Howard Chang, President of Top Drawer Creative, has been called a “kind and gentle entrepreneur,” the kind who likes to find a good balance between work and life, the kind most of us would like to work for. From humble beginnings as the owner of BikeEnergy in the Beach back in the 1980s, Chang has established a 40-person advertising agency that specializes in promoting the active lifestyle. With firms such as Callaway Golf, Fitness Depot and Wholesome Foods under his guidance, Chang is putting his energies and beliefs behind them.
This past August, Chang moved his business from Leslieville to the Beach – 2216 Queen St. E. – into a building a few doors down the street from Ed’s Real Scoop. Ironically his previous digs were near Ed’s new facility in Leslieville.
“I tell people I moved from Ed’s to Ed’s,” said Chang. “The staff have absolutely fallen in love with the Beach. Many have moved into the neighbourhood to live. They jog for lunch, or walk along the boardwalk. It’s like they’ve discovered this amazing secret.” Not only do the staff of Top Drawer Creative enjoy the active lifestyle the Beach offers, they also like to shop and dine in the area.
On Oct. 21 Chang and members of the Top Drawer staff were down on the beach with litter bags doing their part to pick up litter, and generally give back to the community.
Top Drawer is also a member of Smart Commute, an organization which encourages carpooling and cycling to work. In 2005 the company won a Toronto Bike Friendly Award, and Chang said that for the few employees who live outside the city, he gives them a work-at-home day every so often so they can save on gas. Chang is a member of Les Domestiques Cycling Club, a cycling group that last year raised $8 million dollars through its charity rides.
If you see Howard Chang or members of Top Drawer Creative down on the beach, along the Boardwalk or hanging out in Ed’s for a cone, say hi, and be glad that such a community-minded group of people have chosen to call the Beach their home.
For more information call Top Drawer Creative at 416-462-1570, or visit www.topdrawercreative.com.
Joanne Cooper has just opened up the first boutique fitness studio in the Beach where you can bring your dog along to your workout. It’s called Woof-fit, and can be found at 2491 Queen St. E., near the R.C. Harris filtration plant. In the good weather Woof-fit members will train outside with their pets participating in some of the exercises. When it’s inclement, there is indoor studio space available.
Woof-fit classes offer a full body workout which include cardio, strength, endurance and resistance training, core and flexibility conditioning – and interactive games for the dogs. Working out with your dog is a unique time for both of you, helping to offset the stress of leaving your pet with a sitter, or at home, while making time for exercising.
“Everyone leaves the classes feeling refreshed and energetic,” said Cooper. “Even the dogs are tired.”
For more information or to register for one of their many class times, call Woof-fit at 416-726-2836, or visit www.woof-fit.com.
Grace MacCall operates an online boyswear boutique called TykeThreads from her home in the Upper Beach. She offers hip, unique quality clothing for boys from such name brands as Appaman, Coccoli, Goorin Brothers, Knuckleheads, Morgan & Milo and Wonderboy – the brands that are hard to find in the stores.
“We were the typical Toronto family,” MacCall explained. “We didn’t have family in town, and didn’t have a lot of free time to devote to shopping.” It was difficult to find clothes that her son wanted to wear, so she began to explore some of the online options. When she realized that there was a lot out there, TykeThreads was born.
Storefront space is at a premium these days, and one of the ways smaller, home-based online businesses do to market themselves to the general public is to hold ‘pop-up sales’. MacCall and TykeThreads has teamed up with So Young, another home-based online company that specializes in designing modern lunch boxes and unisex diaper bags for a three-day pop-up sale at the Cool East Market, 1390 Danforth Ave, just east of Greenwood, Nov. 18 to 20. This is your opportunity to see items in person and scoop up unique gift ideas for the holidays.
Before going to the sale visit www.tykethreads.com, or call 416-937-7197, and pick out something for your little guy.
Vince Alexander has recently opened a new business looking after your dog when you can’t. Beach Dog Care & Fitness offers half-day adventures and personalized home care for puppies, elderly dogs and dogs with special needs.
