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Fitness & Spas in Banff & Canmore

Feb. 28, 2016
By Where Writers

Elevation Place

Elevation Place

Drop in to Get Fit
Start your day in Banff with an invigorating Early Bird Yoga vinyasa flow class at Sally Borden Fitness & Recreation, Wednesdays 6:45 to 7:45 am. Dynamic instructor (and local yogis’ favourite) Erin Evans leads. In Canmore, the Wednesday Sweat & Sculpt class, 6:45 to 7:30 pm at Elevation Place, is challenging, results-focused and fun. Rotating instructors put their own spin on sessions. Fees ($13/$15) include gym and pool use.


3 Sweet Canadian Rockies Spas

By Whitney Oliver & Jen Groundwater


Treat Your Feet

Achy feet benefit from a Hikers Foot Therapy massage at The Spa at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise that zeroes in on foot, shin and calf muscles to relieve tension from the trails.

The Mountain Mint Pedicure at Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Banff Springs beautifies and nourishes feet and legs with an exfoliating scrub, massage, paraffin treatment and polish. Both spas offer foot grooming for men with nail work, massage and soak or scrub to get feet looking and feeling good.


4 Rejuvenating Canadian Rockies Spas

Photo: iStock

Photo: iStock

By Where Staff

Spa Treatments

The Stay Active Rx deep-tissue massage at the Fairmont Banff Springs’ Willow Stream Spa targets sore muscles with a warm Indonesian ginger-oil blend and uses cooling elements to soothe inflammation. Soak in the relaxing mineral pools before and after for ultimate restoration.

The 60-minute Tropical Escape Wrap is a Rimrock Resort Hotel Spa  favourite. Certified therapists (your choice of male or female) exfoliate with a salt scrub, then hydrate with a papaya and pineapple infused wrap. Warm waters applied by the six-showerhead Vichy bar further soothe winter-stressed skin. Add a mini facial or a scalp massage with warm conditioning argan oil.


Who Won the 2012 Vancouver Where to Shop Awards?

We asked. Where readers voted. Here are your favourite spots to shop

By Jennifer Patterson

Heritage department at The Bay. Photo by KK Law

Department Store
The Bay
This Canadian company, founded in 1670, is one of the oldest in the world. Over the past few years, this downtown hub has turned into a don’t-miss fashion destination. Label lovers visit The Room, a high-end space filled with the crème de la crème of designer goods, and young trendsetters head to the world’s second-largest Topshop, on the lower level. For holiday decor, see the Christmas Street department.
Holt Renfrew; Army & Navy.

China & Crystal
Drop by this elegant South Granville space for classic collectibles, including Waterford Crystal or dinnerware by Iittala, Versace and Wedgwood.
Birks; Chintz and Company.

Antiques & Collectibles
Antique Warehouse
There’s no time like the present to redecorate. Luckily, Antique Warehouse has over 1,115 sq m (12,000 sq ft) of vintage and antique home furnishings. There’s something for everyone, as this massive collection ranges from 18th-century decor to mid-century modern furniture, all sourced from France, England and Belgium.
Antique Market; Scott Landon Antiques; Three Centuries Shop.

Children’s Clothing
This popular shop for tots and tweens carries clothing and accessories perfect for school, a holiday party or just playing in the yard. Big-name designers (think: Diane von Furstenburg and Stella McCartney) often design limited-edition collections for the chain.
Hip Baby; Beansprouts; Redfish Kids Clothing.

Men’s Clothing
Harry Rosen
Dapper gents head to this downtown store to fulfil all their style-related needs. The rich wood interior complements the custom-made suits, classic casual wear and colourful ties, alongside leather loafers and great-for-winter puffer jackets.
Holt Renfrew; Roden Gray.

Ladies’ Clothing
Vancouver’s own Aritzia started life in 1984 as a store-within-a-store, inside Hills of Kerrisdale (page 27) to be exact. Now, many years and stores later, the edgy, on-trend fashions and multiple in-house labels cater to a loyal legion of customers, including much-photographed celebrities and fashionistas.
The Bay; Holt Renfrew.

Glasses at Bruce Eyewear. Photo by KK Law

Bruce Eyewear
Stylish specs and cool sunglasses line the cases at this Gastown spot. Unique frames by sought-after labels such as Cutler and Gross, Oliver Peoples and Mykita are just a sampling of what’s in store.
Eyes on Burrard; Spectus Eyewear.

