Travellers can slough off tired skin and spring into shape at these eight picks for top-to-toes relaxation.
SETTING This cavernous paradise exudes old-world opulence with lavish steam rooms and private suites.
SIGNATURE TREATMENT Signature Hammam Ritual ($40 per visit, complimentary with other treatments totalling $100 or more). Rejuvenate and detoxify your body with the traditional Turkish steam infused with refreshing essential oils.
PAMPERING PICK Pamper Package ($340 for 3.5 hours) includes a Hammam steam, body scrub, Swedish massage, manicure and pedicure.
OTHER SERVICES Facials, microdermabrasion, body exfoliating treatments, couples’ massages.
SETTING For women only, this haven offers a luxurious space with access to an ozonated swimming pool, whirlpool, infrared sauna, and spa dining from George Restaurant.
SIGNATURE TREATMENT Lomi Lomi massage ($125 for an hour). A stylized Hawaiian treatment that means “loving hands,” this intuitive massage uses gentle flowing strokes, coaxing the body to relax.
PAMPERING PICK The Rose Sweetgrass Pause Package ($334 for 3 hours and 15 minutes) includes an aromatherapy facial, massage, manicure and pedicure, and lunch with wine.
OTHER SERVICES BodySong massage, facials, manicures and pedicures.
Norval Morrisseau's Tales of the Story Tree is one of a variety of works now displayed at the Elmwood Spa
Who says masterpieces live only in galleries? This month it’s easy to appreciate art in non-traditional spaces. Until April 23, guests enjoying a day of relaxation at the Elmwood Spa are treated to Copper Thunderbird: The Art of Norval Morrisseau, a private exhibition featuring Tales of the Story Tree and other vibrant paintings by one of this country’s most beloved Aboriginal artists. Nearby, diners at the Windsor Arms Hotel’s exclusive steakhouse, Prime, can strike up ample conversation about the Canadian pop-art works by Charles Pachter—from his Queen of Canada to famed depictions of the country’s flag—that hang on its walls. Of course, the city also has numerous public art installations that can be admired without ulterior motive. Michael Snow’s Toronto Eaton Centre geese piece, known as Flight Stop, is particularly notable.
November 20 & 21 Fire jugglers, stilt walkers and strolling songsters take over Elm Street this weekend, as the Ice, Wine and Dine Festival transforms the relatively quiet downtown strip into a festive holiday block party.
Organized by local businesses, the event also features live music, fortune tellers, magicians and ice-sculpture carvers, while restaurants and cafés serve up delectable food and drink specials under heated patio tents—recently opened pub The Queen & Beaver offers mulled cider and warm gingerbread, Commensal has organic hot chocolate and a tasty $5 vegetarian sampling platter. Even the Elmwood Spa participates in the festive fun by handing out free Lindt chocolate goodies. Those who seek heartier fare can stop by the Duke of Somerset and feast on pot roast sandwiches and the miniature deep-fried Mars bars, or pop into the Wolf and Firkin pub for spicy chili served with toasted garlic bread.
Culture vultures are encouraged to peek inside the Arts and Letters Club—a heritage building that, this weekend, hosts visual artists, poetry readings, music performances and more—while party enthusiasts will want to stop by the impressive Ice Martini Lounge, a chic outdoor space featuring a frozen ice bar. Here, revelers can pose for photos beside large-scale ice sculptures and sip on signature cocktails like the “Yongetini,” made with crème de menthe, chocolate liquor and vodka, and garnished with chocolate rosebuds. This downtown neighbourhood event has something for anyone looking to catch a bit of early holiday cheer.
Elm Street (two blocks north of Dundas Street) between Yonge and Bay streets. 4 to 9 p.m, free (excluding food samples); for further information, click here.
Endearingly referred to as “The Gaybourhood,” this rainbow-hued nabe holds appeal for folks of all stripes—and it’s the place to be during Pride Week. —By Viviane Kertész
View Church-Wellesley Village in a larger map
Fuzion Restaurant and Lounge.
1 DINE IN STYLE Fuzion Resto-Lounge & Garden boasts the best patio on the block, bar none. Inside a historic mansion, floor-to-ceiling banquettes create a luxe, ultra-comfy setting to chill with friends. Find fabulous mains like pan-seared kona kampachi in an artichoke and kaffir lime broth with gingered scallion and garlic chive curry.
2 HEY MISTER DJ Dancing queens of every kind populate Straight Lounge (553 Church St., 416-926-2501), where a mixed, gay-positive crowd gets its groove on. This three-storey hot spot—with no visible signage—has established itself as a go-to locale for great music and a premium selection of liquor, wine and beer.