Here are seven to check out. All aim to promote self-care and good health through variations on soaks, steams, saunas, and community. From a former mobster hangout in Detroit to ancient-style baths where you can soak in wine, here are six recently opened bathhouses to visit now—plus one you can plan on checking out in the near future. Should you fall in love with the space, a buyout for a private spa party can also be arranged.
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Thirty-five years after the raids, we head back into Toronto's bathhouses—and get breakfast. Follow the smell of chlorine down an alleyway in the Church-Wellesley Village, pass through a set of heavy metal doors and up a flight of stairs, and there is Steamworks. Go a few blocks south and there is Spa Xcess. There is the Oasis Aqualounge, which also markets itself to heterosexuals. But by and large, these are establishments by and for gay men, and they have always been so.
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This open-minded attitude to the naked body started in the 19th century, when Scandinavian-style steam baths became popular; then, in the late 20th century nudity became widely accepted on beaches, in city parks and on walking trails. Recent years have seen a decline of nakedness in such outdoor settings, but the unadorned body is still the standard at bathhouses. Each bathhouse, generally containing the German word bad bath in its name, will have a clothed area centred on a swimming pool, much like any municipal fitness centre. In a separate area, accessible for an additional fee, will be a spa facility of saunas and heated pools.
This sauna is technically a private club and it shows. The place feels high end from the look of its clientele to it luxurious entrance and facilities. The reality is, Sanduny is basically the Las Vegas of saunas in Toronto. We at Toronto Sauna have experienced or heard of: fights, wild parties, women covering themselves in honey, C-list celebrity sightings, drunken rambunctiousness and a man in a sailors hat, swim suit and handlebar mustache playing the violin. That said, Sanduny is NOT high end in price.