The deep freeze of winter may be starting to set in, but Toronto is heating up with new studios and healthy cafes. In 2018, it was easier than ever to hit up boutique fitness classes and meditation studios, and refuel right after at the city’s many juice bars and healthy eateries. This year, we’re ready for a new lineup of sweaty conditioning classes and environmentally-friendly food choices. So get ready Toronto, because we found the most exciting spots to get excited about in 2019!
The Phoenix Effect
Rise up with the team at the Phoenix Effect. This new minimalist spot opened in December and is the latest place to get your sweat on in the Annex. The studio focuses on purposeful movement in and out of the gym, ultimately leading to a new, better you! You’ll find a list of strength and conditioning classes for people of all ages and fitness levels, as well as workshops, meditation series, and mentorship sessions. Plus, the community vibe is strong here, with everyone cheering each other on and lifting each other up when the thought of one more burpee seems too much to bear.
The latest fitness craze in Toronto: recovery for your mind, body, and soul. Need a little down time? Just head Hoame to King West. This meditation studio opened in September and is exactly what it sounds like — your home away from home, a mini vacation from the real thing. You’ll find a bright, calming space offering meditation and mindful movement classes that you can choose to take in either light or dark rooms. Or, try the salt cave and infrared sauna for a therapeutic way to improve your health and mood.
Last Rep. Fitness Centre
Every rep counts, and that’s exactly what this fitness centre that opened on January 2 at Yonge and Wellesley is all about. Get ready to sweat up a storm during crazy HIIT group classes (they’re aptly named Blitz and Blaze) or take a solo approach and use the conditioning equipment with an open-gym pass or membership. No matter what type of workout you choose to do, Last Rep. will hold you accountable and help you reach your goals. Even better, every class and piece of equipment is connected to the Mywellness app, allowing you to analyze and track every workout.
Although everyone’s favourite functional fitness gym has quietly existed in Toronto for a while now, it recently exploded around the city and GTA area. F45 offers innovative group circuit-training classes to get you into peak condition, and each workout can be modified to fit your personal fitness level. From HIIT to interval-based training, you’ll fire up all major muscles in just a short 45-minute class. F45 opened up in Islington Village in December, and you can be on the lookout for a new location coming soon to the Junction.
For the seasoned athlete or anyone looking to learn more about fitness through proper training, it’s time to Stay Gold. The new training gym in Liberty Village opened in late October and offers bootcamps, daily workouts, open-gym time, as well as personal training sessions and how-to workshops. You’ll push yourself to gain strength while focusing on recovery through mobility and stretching. Expect to get to know a tight-knit group committed to helping you reach your fitness goals.
Grab your tote bags and travel mugs, and get ready to head to Toronto’s first-ever zero-waste market. That means no packaging, whatsoever, on anything — ever. Not in the produce section, at the butcher counter, or even in the dry goods aisles. Unboxed will also feature a café with a BYO mug policy, and sell ready-to-eat meals and treats from the market kitchen. There’s even a planned smokehouse and charcuterie room! So prepare for all of the unboxed goods starting this February in Dundas West.
A new veggie-forward restaurant is bringing upscale healthy eats to Brocktown Village. The small, intimate space will focus on an elevated food experience, with a 12-course seasonal menu featuring dishes full of bright flavours and ingredients. Expect to be entertained as only 10 chairs will be placed close to the open-concept kitchen, where 24-year-old chef Julian Bentivegna will whip up creations like miso-cured snapper and basil and pistachio ice cream. Mark your calendars for the opening of Ten on January 31.
Looking a new lunch option when you’re on the go? Stop by the new FLEETS FOOD that opened in December in the Yonge and College neighbourhood. You’ll be hit by the mouth-watering smell of an Italian-Japanese inspired menu featuring oven-roasted chicken, fresh croquettes, and house-made pickled veggies. Every bite is made from scratch with fresh, local ingredients to fuel your busy day. Want to try it out but don’t need a full meal? The open-kitchen offers free food samples!
The vegan pizzeria and ice cream shop that has Vancouverites downing slice after slice and scoop after scoop is now open in Toronto (as of November). The Little Italy spot offers a fast-casual experience for nut cheeses, three-day dough, and original topping combinations — Stranger Wings is a must! Plus, Virtuous Pie supports working towards a healthy planet by making it easy and accessible for people to eat plant-based meals. And soon, there will be more than just pizza and ice cream to nosh on — a brunch menu launches January 26!
This fast-casual salad bar is all about making healthy eating accessible and convenient, distinguishing themselves by offering mix-and-match sides with hot food options. Oh, and almost half of the menu is vegan! Hailing from Ottawa, Mad Radish found its new Toronto digs at Yonge and Eglinton in October. Surrounded by offices in a major subway stop, it’s an easy choice for an inexpensive lunch (under $10!) any day of the week. And if you happen to order that lunch through the Mad Radish app, the company will donate a serving of fresh veggies to Community Food Centres Canada.