City Living: Body Blitz East Launches with a Splash!

What’s better than *one* place where women can go to relax, enjoy a therapeutic water circuit, jump in a sauna and socialize, all the while enjoying a delicious fruity concoction of antioxidants? Two! Toronto’s women’s only, health-by-water spa, Body Blitz is a favourite social destination for women across the city and has become such a popular a haven of relaxation they are celebrating opening the doors of a second location at  497 King St. E. 

The spa’s first location at 471 Adelaide St. W. opened in 2005 and invites hundreds of women through its doors each week. Body Blitz is thrilled to offer another unique space where ladies can escape a little bit from the daily chaos known as life. 

Body Blitz (West).

Smack dab in the middle of Toronto’s beautiful Corktown neighbourhood, Body Blitz East is uniquely designed within 22,000 sq. feet of industrial space made into a buzz-worthy sanctuary. The five part water circuit relay includes a Dead Sea salt pool, hot Epsom salt pool, a cold plunge pool, an aromatherapy steam room and an infrared sauna; all with individual benefits that contribute to a better, more serene sense of well being. 

Body Blitz East Dead Sea salt pool 
Photo credit: Carlos Avalos

And what better way to celebrate the launch of something *so* cool than by hosting one kick-ass party? The highlights: a team of world-class synchronized swimmers from the Durham Synchro Swim Club performing two 10 minute routines, a gorgeous real-life mermaid, and the spiked detox drink. [Full disclosure: one of the spa’s juices got an adult twist. When in doubt, add vodka]. 

Snacking on food provided by Jamie Kennedy, women scoped out their future hot spot, while men relished being allowed into such a forbidden space…October 10 was a guy’s one and only time to see the women’s spa. Their jealousy was apparent. 

More than 250 attendees celebrated the unveiling of the new space, including Jim CuddyKathleen Edwards, 2012 Olympic medallist Adam van Koeverden, actress Meghan Heffern, and dancers from the National Ballet of Canada, and Body Blitz friends and family. 

Body Blitz co-owners Rena (L) and Laura (R) Polley with Jim Cuddy.

The official public opening for Body Blitz East is Monday November 12. For more images of Body Blitz and images from the launch party, check out our Flickr site. 

City Living: Bachelorette Party Ideas

If you’ve ever been a bridesmaid, then you know that planning a bachelorette party is no small task. Not only is it one of the bride-to-be’s last nights out as a “single lady”, but by the time their bachelorette rolls around, they are most likely stressed out and exhausted by all the wedding planning they’ve been doing. This is the perfect chance to be pampered, eat, drink, dance and let loose. Maybe you’re not the spa type, and maybe you haven’t been to a nightclub since you had your fake ID stolen back in university, but for this night only, let yourself enjoy the ultimate girls’ day and night out.
Spas/Mani/Pedi Bars
Whether it’s a full day at the spa, or just a manicure and pedicure, getting pampered is definitely a key component of a bachelorette. For a full spa day we can’t think of anywhere better than Body Blitz. Located in a huge warehouse right in downtown Toronto, this women’s-only therapeutic spa features a variety of pools, saunas, steam rooms and 20 treatment rooms. Plus, all treatments allow access to therapeutic pools. Other great spas around the city include Elmwood Spa, Stillwater at the Park Hyatt and Shizen Spa at the Pantages.  
A spa oasis in the middle of the city.
Booking group mani/pedis is not the easiest thing to do, but we’ve found a couple places that welcome bachelorette parties. The Ten Spot beauty bar is a beautiful and large space, perfect for accommodating big groups. With excellent service, reasonable prices, flexible hours and a spa-like atmosphere, we guarantee it’ll make any bachelorette celebration memorable. Other great options for group mani/pedis include Fabulous Manicure Bar, a beautifully decorated uptown nail bar that specializes in bridal and private parties, as well as Urban Nails on the Danforth.
When it comes to special occasions, we think it’s fun to try something new, different and maybe a little quirky; this is a bachelorette party, not a date after all. It may not be the newest or trendiest place, but we think The Sultan’s Tent is a pretty perfect place to start off the night. With personal (large) tents, delicious food and a unique ambience, this is the perfect place for a big group of rowdy girls. Plus, there are belly dancing shows every few hours where guests are encouraged to participate. If it’s less kitch and more standard you’re after, Ciao Wine Bar in Yorkville and Mercatto downtown (they tend to throw in complimentary Prosecco when you are a big group celebrating) have plenty of space and are happy to accommodate large groups.
 The personal tents at Sultan’s Tent make any occasion special.
We think we need only mention one spot when it comes to bachelorette entertainment in Toronto, and that is El Covento Rico. Located on College, this night club features a drag show every Friday and Saturday night, which we think is the perfect way to get all the girls pumped for the night of dancing ahead. Reservations are suggested as it is a popular spot for bachelorettes and birthdays. Show up ready to dance, leave your reservations at home and just go with it – good times are guaranteed.
We’ll leave it up to you to find out what goes in inside.

