When people hear the phrase "water aerobics," they might envision a dull scene of swimmers lifting buoyant weights and doing the "YMCA" at sloth speed. At Progress Fitness & Aquatic Centre, however, the 25-metre pool acts as a stage for nine high-intensity classes, in which students battle water's relentless resistance. Students can slip into suspension belts to rehearse deep-water running, or groove to swing-dance tunes as they twirl against the H2O molecules. The gym embraces the entertainment afforded by variety outside of the pool as well—its group studio hosts workouts that range from cardio-kickboxing drills to Hatha yoga stretches. In the equipment area, cycles, treadmills, and rowers whir beneath mounted televisions and free weights challenge muscles at squat racks and benches.
The centre's personal trainers and veteran swim coaches take on clients of all ages and abilities. They teach Red Cross swimming lessons for children—who progress from AquaTots to AquaQuest and, finally, AquaLawSchool—and craft custom programs for adults. An on-site massage therapist and a travel agent endorse relaxation between exercise bouts.
Omega Fit Club's amenities evoke scenes from science fiction movies. The facility is lined with Technogym cardio and strength equipment, and a futuristic Kinesis wall challenges fitness seekers with more than 250 distinct exercises centred around working against gravity's resistance.
For all its high-tech toys, however, the gym is neither cold nor robotic?its team of trainers support members as they sweat through group exercise classes and one-on-one sessions. Members can also find relaxation inside an infrared sauna or on a hydrotherapy bed, which buoys physiques on a dry membrane while water jets stamp out muscular knots.
Life Yoga's passionate instructors share their expertise in a 1,200-square-foot studio with spacious, spa-inspired shower rooms and a practice space embellished with handmade fabric wallpaper. Students burn calories and release mental stress in small classes with helpful one-on-one attention: gentle Restorative Yoga, energizing Vinyasa Flow, and Hatha Fundamentals are just a few options. In the studio's lobby area, local businesses such as Rhubarb Paper Co. display their wares.
At Green Door Vitamins, shoppers can peruse an array of nutritional vitamins, fitness supplements, and beauty products chosen for their health-enhancing properties. The shop's multitudinous multivitamins include Natural Factors' Super Multi, which packs a day's worth of nutrients and four suitcases into one pill ($18.99 for 90 tabs), as well as offerings from Greens Plus composed of nutrient-rich green things such as vegetables, herbs, and Loch Ness–monster extract ($19.99 for 60 tabs). Fish-oil soft gels from Carlson Labs come packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids ($18.99 for 1,000 mg bottle), and InterActive Nutrition's chocolate-flavoured whey protein powder can assist in body bulkification ($26.99 for 340 g). Green Door Vitamins' spectrum expands to nonswallowable products, such as Weleda Skin Food, an ultramoisturizing skin cream that hydrates parched pores and irrigates epidermal fields using natural and organic ingredients ($17.99 for 2.5 oz).
In 2005, Joey Simon began 4Cats Arts Studio in the basement of her historic Victoria Island home after discovering a natural passion for inspiring children after years spent nurturing the creative gifts of her son. Today, more than 60 studios across North America bear the 4Cats moniker, named for a Barcelona café frequented by Pablo Picasso and his bizarrely shaped contemporaries. The life and work of influential artists such as [Andy Warhol] (http://gr.pn/w2PaKy) act as a springboard for schooling students on Pop art’s screen printing and ink blot techniques, and students in Edgar Degas workshops yield "movement paintings" with acrylics, pastels, charcoal, and chalk. Birthday parties for children and events for adults can blend abstract paint-splattering, rousing instruction, and lively debates on what makes a pipe truly a pipe.