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    SIMONS Part 11

    Fitness – Clubs & Studios, Toronto
    Alfie\’s Gym
    Around since 1949, Alfie\’s is the neighbourhood gym on the Danforth and regulars are mighty loyal. The equipment is pretty old and there are no frills, but it\’s probably the cheapest gym in Toronto at $19.95 a month (there is a $199 registration fee).
    835 Danforth Ave.

    Fitness – Clubs & Studios, Montreal
    Hardcore climbers swarm over the 45-foot walls at Allez-Up. This is where the city\’s most daring wall addicts get their fix, enjoying the \”surround surfaces,\” textured walls, 3-D environments and experienced staff. Casses available.
    1339 Shearer St.

    Fitness – Clubs & Studios, Toronto
    Active Yoga
    This studio just east of High Park teaches Bikram yoga, which is known as hot yoga because the studio is heated to improve flexibility and promote detoxifying sweat. Make sure you bring a towel and lots of water. You will sweat like crazy.
    2281 Dundas St. W.

    Fitness – Clubs & Studios, Toronto
    Arabesque Academy
    Get in touch with your feminine side and take an Egyptian belly dancing class. There will be a whole lot of shimmying going on, not to mention a good workout. The first class is free and there are various packages.
    20 College St., 2nd floor

    Fitness – Clubs & Studios, Montreal
    Aerobie Spa Gym
    Broadway dance alumnus Robert Johnson choreographs all the cardio routines at this 15,000-square-foot downtown studio. If you want to spot-train, book some sessions with the popular personal trainer Denis Durand.
    2020 University St.

    Fitness – Health & Nutrition, Vancouver
    Simplicity Nutrition
    Young, spunky Caleigh Sullivan, a clinical dietician at V.G.H., will design meal plans and send you packing a new, healthy grocery bag. Rates vary.
    [email protected]

    Fitness – Health & Nutrition, Vancouver
    The Specialty Gourmet
    At your door by 6 a.m. for $40/day, the three Zone Diet-friendly meals and two snacks are concocted by respected caterer The Lazy Gourmet.

    Fitness – Sports & Dance Instruction, Vancouver
    University Golf Club
    The women-friendly Bronze program for beginners is legendary. Rate: $175/five lessons, 10 buckets of balls and club rentals.
    5185 University Blvd.

    Fitness – Sports & Dance Instruction, Vancouver
    GOH Ballet Academy
    In addition to professional dance instruction, programs are offered for all ages looking to study ballet for health and a cultural education. Drop-in: $15.
    2345 Main St.

    Fitness – Sports & Dance Instruction, Vancouver
    Harbour Dance Centre
    Find drop-in classes for adults and older teenagers from beginner to professional in ballet, jazz, modern, hip-hop, yoga and tap. Membership: $28/year. Drop-in: $10/hour.
    927 Granville St., 3rd floor

    Fitness – Sports & Dance Instruction, Vancouver
    Surf Sister
    Canada’s only all-female surf school is steps from Canada’s premier surf spot: Long Beach, Vancouver Island. All your gear and transportation is provided. Mother/daughter camps make QT with mom extra awesome. Rate: $75 for 1 1/2 hours (group).

    Fitness – Sports & Dance Instruction, Vancouver
    Bruhwiler Surf Camp
    Judging from the pros who instruct here, it’s unlikely this new Vancouver Island surf school will wipe out. Learn from pro surfer siblings Raph, Sepp, and Canada’s number one ranked female, Catherine Bruhwiler.

    Fitness – Sports & Dance Instruction, Vancouver
    Ecomarine Ocean Kayak Centre
    Friendly instructors teach in a pool during winter and at Jericho beach in summer. Lessons: $55 for 3 hours.
    1668 Duranleau St.

    Fitness – Sports & Dance Instruction, Canada
    False Creek Community Centre
    Gordon Houka: tennis coach. Devotees travel from all over the Lower Mainland for Houka’s funny banter and expert teaching style. Rate: $40/hour (private).
    1318 Cartwright St.

