The Best Spas in Toronto
The best spas in Toronto can make everything better. Feeling toxic? Disjointed? Old? Lumpy? Un-vedic?
Well, from Hungarian treatments to melt cellulite to lots of luscious sounding food that you put on your body instead of in it, Toronto spa "menus" have it all.
(Women officially don't eat at all any more. We just get by on chocolate body wraps, wine facials, and papaya scrubs. We ingest all our nutrition by osmosis now.)
If it sounds like a decadent dessert, someone in Toronto will rub it on your body and then wrap you in cling film and a warm blanket. If it was once a seed in an exotic fruit, you bet it's an ingredient in somebody's "signature" facial treatment. If it's usually sprinkled on a bagel, there's a team of experts poised to grind it into your face. Even things you would never have thought of rubbing on your body (e.g. sea flora), you can bet someone else has, and they've probably packaged it as a deal with a pedicure.
De-age, detox, dejiggle. Does it "work"? Probably not. Feels great though.
Here are the 12 best spas in Toronto, as voted by readers of this site.
Stillwater raised their prices by quite a hefty amount last year -- possibly to price out the interloping middle-tier B&C spa-goers who only go a couple of times a year (Birthday & Christmas). The staff delivers the expected obsequiousness, and the locker room features private stalls with “water chairs”, where you can lay down on a chaise lounge for your shower. (And all this time I’ve been standing up like a chump.) More »
As far as dress codes go, it’s hard to top a bathrobe as the “preferred attire”. We’re not saying that people go to the Elmwood just to have the 3-course lunch ($28) in their robe and slippies, but it doesn’t hurt. The water therapies are very popular, but the spa also offers everything from teeth whitening to an infrared sauna and “Wild Organic Seaweeds fro the Pacific Northwest”. More »
Not many places in Toronto where you can walk into a building and get nekked (and not be arrested). But clothing is optional at Body Blitz water spa. Spa services are offered, but the highlight is the water circuit. A structured/regimented series of dips and steams and sweats to improve your health (salt pool to steam to cold pool to sauna etc). There are absolutely shirkers who just order a drink from the juice bar and spend all their time in the salt pool. The cold dip is skipped by everyone but the Scandinavians. Taking the waters sounds very Victorian, but the space is a modern urban oasis in the most watery sense. Sorry fellas, ladies only. More »
Co-owner Linh Diep also runs HUH on Queen St W. She’s extending her concern to what lies beneath. Lush offers a full spa lineup as well as being a hair salon and laser clinic (Intensed Pulse Light for hair or pigment reduction). All products are certified organic, and Lush is the only certified Eminence Green Spa in Toronto. Signature Facial is Pear & Poppyseed Microdermabrasion. More »
The Ten Spot is a nail boutique at the centre of West Queen West, with a brand new location in Leslieville. Even some of Toronto’s nicer spas have "manicure areas” that just look like folding card tables up against the wall. But with sleek long banquettes filling the main space, 10Spot is unabashed about being a nail salon first and foremost. A close second? A specialty in Brazilian waxing. More »
The central selling point of Hammam is its hammam steam room (which, given that hammam means turkish bath, is that a little like saying “chai tea”?). It is one of Toronto’s only co-ed steam rooms, and can be visited on its own for just $40 (though it’s complimentary with services over $100). More »
Formerly known as Verity spa (when it opened in 2004), Sweetgrass went through a revitalization and renovation and reopened in April 2008 as Sweetgrass Spa at Verity. The spa lounge is catered by next door neighbour George Restaurant. The spa itself features an ozonated pool, infrared sauna and whirlpool. If you’re not satisfied with “just” hands for your massage, Sweetgrass also offers the Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage technique, where the entire forearm is used More »
I know that I just can’t bear swimming in a pool that’s been tiled domestically, so it’s a comfort that Hazelton tells you right on their splash page that the lap pool has been done in imported Bissaza mosaic tile (*coifs*). Treatments are the standard mix of scrubbing, de-aging, and detoxing, but with a special focus on the traveler, including the Copper Relaxation Body Scrub “ideal for jet lag” ($120 for 60 min) and the Jet Leg Facial with Anti Fatigue Leg Treatment ($220 for 90min) which “reduces the appearance of dark circles on the eyes and tired heavy legs”. (I hate it when I get dark circles on my tired heavy legs.) More »
elmspa is Elmwood’s slightly less formal sister spa. Pricewise elmspa and Elmwood line up pretty much exactly, so the informal really does refer to tone, and different monthly specials and package deals. Waxing for men is billed by the hour ($106), which is somewhat unusual, and may work out to be a good deal for some of our thriftier furry friends. More »
Some spa “specials” are a savings of just $5-10 when you add up the cost of the individual treatments. Novo’s packages genuinely are well-priced for what’s delivered. Take the Mid Day Relaxer -- $89 (1hr 15min) that includes either a spa facial or therapeutic massage (60 min), steam colour therapy sauna (15) and lunch (a sandwich or salad) courtesy of Whole Foods and wrapped up to go. More »
It’s brilliant marketing synergy really. You’re in yoga class, you’re spending a lot of time gazing out over the tips of your fingers (with soft eyes). Your foot brushes up against some leg stubble while you’re standing in tree pose. It’s the perfect time for someone to swoop in and offer you a mani-pedi or a little light waxing. Enter Tula Yoga Spa. Where inner peace includes threading. More »
Tucked inside of the Cosmopolitan hotel (which is itself tucked inconspicuously away on Colborne Street right in the middle of the Financial District). Shizen fits a lot of urban oasis into a relatively modest square footage. Including a raised cushion-filled platform to lounge on while you sip your tea. Treatment rooms are well-appointed and extremely private, with en suite washrooms. More »