The goal of Orangetheory’s hour-long classes is to reach your “orange zone,” which is when you are using 84-91% of your max. heart rate, and stay there for a total of 12 minutes. If you succeed in doing this, you reap the rewards of what they call the “after burn,” where your body burns 20% more calories for the next 24 to 36 hours. Everyone in the class wears a heart rate monitor. Your live stats are displayed on a screen so you can track how hard you are working. And, yes, your name and heart rate are displayed on the screen, but I can promise no one is looking at yours—everyone is too busy tracking their own. Your heart rate has nothing to do with your skill level, just how hard you are pushing yourself. It’s completely individual which removes all the competitive stigma surrounding the workout. “I taught a class the other day that had a 65-year-old woman with a pacemaker next to a Miami Dolphin [football player],” says founder Ellen Latham. “To get to [the orange zone] it might only take her to bring her [treadmill] incline up to a 3, whereas because he’s mega fit, he may have to start running pretty darn hard to get there.”
There are 22 Orangetheory Fitness locations in the GTA, find the closest one to you here.
Hoame is the newest meditation studio to open up in Toronto—and it’s by far the largest. It houses two meditation rooms—a “light” room with a wall of live greenery and hanging vines from the ceiling, and a “dark” room with star-like fluorescent lights in the ceiling—an infrared sauna and a Himalayan rock salt cave made up of over five tonnes of salt (they say that spending an hour in the cave, which is said to help with inflammation and respiratory issues, has similar benefits to spending a week by the ocean). Co-founders Stephanie Kersta and Carolyn Plater-Zyberk are both psychotherapists and mental health clinicians who felt they needed to do more than provide reactionary care. “It was when people had already fallen apart, then we are mobilizing our resources to help people,” said Plater-Zyberk. “Then we thought, how do we promote preventative work? How do we promote wellness in this city and how do we do it in a way that people actually want to come in here?” The result: a very welcoming Hoame.
430 Adelaide St. W, hoame.ca
A Quiet Place
If Toronto suddenly seems more Zen, it’s thanks to the recent uptick of meditation and wellness spaces like Mindset Brain Gym (62 Cumberland St.), Good Space (360 Dufferin St.) and Soul 7 (17 Yorkville Ave.). Out of town? Try alternate-nostril breathing, says Emily Thring, founder and director of The Quiet Company. Hillary Clinton is a fan of the mindfulness technique and used it after the last American election. Plug your left nostril and inhale through your right nostril, then, holding that breath, plug your right nostril and exhale through your left nostril. Repeat for a few minutes or until you achieve the chill perspective of Will Smith on Instagram—whichever comes first.
511 King St. W, quietcompany.ca
Good Space is a new yoga, meditation and mindfulness studio located in Parkdale. Classes vary in intensity from "Move More" (comparable to a traditional Vinyasa flow) to the slower-paced "Move Light" (good for beginners or those getting back into the swing of things) to "Still" (a guided meditation) depending on whether you want to work out your body or your mind.
360 Dufferin Unit #106, goodspacetoronto.ca
Medulla & Co. Square One
Luis Pacheco, colourist and owner of Medulla & Co. hair salons, has partnered with Holt Renfrew to open locations in their Mississauga and Vancouver stores (open now and opening next summer, respectively). At Square One, entrance to the salon, which offers cuts, colours and blowouts, requires you to walk past Charlotte Tilbury, La Prairie and other counters in the massive, gleaming Holts beauty hall. Hold on to your wallets.
Medulla & Co. Square One, medullaco.com
Four Seasons Spa
The luxury spa at Toronto's Four Seasons has had a face lift. The new reception area is bright and open, with easy access to the spacious changing rooms (though with snacks, magazines and plenty of cozy seating, they would perhaps be better described as relaxation areas) and pool area. New treatment options include the Rose Gold Facial ($300 for 75 min.), Lime and Macadamia Scrub ($225 for 60 min.), Himalayan Salt Stone Massage ($400 for 60 min.) and 6ix Facial ($215 for 60 min.), designed for men. Don't forget your swimsuit.
60 Yorkville Avenue, fourseasonstoronto.com
The Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie
The Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie in the Shangri-La hotel has expanded. A recent renovation saw the addition of three new massage rooms, a new mani/pedi area and an upgraded Moroccan-inspired lounge (don't worry, they are still serving the post-treatment Baklava). While the weather is still warm, you must check out the cozy outdoor patio space off of the lounge—no other spa in the city has anything like it.
188 University Ave., mirajcaudaliespa.com
French gym Keep Cool has opened its first international location in downtown Toronto. Their goal is to create an approachable space to work out in: they have non-gendered individual changing rooms, no mirrors on the walls and offer virtual workouts (instead of in-person trainers) to keep you on track. A perfect spot for gym beginners.
530 Yonge St, keepcool.ca
The Detox Market at Union Station
The Detox Market, ELLE Canada's favourite natural beauty depot, has opened up in the recently renovated shopping hall in Toronto's Union Station. Got time to kill before your train? Browse their impressive selection of makeup and skincare from brands like RMS Beauty, Coola, Indie Lee and Goop—you won't be disappointed.
65 Front St W, thedetoxmarket.ca
Black Line Studio Uptown
Black Line Studio, a longtime staple of King St. West known for their delicate tattoos and intricate piercings, has opened an uptown location at CF Shops at Don Mills. In addition to piercings and tattoos, the location will offer skincare treatments, vitamin drops and, ironically, laser tattoo removal. We're a fan of their well-curated selection of jewellery, including items from Maria Tash (pictured),
41 Clock Tower Rd, blacklinestudios.ca
Opened in the latter half of 2017, CORE Concepts is a boutique fitness studio in Forest Hill Village. While exercises vary from class to class, expect to use treadmills like you've never used with them before. Instead of turning them on, they are put in manual mode so participants can use their own strength to get them going—and trust us when we say this is easier said than done.
446 Spadina Road Suite 204, bewithcore.com
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