Big cities and small towns can offer hidden gems to support your health and wellness, whether you’re a local or you’re living like a local. Toronto, in particular, has so many activities to support wellness, and each neighbourhood has a unique vibe. If you’re living or staying in Toronto’s Corktown neighbourhood, there are plenty of opportunities to get healthy food, spend time in nature, and even enjoy a spa day!
In this series called My Wehl in the City, we explore what it means to live (and travel) well in our cities, towns and neighbourhoods. Our goal is to spark the movement of living out real-life wehlness in our everyday, busy lives – whatever wehlness means to each of us and wherever we live. We want to make it easier for all of us to incorporate holistic wehlness into our daily and weekly routines. We can support each other by sharing tips and inspiration from our experiences. Our Wehl social platform is all about collaborating to improve and maintain our wehlness, whether it be as individuals, professionals or organizations. Together, we want to inspire wehlness, make an impact, and show each other how we find wehlness in our neighbourhoods!
To get us started, I’m going to share about living wehl in the Corktown neighbourhood of Toronto. And I am Amanda. I’ve been interviewing many of the businesses and professionals on our Wehl blog to share what makes them special and how they’re supporting wehlness in their communities.
Wehlness to me means finding balance in everything that you do and feeling authentic about why you are doing it.
Let’s dive into what makes Corktown special for me.
Corktown is actually a very small neighbourhood in Toronto – just north of The Distillery District. Corktown stretches from Berkley St. to the Don Valley River and from Queen St. to Front St. It was founded by the working class immigrants in the early 1800’s with many of the families coming from the County of Cork in Ireland. Many of them worked in the local breweries or brickyards. Today, it’s a growing community with lots to do and places to eat, work and relax.
Things to Do in Corktown
Riverdale Park East
Okay, so this technically isn’t in actual Corktown – it’s slightly north of it – but it’s important to me because almost every morning I take my dog to Riverdale Park East. It’s a huge park where there are baseball diamonds and plenty of grass for people (and puppers) to enjoy together. It isn’t common to find a park that it is both a dog park and a regular park; that’s what makes Riverdale Park East special. Everyone is mingling together and since it’s such a large park – there’s plenty of space for everyone. One of the best things about this park is that in order to get into it you have to walk down a very large hill and back up when you’re ready to leave, which means that you are able to get in some light exercise first thing in the morning!
A pretty recent addition to Corktown is our park, Corktown Commons. Corktown Commons is a nice large park which was built in 2013 to help grow our area as well as offer flood relief from the Don Valley River. This area used to be a completely abandoned area, but now it’s a hilly park with paved pathways plus large areas of grass that overlook the city skyline. It’s busy with people biking, rollerblading, running or walking their dogs through the area. There are also 700 trees and thousands of shrubs that are native to Southern Ontario’s ecosystem. There is a playground, splash pad, open lawns, bike paths and an off-leash dog area.
An unused and dark space underneath a couple of the ramps to the Don Valley Parkway (DVP) has been transformed into a unique community park. Typically, these spaces are uninviting and not used by the community. This revamp changed the dark concrete beams to a bright coloured space with lots of light and places to play year-round. There are basketball half-courts, a skatepark with obstacles, rails and ledges. Along with a play area for the whole family that includes a teeter-totter, hopscotch, climbing structures and swings. And since it is all underneath the highway, it’s covered from rain and snow. It’s pretty typical to see people playing basketball year-round at this park.
On top of that, there’s colourful street art done by different artists that covers all of the concrete columns – each one with their own style and theme. When you step back to look at all of them it’s quite a beautiful scene.
If you’re looking for a place to relax and rejuvenate – you have to head to Body Blitz! This water circuit spa encourages you to alternate between hot and cold bath areas which have been shown to increase circulation, reduce inflammation, boost immunity and to help speed up the recovery of strained muscles. The circuit starts at the 98° Dead Sea salt pool to relax your mind and body. Then you move into the Eucalyptus steam room; with 100% humidity it’s the perfect place to increase circulation while cleaning and toning your skin. Next, you jump into the cold plunge pool for just one minute to help boost your energy, reduce inflammation and tighten your pores. After, you head into the infrared sauna where infrared waves get absorbed into the body for an in-depth detoxification of your whole body. Before you leave the water circuit you go for a final swim in the hot Epsom salt pool for one last stop to help reduce inflammation, relieve muscle pain and relax the body. You won’t be walking out of the spa; you’ll be floating out.
What To Eat in Corktown
Tori’s Bake Shop
This vegan and gluten-free bakeshop is known in Toronto for their delicious cupcakes and desserts. Their first location was in the Beaches and they have recently opened up their second location right beside Corktown Commons. While the bakery focuses on gluten-free, they do sell some cupcakes with organic unrefined wheat flour too. They also make a delicious vegan BLT made with coconut chips that is so good you won’t even miss the bacon! Read our blog post with Victoria here.
If you’re looking for a healthy meal at any time of the day, Impact Kitchen is for you. Impact Kitchen has a focus on gluten-free meals that are also vegetarian and paleo. From filling smoothies and butter coffee, to paleo waffles and power bowls, Impact Kitchen has something for everyone. It’s a casual place where you can meet a friend for a coffee, or have a delicious and satisfying dinner. My favourite items here are the Seasonal Oatmeal, The Warrior Bowl with chicken, and the Banana bread.
I hope that you enjoyed reading all about My Wehlness in Corktown and if you follow me on Wehl you’ll be able to see all of my updates about living and eating in Corktown.
What I like about Wehl the most is that it’s real life wellness. When you post to Wehl you aren’t trying to make sure that everything looks perfect – sometimes my day-to-day life isn’t glamorous, and sometimes I do have some #epicfails and on Wehl that’s where I can share the most authentic version of myself. It’s in the epic fails that we learn the most about ourselves and how we want to grow.
There is an understanding on Wehl that everyone is on their own personal wehlness journey and that we are all here to encourage and inspire others to find what wehlness means for them. And if we focus on the positive, instead of the negative in life, we allow ourselves to be open to new possibilities and ideas that we never thought were possible! It’s not like most social platforms because the emphasis is always on making you a better person (whatever that means to you) – not, for instance, on which filter you are using.
I’d love it if you’d join me on Wehl to share your journey, inspire me and others!
Join Me on Wehl. Let’s support each other to live Wehl! You can sign up for free at wehl.com and you can follow me @amanda