Sporting Goods
Sport Chek
No matter what your age or sport, you’ll find all the gear you need—from skis to golf clubs to inline skates—at this mega chain.
Mountain Equipment Co-op; Lululemon.

Change Lingerie
This Danish brand designs sweet skivvies and bras, with cup sizes ranging from A to K. Find pyjamas, slips and bathing suits, too. Free bra fittings.
Dianes Lingerie; La Vie en Rose.

Spend an hour—or four—exploring this palatial, multi-level bookstore. Everything from cookbooks to architecture to language has a dedicated section, as do the hottest best-sellers and magazines. Take the tots to the colourful kids’ section, then browse the expanded gift and decor area. Monthly author events.
Banyen Books & Sound; Black Bond Books.

Purdy’s Chocolates
Since 1907, this iconic Vancouver chocolatier has satisfied sweet-tooth cravings with sweet Georgia browns, hedgehogs and mint melties. The recognizable gold and purple box—chock-full of assorted chocolates, nuts and caramels—makes a great gift, whether for a hostess or for that chocolate-loving friend.
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory; Rogers’ Chocolates; Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie.

Fine Art
Inuit Gallery of Vancouver
This elegant and spacious Gastown gallery has been in business for over 30 years. Peruse the fine Inuit sculptures, along with prints, original drawings and museum-quality Northwest Coast First Nations art. Regular rotating exhibits feature stunning pieces by both established and new artists.
Jennifer Kostuik Gallery; Granville Fine Art.

Jewellery & Watches
Tiffany & Co.
This year marks the 175th anniversary for the coveted jewellery label. Expert craftsmanship and attention to detail—not to mention the recognizable robin egg–blue box—keep customers coming back. Don’t miss the eye-catching collections by Elsa Peretti, Frank Gehry and Paloma Picasso. Be sure to check out the selection of crystal, sunglasses, leather goods and home decor, too.
Birks; Pandora Jewelry.

Bentwood box at Inuit Gallery of Vancouver. Photo by KK Law

Spas & Salons
Vida Spa
The goal of this chic, relaxing spa is to bring your dosha into perfect harmony, helping to promote well-being and restore energy. Treatments are based on Ayurveda, a 5,000-year-old system of Indian medicine.
Chi, the Spa; The Spa at the Wedgewood.

Fluevog Shoes
Flights of fancy for your feet. Vancouver’s own Fluevog continues to push boundaries when it comes to footwear, with the help of custom buckles, curved heels and sculpted toes. The motto behind these whimsical shoes: unique soles for unique souls.
Browns; Gravitypope.

Shopping Centre
Pacific Centre
In the heart of downtown sits this massive shopping mall housing some of the biggest brands: H&M, Apple, Sephora, Club Monaco, BCBG and Harry Rosen. It’s also home to ultra-luxe retailer Holt Renfrew.
Metropolis at Metrotown; Richmond Centre; Park Royal.

To vote for next year’s winners, click here.

Who took top spots in Whistler’s Where to Shop awards? Pick up the new issue of Where Whistler to find out, or click here.

Who Won the 2012 Whistler Where to Shop Awards?

We asked. Where readers voted. Here are your favourite spots to shop

By Jennifer Patterson

Photo by KK Law

Fine Art
Adele Campbell Fine Art Gallery
This inviting space showcases works of art by both established and up-and-coming Canadian talent. Peruse the mix of classic and contemporary pieces, then purchase one for the
ultimate souvenir.
Whistler Village Art Gallery; Mountain Galleries.

Outdoor Gear
Escape Route
Mountain enthusiasts head to this long-standing shop for anything and everything outdoors. Stock up on waterproof pants and gloves before blazing a trail outside. A cozy down jacket is always a smart buy.
The North Face; Can-Ski; Helly Hansen.

Founded in Vancouver in 2000, this activewear company initially earned mass praise for its quality yoga apparel. Now, besides finding the perfect pair of pants for downward-facing dog, locals covet the vests, rain jackets and shorts.
Roots; Eddie Bauer.

Spas & Salons
Scandinave Spa
This outdoor spa is a haven for relaxation. Breathe in the fresh mountain air while alternating between hot and cold pools, then head indoors to relax in the eucalyptus steam room or sweat in the traditional Finnish sauna.
Avello Spa & Health Club; Vida Spa.

Sea to Sky Souvenirs
At the end of a stunning vacation in Whistler, visitors head to this souvenir shop to pick up fun gifts, quirky collectables and trendy trinkets.
Cows Whistler; Skitch.

Kid-Friendly Activities, Shops and Restaurants Whistler

Banish boredom with activities galore to keep tots, tykes and teens amused

By Nicole Capelo, Sheri Radford & Kristina Urquhart

Photo by Bonny Makarewicz courtesy Tourism Whistler


Fearless little folks love whizzing along on skis or snowboards. For almost as much speed but with less skill required, the Coca-Cola Tube Park appeals to both the young and young-at-heart. Whistler Bungee offers a 50-m (160-ft) plunge over the Cheakamus River, guaranteed to get hearts racing. Tiny adrenaline junkies also enjoy ziplining and snowmobiling. Slow down the pace with a snowshoe excursion through picturesque forests or a rafting trip to view bald eagles. Experience the countryside the old-fashioned way with Blackcomb Sleighrides or the high-tech way on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, which travels between the peaks of Whistler and Blackcomb in 11 minutes. To inject some education—that won’t feel like boring old school—into the vacation, let the kids learn about local First Nations people and history at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, copper mining at the Britannia Mine Museum and olden-days railway equipment at the West Coast Railway Heritage Park.—SR


5 Spas To Get You Ready for the Weekend

Pamper yourself at one of Calgary’s luxurious inner city spas. Photo: Sante Spa.

With the weekend just around the corner, urbanites on the go can book some last-minute weekend pampering at one of Calgary’s numerous inner-city spas. Check out our top 5 picks for the most luxurious massages, facials, pedicures, manicures, waxing and more in the downtown area.


Hot Shopping: Boutique Health Club Studeo55 Gets a Facelift

The sleek lounge area in Studeo55

If you’re like me, a little extra motivation to exercise goes a long way. Work up a sweat in the chic and cheery neon-coloured gym at appointment-only boutique health club Studeo55 (pictured). This personal training studio offers everything from dance classes to Crossfit programs, plus luxurious dressing rooms and an infrared sauna. And if you’re looking for a celeb-worthy bod, know that svelte A-listers favour Studeo55 when in town—both Anne Hathaway and Jessica Alba have pumped iron here.—Kristina Urquhart

Hotel of the Week: Echo Valley Ranch & Spa—Jesmond, British Columbia


Formerly a cattle ranch, the Echo Valley Ranch & Spa is in the heart of the Cariboo Mountains cowboy country 400 kilometres northeast of Vancouver, which has a rich history dating back to the gold rush of the 1850s. Horses graze the fields near the ranch, which is nestled in a valley surrounded by the Cariboo Mountains, pine forests, canyons, grasslands and lakes.

See the ranch in photos »


Whistler Spa Guide: 4 Places to Get Pampered

Photo courtesy Fairmont Resort Spa

Unwind after hiking or biking with an appointment at one of these calm-inducing spots.

1 Re-energize at Vida Spa with Ayurvedic-based treatments that rebalance the three doshas in the body: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

2 The Spa brings the best of the outdoors inside with BC Glacial Clay Wraps and West Coast Marine Body Scrubs.

3 As the only authentic Javanese spa in North America, Taman Sari Royal Heritage charms with centuries-old massage techniques.

4 Breathe in that fresh mountain air at Scandinave Spa. Alternate between the hot and cold pools, followed by a nap in a hammock.

Jennifer Patterson

Where in Whistler to Get a 135 km/h Bobsled Ride
Where to Find Family Fun in Whistler
Restaurants on Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains

Hot Shopping: Relax at Calixica Holistic Spa Boutique

The welcoming Calixica Holistic Spa Boutique

Leave your troubles behind and get ready to feel transformed, starting the minute you walk in the door of Granville Island’s Calixica Holistic Spa Boutique and experience the Namaste Welcome. It consists of warm towels enveloping and soothing your hands, custom-blended oils to bring your senses to life, and an ever-so-gentle head and shoulder massage to help you forget the stresses of the day. This isn’t your average spa. All treatments combine the healing energies of the earth with organic skincare products, resulting in a peaceful, inspiring experience personalized for you. Namaste.—Sheri Radford

Editor’s Picks: Best Choices for Mother’s Day 2012

Victoria Conservatory of Music Garden (Photo: Maureen Flynn-Burhoe)


Mother’s Day Paint-In
At this arts and crafts fair at Hatley Park National Historic Site, browse the works of local artists, purchase plants and locally made jewellery, food items or beauty products and more. Other diversions include bands, face-painting for kids and tours of the historic Hatley Castle and gardens.
Hatley Park, 2005 Sooke Rd., 250-391-2666; May 13, 10–4; May 12 and 13, 10–4; free. (more…)