overnight camps, 10 day camps, and more than 90 child care sites engage more than 350,000 men, women and children of all ages, incomes and backgrounds.  To learn more about the Y’s mission and work, visit