Three Top-Tier Spots in Toronto to Level Up Your Wellness Routine

The city’s new fitness and wellness venues.

Sweat & Tonic

From a modern new hot/cold-therapy hub and a sleek fitness-centre mecca to an intense Pilates-inspired workout from Australia, there are three new players on Toronto’s wellness scene.







Alter, the newest hot-and-cold-therapy studio in Toronto, was launched by four friends as a modern, community-oriented space on a cozy strip of College Street. At Alter, people can build a consistent practice of hot/cold therapy, touted for its many health benefits from reducing inflammation to helping relieve muscle pain.

Inside are two showers and an ice bucket for rinsing off preplunge, a 30-person aspen-wood sauna with three levels of seating, and two square ice baths, one set at 2-5°C and the other at a more accessible 5-10°C.

In addition to  self-guided sessions, Alter offers a class centred on the Finnish concept of sisu, which roughly means resilience and grit. The class involves two cycles of 12 minutes in the sauna and three-minute sessions in the ice bath, during which instructor Queenie incorporates sound healing by playing a swinging chime and Tibetan singing bowl.





Sweat & Tonic – The Well




At the modern new multiuse space The Well, a pretty café called Tonic Bar welcomes visitors to Sweat & Tonic’s second location in the city. Through an arched hallway complete with infinity mirrors, an expansive 25,000-square-foot space with 20-foot ceilings offers more than 200 workout classes weekly.

First, there’s the multilevel Ride Studio, with space for three instructors on a podium and a state-of-the-art lighting and sound system that makes classes feel like a nightclub. There’s also the futuristic-looking HIIT Studio with FXD benches set up with weights, slam balls, and kettle bells, Technogym Skillrun treadmills, and an open floor with Aqua punching bags.

Taking things in a more Zen direction, the infrared-heated yoga studio has floor-to-ceiling windows offering a stunning view of the city. Practising in this immersive space is meant to help tapping into the mind/body/soul connection. But it’s not all about group fitness here: those who enjoy working out one-on-one with a personal trainer can book in too.

Like the original Yonge Street location, this new Sweat & Tonic also houses Tonic House, an aesthetic coworking space from 9-5 p.m.





Strong Pilates



This bright Little Italy studio is Canada’s first Strong Pilates location (the concept hails from Australia), and a second one will open this summer in Liberty Village. It offers four types of classes: Body (which combines reformer, row or bike, and resistance exercises), Loaded (heavier weights and springs and a focus on upper or lower body), Sweat (cardio-focused), and Pilates Only (a dynamic version of traditional Pilates).

First-timers are advised to start with the original Strong Body class and a Rowformer Class. Afterward, with the refreshing cold eucalyptus-infused towel in hand, they move into the mobility space for cool-down stretches on the mats, where they’ll also find foam rollers and a video a stretch routine designed for the class they’ve just completed playing on a loop.