City Living: Spring sports in Toronto

It’s almost time to pack up those skis and skates, and dust off your tennis racquet, volleyball, and running shoes. For the competitive types out there, this is the time to sign up for leagues or join a club. There is no better way to meet new people and learn to master a sport. If competition is not your thing, there are plenty of courts, trails, and fields to hit up should you get the itch to be active.  

Team sports

A number of us have taken part in sports leagues around the city, and we can’t think of a more fun and productive way to spend our weekday nights. The Toronto Sport and Social Club and Not So Pro Toronto Sports are probably the most popular sports leagues in the city, offering everything from dodgeball to floor hockey to indoor and outdoor ultimate Frisbee. Whether you sign up with a group of friends or as an individual (prices vary depending on sport, venue, etc.), it’s guaranteed, cheap fun. Going for a couple beers with the team after never hurt anyone, either. 

Tennis

Depending on how picky you are when it comes to surface and court conditions, there is a huge range of options for playing tennis in Toronto. If you’re playing a casual game with a friend, there is no shortage of courts at public parks around the city. Sure, your court might be made of cement and the net made of metal, but there will always be space to be found. Trinity Bellwoods (Queen West), Ramsden (Rosedale) and Jimmy Simpson Park (Leslieville) are a few city parks where you can play tennis for free. 

If you’re looking for lessons, tournaments, a partner or simply some better quality courts, there are lots of tennis clubs around the city. Sir Winston Churchill Park Tennis Club (Spadina and St. Clair W.) and Kew Gardens Tennis Club (the Beaches) are both very affordable options. Mayfair Racquet and Fitness Club is popular as they have four locations around the city, and Greenwin Tennis Club (Mt. Pleasant and Davisville) is known for its great clinics.  

High five, sister.

Golf

So when we say golf, what we actually mean is the driving range. While we wish we could say we enjoy a good round of 18 holes, our skills and patience are not quite up to, um, par. Instead, we love a good afternoon working on our swing and going through as many baskets of balls as our wallets will allow. Our personal favourite is the two-level driving range at the Polson Pier, a.k.a. the Docks. While there’s nothing fancy about it, it’s easy to get to and has a lovely view of Lake Ontario. Other ranges in and around Toronto include the Beach Fairway Golf Range (Victoria Park Avenue just south of the Danforth) and Launch Golf Centre (Vaughan), which is conveniently open year round courtesy of the personal heaters in each stall. Memberships, lessons and private parties are also available, making this a pretty great golf destination if you’re willing to make the drive.

 Much harder than it looks.
Image source.

Running

One of the things we love most about the spring is being able to run outdoors again. Our personal go-to is The Beltline, which is a trail that spans 4.5 km from Mount Pleasant and Merton St. all the way up to the Allen. Ravines, the boardwalk in the beaches, and pretty much anywhere in the city with minimal pedestrian and vehicle traffic are great options as well. 

If you’re looking to get more serious, or for company while running, the Running Room offers great clinics. Most groups require a fee to participate, but we’ve found that there are a few sessions per week where you can tag along with running groups (usually groups training for a race) at no cost.

They look so happy.
Image source.
 

Whatever sport you choose, remember that exercise is key to a healthy heart, muscles, joints, and mind. Find something you love and it will be easier to stick with it.


 
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Rave: For the love of the game

Once the temperature reaches a warm 18 degrees, Canadian’s do three things right away: put on shorts, find a patio, and enroll in après work extracurricular sports. Ultimate Frisbee, soccer and baseball are regular sports on the fourth floor, but our latest obsession is ping pong. While we have yet to join a league, the opportunity is coming. This summer, SPiN Toronto is opening its doors at King and Spadina (lower level of 461 King St. W. to be exact), and we are stoked to say the least.


We’ve had a one-track mind – all things pong. So much so that some of us are even considering a road trip to Milwaukee at the end of the month to watch the 2011 U.S. Open Table Tennis Championships. Yep. We’re that pong-core.

Table tennis has the uncanny ability to make us feel reminiscent about the past, and excited for the future. Fond memories of screened-in patios, a lake and playing the best out of ten come back at the mention of ping pong.


Let’s be fair – not everyone is rushing home to put on soccer cleats and baseball gloves. Some of us prefer to be more Fashion-able and throw on slingbacks. But guess what? You can have your cake and eat it too. Model and table tennis champ Soo Yeon Lee pongs in heels.

We love this video of Soo Yeon where the fashion and ping pong worlds collide in an elegant clash.
We can’t wait for the grand opening to try out this sexy pong thing for ourselves. We’ll keep you posted on how we do. Or keep up to date by following them on Twitter @SPiN_Toronto. Memberships are on sale now.