Nurture the mind-body connection at these innovative health and wellness clubs across the city.
If self-care and personal growth are on your radar for 2023, Toronto’s the perfect city to start your journey.
Home to some of the country’s most innovative wellness spaces, a trip to Toronto offers the opportunity to sample the latest in holistic wellness that combines mental and physical activities.
Ready? Dive into these growth opportunities.
Try sound bathing in Roncesvalles Village
Sound bathing is an experience that uses sound to promote relaxation, increase awareness and encourage healing. As certified sound-worker Kiko Pace explains, sound bathing is a deeply personal experience.
“You hear with your ears, but listen with your whole body… It is a practice that allows us to listen to our own intuition more clearly.” - Kiko Pace
Try it here: At Kiko’s small space off Roncesvalles in the Westside, I am one of 10 people lying on a floor mat in a darkened room, covered cozily with a blanket, as we first participate in a guided breathing exercise, followed by one hour of listening to Kiko play various crystal bowls and chimes.
She uses a wand to send melodic sounds reverberating through the space, creating unique sounds with metal, shells and seed pods that are deeply relaxing.
Embrace social wellness in Liberty Village
Social wellness is about connecting to others and strengthening yourself not just physically but also socially, spiritually and mentally.
Social wellness clubs in Toronto aren’t just for a strict in-and-out sweat session—they offer a more well-rounded experience, including mindful interaction with others.
Try it here: At the approximately 8,200 sq m (89,000 sq ft) Altea Active social wellness club in Toronto’s Liberty Village, people come to sweat and push themselves—then let things go, relax and enjoy being part of a community.
The club offers 185+ weekly studio fitness classes—including boxing, AntiGravity Fitness, hot yoga, aqua Zumba, FloatFit, Pilates, barre and spinning (in Canada’s largest spin studio).
They also boast meditation pods, a sauna, two steam rooms, a Himalayan salt lounge, plus cocktails and dining.
Their active kids’ club provides a supervised indoor space for your kids to jump around or do crafts with new friends while you get in your workout.
Jump into thermal therapy near King West
Outdoor thermal experiences attract people who don’t flinch at cold weather. Hot and cold therapies, breathwork and mindfulness combine in this watery modality (yes, ice dips are involved).
Try it here: Unbounded Well at stackt market, just south of vibrant King Street West, brings together hot and cold therapies, breathwork and opportunities for human connection.
Book an experience on your own or get the guided version, with breathwork exercises in a geodesic dome to help prep you for a dip into a 1.5 to 2.5 degree Celsius outdoor ice bath.
While staying in for at least two minutes will give you maximal health benefits, I was told that my 30 seconds “on ice” would also have numerous benefits.
The experience can produce everything from a boosted immune system to what founder Nick McNaught refers to as “resilience training to react calmly in high stress.”
After the ice bath, warm yourself in one of their saunas or at an outdoor fire pit in the evening at this wellness club. Unbounded Well also offers sunrise lake dips every morning at three locations across Toronto.
Soak in the social bathhouse vibes in Old Town
A social bathhouse experience is a unique way to foster community without alcohol. Guided experiences allow participants to explore elements like breathwork, music, movement and aromatherapy in a positive group environment.
Try it here: At Othership in Old Town, the goal is greater emotional and mental wellness in a fun and social venue.
During 75-minute or 2-hour sessions, guests can choose from various guided experiences in a communal sauna, followed by a dip in an ice bath and time to chill over tea. Or they can do a less structured, but still supported, “free flow” class.
A crucial part of the Othership experience is their large red cedar sauna, which accommodates up to 50 people. Essential oil–spiked snowballs are placed on the sauna rocks to infuse the space with their calming scent.
Don’t miss their popular 2-hour socials on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights with music, performance and access to all the hot and cold experiences in the studio.
Go for a float-therapy session in the Distillery District
Floating in body-temperature Epsom salt–rich water is said to bring on a state of intense relaxation that may relieve stress, calm anxiety and even help ease physical pain.
Try it here: Book a 75-minute single or tandem session at H2O Float Studio in the Distillery Historic District, and then float in your own private cabin with 10 inches of water and more than 1,000 pounds of magnesium sulphate (Epsom salt). It’s a deeply meditative experience.
Float advocates claim magnesium can help relax nerves and muscles, increase energy levels and help bring on a great night’s sleep. And many people start that sleep while they’re floating!
While floating is nothing new, H2O offers unique float options, including a sensory deprivation float, where you can meditate in complete stillness.
Also available is their Salts of the World float, which includes Dead Sea, Himalayan and Mediterranean mineral salts. Choose the sounds of the ocean, rainforest or wilderness as your soothing backdrop.