Late fall and winter combine into a long stretch or cold days and months in Toronto, which is why having some go-to ways to warm us is essential. And I don’t just mean making sure you have a cozy winter coat to bundle up in. Having a few activities and destinations in the city where you know you can stave off the chill can make a huge difference when it comes to making it through the colder months.
Here are five ways to stay or get warm in Toronto.
Cozy up to a fireplace
Is there anything cozier on a cold or damp day than sitting next to a roaring fire? Whether or not you have a fireplace of your own, there are numerous bars and restaurants where you can enjoy the warmth of a fireplace. Bars with fireplaces are usually pretty relaxing and there’s something nice about sipping a pint while watching the flames as snow falls outside. Some bars in Toronto that have a fireplace include C’est What, The Victory Café, Brazen Head, Imperial Pub and Dora Keogh.
Sit in a sauna
Sweat out some stress and warm right up with some time spent in a sauna. If your gym doesn’t have one, there are a few other places in the city to bask in the heat. Sanduny, a Russian Banya in North York, offers traditional spa services but also includes wet and dry saunas and a massive indoor pool. Seoul Zimzilbang bills itself as the first traditional Korean Sauna in the Toronto area.
Upon removing your shoes and donning the shorts and T-shirt provided you can enjoy the selection of mineral saunas, each purported to offer different healthy benefits. Seoul Zimzilbang also offers massage and body scrubs.
Sip hot chocolate
Hot chocolate is the ultimate cold weather indulgence, one that satisfies a sweet tooth and warms you up from the inside out.
Whether you’re looking for something traditional or hot chocolate with a twist (maybe with a spicy kick), you should probably be able to find it in Toronto. So, where should you start your quest for a warming mug of chocolatey goodness? Some good places to try include Delight Chocolates, Soma Choclatemaker, Nadege Patisserie and Clafouti.
Soak and steam at Body Blitz
The therapeutic circuit of pools, steam rooms and saunas at women-only Body Blitz Spa does involve a cold plunge pool (and boy is it frigid) but otherwise, spending time ‘taking the waters’ is a relaxing experience and purported to have many health benefits. Go between the warm Dead Sea salt pool, hot Epsom salt pool, aforementioned cold plunge pool, aromatherapy steam room and the infrared sauna and feel the stress melt away. Access to the waters is included when you book a spa treatment, or you can just visit to do the circuit. Body Blitz gets pretty busy on the weekend so during the week is your best bet.
Detox in a steam room
Forget all about the dropping temperatures as you experience a traditional Turkish steam room at Hammam Spa. The 500 square foot co-ed space is laid out like a natural grotto and elegantly outfitted with black slate surfaces and onyx cold water bowls.
You can just cozy up in the steam room, or indulge in one of the many spa treatments on offer including body wraps, body scrubs and massages.