New Stores Opening Fall 2017

 

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Yorkdale Mall, Toronto

Sporting Life Set to Open Store in Yorkdale Mall and Second Location in Calgary’s Market Mall.

December , 2016 – TORONTO – Canada’s most prestigious sporting goods, lifestyle and “fash-letics” retailer Sporting Life announces a new store at Yorkdale Mall and its second western Canadian location in Calgary as part of its continued national expansion.

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Brand Spotlight: Fred Perry

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“I was generally regarded as the best dressed player of my time…” -Fred Perry

Today – May 18 – marks the birthday of a British sporting icon and the founder of one of our favourite tennis brands. Fred Perry would have been 108 had he been alive today! In the early-mid 1900s, Fred Perry was one of the best tennis players in the world. We want to honour his birthday by shining a spotlight on his wildly successful brand that we love so much.

The Man

After growing up in Stockport, England and learning to play tennis on the public courts near his family’s home, Fred Perry went on to be a world tennis champion – starting with table tennis! Perry was the world table tennis champion at the age of 19 before making the switch to lawn tennis. He went on to win Wimbledon not once, but three times in a row.

1928 – World Table Tennis Champion
1929 – World Table Tennis Champion
1933 – US Open Champion
1934 – Australian Open Champion, US Open Champion, Wimbledon Champion
1935 – Australian Open Champion, French Open Champion, US Open Champion, Wimbledon Champion
1936 – US Open Champion, Wimbledon Champion

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“Oh, and he created an instantly recognizable and enduring piece of British clothing.”

The Shirt
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The original Fred Perry polo was the M3. It came in one colour – classic tennis white – and is a pure representation of Fred Perry. Perry designed and wore the shirt himself, proving its wearability on and off the court in 1952. Fred Perry polos have a classic and clean fit; a simple, streamlined silhouette proudly made in Leicester, England.

The twin tipped M12 came next. This was the first (but not the last) shirt to feature the signature Fred Perry twin tipping. While Perry’s shirt was always fashionable, this is the shirt that took the brand from courts to streets.

The logo for the Fred Perry brand is the laurel wreath, based on the original Wimbledon symbol. This brand and symbol went on to inspire not only tennis players, but fans and people from all sorts of communities; from musicians to film makers. The laurel wreath became a part of British subculture in the 1950s and has been adopted (but never forced) by every subsequent generation. “The uniform of the non-uniform”, the laurel wreath represents belonging without losing individuality. (via fredperry.com)

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Brand Spotlight – Cannondale

Founded in 1971 above a pickle factory and named after train station across the road, Cannondale has emerged as the leading brand for all things cycling. From top notch innovations to a relentless commitment to being the best, there is a reason that Cannondale dominates the industry! Read on to learn more about this essential cycling brand and browse some of the best urban bikes available at Sporting Life this season.

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The History of Cannondale

1971 – Inception of their first cycling product – the legendary Bugger, first bicycle towed trailer

1983 – The first production oversized aluminum frame. The lightweight efficient stiffness of this frame set a new standard for performance and kickstarted the era of aluminum!

1992 – HeadShok – set a new bar for front suspension performance. The patented technology in the HeadShok carries on in the current model as well as the Lefty fork

1997 – Cannondale became the first US bike manufacturer to sponsor a European Pro Road team(Saeco/Cannondale) who went on to win the Giro d’Italia. This success further proved the superiority of the Cannondale aluminum frame.

2000 – The introduction of the iconic Lefty single-sided front suspension. Lighter, Stiffer, Stronger, Smoother than any fork in the world. True then, true now.

2010 – OverMountain – Ideally suited for the growing Enduro race scene, as the travel, dampening and geometry of the bike can be adjusted to suit climbing or descending.

2013 – The Synapse emerged as the ultimate Endurance Race Bike – it was named “Most Wanted” by Bike Radar in 2013 and “Bike of the Year” by Cycling Plus in 2014.

2016 – The CAAD12 105 Road Bike was named “Bike of the Year” by Cycling Plus.

This Season’s Best Urban Rides

For 2017, the iconic Bad Boy just got Badder. The original urban minimalist bike just got a ground up redesign. Both the Bad Boy 2 and 4 offer a rigid Lefty fork and urban armor, a reflective top tube bumper. New fatter tires on 650b rims are quick but offer greater comfort on harsh urban streets. In addition, the Bad Boy 2 features a light pipe Lefty with cleanly integrated LED lights. Take the city by storm on the Bad Boy!

