Doctors, dresses and dance

A sense of style in shopping for fashion, home decor and health

Ladies, ever wanted to blowtorch the bridesmaid dress your supposed best pal made you wear because the style was oh, so wrong for you?

Then suss out Sharon’s Collection on Bayview Ave. Owner Sharon Medina has recently joined forces with Toronto entrepreneur Joanna Duong, who designs and manufactures (in Toronto to boot) a dress that can apparently be worn in hundreds of ways – read: you can be as flashy or as conservative at your pal’s big do as you want, in a style that suits you, not her.

Henkaa – that’s Japanese for change – came into being only about a year ago, after Duong was looking for a convertible dress that didn’t cost an arm or a leg. Her version, made of a jersey knit fabric, comes in a short ($98) or long style ($139), in sizes 0-14 (she says it’s great for maternity, too), and in 16 different shades, each with a slight metallic sheen.

The cost was important, Duong tells me, and a major differentiator between other designer convertible dresses on the market, some of which can cost $300 and up, and bridesmaid dresses in general, which she says average $200 each.

Medina says the partnership is perfect. Her store specializes in gifts, accessories and jewellery, and she says she can customize her Victorian-inspired Swarovski jewellery to match the dresses. Duong is in and out of the shop but is available for custom appointments.

1643 Bayview Ave. 416-481-8700,

If you missed your chance to check out the relatively new Winners megastore on Laird, you can double your pleasure by visiting it and its brand spanking new sister store, HomeSense, just doors east of the old Winners locale.

Opened Oct. 26, the Leaside HomeSense is the largest Canadian HomeSense to date, with over 30,000 square feet of discounted home décor and accessories shopping glory – that means there’s way more stuff to buy.

Located in a former car dealership (the prior home of Roy Foss), the new facility has some neat elements you won’t find in other HomeSense stores. HomeSense spokesperson Colleen Uncao tells me the space retains the industrial feel of the dealership with an open concept loft-like look.

They even kept the roll-up garage door and plan on opening it in warmer times to showcase seasonal elements.

957 Eglinton Ave. East, 416-696-6000

On the services front, chiropractor Jacob Kang has opened a new clinic in Leaside, the Leaside Family Chiropractic & Scoliosis Center.

Open since Sept. 1, Kang’s facility offers various chiropractic, spinal and sports therapies to treat postural problems but specializes in treating scoliosis using the Schroth and Clear Institute methods.

Apparently the only chiropractor in Canada licensed to treat scoliosis using the latter method, Kang tells me both approaches are conservative and non-invasive and involve using chiropractic and spinal rehab techniques instead of surgery or braces.

Watching and waiting for a spine curvature to progress to a moderate or severe problem isn’t the best idea in his opinion, he says, and he advises early treatment.

So far the results of the methods are promising, he says.

If you want to learn more about scoliosis, better posture, or how to determine if your child has scoliosis, Kang regularly gives presentations to organizations. His next workshop is Nov. 11 at the North York Central Library.

860 Millwood Rd., 647-347-7125

Meanwhile Leasiders are going gangbusters for Arianna McWhirter’s Salsa 4 Kids class that the North Leaside resident runs out of the Northlea United Church across from her home.

McWhirter’s biz, Time2GetFit, launched this fall and offers dance-fitness classes for kids, moms and tots, and women only.

A certified personal trainer specializing in pre-and post-natal fitness, McWhirter got the idea for salsa classes for tots from her son, Christopher, age 3, who used to try to follow along when he saw his mom exercising (McWhirter is Columbian-born and says she integrates Latin-inspired dance into her workouts).

After looking for local salsa classes for wee tikes to no avail, McWhirter started her own and it’s been a hit. The class is for 3-6 year olds and mixes salsa, meringue, kumbia, zamba and other Latin dance forms; it even incorporates music from Dora the Explorer and other kids’ TV shows.

The moves aren’t that complex and are more about having fun, McWhirter says – in fact she says she teaches the same steps to those in her adult classes, which also incorporate strength training with rubber bands.

If you want to get into the groove, a new session running to mid-December is starting the end of October.


About this article:

By: Kelly Gadzala
Posted: Nov 2 2010 1:49 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto