The best wellness destinations in Bloor-Yorkville
Most Torontonians can already count on Bloor-Yorkville as the ultimate neighbourhood for scoring designer gear or indulging in sashimi and champagne on a lush terrace. But recently, the neighbourhood’s been transforming into a different kind of hub: one that’s all about stimulating the body and mind. Here are ten of our favourite wellness destinations in the area, which are guaranteed to get you feeling strong and serene.
Where to sweat it out: SoulCycle
SoulCycle brought its pioneering brand of peppy, sweaty, sing-along spinning to the Yorkville neighbourhood in the summer of 2017. It’s the perfect outlet for Torontonians who like to ride to the beat of top 40 hits, peddling in sync with the rest of the class while listening to instructors spout inspirational mantras, like “It doesn’t matter how you start, what matters is how you choose to finish,” or, “There is no change without challenge.” For an added adrenaline boost, the location regularly runs playful themed classes like “Kanye West VS. Taylor Swift.” Yorkville Village, 55 Avenue Rd., 647-559-5080, soul-cycle.com.
Where to get zen: Mindset Brain Gym
Mindset is one of a few new meditation studios in the city, and aims to build mental and emotional strength, rather than physical stamina. The soothing space opened at Bay and Cumberland in the fall of 2018, and has a meditation room with colourful LED light panels and space for 25 ergonomic bolsters. Meditators don Muse headbands while an instructor guides them through hour-long classes, which can focus on topics ranging from promoting focus and creativity to dealing with stressful situations. After, they can study the data from the headbands and see exactly how much their mind was wandering through the sessions. 62 Cumberland St., 647-748-6463, mindsetbraingym.com.
Where to take a hardcore class: Equinox
There’s a reason why Equinox Yorkville is one of the most coveted gym memberships in the city. It’s certainly one of the swankiest spaces to work out, with a full-service spa, boutique filled with designer athletic wear and dedicated studios for cycling, yoga, pilates and group classes. They also offer over 115 creative classes a week—making it the ultimate gym for anyone who suffers from workout boredom. There’s Precision Run, which guides members through timed intervals on a treadmill, Trilogy Barre, a ballet-inspired class using their barre system and resistance bands, The Cut, a high-intensity boxing-inspired workout, and many more. At the end of every session, members can refresh with chilled eucalyptus towels and Kiehl’s products in the showers. Yorkville Village, 55 Avenue Rd., 416-961-8400, equinox.com.
Where to get the best facial: Victoria Radford
Victoria Radford has been doling out beauty treatments in Yorkville since 2015, when she opened her first studio in a Victorian semi. Her new sanctuary inside Yorkville Village is super-popular among Toronto socialites looking for the perfect spray-tan, luscious waves or photo-ready makeup. But it’s her signature facial, called the Hollywood North, that’s given her a slew of loyal customers who won’t trust their skin to anyone else. In the treatment, she uses a combination of the buzziest LA-inspired technologies, like low-frequency sound waves, electrical currents and vitamin infusions with a Nanotech Wand, which lets ingredients penetrate the skin at a much deeper level. The sessions are finished off with her 24-karat Gold Hydrogel Mask, cooled to a freezing temperature to reduce inflammation. Trust us when we say it’s worth the $250 price tag. Skincare products including the 24-karat mask, a refreshing facial scrub and brightening eye cream are also available for purchase. Yorkville Village, 55 Avenue Rd., 416-399-3704, victoriaradford.com.
Where to cop cult skincare products: Holt Renfrew Beauty Bar
Earlier this year, as part of the Bloor Street flagship’s ongoing $10 million facelift effort, Holts opened up a new 12,000-square-foot beauty hall on the concourse level, devoted solely to skincare and fragrances. The sleek space, designed by Kramer Design Group and Gensler, is mostly dedicated to interactive brand experiences: there’s a clean beauty area, which features buzzy brands like Tata Harper, Grown Alchemist and Verso, and separate mini shops for cult beauty brands like La Mer, Jo Malone and La Prairie. A beauty studio lets shoppers try out products during the day, and will be used for master classes in the evening. 50 Bloor St. W., 416-922-2333, holtrenfrew.com.
Where to get primped for a night out: Her Majesty’s Pleasure
The first Her Majesty’s Pleasure opened on King Street back in 2014, and took the mani-pedi experience to the next level. The impossibly chic space was designed by Drake Hotel designer John Tong, and features upscale patio furniture, glowing neon signs and a central marble bar, where groups of gal-pals can order custom champagne cocktails or cold-pressed juices as they get dolled-up before hitting the nearby bars. The concept is coming to Yorkville this summer, and will offer blowouts, facials, waxing and mani-pedis in an equally pretty and socially conducive environment. 102-108 Yorkville Ave., hermajestyspleasure.ca.
Where to train like a celeb: Barry’s Bootcamp
Barry’s Bootcamp was founded in West Hollywood in 1998 (before the rise of bespoke workout studios), and the brand now offers its signature class at over 40 locations around the world—including the just-opened Barry’s in Yorkville. It’s notoriously hard: participants alternate between sprinting on a treadmill and rushing through high-intensity weight exercises. Like other locations, the Yorkville gym is bathed in a dim red light, and their motto, “Work out (hard) and be nice to people,” is on full display. After rinsing off with Oribe products, you can re-fuel with a protein-packed smoothie from their Fuel Bar on the way out. 100 Bloor St. W., 647-812-1488, barrysbootcamp.com.
Where to balance your chakras: Soul 7
Soul 7 has been peddling its distinct brand of mindful healing technologies from a lower-level unit on Cumberland since 2015. After losing his wife to cancer, founder and former lawyer Bob Berman set out to discover alternative, neuro-scientific therapies that could help prevent the root cause of diseases. The result is a super-calming centre that offers a range of sound, light and electro-magnetic frequency technologies to help balance the nervous system and boost the immune system. After an initial bio-feedback session, clients are prescribed a combination of treatments, ranging from infra-red heated jade stone massages to light-infused meditations or sessions on a pulsating electro-magnetic table. 100-17 Yorkville Ave., 416-847-6999, soul7.ca.
Where to get vitamin infusions: The IV Lounge
The IV Lounge, led by naturopath Dr. Amauri Caversan, is where Yorkville residents can go to get customized supplement mixtures streamed directly into their blood. The treatments are popular if you have low energy, are recovering from an illness or simply want to see a glow. They offer over 20 blends: the Ultimate Anti-Aging Infusion smooths and brightens skin from the inside out, the Super Virus Fighter stimulates the immune system to shorten the length of colds and flu, and if you stayed out way too late the night before, the After Party blend can rehydrate and detoxify the body to instantly cure your hangover. For new patients, Dr. Caversan will perform bloodwork to determine your individual needs, and tailor the treatments accordingly. 1200 Bay St., Unit 1102, 647-549-3484, theivlounge.ca.
Where to stock up on CBD oil: Ameri
Cannabis stores are now legal in Toronto, and Yorkville became home to the second licenced location in the city earlier this spring. Ameri took over a former illegal dispensary at Yonge and Cumberland, renovating the interior and decking out the space in cannabis-themed decals. Inside, they sell flower, pre-rolled joints, capsules and oil from brands like Tokyo Smoke, Alta-Vie and Aurora. The neighbourhood’s wellness buffs without an intention to get high can get their hands on CBD oil, which can reduce pain and inflammation in the body without any psychotropic effects. 20 Cumberland St., amerihempire.com.
For more information on health and wellness in Bloor-Yorkville visit bloor-yorkville.com.