This winter is killing me!
March 12, 2008 1:25 PM   Subscribe

Anyone know a good, non-cruisey bathhouse in Toronto?

I've finally had it with the snow and everything else and I need to warm up and relax. Are there any good neighborhood bathhouses in the city, along the lines of a banya, sento or hammam? The closest I can think of is the Oak Leaf, and I understand it's rather shady. I'm not really interested in a high-end spa, and I'm definitely not looking for action. I just want a nice shvitz!

Bonus points for closer to the west end.
posted by TheWhiteSkull to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total)
Hmmm... unfortunately can't help you. I had heard the Oak Leaf was the only non gay bath house in the city, but #1 from other things I've heard I don't believe its entirely cruise free, and #2 it does indeed look very very shady.
posted by yellowbinder at 1:33 PM on March 12, 2008

I think the west-end Y has a steam room - the metro-central Y has a steam room too. You'd have to be a member though.
posted by GuyZero at 1:37 PM on March 12, 2008

What about one of the public aquatic centers? Douglas Snow in North York has a sauna and jacuzzi for sure. Others might, as well. If you went early or late or they wouldn't likely be filled with screaming children.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:19 PM on March 12, 2008

A non-cruisy bathhouse in Toronto is an oxymoron. The answer is no, there aren’t any.
posted by joeclark at 3:15 PM on March 12, 2008

You can use the steam room and jacuzzi at Hammam Spa on King St. West for just $30. I know you said you didn't want high-end spa, but to get non-seedy and no children, this may be a good bet.
posted by meerkatty at 3:21 PM on March 12, 2008

What GuyZero says, but also... you can get a Day Pass at either YMCA without being a member.
posted by rokusan at 3:37 PM on March 12, 2008

The West End Y would also be better than the downtown one because they don't charge a premium fee for use of the steam/whirlpool, unlike the Downtown Y. I couldn't say how cruisey the Metro Y is because I've not been in the mens but it is very close to the gayborhood.
posted by SassHat at 4:31 PM on March 12, 2008

I've been told that the Oakleaf is a a little scuzzy, but not really that gay. I think only the top floor is cruisy. There's also a men's spa on front near the st lawrence market.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 5:33 PM on March 12, 2008

Best answer: The Schvitz you may be looking for is the Ambassador Club. It's an old Russian Banya at Bathurst and Sheppard -- totally old school. Most of the clientelle is from Russia and thereabouts, but the staff speaks English and Canadians are welcome.

Open to men only six days a week (women on Mondays). There are two saunas, a whirlpool, small swimming pool and a TV lounge. $20 gets you in for the day, and includes secure locker, bathrobe, towel service and flip-flops...but you might want to bring your own flip-flops.

It's a fun place...(full disclosure: I reviewed [Registration Required] it for a piece on Russian culture in Toronto)
posted by dismitree at 8:17 PM on March 12, 2008

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