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Bad Boy 2 Urban Bike
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Bad Boy 4 Urban Bike

For the fitness cyclist or downtown commuter, hop on the Quick this spring! All new for 2017, the Quick features 360 degree reflectivity, making it perfect for urban rides. Its SAVE micro suspension features have been updated to build more comfort and compliance in the frame, and with supremely stable, confident handling, the Quick is the perfect tool to get fit around the city.

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Quick 3 Disc W Fitness Bike

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Quick 3 Disc Fitness Bike
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Get Race Ready, Ottawa!

You’ve trained hard, raised money for an amazing cause, and it’s time for the Sporting Life 10k! With less than a week to go, we’re sharing our last minute tips to help you get race ready. From the right gear to day-of tips, we’ve got you covered, Ottawa.

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Packet Pick-Up

The first (and probably most important!) step to getting ready for the 10k is to pick up your race packet! Come to our Lansdowne Park store at 125 Marche Way on Friday May 12 9:30am-9:00pm or Saturday May 13 9am-9pm. You need to get your bib in order to be able to run. Come early to pick up your bib and shirt! You will need your bib number, which will be emailed to you on Wednesday May 10. Please bring a piece of photo ID or printout of your registration confirmation email. Can’t make it? You can send a friend to pick up your gear for you! All they need is your bib number(s). They will also need an e-mail stating that they can pick up your bib and shirt on your behalf or a copy of your email registration confirmation.

Plan Your Day

Be sure to have a plan on race day! The route starts and finishes on Colonel By Drive, at Echo Avenue, just west of the Bank Street Bridge. All participants will access the start/finish line area from Echo Avenue off of Bank Street.

Arrive EARLY! Plan to arrive at least one hour prior to the start. Remember there will be 2,500 people in this event, so everything from toilets to driving will take longer than normal. There is limited parking at Lansdowne Park. We strongly recommend that you carpool, cab it or take the OC Transpo options. If you want to check your bag, you can do so at the Horticultural Building at Lansdowne Park from 6:30-7:30am. You can check your bag for free, however a donation of $2 per bag is suggested with all proceeds going to CHEO.

Visit the Sporting Life 10k website for a full rundown of race day!

Gear Up

With Saucony sponsoring the Sporting Life 10k, you don’t need to look to any other brand for your perfect running outfit! It is best to be prepared with layers and technical running attire. A water repellent outer layer is crucial for a morning run – 10k won’t be fun if you’re soaked! If you decide not to wear the official Sporting Life 10k tee, be sure to pick a top with moisture wicking fabric. Tights or shorts should be breathable and comfortable as well. While you may not want to get brand new shoes a week before the race, there is still time to break in the perfect new pair of runners! The Triumph ISO3 provides enhanced energy underfoot with an increased EVERUN landing zone, while the ISOFIT System delivers a dynamic fit that adapts to your stride.

Be Prepared

It is important to fuel your body before and after you run. It is recommended to eat about 1.5 hours before your run to give your body time to digest and provide your body with needed energy. Fuel tired muscles with our GU energy drink mixes, gel and chews created for daily training. They contain carbohydrates to keep you fueled, electrolytes that aid in hydration and amino acids that reduce mental fatigue and decrease muscle damage. Try Honey Stinger energy chews and waffles for an energy boost on the go.

Hydration is just as important as being well-fueled. Drink up to 20oz of water prior to your run and continue to drink water as you run to avoid dehydration. There are hydration stations along the route, but if you are concerned about getting thirsty, there are plenty of hydration packs available to easily carry with you through your run!

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Get Race Ready, Toronto!

You’ve trained hard, raised money for an amazing cause, and it’s time for the Sporting Life 10k! With less than a week to go, we’re sharing our last minute tips to help you get race ready. From the right gear to day-of tips, we’ve got you covered, Toronto.

