Thriving in Toronto

Wellness expert Brigitte Grenier on her favourite spots for healthy eating and playing in Toronto

Brigitte Grenier is a fitness instructor specializing in yoga, Pilates and dance, an entrepreneur with her own dance fitness program called CheerBody (she’s a former pro cheerleader for the Toronto Argos), a certified kinesiologist and is about to graduate from a holistic nutritionist program, so it’s not surprising that her Toronto involves lots of movement and lots of good food.

“I like finding little gems, and quality of food is very important to me. I love going to Impact Kitchens on King East and also on Adelaide West because of its local and sustainable approach, with gluten-free, paleo and vegan options. Their paleo waffles, which are only offered on weekend breakfast menu, are just so delicious!” she says. Another favourite is The Goods, a healthy-chic spot in the Roncesvalles neighbourhood in Toronto’s west end. “My friend Lisa Labute is the owner, and she uses organic, plant-based local foods. I love her soup—there’s one called Sweet Heat, with a coconut base and sweet potatoes. So good.”

One of her go-to destinations is the Distillery District. “It’s like its own little town, kind of like Liberty Village, where you can get anything from avocado toast and fish tacos to really unique fashion.” A long-time sports fan, she likes to check out the District’s The Sport Gallery which offers vintage-style sports jerseys, art and décor. And at various times of the year in various parts of the city, there’s beach volleyball on the waterfront, salsa dancing or trampoline dodgeball. You can read more about Brigitte’s recommendations for being active without setting foot in the gym here.

At work, those approaches to fitness and wellness naturally come into play as well. “When I see that I’m making an impact on other people’s lives, giving them the tools to live better lives, that’s what inspires me,” says Brigitte. In addition to her fitness classes and choreography for music videos, commercials and professional sports teams, she also does in-home personal training and rehabilitation work, mostly with older adults. “It’s very gratifying to help someone in pain feel better.” The best thing she’s learned so far in her many-hats career? “The holistic approach, and really taking care of yourself and your health. If you have that, you can thrive in your own personal life and help others too.”

Favourite destination: “Jamaica. I loved the food, the music, the culture, the beaches, the inviting people. I honestly felt at home.”
Dream trip: “Europe. I’m French so Paris is at the top of my list.”
Favourite quote: “The pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow.”


Brigitte Grenier, Toronto, ON, Certified Kinesiologist, group exercise/yoga/Pilates and dance instructor, choreographer