    Handbags, Montreal
    As Montreal’s rising star in the tempestuous world of fur design, Veronique Miljkovitch is a dynamo. This winter, don’t go without her eggplant- or rust-coloured hats, scarves and cuddly bags in fox, coyote or rabbit. For something special, try her detachable fur sleeves or boot gaiters. At Simons and Boutique Chiffons.
    372 Ste. Catherine St. W., Suite 223

    Handbags, Toronto
    Zola Shoes
    This massively chic spot is the place to be for the many, many members of the Sigerson Morrison fan club. According to owner Debra Anissimoff, the boot-shoe is back this winter and the famed New York designer is on top of it. A Sigerson Morrison mid-heel black suede boot-shoe with silver eyelets is indeed very sweet ($575). Zola also has a boot-shoe from London’s Emma Hope that resembles lace. Look out for new footwear by Paul Smith who is known for wacky colour combinations, such as steel grey and bubble gum pink on caramel and icy blue. The store also carries handbags from New York designer Kazuyo.
    1726 Avenue Rd.

    Handbags, Toronto
    Handbags, totes and luggage in every imaginable style, shape and colour. One teeny problem: potential option paralysis.
    162 Cumberland St.

    Handbags, Montreal
    The Bay
    Seven other Montreal locations. It’s all here: the full arsenal of bags by Nine West, Kenneth Cole, Liz Claiborne, Ralph Lauren’s new suede bags, Alfred Sung, Frankie & Johnnie and the Tolédano line from Quebec.
    585 Ste. Catherine St. W.

    Handbags, Vancouver
    These handbags are making more appearances around town than Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. N.Y.C.-based Loop’s famous white skyline, airplane and pedestrian silhouettes on royal blue, black and candy-apple red vinyl bags scream to be thrown over every shoulder. At Aritzia, Briers and Plenty.

    Handbags, Montreal
    Rugby North America
    The understated design and discreet colours make for good long-term buying. Go for a slim shoulder pouch, a tennis carry-on or travel in style with the hockey bag, in its largest format. Really love skin? Get a leather umbrella cover or CD holder.
    3536 St. Laurent Blvd.

    Handbags, Canada
    Rugby is busting loose. It’s expanding its signature look—glazed, thin leather purses—and moving to suedes and a matte effect, available in red, vanilla and blue. Raw-edged bags are new, along with large straps and kasbah leather.
    514-849-9759 and 514-842-2563
    3526 St. Laurent Blvd. ) and Complexe Les Ailes de la Mode, 677 Ste. Catherine St. W.

    Handbags, Toronto
    One other Toronto location. Great designer knockoffs and swift service. Specchio sponsors comedian Carla Collins. She has 20-odd pairs of size 7 1/2 shoes from here.
    1240 Bay St.

    Handbags, Montreal
    and nine other Montreal-area locations. In keeping with its patriotic branding drive, Roots has a new series of red leather bags with contrasting stitching. The bucket bags and day totes are essential service items, along with the new plastic bowling bags for under $25. The classic briefcases are now in dark tan and the hats are a college kid’s dream.
    1035 Ste. Catherine St. W.

    Handbags, Montreal
    Rudsak’s leather collection of classic weekend bags, drawstring totes, shoulder sachels and doctor’s bags has expanded. The winter season heralds a new age of smaller-sized bags with leather cut-outs, embroidery, vintage colours and the rub-off effect.
    1400 Ste. Catherine St. W.

    Handbags, Montreal
    Rudsak’s urban chic instantly gives your outfit an element of sophistication. Choose from weekenders, drawstring totes, saddlebags, doctor’s bags and sexy red accent bags. All classic styles come in three sizes
    1400 Ste. Catherine St. W.

    Handbags, Toronto
    A visit to Prada, the global emblem of edgy urban luxury, doesn’t disappoint. The red saddlebag is so soft, so fetching, it’s tempting to buy it without bothering to check the $1,290 price tag located in the baby envelope in its pocket. Also delicious: two-tone party shoes with a high heel and a little ankle strap. Pink/black, peach/dark brown and auburn with yellow stitching ($480).
    131 Bloor St. W.

