At Steele Fitness, the steady hum of workout machines can hardly be heard under the shouts of instructors leading individuals and small groups of students through custom workouts. Adjacent to a fitness-fashion boutique with high-end apparel from Hard Tail, Bliss, and Lululemon Athletica, the 10,000-square-foot studio comes alive with energy during workouts that draw on a seemingly endless supply of strength-training and cardio equipment. Functional tools such as kettlebells share the workout floor with machines such as the Technogym, whose rotating pulley system facilitates more than 200 sculpting moves. Muscles also test their might and endurance against stair steppers, spinner bikes, and Life Fitness treadmills that bolster aerobic endurance and maximize calorie burn. When they aren’t designing fitness regimens or demonstrating exercises, trainers lead grocery-store tours to help clients craft healthy meals and distinguish eggs packed with protein from empty-calorie bocce balls
In a series of black and white portraits that pop against the backdrop of rich burgundy walls, smiling farm workers stationed around the world stand amid their crops, tools in hand. The photographs are the first hint at Peoples Organic Coffee & Wine Café's mission to link ingredients back to their source. The second hint is the menu, which boasts a roster of local farms: the ham comes from Fischer Farm, the chicken sausage from Schultz Farm, and the bison from Eichtens Family Farm. Chefs spotlight these free-range meats in wholesome burgers, wraps, and salads, which they enhance with fresh, organic veggies and housemade sauces. To complement meals, the café boasts a beer menu filled with choices from local breweries such as the limited-supply Surly and Fulton. Additionally, its wine selection runneth over with biodynamic, organic, and sustainable varietals, which are tastier than their unsustainable counterpart, unicorn tears.
The trainers at Art of Strength eschew newfangled machines. Instead, they employ only fitness tools that have stood the test of time: weight balls, ropes, logs, sandbags, and boxes. Ropes use the weight of the human body to build strength, and the relentless swing of kettlebells works the body as a whole and torches calories. Weights clatter beneath hanging rings and inspirational quotes chalked on the walls. Bass thuds and happy grunts fill the studio as patrons flip truck tires or leap onto boxes. The old-school equipment forms the core of classes, which leave patrons as strong as ancient warriors or the guys who had to push ancient warriors’ strollers.
The Pilates Advantage's obsidian-sculpted staff tends to individual physical needs with routines designed to boost strength, flexibility, and endurance. Using props, such as foam rollers and stability balls, as well as gentle guidance from a team of fitness gurus, a schedule of classes tops out at six students per instructor for individualized attention, support, and a forum for demonstrating shirt-ripping muscle flexes. Those looking for a solid core workout can build a mighty midsection and shape lean muscles with Pilates mat classes, and fitness fanatics in the gyrokinesis sessions can focus on spiraling exercises that increase bodily circulation and promote proper spine and joint alignment. Meanwhile barre buffs can join either floor-barre or stretch-and-barre classes to tone their arms, hips, thighs, and back while relieving physical ailments of arthritis and alien-hand syndrome with ballet-inspired stretch moves.
The bistro menu at Pinstripes can be served on the lanes and courts, in the dining room, or on the outdoor patio. Fill the first frame of your meal with a small plate such as the antipasto and cheese platter ($12). Pizzas such as the sweet and savory prosciutto fig flatbread ($12) arrive on wooden planks fresh from the wood-fire brick oven. An extensive wine list taps straight into Pinstripes' cavernous wine cellar. The candy-coated chocolate martini made with real Godiva chocolate ($9) is a perfect chaser for chocolaty house-made s'mores ($6). Pinstripes' Sunday- brunch spread includes a custom Bloody Mary bar and a magical chocolate fountain where strawberries and marshmallows bathe in nummy nectar (adults $22, kids $12).
THE WORKS, an events company bringing together professional singles in Toronto for upscale social events, welcomes the season of warmer weather and roving biker gangs of bluebirds with its Spring Fling Social. Mingle with fellow lone wolves in Gossip Restaurant's elegant dining space or venture onto the patio for a breathtaking view of Exhibition Place. Music will be provided, and free appetizers are included with admission. THE WORKS' $5 signature cocktails will be available for purchase, as well as a number of other springtime cocktails. Leave the jeans, baseball caps, and sneakers at home and unthaw a colourful spring outfit from its deep-freeze chamber for a festive night on the town from THE WORKS.