LIFESTYLE GUIDE: TORONTO

 

My hometown Toronto is a restorative place that I always return to. It’s a city I wasn’t able to appreciate until I left it. I was blind to what it had to offer, until I had done some exploration and a little growing up.

 Horses Atelier

Horses Atelier

At the city’s core there is a balance, an ease, a contentment and a quality of life that is unparalleled. It doesn't hurt that this ever-modest city doesn't boast about being in such a boom in regard to all things culture, food and wellness.

As a forever Torontonian, here are some of my regular haunts that a visit isn’t complete without. Every time I head back, it has new tricks up its sleeve. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with next, Toronto. You just keep getting better and better!

 


Ride

RIDE CYCLE CLUB
As I’ve explained before, travel never derails my workout schedule. No matter how many commitments I have when I’m in town, I always squeeze in a spin at Ride. The studios’s approach falls somewhere between the choreographed 'dancing on the bike' of SoulCycle or Dynamo and a more HIIT version of cycling. No matter who’s teaching you can always expect to leave refreshingly, satisfyingly exhausted. Expect loud electronic or hip hop and high energy instructors who are in the business of pushing your limits.

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BARREWORKS
Other go-to’s are any class at Barreworks. Their mixed level is a great take on a classic barre class or for something more targeted pop into bAAAre, that you guessed it, focuses on the three A’s: Arms, Abs and Ass.


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RUNNING ALONG LAKE ONTARIO
Weather permitting, I love to just lace up my running shoes and head down to the Lakeshore for a jog along Lake Ontario. It isn’t everyday that I can log miles by one of the Great Lakes.

bodyblitz

BODY BLITZ
If I’m in need of full body relaxation Body Blitz is a modern interpretation of the therapeutic bath and an easy place to accidentally spend the better part of a day.


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THE TEN SPOT
If I’m looking for a nail care or hair removal, I stop into the ever expanding and female owned The Ten Spot. Pampering is a top priority. They never skimp on information about aftercare and how to get the most of your treatment.

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EASY TIGER
For gifts head to Easy Tiger. You’ll be able to find cards, candles, ceramics and many other charming items made by local brands.


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ARDITH
I am perpetually on the look out for female run slow fashion boutiques. Ardith’s collection falls somewhere between laid back California comfort and pieces that transition from studio to wherever life takes you after class. Think brands like Pansy, Nu Swim and Live The Process.

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HORSES ATELIER AND EWANIKA
If I have an itch for something more fashion-y I head to either homegrown Horses Atelier or Ewanika to find cult brands like Maryam Nassir Zadeh, nearly impossible to source elsewhere in this city.


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PROVINCE APOTHECARY
Toronto is the birthplace of one of my favorite organic beauty lines, Province Apothecary. Not only can their flagship location be found along the hyper hip West Dundas West strip, they have a space for custom facials, naturopathic counseling, acupuncture and other treatments.

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GREENHOUSE JUICE, RAW CHEMIST AND VILLAGE JUICERY
The city’s food scene is at an all time high. I never have time to fit in the new hot spots and visit old favorites. Once upon a time finding a cold pressed juice was impossible. Hardly the case any longer. Peak juice has been reached. I love to grab the 100% green 'The Good' or one of the seasonal offerings like 'Blue Lemonade' from Greenhouse Juice. Raw Chemist and Village Juicery are other great juicing options.


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BOLT FRESH BAR
For quick and easy lunches, I turn to Bolt Fresh Bar or Hello 123, both on Queen St. West. Think nutrient packed smoothies and hearty bowls jam packed with plant based protein.

 

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BUNNER'S
I have an unabashed sweet tooth. Bunner’s in the Junction and Kensington Market holds a special place in my heart. 100% gluten free and vegan, but without sacrificing an ounce of taste. I can’t leave without picking up a chewy, oaty, Super Sonic cookie and whatever otherworldly seasonal cupcake they have in the case.


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CYGNET COFFEE
As far as cafes go, there is hardly a shortage of excellent coffee in this town. My preferred stop for caffeination is the tiny Cygnet Coffee on Dundas Street. An intimate little shop with all of the espresso based drinks of your dreams, as well as juices and a few baked goods. I love the homey touch of the antique map of Ontario on the wall and the endless stack of magazines to peruse in this wi-fi free zone.

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SUPERPOINT
When in the mood for pizza, you can get your fix at Superpoint. A laidback joint that has become a contemporary institution. Generally it’s music from the 80’s and 90’s is on the stereo, tattooed servers helping you out and menu that includes new interpretations of Italian classics. Not to mention they offer vegan pizzas for all of those who embrace that plant based diet.


 
 
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
Kyle Beechey is a globetrotting writer, photographer and creative consultant.
When she isn’t scribbling in a notebook, snapping 35mm photos or helping clients
with their branding needs, she can be found scouring the markets of a foreign land
and trying her best to pass as a local.