It’s my home away from home. Toronto is where I was born and raised, and continue to go back to every so often – especially during the summer months when commuting to the cottage.
Along with seeing family and friends, I make the most of my visits with some shopping, healthy eating, beauty touch-ups and whatever else I can squeeze into my schedule. Here are some of my favourite spots:
For the city’s best mix of classes, guaranteed to make you sweat, no one does it better than Track Fitness. I’ve been a regular client of its owner and fitness trainer extraordinaire, Larry Track, over the years, and continue to go back every chance I get. Whether I do Circuit 60 class or a private with Larry, I know I’m in for a hard (hard!) workout. And when it’s over, I feel totally legit. Like stronger, leaner and better than ever.
For mega salad bowls and the best quinoa onion rings ever (!), I always make time for multiple visits to Fresh on Bloor or Eglinton. It’s an institution for healthy eaters – yes, but I’ve yet to take a non-vegan eater there who didn’t love it just as much. Including my meat-eating husband who polishes off the burger with sweet potato fries every time. That good.
I’ve shopped many book stores in the US and Europe, however none compare to Indigo. Always merchandised so beautifully, I could spend hours browsing the latest titles, home and gift items, journals and stationery. I’ll often take my daughters as they love it just as much – same for our Nanny who thinks it’s the bomb – and she’s American! More often, we’ll leave with bags full – including “Heather’s Picks”. When I’ve read novels before they make her list, I know I’m on the right track.
Forgive me, but the traffic in Toronto is enough to drive me crazy. Same for the drivers who – heaven forbid, let another car in. When I’m in Florida and my kids hear someone angrily honk, they’ll say “must be from Toronto”. Enough said. To our rescue, the TTC! It’s by far the easiest, fastest way to get around the city. Not to mention no parking tickets to deal with later.
Along with the flower markets along Avenue Road at Davenport, my favourite arrangements come from Skye Flowers. Founded by Skye Katz, she creates the most sensational floral designs. What’s more, her customer service never lets me down. I can literally call her on the day, and she’ll get it done beautifully.
For highlights, low lights and everything in-between, no one does colour like Douglas at Sal Leonetti Salon in Yorkville. I adore this man and his talent. (Of course, he’s a yogi too). That said, whether you go with Douglas or someone else, the staff here are tops, so you’re in good hands no matter what.
For the latest in beauty treatments and skincare products, makeover magic and more, GEE Beauty is the place. A loyal fan for years, if I’m not at their Miami location, I’ll make time to hit their flagship in Rosedale to stock-up on some favourites (Super Elixir, Skinceuticals), get a glowy-facial, or my brows cleaned-up. So good is this team, they’ll even run out your purchases and save you the hassle of parking.
I love to shop, but browse for hours? Not a chance. Thankfully, I have my go-to Sandra at TNT who’s been my style guide for years. She’s a total pro at knowing what I like (boho with edge) and won’t touch (high waisted denim). With or without a personal shopper, for the best collection of designer brands like Isabel Marant, Vince and See By Chloe, TNT remains a Toronto fixture, worth visiting every time.
Some people like to venture out to new restaurants constantly. Whereas, I prefer a sure-thing. And precisely why you’ll find me at Sotto Sotto for dinner nights out. I’ve been more times than I can count, and will continue to go back for their impeccable service and ridiculously fresh, Italian fare. Salads of arugula, grilled rappini, and grilled fish of any kind are my favourites. The kids always make room for the tiramisu – ma certo!
More often than not, I’m always on-the-go while in Toronto. Which, while fun, also means I may not get a chance to eat clean-clean all the time. To my rescue: a healthy juice or tonic from the Greenhouse Juice Company. With a location inside Track Fitness, or the original in Rosedale, I’m a huge fan of their ridiculously delicious Sgt. Pepper blend, however their nut milks are the bomb too.