The chocolatiers at Chocolate Tales love a sweet bit a cocoa, but they love bringing people together even more. That's why they created the Chocolate Social, an innovative event that combines the hands-on fun of chocolate making with the laid-back ambiance of a happy-hour bar. The vision for this new social experience comes from David, the founder of Chocolate Tales. Inspired by his time in Europe, he brought back the continent's shared love of quality chocolates, social camaraderie, and a few stiff drinks before adding his own, unique spin.
During these two-hour sessions?held at bars and restaurants throughout the GTA?groups loosen up with a drink and chocolate pairing, sipping on wine or cocktails in between bites of delicious confections. Then, they listen to enthusiastic chocolatiers share their knowledge of generating fine, cocoa-based creations as well as tasty tidbits of chocolate history. Finally, it's time to get hands-on; participants bond while creating impressive sweets such as hand-rolled truffles.
Yoga Tree started with a single studio and has now grown into a yoga empire, with five studios in Toronto, Richmond Hill, and Vaughan. Styles such as hot yoga, vinyasa, hatha, and ashtanga form the roots and branches of these Yoga Tree locations, where approximately 90 instructors now teach hundreds of classes every week. Beyond the classes themselves, each studio houses amenities such as lockers, rain showers, and eco-friendly features including energy-efficient lighting, reclaimed wood furnishings, and locally sourced air. Also located within Yoga Tree is Pekoe Kombucha Bar, which offers up bubbly kombuca, a fermented cold-served tea rich with probiotics and other nutrients, both on draft and in bottles.
NASCAR SpeedPark thrills speedsters of all ages with five go-kart tracks and a variety of indoor and outdoor rides, plus an arcade, laser-tag arena, climbing wall, and indoor playground all operated on a ticket or wristband system. Race courses include The Qualifier, a 100-foot starter track for kids at least 40 inches tall (two tickets), and the Mini Motor Speedway, where drivers at least 64 inches tall and 16 years old drive 5/8-scale Sprint Cup cars (five tickets). Other tracks include the polished slick-track Slidewayz (three tickets) and the Family 500 (three tickets) pairing parents and tykes in double-seater go-karts before they begin discussions about career choices. For non-racing recreation, The Pro-Tow (one ticket) extinguishes sugar highs and cures hiccups with a breathtaking drop appropriate for kids at least 36 inches tall (smaller children may ride with adult). Further fun includes the 1,500-square-foot laser tag arena (two tickets) and climbing wall with four different climbing experiences (two tickets). The unlimited-ride wristband is valid for one day, but buyers may use the 20-ticket option over multiple visits and can combine multiple Groupons for more tickets.
The instructors at Spin Kicks are lifelong fitness enthusiasts who have experience in pursuits ranging from marathon running to competitive sports to, of course, cycling. Master Scarsellone, for example, has represented Canada at Taekwon-Do World Championships in such places as Pyongang and St. Peterborough, Russia. The team brings its enthusiasm to the members at Spin Kicks, leading cycling classes while perched atop RealRyder stationary bikes that tilt and turn as if cruising down mountain paths. The realistic bike movements activate core muscles as students pedal in rhythm and teachers encourage them to go faster and push themselves harder. In addition to the indoor classes, the instructors lead outdoor cycling clubs in warmer months, as well as manage a bike shop that treats bicycles to repairs, tune-ups, and tire-tread readings.
Spin Kicks also offer Cardio Combat?a workout that combines martial arts with cardio fitness. Classes focus on strength training, abdominal exercises, and stretching, with reported benefits including weight loss, stress relief, increased stamina, and muscle gain. No prior martial arts experience is required to sign up, and the course serves as a notable counterpoint to the cycling classes.
The airy, colourful interior of Real Fitness For Women helps impart a fun atmosphere echoed by the attitudes of trainers and trainees alike. Whether bending in a hot-yoga class, sipping a healthy refreshment at the juice bar, tanning, or weightlifting a treadmill, visitors to the sun-lit facility find what they need to feel great.
Sustainable lifestyle choices, environmental consciousness, and building a sense of community: these are a few of the pillars upon which Moksha Yoga is built. The architects are Jessica Robertson and Ted Grand, who drew from years of training under yoga masters such as Bikram Choudhury and Acharya Yogana before co-founding Moksha Yoga. Their focus is on clearing the mind of distractions, detoxifying the body through sweat, and building powerful core musculature that can help practitioners overcome everyday obstacles from managing arthritis or stress to sliding out of tight crawlspaces.
Moksha Yoga's more than 70 studios operate under the caring supervision of a professional teaching staff. Their diverse backgrounds not only include years of yoga study, but also apprenticeships under Nobel Peace Prize winners and careers with Amnesty International. Both instructors and students are encouraged to share their positive philosophy off the mat as well: the company supports several charitable endeavours, and its studios are powered by renewable energy sources.