    Handbags, Vancouver
    The Florence, Italy shop that carried designer Camille Graham’s first handbag prototypes sold out in days. Carefully saved soy sauce packets to Halloween candy wrappers are patched under clear vinyl on bags and little change purses are crafted from mint tins. You’ll never throw anything away again. At Bruce, Dadabase and Eugene Choo.

    Handbags, Toronto
    25 other Toronto locations. This is where you can find your requisite wool scarf and, of course, beautiful Canadian-made leather handbags and backpacks. It is almost impossible to decide between the many handbags that you will undoubtedly want. Excellent service.
    Eaton Centre, 220 Yonge St.

    Handbags, Toronto
    Nine West
    Plus three other GTA locations. Sit in the comfy chairs and be mesmerized by the rows of lovely boots in black, red and taupe on the glass shelves in front of you. Get microfibre bags to match with little change purses attached ($65).
    93 Bloor St. W.

    Handbags, Montreal
    Ogilvy Accessoires
    Don’t rush yourself in this one-stop shop for high-end labels, including Maxx New York, Lamarthe, Dooney & Bourke, Perlina, Longchamp, Furla, Sequoia, Nannini and the flowery Jeanne Lottie line by Toronto designer Jane Ip. Hungry for logo? Ogilvy is also home to the Louis Vuitton boutique.
    Ground fl., 1307 Ste. Catherine St. W.

    Handbags, Vancouver
    Airbrushing pretty much anything is superhot right now. Her friends were so enthusiastic about the jacket Pollen designer Lora spray-painted for herself that she decided to rejuvenate vintage handbags in the same technique. Inspired by Japanese historical images, find sassy painted ’80s fold-over clutches and sakura-print (Japanese for cherry blossom) purses. At Dream.

    Handbags, Toronto
    Marquis Shoes
    Supplying the more stylish of the North Toronto crowd for 15 years with great footwear. Carries Stuart Weitzman, Donald J Pliner, Amalfi and Aquatalia by Marvin K., among others.
    3237 Yonge St.

    Handbags, Montreal
    MATT & NAT
    Designer Inder Bedi is a hip Montrealer and staunch vegan whose bags impress starlets like Charlize Theron and Drew Barrymore. Check out his new synthetic pony-hair bags and the latest hobo bag called Nelly, after singer Nelly Furtado. None of the designs use animal products, of course, and all emphasis is on the whip stitching and closures. What’s with Matt & Nat? Nothing. It’s just a name under Bedi’s Via Vegan line. At Browns, Les Ailes de la Mode, StyleXchange and Stoopid.

    Handbags, Montreal
    “Adding poetry to everyday life” is Bruneau’s apt slogan. Her handcrafted bags are more like jewellery, mixing pearls, raffia, mink and straw. These are bags with big personalities. For Christmas, she made an outsized Mami Noël bag in red silk. At L’arme à l’oeil, Holt Renfrew, Lyla Collection and Serge & Réal Couture.

    Handbags, Montreal
    La Maison Simons
    The well edited, concise selection includes key pieces by Johnny Farah from New York (leather diamond patterns), Christopher Kon, Jones New York, Rudsak, plus its private label leather collection called Icône.
    977 Ste. Catherine St. W.

    Handbags, Vancouver
    Lindsay Clague
    Lindsay Clague now employs sewers to help produce what is her take on a clean-cut, fits-all handbag. Wallets and smaller bags in jewel- toned silk, velvets and corduroy are quite luxe. At Eugene Choo and Vancouver Designer’s Market.

    Handbags, Toronto
    M.A.C, known for its awesome cosmetics, is launching an accessories collection with makeup cases that double as purses. The bags, made of Italian vinyl and designed by Matt Murphy, current designer of the Lagerfeld Gallery Accessories, have various compartments and come in a range of colours.
    416-929-7555 and 416-979-2171
    89/91 Bloor St. W. and 363 Queen St. W.

    Handbags, Toronto
    John Fluevog Shoes
    Distinctively chunky shoes and boots in flashy hues. Housed in an old diner with the fixtures still intact. The most sought-after footwear are the two-tone laced boots and brogues that appear to be indestructible ($159 to $200).
    242 Queen St. W.

    Handbags, Toronto
    Just in for winter: fabulously cool BCBG tall boots with a kitten heel in black or mahogany. Act quickly, though. Owner Rohina Jumas supports a one-size-only policy in her funky space. “It means I can have a quick turnover and clients will always have a unique item,” she explains. So, what if someone begs her to order, say, another size 6 in the to-die-for Michelle Mason leather boots? “I won’t bend. I’m going to stick to my guns on this one. I think people appreciate it in the end. There is always something new in the next week.” Jumas, which opened less than a year ago, is the shoe destination for young professionals looking to add interesting pieces to an existing closet.
    655 College St.

    Handbags, Vancouver
    Kiku Designs
    In a different take on bamboo, these medium-sized, colourful, rectangle-shaped bags have double straight handles which open wonderfully wide so you won’t have to dig too hard for your cellphone. At Barefoot Contessa.

    Handbags, Toronto
    Jeanne Lottie
    The translation of Jeanne Lottie in Cantonese is Jun Lok Tai or true happiness—and what could make a girly girl happier than being surrounded by dreamy well-priced hand- > bags, totes and satchels? Jane Ip, the Hong Kong-born designer of Jeanne Lottie handbags, keeps up on all the trends by reading every fashion magazine she can get her hands on. The result is an unbelievable assortment of bags that range from sturdy leather totes to fun purses made from long-haired Mongolian rainbow fur. The store deco is all about comfort and well-being. In the back, there is even a zen-influenced tea bar (with 22 different types of tea) complete with a relaxing fountain.
    106 Yorkville Ave.

    Handbags, Vancouver
    Jenn’s Den Designs
    Newcomer Jenn Wong applies quilting appliqués to vinyl over felt to create truly original bags in ’80s colour mixes like black and purple. The bags lean to the punky side of cute and are total conversation pieces. At Dream.

    Handbags, Montreal
    Jennifer Kakon and Scott Richler have a knockout new collection of bags with tooled leather, braided handles, metallic embroidery, woven leather and ivory detailing. Things are looking good for the cutest couple in town: They keep getting editorial coverage in American Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. At Holt Renfrew and For Joseph.

    Handbags, Montreal
    Skyrocketing to fame in 1994, Mariouche Gagné founded her Harricana line on one principle: recycling old fur. After getting an MA in design management in Milan, she started making backpacks and ski accessories using second-hand fur. It took off and her latest collection of bags and accessories uses mink, fox, suede and leather. At Les Ailes de la Mode and Simons.
    3000 St. Antoine St. W.

    Handbags, Montreal
    Holt Renfrew
    A hotbed of designer bags, including Kate Spade’s red satin handbags, Lancel’s drawstring buckets and Bottega Veneta’s woven leather loaf bags. Also see stunning collections by YSL, Tod’s, Fendi and Armani. Gucci, Burberry and Prada bags each have their own boutiques.
    1300 Sherbrooke St W 514 842-5111 and Rockland Centre 514 738-3500
    1300 Sherbrooke St. W. and Rockland Centre

    Handbags, Vancouver
    Items Unlimited
    These ’50s-style bags from Mon-treal are ultracosmopolitan. Find what may once have been your grandmother’s needlepoint bag in beautiful printed fabrics covered in lace and with the edges embellished with ruffles. At Bare-foot Contessa.

    Handbags, Toronto
    One other Toronto location. Plush carpet, leather chairs and massive mirrors make it all too easy to preen in your new designer shoes.
    66 Bloor St. W.

    Handbags, Vancouver
    DressCode Designs
    The best part about local Diane Thompson’s handbags is the quality. Find strong construction, great shapes and bold mixes of materials on denim. With combos like plaid with silk, ribbon and pinstripes, her cocktail bags are unique and feminine. At Barefoot Contessa, Bloom, Circa Ici, Essentials and Ta Da!

    Handbags, Toronto
    Gucci girls everywhere were thanking the glamour gods when this first Toronto location opened last year. (Didn’t we see you at the party?) And we don’t care who knows it: This is where you go to get the sexiest footwear on earth.
    130 Bloor St. W.