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culture

New Indoor Trampoline Centre Brings Some Bounce to Leaside

Toronto's first Sky Zone opens in midtown.

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If you’re looking for a little bit of bounce after trudging though Toronto’s slushy streets, the new Sky Zone trampoline park, which opened in Leaside over the weekend, is just the place to put a spring in your step.

The new facility, in a former warehouse next to Amsterdam Brewery (an ideal match as long as you play it safe), has a dodgeball court, three open jump spaces, a foam zone, and a “slam-dunk centre,” for all your flipping, diving, and basketball-dunking needs. Located at 45 Esander Drive, it’s the second Sky Zone in the GTA. The first is in Mississauga.

After signing waivers, customers are given a pair of Marty McFly-like rental shoes to prevent them from slipping on Sky Zone’s 100 or so trampolines. Once laced up, jumpers are free to roam under the supervision of court monitors, who make sure everyone plays by the rules. As long as there’s only one person per trampoline (that means no games of Popcorn or Break the Egg, you rabble rousers), everyone is free to hop, skip, and jump on the taut screens. Even the walls have trampolines on them.

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As though tepidly placing a skate on freshly Zambonied ice, first-time jumpers gingerly step onto a square of trampoline. Then, after an initial bounce or two, there’s the inevitable shriek of glee. Over in the foam zone, a large pit filled with electric-blue foam cubes, people plunge in while performing flips and cannonballs.

But the dodgeball court is where the magic happens. There’s an active trampoline dodgeball scene in Toronto, said Sky Zone owner Caroline Irving, and last year there was a Sky Zone tournament in Los Angeles, for teams from around the continent. Irving’s Team Canada came in second.

Irving got into the business after visiting her sister’s Sky Zone franchise, in Boston, a few years ago.

In 2011, Irving opened in Mississauga, giving Sky Zone, which already had locations across the U.S., its first Canadian beachhead. Irving says she entertained over 130,000 jumpers last year.

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“If you had told me twenty years ago that I would own two trampoline parks, I would have told you that you were crazy,” Irving laughed as she flashed a warm smile. She said she loves giving Canadians the chance to have fun and let loose. “Whenever parents tell me that their kids are bouncing off the walls and driving them crazy, I always says, ‘Give them to me, they can bounce off my walls.’”

In addition to just plain-old jumping, thrill seekers can up the ante with exercise classes, called SkyRobics. After a few anti-gravity jumping jacks and aerial knee curls with Irving, we were ready to pass out, but the drop-in classes are open to anyone interested, no experience necessary. Trampolining is a serious workout, as fun as it is, so expect to sweat buckets and maybe be a bit sore.

CORRECTION: March 4, 2013, 11:30 AM This post originally said, incorrectly, that Sky Zone Toronto has three dodgeball courts and a single open jump space. In fact, it’s the opposite: there are three open jump spaces, but only one dodgeball court.

Comments

  • Torontopoly

    I just went to the one in Mississauga! What a work out and had so much fun playing dodge ball. The best part is it was actually relatively affordable. We had about 20 people and it costs $15 each for the hour. Check it out!

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      $15/hour to jump around (or throw a ball) seems pretty high to me.

      • Torontopoly

        Don’t knock it until you try it. Compare the costs of similar “can’t do it everyday” activities and their associated costs. I’m thinking paintball, lazer tag, even ping pong at Spin.

      • Papalos

        Yeah, if you’re a garbage truck operator or something.

        • HH

          I find your comment completely offensive and ignorant. Garbage truck drivers make well above minimum wage. Are you in grade 4?

      • torontothegreat

        So don’t do it

  • alexanmyasmom

    sounds expensive

  • Becka R

    Went to Skyzone today with 5 of my 25+ year old girlfriends. Initially, we had high hopes for the new attraction in Toronto, but soon realized that it was a waste of time and money. We arrived at the park at 1:30, within our first 2 minutes there we were scolded for bouncing in an empty “reserved” section (which of course, prior to entering, was not mentioned or indicated in any way) then after wandering around aimlessly, not knowing where we were allowed to jump, were greeted by a rude/frigid referee (who must have stressed the rules and not doing flips for 5 minutes which essentially took away from our jump time). Regardless, we tried to make the best out of the situation. We began finally using the trampolines and soon after realized we had 5 of their refs in a group staring at us the entire time (yelling and blowing their whistles at us for the whole duration). At one point one of my girlfriends lost her balance and didn’t get up immediately due to laughing so hard, she was then screamed at for sitting longer then two seconds – yet there were participants laying down on the trampolines next to us. In another situation my girlfriend used the wall trampoline and was yelled at – who got the courage to do so after witnessing other guests doing the same. I finally had enough and approached the whistle blowing overzealous juvenile who explained A) that’s not what the trampoline walls are there for and B) if you sit longer then two seconds they will think you’re injured. One girlfriend was yelled at for running/bouncing along the runway trampoline – “no running” was one of many lectures we received. Meanwhile, there were preteens and children running amuk and doing all of the above activites (but I guess they were too engaged in our activities to regard the children). I of course laughed at her and in my own words explained how ridiculous the whole situation was. Overall, the unprofessional/miserable/pompous babysitters they have running the place ruined our time. We should have spoken to the manager immediately, but for now I will write this review to warn all interested parties to not waste their money, time or patience with this business. You’re welcome in advance.