This One-Stop Wellness Hotspot in Toronto Tends to All Your Feel-Good Needs
It’s more than just a place to get your sweat on.
What is Sweat and Tonic?
Picture this: A place where you can run, box, weight-train, spin, and do yoga, all under one roof, and also have a healthy bite to eat, get a facial, engage in a private meditation session, hang out with friends, shoot off a few emails, and get ready après-sweat for wherever else your day may take you (should there be any more time left in your day). What you should be picturing is Sweat and Tonic, Toronto’s new (and first) wellness hub.
Founded by David Ingram, S&T was created to make working out more convenient and help build a community. “I felt there was a really big gap in the market—I wanted to put all my favourite classes in one building,” says Ingram. “The other big piece that I felt was missing was that every space I went to was really just designed to get in and out of the class, but there was no space for you to actually engage in any after-class activity.”
On top of a HIIT, ride, and yoga studio, S&T offers a hangout space, which can also be used as a workspace, as well as a café with ample seating. “For millennials who are quite tribal, Sweat and Tonic is a place for them to go to with friends, have fun, get a sweat but enjoy it and have the experience that makes them want to come back,” says Ingram. “It’s a much cheaper model than trying to do personal training, and it’s a much more fun model than going to the gym on your own.”
S&T also features a treatment room for facials and massages, a meditation pod, and a sauna, making it a well-rounded wellness destination.
Why is everyone obsessed with it?
Aside from tending to all your feel-good needs in one spot, Sweat and Tonic offers high-quality machines and services. More on that down below, but another reason everyone’s talking (and snapping) about it is because it’s stunning. The exterior boasts red brick, a heritage build, and expansive windows, and the interior features a soothing colour palette of cream, grey, bronze, and subtle hits of jewel tones. The building was once home to Toronto’s first cocktail lounge (in 1947), which featured an Art Deco feel, and S&T pays tribute to it through the curved architecture and bronze accents.
Why HIIT, ride, and yoga?
Wondering why barre didn’t make the cut? Ingram says it’s still highly possible it’ll be added to the workout menu, but he wanted to launch with the classes that have had the highest growth in the fitness realm. “Ride, yoga, and HIIT are the ones people gravitate to and enjoy most,” says Ingram. Offering these three classes in one space gives you the opportunity to experiment with your workout routine and try other classes. “It’s not good for the body to train on just one activity,” says Ingram.” It needs the variety for different muscle groups.” Each class targets different muscle groups, so collectively, they give you a full-body workout.
(Here’s why you should add HIIT to your workout routine.)
What’s the best class to take at Sweat and Tonic?
The Triple Sweat. It’s a 90-minute class made up of 30-minutes in each studio—first ride, then HIIT, then yoga. “When you’re finished your 90 minutes, you’ve had a great workout, a great sweat—your endorphins are off the charts—and a great stretch to make sure you leave feeling nice and healthy,” says Ingram. The class is offered every Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon and fills up quickly.
(Interested in taking the class? Make sure not to make these spinning mistakes.)
What’s so special about the HIIT and ride classes at Sweat and Tonic?
The studios feature Technogym equipment, only found in high-end fitness centres around the world and are ideal for serious athletes and Olympic-training. The equipment features special technology that connects with the Mywellness app so users can connect it to their profile, personalize their training, and track their health stats, progress, and results.
As for the atmosphere, the HIIT studio was inspired by Barry’s Bootcamp, with its dim lighting, which helps you stay focused on your own workout. The ride studio has a club-like feel with its disco lights and has been known to play music from the nightlife days of yore.
(Check out the best exercises for your fitness program.)
What’s so special about the yoga classes?
The yoga studio is run by Chi Junky, a popular yoga studio in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood. Founder and Owner, Rachelle Wintzen says Chi Junky yoga classes have three signature features: Essential oil massages, enthralling music, and full service, in which premium yoga props and essentials are gathered and pre-set at a station for you.
S&T’s yoga studio can fit 49 people, which may sound overwhelming, but the many bodies end up being empowering. “When the classes are bigger and everyone is moving and breathing together, there’s nothing like that energy—it’s explosive,” says Wintzen. That energy is complemented by the space’s soothing aesthetic. The design was inspired by that of a popular fitness program in New York called “The Class” (which can also be found in Vancouver), which has a cream, white, and bronze colour palette, to create a clean, calm space.
As for which class to take, that depends on how you’re feeling. Tired and need to take it easy? Try Zen Vibes Only. Cozy up with blankets, slip on a lavender-scented eye mask, and you’ll be guided through just a few moves that’ll tame your mind and help you relax. “The class is really my gift to the city-dweller,” says Wintzen, “as it nourishes the nervous system and restores you.”
Want a distraction from your thoughts or to take out your workday frustrations? Try the class that gets your heart rate up—Sweat Flow. It’s comprised of yoga moves to the beat of hip hop music for a fun, liberating experience. “For me, when I do the class, I can get lost in the music and that almost becomes my meditation,” says Wintzen.
(Did you know music can significantly improve your workout performance?)
What about the food and drinks options?
Just like the rest of the offerings at Sweat and Tonic, the food and drink options are healthy and will leave you feeling good. Nutbar, which you may be familiar with as it has two other locations in Toronto, has a permanent space on the main floor, and offers a range of organic treats including a kale caesar salad made with sunflower seed-based dressing, a mango-orange-turmeric smoothie, a carrot cake bar, and a numilk-chaga latte.
(Want to make your own nutty treats? Check out our roundup of energy bites, balls, and bars.)
Tell me about the locker rooms.
“We wanted a boutique brand, and we knew there were a lot of spaces that offered the basics,” says Ingram. The women’s change room includes plenty of lockers and space to get ready and showered, and a series of vanities for makeup application and hair styling (and, yes, there are Dyson hairdryers, which BH editors are obsessed with). The space is stocked with 100 percent natural skin-care products—all from Canadian brand Consonant Skincare—including shampoo, conditioner, and body wash in the showers, and face cream, body lotion, and sunscreen at the vanities.
And what about the facials?
Familiar with Consonant Skincare? It’s a Toronto-based company that offers ultra-clean, effective products. The brand has received awards for their formulas and have impressive results from clinical studies. Example: Their HydrExtreme is a hydrating serum proven to out-perform hyaluronic acid. “We did a third-party double-blind clinical study and even after just 24 hours it significantly out-performed the leading hydration-boosting serum, which is a SkinCeuticals product, and pure hyaluronic acid serum,” says Kristina Breckon, Vice President, Marketing and Operations at Consonant Skincare.
Available at Sweat and Tonic is Consonant Express—three different 30-minute facial treatments, featuring their award-winning products. “Relax and Recover” starts with a five-minute back massage to release tension from your body, followed by a 25-minute facial massage that also includes the neck and décolleté. “Rejuvenate and Glow” starts with a back massage and a scrub to clear up any congestion, followed by an exfoliation and massage for the face and hands. “Detox and Sculpt” is the most popular—it’s all about facial cupping, so it shifts lymphatic fluid out of your face to sculpt it and help move toxins so your body can flush them out. “There’s no downtime,” says Breckon, referring to all three express facials. “You can come in at lunch or before a presentation, if you just want to amp up your glow.”
Registered massage treatments can also be booked in the same treatment room.
What is the meditation pod all about?
Enter this dome-like escape and you have a self-controlled meditation experience, in which you choose your music, intention, and format of meditating, for a 20-minute private session. “There’s a huge growth in trying to mentally train the mind to be healthy and fit,” says Ingram, “so I think it’s a good complement to the treatment space.”
Before you go into the pod, check out these meditation mistakes that could actually be causing you more stress.
How do I get to Sweat and Tonic?
Sweat and Tonic is located just outside the Eaton Centre—at Yonge and Shuter—making it TTC accessible and oh-so-convenient to pop into before or after work.
Next, check out other hot wellness classes in Toronto.