Play It Again Sports overhauls lockers with high-quality gear and rescues gently used athletic equipment from untimely retirement. Products from brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Wilson make up an all-star line-up across each store's shelves, which are replenished daily with goods for a wide selection of sports that ranges from hockey and softball to inline skating and lacrosse. Treadmills and exercise bikes equip bodies with muscular suits of armour, and pint-sized and adolescent equipment arms youngsters with protective padding until they eat enough bologna to grow muscles of their own. To ensure its stock remains robust, Play It Again Sports encourages athletes to collect their lightly used gear—including bicycles—and bring it into a local store to either sell or trade.
Dozens of veteran gymnasts serve as instructors in Starr Gymnastics’ three Ottawa-area facilities, where they favour instruction that emphasizes the most beneficial aspects of gymnastics: enjoyment, physical fitness, and socialization. Since only a small percentage of gymnastics athletes ever cartwheel their way to the competitive level, Starr Gymnastics' instructors teach proper balance-beam technique and safe tumbling skills without skimping on the fun, reminding their gleeful charges of gymnastics' inherent power to imbue agility and a foundational skill set easily applicable to turbo-kicking bad guys in dark alleys.
Starr's high-spirited staff occasionally spices up the play by inviting pint-sized gymnasts to don costumes or by darkening the arena while pupils leap, flip, and bear glowing cuspids amid a sea of black lights. The gym's festive approach to youth fitness occupies vacationing students during school breaks with summer camps, and birthday celebrants frequently gather in colourful private rooms for party packages that include equipment access and a T-shirt for the guest of honour.
Canadian Geographic, crowned Magazine of the Year by the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors in 2010, explores the country's culture and landscape with illuminating articles and sophisticated photography. For more than 80 years, readers' thumbs have voyaged through the magazine's glossy pages without having to resort to hitchhiking, while navigating national stories that cover the revival of railway travel, an action guide for protecting the watershed, and the future of national parks. Award-winning photo spreads unfurl rich landscapes and capture intimate portraits to feed the hungry eyes of more than 3.4 million readers a year. Though Canadian Geographic unveils local environmental issues, its travel edition exposes unconventional vacation spots, budget itineraries, and subterranean unicycle paths.
At Play It Again Sports, locally owned and operated for 20 years, athletes suit up to conquer challenges on the ice, in the field, or on the court with new and used gear from major-league brands such as Bauer, Reebok, and Adidas. An ever-rotating inventory keeps lockers stocked with spare balls, dressers filled with run-ready shorts, and dens populated with gleaming treadmills. Proud recipients of the Gold Standard Store award, amiable staffers stand ready to answer questions or assist with fittings, ensuring that each athlete leaves with the appropriate gear for their needs. Neglected equipment ready to leave storage spaces and rejoin the sporting life can be traded in for cash or credit for gear, completing the ethereal Circle of Sports.
Greg Best and Natalie Szabo founded The Sassy Bead Company in the early ’90s, creating a sanctuary for more than 3,000 types of beads from seed beads to semiprecious stones. They also fill their shelves with rarer bead types, including Swarovski crystals, Japanese delicas, and freshwater pearls, available individually or as part of finished bracelets, necklaces, or toupees. Along with beads for purchase, the duo accepts beaded jewellery for repair, and crafts custom pieces for special occasions such as weddings and proms.
Since 1982, AquaSport has equipped competitive and recreational swimmers with suits, accessories, and training equipment. Five brick-and-mortar boutiques carry thousands of trendy trunks, two-pieces, and Victorian-era swimming jackets from more than 100 brands including Nike, Speedo, TYR, and Arena. A large athletic section holds specialty apparel and equipment for watersports such as water polo, triathlons, and professional cat bathing.