Now on to the final, yet potentially most important part of the night. While any bar can be fun when you’re out dancing with your girlfriends, a big nightclub is sure to inspire a wild night. Because a big dance floor and great patio are key to any great club, places like Cube, Cheval, Cobra and Maison are the perfect bachelorette destinations. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, Muzik, the ultimate Toronto nightclub (complete with a beauty bar), will make you feel like you’re at a circus, Vegas nightclub and in a tropical patio oasis all at the same time.
 Just one of the many huge rooms at Muzik.
Obviously your bride-to be’s personality will dictate how extravagant and wild their bachelorette will be. Whether it’s just the spa day, or a big night out that ends at 5 a.m., she will appreciate all the effort you put in to planning and will love being out with all her friends.

City Living: Massage spots

We love a good massage here on the fourth floor. After fashion week, TIFF or, really,  just ’cause we feel like it – we’ll trek around the city to get our flesh kneaded at our favourite spots. 

602 King St. W.

Hammam is a favourite of the fourth floor because its close to home (read: work) and in terms of spas, is relatively affordable. Located on the lower level of a King West building, it’s easy to spend a few hours there and forget that you’re right downtown. 

The best part? The giant steam room you are welcome to use with any spa treatment purchase. 

18 Elm St.

Not only do they offer one of our favourite massages in the city, the spa (located in a historic building) also boasts two restaurants, a juice bar, 34 treatment rooms and water therapies, including swimming pool, whirlpool and steam rooms. All in all adding to the ultimate spa experience.  

152 Grey Road 21, Blue Mountains

When we’re north of the city and need a little rejuvenation after a day on the slopes or outdoor activities, we head to the Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain. In addition to their soothing massages, they have various relaxation areas – hammocks, terraces and outdoor fireplaces to boot! 

471 Adeladie St. W.

Awesome massage, amazing setting – a 11,000 square foot haven of bliss. Body Blitz is Canada’s first water spa for ladies-only (sorry, boys). Come early and relax in all the therapeutic waters, steam room and sauna until treatment time. Plus, they will deliver you tea and juice in the pool! Bonus? They don’t accept tips, prefering to reward internally based on your feedback. 

Rave: On The Fourth Floor Holiday Gift Guide – Part 2

Last week, we made your holiday shopping easy with our festive gift guide. Today, we’re about to make it even easier, with a second edition of the best gift ideas from our clients. 

For the Eco-Conscious Fashionista: Neko Shoulder Bag by Matt & Nat, $150 at Shopgirls Gallery Boutique

Made from blue vegan leather with purple lining, this Neko Shoulder Bag by Matt & Nat is the right statement piece for the eco-conscious fashion devotee’s wardrobe. Each bag is made in a socially responsible way, and uses an average of 21 bottles for its lining. For the chicest in eco-fashion gifts, buy this tone-on-tone stitched Neko bag at Shopgirls Gallery Boutique (1342 Queen Street West) or online.
For the Jewellery Buff who Loves to Shine: Tiddlers, $835 to $1,065 at Made You Look Jewellery Studio and Gallery

Based off a doodle from the designer’s high school days, jewellery wearers won’t be able to resist Made You Look’s Tiddler collection by Lara H.I. Created as a figure without gender or religion, each Tiddler can be customized to your accessory lover’s taste. For a special touch, the pendant can hold a personalized symbol, such as a horoscope sign, a musical note or individual initials. The Tiddler collection is available at Made You Look Jewellery Studio and Gallery (1338 Queen Street West) and online

For the Bride-To-Be: The Wedding Show, $20 from The Wedding Co.

