Stories of Caledon

Palgrave’s Nikola Boadway: Athletic and Creative

Written by Patti Foley

The rolling hills, fertile farmland, and beckoning forests of Caledon seem to literally “grow” multi-talented people.

Palgrave’s Nikola Boadway is certainly no exception. In fact, in many ways, Nikola is exceptional.

When not busy as a Personal Trainer, or spending time in the Palgrave Forest, you’ll find her standing, brush in hand, creating marvellous works of art.

Nikola was born in Germany and came to Canada after high school. She lived in Toronto for a bit but soon moved to Bolton and eventually to Palgrave. That was 22 years ago.

“I have always been active,” Nikola says, “starting with gymnastics, ballet, and then jazz dance, and finally track and field. Once I immigrated to Canada, I continued to work out at community centres or gyms whenever I could.”

The energetic fitness fan became certified to teach group fitness classes in 2002. A few years later she made the switch to Personal Trainer and opened Palgrave Personal Training in 2008.

“I worked at a gym which was fun but required lots of driving, inconsistent hours, and lower pay,” she explains. “A couple of friends asked me to train them at home here in Palgrave and before I knew it, I had turned the entire basement into a studio.”

Nikola’s broad range of education includes CanFitPro for Personal Training and Group Exercise and CHEK certifications for Exercise and Holistic Lifestyle Coach.

While (she says) her favourite activity is strength training and corrective exercise, she also says she likes variety and the seasonality of activities. “In the summer I teach outdoor circuit training, I have the trail running club, I love mountain biking and hiking, canoeing. And I’m forever trying to get better at swimming” she admits.

“Most of the training is here at my studio, but I also train people at their homes if they have a home gym. In addition to organizing the Palgrave Forest trail running club, I provide SHSM certifications for Peel high school students, offer Posture correction workshops for businesses, and lead Sugar Challenges which are done entirely online.”

With such a vigorous lifestyle it is not surprising that Nikola has to find a bit of time for relaxing. What does that look like?

“I love to paint. In fact, it became a real passion for me during Covid. I’m also a tour guide, which is not exactly relaxing, but it’s just so much fun. I love to cook. And I spend as much time as possible in the forest. The one thing for which I will drop everything, and always make time for, are my friends. I am as close as you can get to an all-out extrovert, so spending time with friends and family is my happy drug.”

Nikola’s painting is very intriguing so I ask how that started.

“I used to paint a lot as a kid. There was this French artist who lived in a village close to mine and many Sundays I would go to watch him paint and practice using coal and watercolour. Then life got busy and I forgot about it until I had to stop training for a period of time due to an injury. That’s when I joined some paint classes in my neighborhood and before I knew it, I was hooked!”

Most of the artist’s inspiration comes from photos, but she admits that sometimes she just lets the colours run wild to see what happens. “It’s a really freeing process to let go of control – very good for me as I kind of like to control outcomes.”

So far all of Nikola’s artwork has been accomplished using acrylic on canvas.

I ask her how she would describe her style. “I wish I could answer that question” she smiles. “But I don’t think I have a style. I paint what I like. I love to work on large canvasses and I am definitely not good with small brushes and lots of detail.”

You can see Nikola’s art on her Facebook page at (

As well, Nikola will be joining us as a featured artist in the spring when we launch Picture Pathway, our new site devoted to photography and art.

For information on small group and personal training with Nikola visit:

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About the author

Patti Foley

Having spent 25 years in Bolton, Patti remains an advocate for Caledon. As a former Regional Councillor and a long-time community volunteer she is passionate about communicating information about its issues, news, events, people, non-profits and businesses.

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