Vince has been living, caring and walking dogs in the Beach for the past 25 years. His knowledge and understanding of Beach dogs, dog owners, dog walkers, veterinarians, groomers, obedience trainers, City workers and the numerous special dog-friendly places in the Beach are quite extensive and thorough. He has developed a real Beach dog reputation within the community. He and his staff will provide fun and exercise for your dog, behaviour coaching, visits to the vet, puppy care and visits to the groomer. There is even a special Beach Dog B&B where your pet stays in a private dog boutique while you are away.
If you are looking for reliable, safe, and professional care for your precious pet, give Vince a call at Beach Dog, 647-286-5600, or visit his website at www.beachdog.ca.
Dawn Chapman is the owner of a new “fantastic farm fresh” local café called Lazy Daisy’s Café at 1515 Gerrard St., at the corner of Coxwell. Chapman, whose grandparents had a farm in Midhurst, Ontario, named the café after one of the dairy cows her family kept.
“Growing up on the farm, eating fresh ‘organic’ veggies was a way of life,” said Chapman. “I’m trying to bring a piece of the country here to the East End.” Lazy Daisy’s Café sells hand-made pastries, micro-roasted direct trade coffee, and locally-sourced food – not something usually found in that particular part of the Beach.
“I think the café symbolizes the regeneration of our Upper Beaches neighbourhood,” Chapman said. “Young families who are eco-conscious are looking for a unique place to meet up and relax.” Lazy Daisy’s Café should be that place. For more information call 647-278-3966.
Fiona Bramzell is a Certified Reflexologist who has recently opened the Solus Therapeutic Reflexology Clinic at 953 Kingston Rd. inside Dreamer Hair Design. Reflexology is more than just a foot massage. It can relieve a number of health conditions by applying pressure to certain reflex points on the foot. Headaches, sinus and bronchial problems, digestive system and reproductive organs have all benefitted from reflexology.
To find out more, or to book an appointment at Solus Therapeutic Reflexology, call Fiona at 416-686-5857.
Svetolik Kovacevic runs ANE – Ancient Numismatic Enterprise – at 2219 Queen St. E., Lower Level. For those unfamiliar with the term ‘numismatic’, it refers to the collection of and/or dealing in old coins, money and medallions. ANE specializes in ancient coins, foreign and domestic coins, military decorations, medals and tokens, and books about coins and coin collecting. It’s a fascinating place just to browze in.
If you have any old coins hanging around your house, this is the place to take them, whether to get them appraised, or to sell for extra cash.
For more information call ANE at 416-686-8019, or visit www.vcoins.com/ANE.
Natasha Santos is hosting a grand re-opening of her store The Dog Market (formerly Bark & Fitz), Nov. 12, at 2116 Queen St. E. There will be food and drinks for everyone… especially the neighbourhood dogs who might come by.
With the re-branding of the business, Santos said that she, and the same loyal staff she has had for the past nine years, are excited to be able to offer more goods and services to her customers and clients, and get more involved in community projects.
So drop on down to The Dog Market, and bring your furry friend along for the party. For more information call 416-699-1313.
Beach resident, entrepreneur, and fitness buff, Caroline Irving, is the driving force behind the Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park – Canada’s first – which opened Nov. 8 out in Mississauga (let’s hope she’ll bring one to the Beach soon).
Irving is dedicated to fighting childhood obesity, and feels that “the key to a healthy lifestyle is on the trampoline, not in front of TV screens!”
When not opening new businesses in the Toronto area, Caroline is a partner and producer at House On Fire Productions here in town. Her company produced the Gemini Award-winning CBC program On the Arts.
Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline is the ultimate 3D experience for teens, kids, and their parents where everyone can jump and leap about on a patented “all-trampoline walled playing court.” There are many popular games that have been adapted to this ‘arena.’ Spread throughout the United States, Irving and Sky Zone hope to open several more here in Canada. For more information visit www.skyzonesports.com.
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