TIFF 2013 Insider’s Guide: Where To Get Pampered
Most TIFF premieres are in the evening, which leaves just enough time in the day to get ready. These salons, spas and gyms are the best the city has to offer
Blo Blow Dry Bar
626 King St. W., Suite 102, 416-703-1256
What do Selena Gomez and Kim Cattrall have in common? (No, this isn’t a trick question.) They’re both ardent fans of Blo, the tiny King West blow-dry bar—and for good reason. The shop prides itself on its straightforward, no-frills blowout, which is really all anyone needs for a quick pre-movie makeover. Choose from seven of their signature styles, such as the aptly named Red Carpet (a classic blowout) or the Holly Would (curls and bounce galore) for $35.
Spa My Blend by Clarins at the Ritz-Carlton
181 Wellington St. W., 416-572-8000
The Ritz-Carlton’s real treat isn’t the plush decor of its suites or its swanky lobby bar, but the spa on the fifth floor—one of only two My Blend spas in the world (the other’s in Paris). Savvy guests—like Emily Blunt, who was spotted there last year—make sure to take advantage of the only-during-TIFF Red Carpet Recharge, a two-hour package that includes the works: a body scrub, wrap and facial, all for $325.
The Spa at the Four Seasons
60 Yorkville Ave., 416-963-6006
The 30,000-square-foot spa in the new Four Seasons Hotel has raised the city standard for blissed-out beauty days. Toronto’s Sarah Gadon recently tweeted about her allegedly life-changing facial there. The real gem of this year-old spot, though, is the sunlit indoor bromine pool that glitters with Italian glass mosaic tile and pulses with music from an underwater sound system. It’s the classiest way to burn off all that popcorn.
Stillwater Spa at the Park Hyatt
4 Avenue Rd., 416-924-4933
The Park Hyatt isn’t as shiny and new as some of the other hotels in this guide, but its spa is one of the best in the city. Stillwater specializes in aqua therapy and also offers relaxing goodies like reiki and river-stone massages (from $145 and $155 respectively). And during TIFF, they’ll be doing in-room manis and pedis (from $50)—because A-listers value their privacy, and so should you.
Commerce Court, 199 Bay St., 647-497-5158
Equinox, the celeb-endorsed American chain of fitness clubs, just opened its first Canadian outpost in the Financial District. So far it’s been rammed with Bay Streeters sweating out their stress post-work. During the festival it’ll no doubt be a hot spot for celebs craving a familiar spin class—Cameron Diaz, Bradley Cooper and Ashley Tisdale are just a few regular members (and memberships can be used at all locations). The 35,000-square-foot gym is also equipped with an in-house spa with a 24-karat gold facial on its menu.
Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris at the Shangri-La
188 University Ave., 647-253-5770
This spa hasn’t been open long enough to have accrued much TIFF cred, but it’s on the radar. Celebs swear by the Caudalie products used at Miraj—Victoria Beckham has gone on record (okay, on Twitter) raving about their Beauty Elixir. The Miraj will also be offering an exclusive TIFF package (as yet undisclosed), and its standard fare is good too: the signature Hammam and Gommage treatment is a cleansing and exfoliating Middle Eastern practice that detoxifies the skin ($125).
Body Blitz Spa
497 King St. E.; 471 Adelaide St. W., 416-364-0400
Think of this women-only water mecca as circuit training for the soul. Scantily clad (or just plain naked) women plunge in to a series of pools, each with its own unique minerals, temperature and properties ($54 for pool access). By the time you’ve dipped in to them all and submitted to a shiatsu massage (from $95), your muscles are supple and your mind is calm—ready for an evening screening of an arcane Danish masterpiece.
35 Kensington Ave., 647-346-4333
Toronto’s best old-timey barbershop is an ideal place to channel your inner James Dean (or George Clooney, or Ryan Gosling). Patrons listen to Ray Charles blaring from the speakers (and occasionally one of the barbers) while sipping on a Mexican Coke from the robin’s-egg-blue fridge. The prices ($25 for a cut, $35 for a shave, $55 for both) are old school; the top-quality products on the shelves from Baxter of California and Layrite are anything but.