In 2004, Warren Lee was a high-school teacher by day and a muay thai kick-boxing private trainer on the side. But demand for his private lessons grew, and eventually the one-man business blossomed into a full-time combat fitness business. Today, Lee runs Toronto Kickboxing & Muay Thai (TKMT) Academy at three locations, all of which provide friendly atmospheres for students to work up a sweat, shed stress, and learn self-defense. The staff credits its unintimidating and professional attitude with helping to draw an almost even split of male and female students—a rarity in martial-arts gyms.
All three locations feature pristine facilities and include men's and women's changing rooms and individual showers, as well as a boxing ring, grappling mats, thai pads, heavy bags, and an assortment of training equipment. The staff of committed instructors includes Ajahn Amnat Yodkwain, a former professional fighter and muay thai master who has trained in Thailand's combative arts since the age of 7. All of the academy's instructors possess CPR and first-aid certification and participate regularly in professional development. In order to join the team, they must also pass a series of rigorous tests designed to challenge their skills in muay thai, general fitness, and kicking cookie jars off the top shelf.
Named after the word tula, which signifies balance, Tula was created to promote guests' inner and outer harmony and well-being. After a Pilates or Hatha- or flow-yoga class?available in a hot or temperate studio?patrons can indulge in spa treatments ranging from herbal body wraps to Ayurvedic facials and massages. Each location evokes a soothing, nature-inspired look, characterized by wood flooring and water fountains. The studios' radiant heating panels, natural cleaning products, and organic spa products also speak to a desire for balance with the earth.
Tula has built a loyal local following for both its yoga classes and spa services. The Tula West location made a list of Best Health magazine writer Kat Tancock's favourite yoga studios. Studio director Isabel Lambert's "meticulous approach" to sugaring was praised by Fashion Magazine in 2010, and the establishment was voted Best Hot Yoga by BlogTo in 2012, along with Toronto's Best Workout Studio by Now.
Celebrity chef David Adjey tells it like it is, which might account for part of his popularity. He has, after all, shared his expertise on Food Network Canada shows such as Restaurant Makeover and The Opener. But his frank personality is only part of what has created his reputation. He's also earned accolades for his deconstructive cooking style, which distills the fundamentals of each ingredient into mouthfuls of intense, subtle flavours. His presentation is impressive, too; each dish is artfully arranged with an eye for colour and design. On his website, Adjey says, “If I wasn’t a Chef, I would have been a florist.”
After graduating at the top of his class from the Culinary Institute of America in New York, and spending a summer assisting chef Guiliano Bugialli in Florence, Adjey made his name at the Relais & Chateaux-accedited San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, California. Now the ambassador for St. Lawrence Market, Adjey works as a restaurant consultant and host for lavish corporate events. He also teaches occasional cooking classes in between mornings spent chatting with local vendors, picking up fresh ingredients for his classes, and using kitchen cleavers for his morning shave.
Reflecting on this childhood, Chris Keating sometimes feels as if he didn't exist. His parents' divorce left him with very little tangible evidence of his formative years, so he's spent his adult life as a photographer making sure children can look back fondly at warm family memories. Chris Keating and his Calgary staff have made this a reality for more than 3,000 families since opening the doors to Towne Photography in 2006. There, the professional photographic crew shoots posed and candid shots of families, children, couples, and babies at picturesque parks or against their studio backdrops, and they also snap triumphant graduate portraits, intimate prenatal shots, and provocative passport pics that make border crossing a breeze. Their ironclad guarantee allows unsatisfied clients to request reshoots, reprints, or resizing on all photographs, and they vow to remake or recapture any artwork that sustains damage over the years. Chris also takes his photographic knowledge on the road to conduct Betterphoto Workshops across the United States and Canada, teaching novice photographers how to artistically preserve their most precious memories.
If you recognize most of the faces on E. Fulcher Group’s website, it’s because the agency has had great success in landing its students jobs in its half a century of training actors and models. Due to its successful alumni and membership in elite talent-agent organizations, the company has been lauded with myriad accolades, including a recommendation from the International Modeling and Talent Association.
Now serving as both an agency and talent school, E. Fulcher Group hosts modelling, acting, and auditioning classes led by industry professionals who’ve had success booking top gigs. The intensive courses span up to six weeks in length, covering basic acting skills, how to be comfortable and natural on camera, and the statistically best cookies to ply casting crews with during auditions. While students are in the school’s training programs, they can audition for any of Fulcher Agency’s open-call casting sessions for commercials, films, music videos, and print ads.
How does an old glass factory become a must-book venue in Toronto Life's annual wedding guide? 99 Sudbury’s owners would say, give it a makeover. They swapped the factory’s noisy machines for elegant furnishings, repurposed three sections of the building, and turned the straggling ghosts into coat checkers. The three sections they repurposed include a baroque lounge area, an art gallery with 17-foot ceilings, and a plush loft space aptly named the Glass Factory.
With the leftover space, they added a health-and-wellness centre and a 30,000-square-foot fitness club that has three weight rooms, two exercise studios, and a spinning loft. It even has a cross-training room with monster-truck tires, fire-truck hoses, kettlebells, punching bags, and TRX-suspension-training gear. The idea behind all of these additions was to create a hip atmosphere where people could socialize and have fun while statistically increasing their ability to lift up their cars when they drop keys under them. The effort helped 99 Sudbury catch the eye of various press outlets, and the Food Network even held its 10th anniversary at the spot.