Give your events a get-fit New Year’s resolution by designing gatherings around health and wellness activities that work out guests’ minds and bodies while also feeding the social soul.
Here’s a cross-section of fitness-savvy venues primed for double-duty training and entertaining:
Material Girl Style
The Space: Who needs to go clubbing when Hard Candy Fitness has all the fun and ambient fixings including stellar get-into-the-groove hits and luxe decor? Nineteen-ft. floor-to-ceiling windows wrap the 42,000 sq. ft. workout and chillin’ space located on the fourth floor of Yonge and Gerrard’s Aura condo tower. Artistic selfies of pop icon and club co-founder Madonna reign over the slick red, black, white, and grey setting.
The Vibe: Intense, mega stylin’, high energy
Fitness Cred: State-of-the-art equipment and programs include signature Addicted to Sweat dance-based classes designed by Madge herself! Among the workout spaces: a spacious group fitness room and one of the city’s largest cycling studios with stadium seating (think corporate spinning face offs!).
Event Swag: The juice bar-lounge is the perfect schmooze area with Madonna-song themed concoctions. Coming soon: A wraparound outdoor terrace for warm-weather fitness sessions and private event rental – great cityscape views!
Added Bonus: Invite the Hard Candy Fitness Performance Team to bust some well-sculpted cardio-dance moves at your event. And, if budget allows, maybe a personal appearance by Madonna.
The Space: White-washed brick and mirrored walls embrace Corktown’s Extension Room, just north of the Distillery District. Pretty chandeliers sparkle throughout the skylight-lit studio’s 4,000-sq.-ft. open-concept space. Gauzy white curtains float across large roll-up loading dock doors; a fanciful silver settee and wing back chair add the perfect touch. A smaller studio sits front of house.
The Vibe: Urban-industrial loft, whimsical, eclectic chic
Fitness Cred: Home of the Extension Method, a unique combination of ballet basics and athletic conditioning created by owner and professional dancer Jennifer Nichols. Hone group agility and coordination with customized teambuilding classes. Pilates and yoga also available.
Event Swag: Extremely multifunctional with a capacity for 100 seated, the Extension Room has seen cocktail receptions, product launches, fashion shows and dinners. In-house clip-on table tops turn pillars into cruiser tables. Other on-site event tools include catering kitchen, professional lighting, sound system and ceiling-mounted projector. Fly ambient aerial acts from the lofty ceiling.
Sport An Event
The Space: Lacrosse is the name of the game at Oakville’s 750-seat Toronto Rock Athletic Centre, one of GTA’s newest sports facilities. Two indoor regulation-size playing surfaces are the official practice grounds of the Toronto Rock Lacrosse Team (pro play is at the Air Canada Centre). Two meeting rooms, a catering kitchen plus enclosed mezzanine overlooking the arenas accommodate events ranging from 60 to 200.
The Vibe: Jock-fuelled, teambuilding sporty, family-friendly
Fitness Cred: Get your lacrosse on! The arena offers equipment, instruction and league play in Canada’s oldest sport and “other” national game. Playing surfaces work for other sports, too, including ball hockey, rugby and soccer. Stoke fitness and team psyche with Toronto Rock fitness coach Sean Holmes who runs The Dynamic Athlete training room on the second floor.
Event Swag: Toronto Rock’s marketing pros will happily hook up corporate and fundraising events with game tickets, merchandise, player appearances and facility tours including the team’s locker room. Transform lacrosse courts into trade show floors, carnival grounds, fundraiser settings, teambuilding space and more.
Added Bonus: Toronto Rock cheerleaders are rah-rah available. Need we say more?
The Space: Ranked number 1 on Travel + Leisure’s 2013 World’s Best Hotel Spas, Spa My Blend by Clarins at the Ritz-Carlton Toronto brings beauty, wellness and fitness together in an upscale oasis. The chic glass-enclosed fifth-floor retreat is light-filled with 16 treatment rooms, a champagne nail bar, relaxation lounges and vitality pools.
The Vibe: Indulgent, relaxing, luxurious
Fitness Cred: Along with the soul-uplifting benefits of manis, pedis and massages, there’s a fitness room tricked out with the latest workout equipment and personal trainers to oversee customized programs. There’s also a private yoga studio for finding group Zen.
Event Swag: Customize spa events for groups of 4 to 50, with guests making the circuit rounds of pampering stations, treatment rooms and pools. Gather in the lovely Urban Sanctuary co-ed lounge for food and refreshments. Wellness-focused talks on health and stress management and instructor-led breathing breaks are also available to onsite conferences and meetings. Great product makes for fab takeaway gift bags.
Added Bonus: Interactive spa sessions include creating your own customized skin cream and scrubs.
Jump To It
The Space: Mix fun and fitness at Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park, where a sea of flat and angled trampolines form one massive jumping space that has you literally bouncing off the walls! Three jumping courts accommodate up to 30 people each, plus three hospitality rooms for pre- and post-bouncing relaxing. Two GTA locations available.
The Vibe: Energetic, fun, bouncy
Fitness Cred: The unique surface ramps up the workout fun factor. Check out group SkyRobics, a low-impact trampoline fitness routine, and high-energy teambuilding games such as 3-D Dodgeball (so you can hit the boss legally!) and SkySlam basketball.
Event Swag: What a great place for teambuilding, league play and corporate family events! Buyout is available for a 110-capacity. Create a SkyOlympics challenge that bring’s the facility’s Foam Zone into play – a bounce from trampoline into a foam pit with a race to climb out of it.
Added Bonus: Sky Zone’s trampoline mats are not only designed for low-impact and all fitness levels, but bouncing apparently burns 600 calories an hour! Where do we sign up?
The Space: Get your om on with 889 Yoga’s three unique locations geared to helping groups embrace physical and mental well-bring. An 8,000-sq. ft. historic Victorian home houses the studio’s flagship, an elegant three-storey urban retreat with four studios flowing through into a central tea lounge. The studio’s Zen masters are also the resident yogis over spectacular spaces within the Thompson Hotel and the Four Seasons Hotel.
The Vibe: Peaceful, rejuvenating, cleansing
Fitness Cred: Custom design group yoga classes with an emphasis on stretching, breathing and de-stressing to heighten focus and concentration. On-site spa and naturopathic services shift well-being to the next holistic level.
Event Swag: Co-owner Christine Russell is a champion of taking corporate and teambuilding events out of the typical party box and putting them into a zone that ignites energy and spirit through yoga and meditation. Past events in 889 Yoga spaces have included product launches, readings, art exhibits, fundraisers and receptions.
Added Bonus: Outdoor yoga and healthy detox martinis on the Thompson Hotel’s third-floor deck.