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Packet Pick-Up

The first (and probably most important!) step to getting ready for the 10k is to pick up your race packet! Come to our Yonge Street store at 2665 Yonge Street from Tuesday May 9-Friday May 12 9:30am-9:00pm or Saturday May 13 9am-6pm. You need to get your bib in order to be able to run. Come early to pick up your bib and shirt! You will need your bib number, which will be emailed to you on Monday May 8. Please bring a piece of photo ID or printout of your registration confirmation email. Can’t make it? You can send a friend to pick up your gear for you! All they need is your bib number(s). They will also need an e-mail stating that they can pick up your bib and shirt on your behalf or a copy of your email registration confirmation.

Plan Your Day

Be sure to have a plan on race day! The start line is four blocks south of Sporting Life, 2400 Yonge St (at Yonge St. and Roselawn Ave.). From there, the course heads south (downhill) on Yonge Street all the way to Richmond Street. It then turns west on Richmond St. W, through the Entertainment District, continues south on Peter St./Blue Jays Way past “Gretzky’s” to Front St. The course then goes west along Front St., south on Bathurst St., and then west on Fort York Blvd. to the finish line!

One of the tricky things about getting ready for the 10k is finding your way to the starting line. This is the largest run in Toronto and will provide you with an experience like no other! Remember to give yourself plenty of time as there will be 25,000 people in this event, so everything from toilets to driving will take longer than normal. We suggest plotting your route before Sunday morning, and we strongly recommend that you carpool, take a taxi or take the TTC Yonge St. bus as there is only limited parking available on the side streets surrounding Sporting Life. ALL PARTICIPANTS must be in their corral 15 minutes prior to the start of their “wave” – be sure to arrive early to get settled! If you want to check your bag, you can do so just North of our Yonge Street store from 6-7am.

Visit the Sporting Life 10k website for a full rundown of race day!

Gear Up

With New Balance sponsoring the Sporting Life 10k, you don’t need to look to any other brand for your perfect running outfit! The forecast currently calls for rain, but who knows what Mother Nature will decide to throw our way! It is best to be prepared with layers and technical running attire. A waterproof outer layer is crucial for a morning run – 10k won’t be fun if you’re soaked! If you decide not to wear the official Sporting Life 10k tee, be sure to pick a top with moisture wicking fabric. Tights or shorts should be breathable and comfortable as well. While you may not want to get brand new shoes a week before the race, there is still time to break in the perfect new pair of runners! The Vazee Pace V2 by New Balance offers excellent support and style, allowing you to run faster and feel stronger than ever before.

Be Prepared

It is important to fuel your body before and after you run. It is recommended to eat about 1.5 hours before your run to give your body time to digest and provide your body with needed energy. Fuel tired muscles with our GU energy drink mixes, gel and chews created for daily training. They contain carbohydrates to keep you fueled, electrolytes that aid in hydration and amino acids that reduce mental fatigue and decrease muscle damage. Try Honey Stinger energy chews and waffles for an energy boost on the go.

Hydration is just as important as being well-fueled. Drink up to 20oz of water prior to your run and continue to drink water as you run to avoid dehydration. There are hydration stations along the route, but if you are concerned about getting thirsty, there are plenty of hydration packs available to easily carry with you through your run!

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5 Brands to Wear To & From the Club

Tenniswear designers now offer fashion forward pieces in a variety of colours and styles. It’s time to put away your tennis whites and embrace colour to step up your style game! We’re sharing 5 of our favourite brands to wear at the club, both on and off the court.

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Lacoste
How can we talk about tennis style without talking Lacoste? That iconic green gator is not only in style on the courts, but on the streets as well. This season’s palette is bright and fun, adding a refreshing pop  of colour to classic tennis whites. Make them stop and stare on the courts with a flirty Tennis Dress or a neon Ultra Dry Polo. While you’re relaxing at the club, get fashletic with a tennis themed graphic tee!

Trina Turk
Founded in 1995, Trina Turk‘s beautiful line of athleticwear is inspired by the California’s multicultural mix, creativity, craftsmanship, architecture, and landscape. We totally see this in her colourful aesthetic! With bold signature prints, you will be the star of the tennis court – we love the unique print of the Pop Camo Leggings, which will transition seamlessly from court to street.

adidas by Stella McCartney
Blending the effortless style of Stella McCartney with the cool athletic vibe from adidas, this line is the epitome of “to and from the club”. Add a pop of colour to the courts with the Climalite Tennis Dress, which will keep you cool and dry on the hottest of days. After your game, toss on the Barricade Jacket, which embodies one of our favourite styles for spring: the bomber jacket! Modern and sporty, this jacket will keep you warm and add a hint of style to your pre or post game ensemble.

