Blog / sauna culture, bathhouse history, Russian food, and more

Why do people wear hats at the bathhouse?

Why do people wear hats at the bathhouse?

  The felt hat is an important accessory when steaming. The difference between a steaming session with a hat and one without is immense. This is because the head tends to heat up faster than the rest of the body, especially when a person is sitting down or standing up in the parilka (steam room). This makes it hard to raise your core temperature without feeling overheated. Felt is a great insulator, meaning that it keeps the air inside of it at a constant temperature. Most commonly is it used for insulating against the cold (in the form of coats and boots) but it is equally as effective at insulating against […]

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Purifying Pleasures: Russian Bathhouse Food in Toronto

Purifying Pleasures: Russian Bathhouse Food in Toronto

  We had an unexpected visit from Saveur Magazine. They kept us company for a few hours, took pictures of our food, ate the food and left. A few months later they published an article on us that was a joy to read, capturing our Banya's atmosphere perfectly. Our favorite line is: "While these foods are satisfying on their own, I've learned from experience that they're best enjoyed after a long hot steam, when they can be consumed with shriveled fingers, and a purified heart." Saveur has been around since 1994 and is considered one of the best culinary magazines of its time. It combines the importance of culture, travel, world cooking, and hole-in-the-wall […]

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The South-Western Bathhouse Website

The South-Western Bathhouse Website

When we first opened, our daughter Julia insisted on taking on the responsibility of making our website. She was determined to make something that inspired people of all backgrounds to visit our sauna! Word of mouth was enough for the Russian community since most Russian people know exactly what steaming entails, considering it part of their weekly routine. But what about everyone else? She wanted people of all nationalities to start steaming, drinking loose leaf tea and whipping each other with tree branches. Since its launch, we have gotten enormous positive feedback. Our customers tell us our website fully represents our banya, gets their apetite going, and informs them of proper steaming practices. We could not […]

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The Argonauts celebrate their Grey Cup victory!

The Argonauts celebrate their Grey Cup victory!

The Toronto Argonauts gifted their home city with its first championship celebration since they last won eight years ago! A 35-22 victory against the Calgary Stampeders was exactly what Toronto needed to augments the holiday cheer, and end this year with a bang. Last Friday, the South Western Bathhouse was operating as usual, when we got an unexpected visit from 7 of the players – a cheerful bunch – who infected us and our regulars with the taste of victory! Drinking from the Grey Cup, feasting, and having an epic steam with some of Toronto’s best athletes, it was an experience worth remembering. We wish them further success and welcome them back for […]

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South-Western Bathhouse Reviews

  We’ve been getting so many pleasant reviews that we thought they deserved their own page! A big thanks to our visitors for spending time on these endorsements.   “We really enjoyed the experience. It was nice to be able to spend several hours doing 3 different kinds of saunas and resting in between … I watched television in the rest area and carol was energized and went back for more sauna. We ordered a chickent cutlet plate. It was very good and was a large portion .. enough for two people .. the kvas was very good, there was a very russian menu available and I would like to […]

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Beautify at the Bathhouse

Beautify at the Bathhouse

Before commercial products existed, people used natural ingredients to care for their skin. We believe that natural remedies have become underrated and encourage their resurgence. Natural masks and scrubs for the body and face can noticeably improve the look and feel of skin in a safe and inexpensive way.  Over years of experimentation, we've become fans of several home beauty remedies. We suggest trying them out during a steam as your pores are more open, maximizing the effects. Lemon juice Lemon juice contains a high amount of vitamin C and citric acid.  These two substances are superb for the skin. The body uses Vitamin C to produce collagen, a protein […]

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