ELLE’s black book of Toronto’s top spots to get scrubbed, buffed and massaged into blissful submission.
Pure Simple, pureandsimple.ca
This holistic haven is the go-to spa for both eco warriors who won’t put just anything on their skin and anyone craving a totally natural facial (no parabens, petroleum or fragrance here!) without forgoing luxury. The new Yorkville outpost looks out into a quiet courtyard surrounded by posh shops. Post-treatment, tuck in to healthy lunch just down the street at the Whole Foods café.
Signature treatment: Popular with brides striving for magazine cover-perfect skin, the Deluxe Salt Microdermabrasion Facial promises to do everything from shrink pores to even out the complexion. Authentically-harvested sea salts (rather than commonly used synthetic crystals) polish the surface of the skin. Then a collagen mask plumps fine lines before you’re treated to a calming Ayurvedic upper body and scalp massage.
If you’re off to a meeting—or just want to avoid running into an ex-BF sans concealer—get a complimentary makeup touch-up with Pure Simple’s own mineral cosmetics, which won’t jeopardize your glowing complexion.
—Sarah Daniel Dolphin
Experience an ultra luxe spa on the next page …
The Spa at The Hazelton Hotel, thehazeltonhotel.com
Don’t let the minimalist interior of the spa, with its Italian marble walls and unfussy décor, fool you. This downtown gem, located in the heart of tony Yorkville, is just as opulent as the A-list patrons who flock to it. As you descend into the spa—in a private, heated elevator, no less—you enter a state-of-the-art facility that boasts a lineup of treatments that will make even the most discerning spa-goer’s body quiver with anticipation.
Signature treatment: The 90-minute Energizing Glow Facial is a bit of a paradox. This energy corrective treatment is aimed to stimulate the circulation of your energies by way of kneading and pinching, but after you’ve experienced the luscious Swiss-made Valmont products, or the surprisingly soothing cold stone facial massage, you’ll be lucky if you can even move your pinky toe off the table. To say the facial is otherworldly may be bold, but trust us, this treatment has the capabilities of taking you somewhere far, far away.
Après spa: The Spa at the Hazelton isn’t the only reason why celebrities and socialites alike flock to this five-star luxury property. ONE restaurant, the culinary baby of chef Mark McEwan’s ever-growing brood, is not to be missed. Take a momentary break from your detox diet and sip a pear and ginger champagne cocktail bar-side while you nosh on tapas-inspired plates like butter-braised lobster spoons and shortrib poutine. Your taste buds will thank you.
Hammam Spa, hammamspa.ca
As befits its Moroccan decor, this Zen-like spa in the heart of downtown Toronto is a hidden oasis. Tucked below street level, Hammam (which means spreading warmth), infuses Old World hot spring traditions from Turkey, Spain and Morocco with a sleek, modern design.
Signature treatment: Start your visit with a trip to the spa’s signature steam room. Subtle light changes relax both mind and body, and the steam is so thick you’ll barely notice anyone else in the room. By the time your therapist comes, your body will be in ideal condition for a massage, scrub or facial. We recommend getting polished to perfection with the invigorating Coffee Body Scrub. As it buffs away dead skin cells, the chocolate-y coffee scent enlivens your senses.
Insider tip: When you book a treatment over $100, entrance to the steam room is free. Be sure to give yourself at least 30 minutes in the fragrant steam to decompress and rid your body of toxins before your appointment.
Jane Nyland, [email protected]
Bubbly British expat Jane Nyland runs her referral-only holistic spa out of her charming Rosedale flat. A best-kept secret among Toronto’s elite, her loyal list of clients love the intimate vibe and customized menu. Wealthy wives and their Bay Street beaus sip freshly brewed hibiscus tea while Nyland sizes up their skincare needs to develop individually tailored treatments.
Signature treatment: The holistic facial (extraction-free for ultimate relaxation) includes a steam, mistings of fragrant aromatherapeutic waters and a massage with hand-blended essential oils. Perfect for socialites seeking a Sunday-morning detox, the locally-sourced, organic wild seaweed body wrap has the power to reenergize and cancel out a night’s worth of Caipirinhas at the Brazilian Ball.
Bonus: Can’t part with your Yorkie? Bring them along to hang with Monty and Stella, Nyland’s laid-back, dog-friendly cats who curl up on the cozy couches next to blissed-out clients between treatments.
—Sarah Daniel Dolphin
Tudor-style buildings and a manicured garden set the stage for this charming Old English Inn and Spa. To really feel like a royal, spend the day here: Start with a luxe spa treatment and finish with the signature afternoon high tea.
Signature treatment: The Soufflé Body Wrap is just as sinful as the real dessert. As you recline on the spa’s signature heated waterbeds (the only spot in Canada where you can enjoy the ‘80s bedroom trend), your muscles relax as the therapist gently scrubs away imperfections. After a quick shower, it’s back on the bed for a luxurious massage with Seatonic Body Gel which tones and smoothes skin using brown algae extracts. You’re then gently wrapped (to let the gel soak into the skin) and treated to a soothing scalp massage. Finally the gel is massaged deep into your skin once again for optimum, firming results.
Insider tip: Your skin will be so incredibly soft and smooth you won’t want to shower for at least 12 hours after this treatment. Pregnant women can also enjoy it—the waterbed is a great way to ease lower back pain.
Body Blitz, bodyblitzspa.com
Housed in an former warehouse in a nondescript area of town, Body Blitz’s brand of luxury is decidedly unique: The experience focuses more on active rejuvenation than passive lounging. (For starters, there isn’t a loon call to be heard.) Arrive an hour before your scheduled treatment to take the waters: an invigorating circuit that includes three pools (dead sea salt, cold plunging and hot green tea), an aromatherapy steam room and an infrared sauna.
Signature treatment: Exchange your white robe for a disposable spa thong and hop onto the orange table to experience the Sweet Ginger and Milk Glow—a treatment that smells every bit as good as it sounds. You’re scrubbed down with raw ginger, then soothed with splashes of fragrant warm milk. While a layer of grape seed oil seeps in, providing an extra layer of hydration, your therapist gives you a mini-facial, and washes and conditions your hair. With dead skin cells scrubbed away, and skin soft and moisturized, you’ve got the perfect canvas for summer beauty prep: waxing or applying self-tanner.
Bonus: You can bring the experience home—Body Blitz carries a full range of its own products, including the lovely Mint Lime Sea Salt Scrub.