L’etoile Sport
L’etoile Sport is one of our favourite new brands for spring tennis. Designed by Yesim Philip, the brand’s motto is “play all day” – exactly the lifestyle we are looking to exude! The focus of this multi-purpose collection is on and off court appeal that fuses fashion and function. With pops of orange and dainty mesh, the Pointelle Mesh Lace Top will keep you looking & feeling cool during a match; toss on the chic Windbreaker Jacket with a pair of jeans after your match, and these fashion forward silhouettes will take you straight from the club to weekend brunch.

Under Armour
The ultimate technical sport brand, Under Armour offers lightweight, moisture wicking pieces that will allow you to play your best on the courts. Off the courts, these comfortable tech pieces are easily layered to keep you comfortable on the go. We particularly love the pink hue in this season’s collection, as well as subtle details like the open triangle back of the CoolSwitch T-Shirt – talk about fashletic!

 

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Top Five Tips for Transitioning from Indoor to Outdoor Riding

Article by guest blogger Andrew Obrecht.

When the weather starts to warm up, we’re all eager to get outside and enjoy the sunshine.  Fortunately, summer can be a great time to move your exercise routine outdoors, especially if you enjoy being on the bike.  For those thinking of making the move from indoor to outdoor riding, I’ve got five tips to make your summer transition a little smoother.

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1. Build up your base

Getting out on the road can be intimidating, and not having the cardio base before you do can make it even scarier.  Before you get out on the road, find a group fitness class to build your cardio.  It doesn’t have to be a spin class, but it can be helpful to try something with similar motions to outdoor riding.  If you’ve never used clip-in pedals before, spin classes are a great way to practice clipping in and out without the risk of wiping out.  Try downloading the Mind Body app to find spin studios or group classes near you.

2. Choose your riding style

Decide what kind of riding you want to do.  Whether that’s a four-hour road ride, or a 45-minute cruise on a pathway, each style has different requirements when it comes to skill and equipment.  Road biking, casual riding or mountain biking are all a lot of fun and have their own communities regardless of skill level.

3. Get the right gear

Once you’ve chosen your riding style you’ll need to get fitted with the proper gear.  Bikes can range in size and fit depending on the brand, so it’s best to have a professional set you up on the proper bike.  Sporting Life has an incredibly educated team that can help you get set up.  If you’d like an idea of what Sporting Life has available before you come in, check out www.sportinglife.ca.  After you’ve got your bike, you’ll need a helmet, shoes (if your bike has clip-in pedals), the right clothes and protective pads if you’re trying out mountain biking. Make sure you know how to use the gear as well.  If you’re going out for more than a leisurely ride, it’s a great idea to watch some videos on how to change or patch a tube so a flat doesn’t ruin your day.

 
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4. Know the Rules

Take some time to refresh your knowledge of signals and cycling etiquette.  Plan your route and make sure it’s suited to the type of riding you want to do.  There are plenty of route planning apps like Strava, or “Calgary By Bike” by local Calgarian, Mike’s Bloggity, for more leisurely rides.  Calgary has an amazing network of paths and trails for all types of riding.

It’s also important to know your limits.  Don’t get out on busy roads if you’re not comfortable with the basics.  There’s nothing worse than a scary experience to set you back from outdoor riding!

5. Make it social

If you’re transitioning from indoor to outdoor riding, there’s a good chance one of your favourite parts is the social aspect – this can still be the case for outdoor riding.  The Calgary riding community is a tight knit group and there are plenty of ways to find riding buddies.  Try reaching out to friends or people you spin with, or ask the Sporting Life team for recommendations and community rides that they put on every Tuesday and Thursday evenings this summer.  A quick search on Google can also bring up plenty of great options for riding groups.  There’s a wide range of groups with different skill levels and interests, from those who like to take it slow and bike to a spot for lunch or ice cream, to those who enjoy being a little more competitive.  There’s no shortage of options in Calgary to keep riding fun and social.

I hope you all have the best summer of riding and hope that some of these tips will lead you to an amazing season of exploring our incredible outdoors.  But, if you’re ever craving that adrenaline rush, thumping beats and lights of the studio, I’ll always keep a bike open at YYC Cycle.

