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Where to find the best saunas in Toronto

Great spots to sauna in Toronto, from Russian baths and hotel spas to local gyms

Sauna culture is becoming more popular in Toronto. Which is great news for those of us who like the health benefits of sweat bathing! The city isn’t quite at the point yet where public saunas are widely available and affordable. But if you’re looking for the best saunas in Toronto you can still find them in spas, hotels, the suburbs, and occasional pop-ups.

Which is why I’m going to assemble here all the places I can find to have a sauna in Toronto. (To be clear, I’m not talking about the saunas and spas frequented mostly by gay men.) Oh, and if you’re not from here, you should know that sauna culture here is not naked. Unless otherwise noted, swimsuits are required.

This list of the Best Saunas in Toronto will contain my personal reports and top recommends, as well as links to ones I haven’t been to yet. I’ll update it whenever I visit a new space so I can give you my honest review.

If you know of or operate a public sauna in Toronto please get in touch as I aim to make this the definitive guide to all things Sauna in Toronto!

Disclosure: My blog contains links from Affiliate programmes. At no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase from these links, I earn a small commissionThank you for supporting my work and the site!

Recommended: A Sauna Hat

Want to upgrade your sauna experience? The Finns will tell you to wear a sauna hat. These simple felt hats help regulate the temperature of your head so you can sweat harder, longer. This style has the traditional grey felt and is stylish for all genders.

Cozy interior of a traditional Russian banya sauna in Toronto, featuring wooden benches and a rustic brick oven, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere." Toronto at Banya No. 2
Banya No 2 in Richmond Hill

Best Traditional and Best Late-Night: The Russian Banyas (two locations)

My friends and I just call it “The Banya.” And it’s my fave sauna to hit up at the last minute late at night.

The original location (official name: South-Western Bathhouse) is tucked away behind a plaza in Etobicoke, and a second location (Banya No 2., obv) opened by the same family, is up in Richmond Hill. Both of these locations are worth the drive/taxi from downtown for high-quality proper sweating and fantastic Eastern European comfort food. Don’t let the plain storefronts fool you – you’ll feel like stepping into a 1970s cottage in here, complete with leather couches and old National Geographics to read!

The saunas here are hot! Their traditional Russian Parilka is heated by a wood-fired (apple, birch, oak and cherry woods are used) brick stove and is considered the “wet” sauna—you can throw water into the stove. There is also a Finnish-style, electric dry sauna. And they have a Turkish-style steam room, cold plunge, relaxation areas, and an excellent selection of tea (included with admission).  Ask them about their venik treatment (beating with birch leaves) which is sometimes available.

Toronto's Russian Banya No 2 has a lovely tea room decorated with vintage posters and traditional furnishings, offering a cozy spot to enjoy refreshments and unwind after a steam session.
Tea room at the Banya

If you’re trying to choose between the two locations, note that the South-Western Bathhouse has some gendered days and times. Women-only on Tuesdays after 4pm, Men only on Thursdays after 4pm. The other times are co-ed. It’s also closed on Mondays. Meanwhile, the Banya No 2 is open to all genders at all times, seven days a week. I also found the new location more spacious, if you prefer more elbow room. Read my in-depth review of Banya No 2

Price: $60

Crowd: Serious sweat bathers of all ages

Hours: Original: 4pm to midnight Tuesday to Fridays. Noon to midnight on weekends. Closed on Mondays. Banya No 2, 4pm to 11:30pm Monday to Friday, Saturday noon to 11:30pm, Sunday noon to 11pm. Both are No reservations, walk-in only.

banya.ca and banyarichmondhill.ca

Sauna in Toronto at Body Blitz a woman's only spa

For Women Only: Body Blitz (two locations)

Body Blitz is Toronto’s women-only spa, and my original introduction to hydrotherapy—it’s how I got hooked on hot+cold+relax. Their various pools remain the main draw here.

Read my in-depth review of Body Blitz Spas

The infrared sauna is designed to be part of their water circuit and is not a huge feature of the spa. But both locations are in good downtown spots for visitors, and it’s also the only women-only spa in Toronto that I know of where you can go topless. (Swimsuit bottoms required.)

Price: $78 admission to the waters ($68 on Tuesday) Complimentary with any treatment.

Crowd: Women only. All ages 13+ up. (Teens to 17 must be accompanied by an adult). It’s a social environment with talking. Expect Bachelorette/Girl Gang chatter on weekends.

