An associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto, Victoria Warfield has dedicated her life to music. Experienced in performing as a concert pianist and directing choirs, Victoria also offers private lessons that tutor music-makers as young as 3 years old in specialized Parent & Tot sessions. Older students can tailor their efforts toward the Royal Conservatory of Toronto examinations or veer into pop or jazz styles. Adult lessons shake off rust from years of neglect or fruitless attempts of practicing the flute on a hollow churro to give students a new artistic outlet during classes that focus on music appreciation.
It's a fairly common image from the Middle Ages and from fairy tales: an armoured knight on horseback, riding triumphantly into battle wielding a sword. Today, of course, such a sight would have shocked witnesses almost immediately—unless they're at Academie Duello. A centre for European swordplay and Western martial arts, Academie Duello has revived centuries-old scenes similar to the one above. It teaches students ancient battle techniques, but does not re-enact epic duels or the well-documented silly-string wars that ensued when swords broke.
The 5,000-square-foot facility extracts skills and weapon information from authentic combat manuals and primary-source texts. Its instructors turn that knowledge into an in-depth curriculum, which today provides both adult and children's programs. Most of those programs also help students stay fit, as they replace weights and treadmills with longswords, shields, and rapiers. To immerse themselves further into knighthood, students can check out Academie Duello's museum, which preserves an ever-growing collection of weapons of war, armour, and fight books.
When doctors told Joey and Darryl Simon that their son Jet’s premature birth could result in learning disabilities, the couple immersed him in the world of art as a means of helping him overcome any educational obstacles. Their tutelage and care paid off, resulting in an impressive array of paintings from their child at a very young age. Jet’s talent and creativity inspired his parents to establish 4Cats Arts Studio in hopes of unleashing the inner artists of other children as well as adults. The Simons accomplish this mission through hands-on sessions in mixed media, painting, and Artist Focus classes, which concentrate on the histories and styles of certain artists, such as Picasso’s cubism and Andy Warhol’s self-portraits of soup cans.
Named one of Parents magazine's Top 10 Birthday Chains, Color Me Mine's international franchise of DIY ceramics studios cater to an older crowd as well. Hundreds of unadorned ceramic pieces—including vases, flatware, and busts of Elvis—await the attentions of muses of kids and their keepers alike, as do glazes in earthy tones and bright crimsons to frighten bulls away from china cabinets. Guests follow simple step-by-step instructions that leave plenty of room for creative expression. When painters are satisfied with their work, the professional kiln workers help glaze, fire, and de-genie it for them, and they may retrieve the finished piece after a few days.
Open 24 hours a day, the facilities at Sport Central come stacked with modern fitness equipment, squash courts, and instructors. Guests who opt for a two-month membership get 24-hour access to a 45,000 square foot gym full of body-toning cadre of cardio and strength-training equipment such as elliptical trainers, treadmills, bikes, steppers, and rowers. The membership also comes with 12 tanning sessions, which can aid iron-pumpers in looking more like a golden Atlas than a pallid one. The centre also boasts two steam rooms, a women's only area, and a children's centre where tykes can play under supervision while parents get fit.
Cadenza Music offers a massive selection of books and resources for beginner and advanced musicians. Students looking to enhance their repertoire can find solace in private and group lessons in piano, voice, harmony, and rudiments. Books and materials divulge information on violin techniques, guitar methods, and ukuleles, alongside CDs and reference books.
Rows of sleek, black SODI GT5 go-karts vibrate at the start of TBC Indoor Racing’s 1/5-mile track. Drivers hover 2 inches above the ground, anxiously awaiting the moment they can slam down the gas pedal and accelerate their vehicle capable of reaching speeds of up to 75 km/h. Everyday from 10 a.m. until midnight, an adrenalin-fuelled parade of karts hugs the course’s 13-turns as drivers 11 and older flex their navigational muscles and best their times using a high-tech digital timing system. In between laps, video games and air hockey occupy fingers itching for the steering wheel. The family-friendly environment, kept fume-free via the karts’ clean air exhaust systems, hosts solo riders, as well as groups that can rent out the full service banquet meeting room to celebrate a birthday or conduct field research about popular carpet fabrics.