2016-09-16_-_YYC_Cycle_--_1L2A1448Andrew Obrecht is one of the Founders and Motivators of popular spin studio YYC Cycle. The studio was founded by three ambitious, born-and-raised Calgarians who saw an opportunity to offer an innovative, dynamic form of group exercise that breaks the mold of traditional indoor cycling. Along with their team of Motivators, YYC Cycle provides the community with an incredible fitness and lifestyle experience that extends beyond the studio doors. There’s a reason Andrew has been described as a Fire Starter, Passion Seeker and Connector: Much the way he does in spin class, Andrew will inspire and motivate you in all areas of your life.

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All Things S’well

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All images via S’well.

Keep your drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 with colourful reusable bottles from S’well. These bottles are sleek, stylish and practical. Whether you need cold water for a hot yoga session, coffee for your morning commute or champagne for a celebration, your S’well bottle will be there to quench your thirst. They are the perfect eco-friendly alternative to plastic bottles made of high-grade 18/8 pro-grade stainless steel. All S’well bottles are BPA-free, non-toxic and non-leaching.

Bottle Sizes

Available in three sizes, these bottles are perfectly sized and the mouth can fit most ice cubes. A standard sized cup holder is just the right size for a 9oz or 17oz bottle and a bottle of wine fits perfectly into a 25oz bottle. The bottles are triple walled and made with ThermaS’well technology that features an interior copper layer for a condensation-free exterior that won’t sweat on your hands or in your bag.

Spring Summer 2017 Collection

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New season, new S’well! The new bright and colourful Spring/Summer 2017 S’well bottle collection is now in stores and online. The core classics like the Wood, Stone, Glitter and Shimmer collections remain in this seasons lineup featuring some new hues. Mouth-watering colours like eucalyptus and pomegranate have been added to the Satin collection and a limited edition Monochrome collection features black and white prints. Inspiration for the Textile collection was drawn from global fibres of India & Africa. The prints feature a semi-matte finish and encompass the artisanal effect of worldly trims. Bicoastal locations are illustrated in a shiny, high gloss finish to create a bold personal statement in the Destination collection.

Shop our favourite new prints and colours:

Cleaning your S’well Bottle: Bottle Brush

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You will definitely be putting your S’well bottle to use, so it is important to clean it properly. Do not run your bottle through the dishwasher because this can cause the paint to chip and vacuum seal to become ineffective. Simply clean your bottle with a mixture of hot water and soap and use the S’well bottle brush to scrub inside. The handle is made of bamboo and 18/8 stainless steel and comes with a removable head that can be easily pulled off from the top of the handle. The brush is made to fit in all S’well bottle sizes for easy cleaning.

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Stay Safe From Commute to Cubicle

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Be safe from commute to cubicle! Ready-to-wear reflective pieces paired with our tips on manoeuvering city bike lanes will have you flying from point A to point B in no time, all while being seen.

Have the Right Equipment

One of the simplest ways to stay safe on the road is to have the right bike accessories. This one speaks for itself – wear a helmet! As we discussed in this post, many helmets are now equipped with MIPS, which protect your head from multi directional impact. We hope you won’t need it, but you’ll be happy you had a helmet should something happen!

If you are riding within an hour of sunrise or sunset (which you likely are when it comes to a work commute), the law requires you to have a light on your bike. Your bike must also be equipped with a bell. These things seem like common sense, but they really do make all the difference when it comes to staying safe on your bike.

Pair all of these safety additions with a lightweight, comfortable bike from brands such as Cannondale, Giant and Liv, and you’ll be cruising with the best of the city cyclists.

Ride Smart

There are a few ways to ensure that you are safe while riding your bike to work:

Ride in the middle of the lane when appropriate, or at least a little to the left of the curb. If you are riding too close to the curb, cars at intersections ahead may have trouble seeing you. This also can keep cars from passing too close on a narrow road, or keep you from colliding with an open car door.

SIGNAL! Be sure to use proper road signals when making a turn. Just as you would in a car, you don’t want your movements to take other drivers by surprise. A mirror can also be helpful when it comes to shoulder checking.

Go old school and leave your headphones in your bag. Of course this is a personal choice, but it is best to minimize distractions and be fully aware of your surroundings while cycling in the city.