Hours: Both locations. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays 10am to 8pm; Friday 10am to 9pm.Sauna/Water Therapy access is walk-in only, no reservations.

471 Adelaide Street West (near Portland) and 497 King Street East (near the Distillery District.)
bodyblitz.ca

A neon sign on a brick wall reading "treat yourself," creating a welcoming and motivational ambiance in a banya setting.
Photo by Etienne Girardet via Unsplash

Most social: The Othership

This new addition to Toronto’s spa scene really is a scene, a place to connect with others who prefer to socialize while pursuing wellness. If you’re looking for a serious Cold Plunge in Toronto, this is the hot (and cold) spot.

Access to their “performance sauna” is by attending a class. The evening Social classes (2 hours with music, towel waving and other performance, etc.) are especially popular—and often sell out. You can also go for quieter self-guided or guided flows. The use of scent and sounds is part of the experience. And then you cool down (a lot) with an ice bath.

Price: $55 for a single drop-in class. Membership, class packages and other promos can get that fee down.

Crowd: 18+, Downtown fitness types.

Hours: Classes from 7am to 9:30pm daily. Book classes on-line in advance.

425 Adelaide Street West or 110 Bloor St W, www.othership.us

A neat stack of green towels placed on a wooden stool, against a backdrop of warm, earthy-toned tiles in a spa
Photo by Denny Muller via Unsplash

Most Private: Element Outdoor Sauna

The closest thing to having your own private sauna in Toronto. Element offers one barrel sauna and one cold bath, on the quiet rooftop of an East End residence. Because it’s private, this is a place you can sauna in Toronto without clothes (please sit on a towel though!)

Access to the sauna is for one or maximum two people, by advance booking. 18+ only.

Price: $69 per person for one 50-minute session.
Hours: Sessions available Wednesday to Sunday, morning, afternoon or early evening.

257 Danforth Avenue. elementoutdoorsauna.com

A spacious, modern sauna with wooden benches and a wooden bucket, offering a clean and comfortable environment.

Budget-friendly: YMCA!

Quite a few gyms in Toronto have really nice saunas. That’s great if you’re a member, but not that affordable if you just want a public sweat.

The cheapest sauna in Toronto I’ve found is at the YMCA. My branch at College and Dovercourt has an electric sauna that is pretty empty most of the time, especially when classes are in session. They also have a steam room and a hot tub, so I can do my own personal water circuit there…for the cost of a day pass. No frills, but a great option if you just need to sweat!

Price: $16.95 for a day pass. Less if you accompany a member. You can also get a free trial pass for 7 days.

Hours: Vary. (My branch is 6am to 10pm)

www.ymcagta.org

300*250

Toronto Hotels with Saunas

Most luxury hotels in Toronto have spas, and some of those have saunas. You can access these as a guest of the hotel, or with spa treatments. Many more hotels have fitness centres for use by all guests, but not too many of those have saunas. Here are a few I recommend.

The Omni (which I still just call the King Edward) has a dry sauna in the women’s changeroom of its fitness centre. Non-guests can access this with a treatment at Mokara spa.

The Royal York is a historic Toronto hotel and its indoor pool is gorgeous. They also have saunas for both men and women in their Health Club.

Chelsea Hotel is popular with families for its waterslides and can be less expensive than other downtown hotels. They have an adults-only pool area with saunas for both men and women.

A contemporary sauna with sleek, dark wood benches and a unique wall decoration, providing a stylish and serene experience.

More places to find public saunas in Toronto

Artspin Toronto presented Public Sweat, an art-themed public sauna experience at Harbourfront in 2023. Sadly, it was temporary but I encourage following them on social media because they sometimes do other pop-ups!

Seoul Zimzilbang, traditional Korean sauna north of Toronto. Admission includes comfy PJ style outfit to wear in their eight different co-ed saunas.  Gendered hot tub/steam rooms. $30 for adults. 9am to midnight. All ages/genders. Popular with families. 382 Magnetic Drive, North York.

Sweetgrass Spa, another women’s-only spa downtown. Has a small (like, one-person sized) infrared sauna in their pool area, which is included with a treatment. Tuesday-Saturday, 10am to 6pm. 111 Queen Street East on the lower level.

Elm Spa, an offshoot of the Elmwood Spa, in Cabbagetown. Infrared sauna access with any treatment over $125.

Alter Wellness is a very popular choice for a simple sauna+cold plunge experience on College Street West. Single sessions for $45 but most seem to go for monthly memberships, $150-$300.

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