Say “I do” to tickets to The Wedding Show. From Friday, January 14 to Sunday, January 16 at The Carlu (444 Yonge Street), The Wedding Show offers newly engaged couples access to 125 hand-selected exhibitors representing the most original and elite vendors. Purchase tickets to this one-stop-shop for the latest in wedding trends online for your bride-to-be.

For the Wine Connoisseur: Under-Counter Wine Cooler, $1,699 from Electrolux

Looking to make a splash with a gift this season? This high-end wine cooler will dazzle that special someone, and make it onto their “best gifts ever” list. It comes loaded with innovative features, like LED lighting to let them view their lovely bottles, a UV-filtered glass door to protect wines from harmful rays, and even Perfect Set temperature control – set a temperature anywhere between 45°F and 65°F, and the wine cooler will hold the temperature to keep wine perfectly chilled. It’s sleek and simple design will look great. Available at Sears, The Brick, Leon’s, The Bay and additional select major appliance locations. 

For the Spa Girl: Body Blitz Argan Oil Face Serum, $65 from Body Blitz Spa

Let the luxury lover experience the spa in the comfort of her own bathroom. From the most tranquil spa in town comes a new line of Body Blitz natural products. Made of more than 75 per cent organic, extra virgin, cold-pressed argan oil, organic aloe vera, rose damask and organic lavender, the Argan Oil Face Serum naturally hydrates skin. Like she could really say no to the world’s richest natural source of vitamin E. Available at Body Blitz Spa (471 Adelaide Street West) or online.
For the Handsome Man in Your Life: Lookout Coat in Otter Charcoal, $670 from Oliver Spencer

Keep him warm and dashing in this lovely coat by top British menswear designer, Oliver Spencer. He’ll be as dapper as Don Draper in the classic, yet stylish coat, which features dark brown football buttons, clean lines and a cozy black cotton lining. Bonus? There are “lovers pockets” in the back for you to slip your hands in on a cold day. Brilliant! Toronto is the third retail location, joining London and New York. Drop in at 962 Queen Street West. 

For the Fitness Buff Who Needs More: Pilates membership at Body Harmonics Pilates, various prices

Have a loved one who’s seen and done it all when it comes to fitness? Test their stamina with Body Harmonics. These renowned Pilates studios in Toronto (at 672 Dupont Street and 488 Eglinton Avenue West) are known for their tough and effective classes. And it’s not just about building muscle or gentle stretches. The studios aim to teach all participants about why they’re doing the movements, leading to a true understanding of Pilates, their bodies and a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle. That’s a gift that keeps on giving. Please find more information here

For the Irish Pub Lover: Gift Certificate to Quinn’s Steakhouse and Irish Bar, various prices

There are Irish pubs all over the world and with good reason; they’re always fun, cheery and cozy, with great beer and good food. Quinn’s Steakhouse & Irish Bar is no exception. Owned by Ireland native Gavin Quinn, the pub boasts delicious steaks, excellent service and a wicked whiskey collection. Executive chef Paul Pisa regularly creates tempting special menus, full of unique and delicious items (like the wild mushroom and Irish whiskey on Brie, only until tomorrow!). Give your mates a cool pint this holiday season, or really spoil them and treat them to a whole evening out. Gift certificates available at 96 Richmond Street West in the Sheraton Centre.
For Someone Who Wants to Look 10 Years Younger in 40 Seconds: Nanoblur Correction Cream, $19 at Shopper’s Drug Mart, Rexall and PharmaPlus 
Seriously. This topical correction cream will create the appearance of poreless skin, while reducing lines, textural damage and even unwanted pigmentation. It was originally developed to address the concern of high-definition cameras showing skin imperfections of Hollywood’s brightest stars. The photos above are NOT retouched. It even comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee. Also available online.
For Everyone: Amazing Products and Services for Less on 
The holiday season ain’t cheap, and sometimes, you just need to buy a gift that costs less, but doesn’t seem like it cost less. Enter This amazing website harnesses the power of buying in teams, and offers fantastic products and services for less. Recent offers have included spa treatments, yummy restaurants, homemade soup delivery, and even a cute, customizable diaper service. There really is something for everyone, and you can save anywhere from 50 to 90 per cent. With sites featuring local businesses in 12 cities across Canada, you’re also helping support your community. Buyers unite!