Avoid busy streets wherever possible. Sometimes the fastest route isn’t always the best – rush hour traffic can be dangerous for cyclists! If at all possible, try to map out a route that keeps you on side streets to encounter fewer & slower cars. This way you can cross busy intersections as opposed to riding on them.

Reflect, Reflect, Reflect

Add extra flair to your ride with reflective cyclewear. While many of our athletic cyclewear is reflective for road safety, Sporting Life carries a few key pieces that will keep you safe and take you straight from commute to cubicle.

Arc’teryx isn’t just for climbing wear and technical outerwear. The new A2B collection is designed for everyday living and urban commutes. As the first Gore-Tex garment in its category, the Women’s A2B Hardshell Blazer features a zipperless front design, integrated stowable reflective surfaces at the cuffs and under the collar. Made from soft, and sheds rain and wind, making it perfect for the urban cyclist. Learn more in this product knowledge video:

Levi’s Commuter is another favourite when it comes to urban cyclewear. The Men’s 511™ Commuter Jean features water resistant and dirt repellent NanoSphere® technology with Sanitized® odor protection, reflective tape on interior cuffs, U-lock storage, and utility pockets. Pretty much everything you could want from a pair of jeans!

SHOP URBAN CYCLEWEAR

Arc'teryx Women's A2B Hardshell Blazer
Arc’teryx Women’s A2B Hardshell Blazer
Arc'teryx Women's A2B Skort
Arc’teryx Women’s A2B Skort
Levi's Men's 511™ Commuter Jean
Levi’s Men’s 511™ Commuter Jean

 

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Adjust Your Altitude: Hiking 101

While our Calgary community is lucky enough to have scenic mountain trails and some of the best hiking in Canada, Ontario has some beautiful hiking spots that are perfect for the beginner hiker. You don’t have to be an experienced outdoorsman to get out and enjoy nature! We’re sharing some of the best places in the Toronto area to go for a hike, some tips for the first-time hiker, as well as the gear you will need to make the most of your adventure.

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5 Beautiful Beginner Hikes in the GTA

Scarborough Bluffs Park
Before leaving the city entirely, why not stop by the beautiful Scarborough Bluffs Park right here in Toronto? The Bluffs offer stunning views of Lake Ontario and the beautiful bluffs. The trails are not difficult and are easily accessible, and sandy beaches await you once you’re done your hike.

Webster’s Falls Conservation Area
Who knew that some of Ontario’s most stunning waterfalls were located just outside of Hamilton? Take a walk down beautiful trails towards Webster’s Falls and Tew’s Falls – totally Instagram-worthy! After chasing waterfalls, hop on up to Dundas Peak for a beautiful panoramic view of Hamilton.

Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area
While you probably won’t see any rattlesnakes, this conservation area in Milton allows you to seek some extra adventure. If you’ve been practicing your hiking and are feeling a bit more advanced, explore some of the hidden caves or partake in some rock climbing! While this hike is most beautiful in the fall, it isn’t the worst thing to look out upon miles and miles of green trees!

Elora Gorge
Elora is a bit off the beaten path for Torontonians, but it is totally worth it to make the trip this summer. This trail is perfect for all age groups – ideal for a family weekend or a beginner hike. While you’re there, stop by the Elora Quarry and take a dip in the blue-green water, or partake in some kayaking!

Bruce Trail
Did you know that the Bruce Trail is Canada’s oldest and longest foot path? This trail stretches for over 800km from the Niagara River all the way to Tobermory! You can enter at various points throughout Ontario, and walk for as long or short of a distance as you like. The closest entrance point to Toronto is just outside of Milton near Kelso Conservation Area, and the views are out of this world!

Hiking 101: Tips & Tricks

– Proper hiking gear is a must, especially for spring hikes. The weather is unpredictable, and you need to be prepared for whatever comes your way! Be sure to have these items in your wardrobe to make the most of your adventure:

  • Waterproof/windproof outer layer.
  • Base layers – moisture wicking fabrics to keep you warm (or cool!) and dry. This goes for socks too; bring extra, and go for a smart wool to keep your toes dry.
  • Hiking shoes – these don’t need to break the bank, but they are absolutely crucial for both seasoned and first-time hikers. Good shoes are the key to a fun and safe hike; keep your toes and ankles protected, especially on uneven terrain.
  • A lightweight, sturdy pack…especially when you need to shed some of those added layers!

