While there might not be natural hot springs to be found near Toronto, judging by the popularity of the closest Nordic spa to the city, any chance to unwind outdoors in heated pools seems to be a very attractive thing for city folk accustomed to taking refuge in the PATH all winter.
Mercifully, you don’t have to drive for hours and hours to enjoy this experience. Located in Caledon about an hour northwest of Toronto, the Millcroft Inn offers a number of hot spring pools as part of its on-site spa facilities.
The outdoor area at Millcroft isn’t quite as scenic as the more wooded grounds at Scandinave, but it’s also closer to the city and pretty enough in its own right. The hot springs are at their best following a snowfall, when the contrast is starkest between the landscape and pools.
As far as the outdoor offerings go, Millcroft has two hot springs that hover at 40C, one polar plunge pool at 7C, and more neutral pool that’s heated to 30C (which still feels blissfully warm when it’s -10C outside)
Inside, there’s an indoor pool, steam room, a Finnish sauna, as well as a fitness facility. Access to the spa facilities is complimentary for hotel guests, but rings in at $ 70 for day trippers. It’s $ 35 if you spend more than $ 100 on spa treatments.
I’m not going to wax on about the health benefits of contrast hydrotherapy, but rotating between hot and cold baths is unbelievably relaxing if you’ve never tried it, and somehow the experience feels all the more special when it’s outdoors.