Classes currently offered via Zoom
Dana Gingras is a Montréal-based dancer and choreographer (her company is called Animals of Distinction). Atelier Stable is her movement workshop and during the COVID-19 pandemic, she's been offering classes via Zoom. Gingras teaches a system called gyrokinesis, which gently works the entire body through rhythmic, flowing movement sequences. A lot of the movements are circular and undulating in nature and focused on the spine. You can take her classes individually or as a series. They are donation-based (generally around $20 or pay what you can, and 10 percent of proceeds go to the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal). Her current schedule includes a breathing class, a hip opening session, another for hips and shoulders, deep stretching, and something called “Gravitation Uprightness,” which we’re very intrigued by.
430 Adelaide St W., Downtown
A significant chunk of the thrill of travel is experiencing those routines integral to daily life—the coffee, the commute, the workout—somewhere else. Toronto’s Hoame is a meditation studio that will make you feel like a local—or certainly wish you were. The grey-and-blush-hued space has a way of making you want to exhale, which is a nice bonus in a wellness center. There are two meditation studios (one light, one dark), an infrared sauna (pretty dreamy after a flight), and a Himalayan salt cave. Yes: cave. The place is set up to feel a lot like the Zen, cozy home of a minimalist-leaning friend. Classes end with a shot of a delicious elixir and a stack of warm towels (or cold ones, if you prefer). Afterward, head to the L-shaped sofas—they’re cozy and inviting and perfect for relaxing in front of a roaring fire. Hoame’s founders have thought of everything to make their clients feel utterly cared for; a session here is at the top of our Toronto to-do list, every time we touch down.
892 Queen St. W., Ossington
Whatever the kitchen equivalent of a green thumb is, prolific restaurateur Jen Agg has it. Le Swan is a combo of two things we love: French food and diners. The cozy leather booths, low-lit, sculptural light fixtures and monochrome tile set the atmosphere for resolutely French, late-night vibes. The menu delivers the kind of comfort food that brings frozen limbs back to life during the bone-chillingly frigid Toronto winter. Expect steak frites, grilled cheese, salad Nicoise, cobb salad, rotisserie chicken, fish sticks, late night fondue and a beautifully considered wine list (hello Austrian Pet Nat). Yep, the gang’s all here.
Beth McTavish founded Halfmoon after a trip to India in 1983, inspired by the yogis she saw practicing at the edge of the Ganges River. Her goal: to integrate yoga and meditation into our everyday routines through products and props like eye pillows filled with Brazilian gemstones and intricately designed, hand-crafted yoga bolsters. If you love what you see, but don’t feel like lugging an extra piece of luggage with you, Halfmoon will ship anything they offer to the U.S.
Glory Juice Co.
2186 W. 4th Ave., Kitsilano
Thankfully, you’ll find a few Glory Juice Co. outposts scattered around Vancouver. Their robust, healthy menu of smoothies, juices, bowls, and salads makes eating on-the-go so much easier. The “nutty green” is packed with non-dairy seed milk, cold-pressed juice, nut butter, dates, hemp and spirulina (and is super filling), while their house-made avocado chia flatbread (it’s gluten-free) is topped with pickled onions and a scattering of sprouts for a kick and makes for the perfect breakfast. Glory Juice also offers cleanses on how to make your own healthy concoctions.
2050 W. 4th Ave., Kitsilano
This on-the-go vitamin shot bar brings their menu of B12 injections to your office/home/party. In addition to the Bs, Fig’s vitamin cocktails include hero ingredients like glutathione, biotin, and magnesium. Just book ten-plus shots (your friends will thank you), and Fig will show up at your door and take care of the rest. Stay tuned: We hear the company is planning to open a skincare venture in Vancouver soon.
611 Gore Ave., Downtown Eastside
Katie Ruddell was in charge of brand strategy and marketing at Lululemon before opening Kokomo in the heart of Chinatown—essentially to cater to her own health food cravings. The vegan fare is gluten-, dairy-, and nut-free, accommodating all dietary restrictions but without compromising on taste. The modern décor creates a pleasant lunch setting, but be sure to come early, as Kokomo fills up fast. Order the Coastal Macro Bowl (the vegan spot’s most popular dish, and for good reason), which includes brown rice, roasted squash, and edamame hummus.
Zoey Shamai discovered kombucha tea while teaching yoga abroad. She founded Tonica to introduce the powers of fermented kombucha to Canadians, and thankfully, they (and we) love it. Try the green tea tonica if you’re feeling a mid-afternoon slump coming on, or the spicy ginger if you’re looking for a sub for your post-lunch espresso.
Husband and wife duo Simon and Mary-Jane Ginsburg were the original founders of Ice Age Glacier water, going on to create coconut-centered Blue Monkey.
1727 Fir St., Kitsilano
Family therapist Michele Kambolis focuses on mind-body medicine, utilizing meditation and biofeedback as a way to treat struggles that primarily affect mothers and children. Her sessions are conducted via video chat, allowing for ultimate ease as you build a foundation of strong mind-body health—all from the comfort of your home.
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