They call themselves an “urban oasis”; that's an accurate description. The Elmwood Spa is a day spa situated in a beautiful five-storey historic building in the heart of downtown Toronto.
It has 34 treatment rooms and 18 manicure/pedicure stations. For the 30 years that they have been in business, they've offered a variety of services that can make you feel like all your stresses are melting away.
At the end of a hectic work day, I stepped into the Elmwood Spa feeling exhausted and stressed. I opened the front doors and saw a gorgeous Thai carved image on the wall. Breathing a sigh of relief, I shuffled to the front desk area to get started on my spa treatments. I could feel my shoulders relaxing a little. I made my way to the well-appointed change-room area. It alone can put anyone in a relaxing mood — it's the perfect spot for transitioning from “go, go, go” to “reeeeelax”. It has everything you need to get ready for your spa experience.
Afterwards, I used their Water Therapies area, going from the shower area to the pool, the steam room, then a cool shower, followed by the hot tub, a cool shower again and back to the pool. I ended it all off by hanging out in their lounge area reading a magazine and drinking one of their infused waters. Feeling extremely pampered at this point, I walked around in my white robe and checked out some of the art in the building. Owner, Sherry Byrdson was right in saying that “art is an important part of the relaxation experience at Elmwood Spa. We encourage our guests to attend to their physical, emotional and spiritual health and to make our art part of that experience by contemplating its beauty, and letting the artists’ use of form and colour, spark an inner dialogue that stimulates and rejuvenates.”
Sipping on my infused water, I checked in with a staff member for my facial appointment. I was booked for an ElmLine Essential Facial + Masque. They use their own Canadian made skincare products. I haven’t had a facial in 10 years. Yikes! Is that bad? I couldn’t help but feel like I had done something wrong. Thank goodness Galina, my aesthetician, was honest and kind at the same time. She made me feel great about the way I had treated my skin so far. Her suggestions were simple, get a facial once per season, eat well, drink water, sleep well, exercise and live your life being stress-free. Once my facial was completed, she brought me a sample of one of their green teas. That was the perfect way to end the session.
I went back to the change room and thought about the other services they offer. Each of them seem to have something unique available only at Elmwood Spa. Their signature treatments, LI'TYA Healing Rituals, Siam Herbal Tension Release, Sea Flora and Spa Retreat Packages all sound like rejuvenating experiences I would love to do. For now, I walked out of the Elmwood Spa feeling more relaxed and thought about the next time I’ll be back. This little bit of heaven in our busy downtown Toronto definitely took away all my stresses and made me feel naturally beautiful. Until next time my “urban oasis”.
18 Elm Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 1G7
416-977-6751 or 1-877-284-6348
All photos courtesy of Richard Picton