– Convertible pieces can be your best friend…who doesn’t love pants that turn into shorts and back again? Adjust your outfit to suit the conditions at hand without leaving anything behind.

– As with any physical activity…HYDRATE! Be sure to bring enough water, no matter the length of your hike. Whether you prefer a colourful S’well that keeps your water cold for up to 24 hours or a hydration pack to keep your hands free, make sure you’re stocked up on H20.

– Similar to hydration, your body needs fuel to get through your trip. Give yourself an energy boost on the go with gels, chews or waffles available at our retail locations. They contain carbohydrates to keep you fueled, electrolytes that aid in hydration and amino acids that reduce mental fatigue!

– We mentioned the importance of a solid hiking shoe; be sure not to embark on your hike with brand new, stiff boots! Our friend Leigh from HikeBikeTravel.com wrote a post about breaking in your hiking boots on her blog – check it out!

SHOP HIKING GEAR

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Eco-Trend: Urban Farming

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Image via Woolrich

With spring in full force, we are feeling a renewed commitment to saving the environment. Many of our favourite brands have put forth collections that emphasize sustainability (way to go, Columbia and Patagonia!) and this season, we are looking forward to finding other ways to become more eco-friendly.

An eco-trend that is popping up across the city is urban farming – we can get on board with the idea of gardening in the city! Despite a lack of surface area, earth lovers within the city limits have found ways to grow their own produce in a small home or condo. Save some money on groceries, save your body from GMOs and pesticides, and save the planet – this summer, try planting vegetables in your own backyard. Here are a few of the tips we’ve picked up from researching how to make urban farming happen.

What is Your Set-Up?

In order to get into urban farming, you do need a certain level of sunlight. The ideal direction is a South-facing garden without any obstructions – that way your plants receive light for the majority of the day. Second best is a West-facing set-up, as the sun will shine on your garden during the afternoon. While an East-facing garden isn’t impossible, it isn’t ideal as sun-loving plants won’t grow as well.

Once you’ve figured out your sun situation, the next step is deciding on the style of garden you are able to have. If you are in a condo, a small container garden may be your best bet. Go with a hanging planter to live on your balcony, or get creative and Pinterest-y with some rustic containers to bring out that farmer-chic style. If you happen to have a backyard, you are likely lucky enough to have room for a real garden! Using nothing but plywood and some good soil, you can craft your own garden box to suit your size needs – even a 4×4 raised garden bed can house a wide variety of delicious vegetables!

For either location, a vertical garden can be a great choice. Either make your own (spring DIY?) or find a multi-potted vertical planter at your local store. It looks beautiful with the various leaves poking out, and allows you to grow more plants with less square footage.

Images via Young Urban Farmers
Images via Young Urban Farmers
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Pick the Right Crop

Just because your garden is small doesn’t mean that you’re stuck growing herbs (but don’t get us wrong – herbs are a great choice)! There are a variety of vegetables that will flourish in condo containers or small backyard gardens. Almost anything can be grown in a container as long as you are aware of spacing and don’t overcrowd your veggies. Bell peppers, hot peppers, peas, tomatoes, and lettuce are all easily grown in an urban setting. Add in some of your favourite herbs such as parsley or mint, and you’ll be ready for summer barbecues in no time!

Here’s a helpful tip to improve the taste of your tomatoes: plant them next to a basil plant! The basil will enhance the flavour of the tomato (and probably make you crave a homemade pizza).

Dress the Part

Just because you don’t live in the country doesn’t mean you can’t dress the part! If you plan on spending time outside tending to your garden, make sure that you are properly clothed for spring weather. A waterproof outer layer paired with convertible pieces will allow you to spend the day outdoors without feeling uncomfortably hot or cold. Columbia and Marmot’s convertible pants will take you from shorts to pants and back again with no effort at all, and a chic pair of overalls combines fashion and function, keeping your bottoms from sliding down while you are bending down closer to the earth.

Since you are dressing for an eco-friendly task, why not look to some of our eco-friendly brands? We have recently focused on the sustainable fashions put forth by Columbia and Patagonia, and are so proud to carry a wide variety of brands that are committed to saving our planet.

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