Nordic spa coming to Edmonton next year

A Nordic Spa is expected to open its doors and pools to Edmontonians by fall 2020. It will be owned by the same group that operates the Nordic spa in Kananaskis.

Location expected to be finalized by July

This rendering of the Edmonton Nordic Spa reveals the outdoor-indoor aspects of the future spa. (Edmonton Nordic Spa)

Edmontonians will soon be able to dip into the nordic spa lifestyle when an indoor-outdoor spa is expected to open its doors in the city next year. 

The facility will have eight outdoor pools of varying temperatures, along with steam and sauna rooms.

The news comes a week after a Quebec company announced they will be building a $50 million nordic spa in Parkland County.

Edmonton Nordic Spa group haven't chosen a location yet and have not yet obtained a development permit through the city. They are currently eyeing a handful of commercial spaces that will fit the roughly two acres needed to house the indoor-outdoor relaxation facility.

It will not be located in the river valley, said Hank Van Weelden, managing partner of Edmonton Nordic Spa.

The group of entrepreneurs undertaking the Edmonton project are the same owners of the Kananaskis Nordic Spa at the Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge.

The Edmonton space will be about double the size of the Kananaskis Nordic Spa.

"It will be quite a large facility," said Van Weelden.
Edmonton Nordic Spa will be open year-round. (Edmonton Nordic Spa)

The group came together after one of the proposals from the Edmonton Project pitched a series of warming huts in Edmonton's river valley.

That idea lost to the gondola project, but a group of entrepreneurs, including Van Weelden, decided to capitalize on the momentum.

"The Edmonton Project highlighted that the city populous would love to have a nordic spa in the river valley," said Van Weelden. "We would love that but that would be quite difficult."

What will the Edmonton nordic spa look like?

Early renderings of the facility show an open space that could be used year-round, with fireplaces and pools to keep people warm.

Edmonton-based Dub Architects designed the project, with architects using inspiration from the "water flow and geological river formations along the North Saskatchewan River" to design the building, a news release said. 

The nordic spa experience usually involves heat — saunas and steam rooms — followed by cold, such as an ice-water plunge, and then a rest period before repeating the cycle.

The space will include the different warming pools, along with a bistro and massage therapy rooms.

The Edmonton spa facility will be double the size of the Kananaskis nordic spa (pictured). (Mike Seehagel/Travel Alberta)

Based on the traditional Scandinavian approach to wellness, the nordic style believes that moving between hot, warm and cold temperatures has numerous health benefits known as hydrotherapy, the Edmonton group said in a news release.

Many of Canada's nordic spas also ban cellphones from the main areas.

"Our Canadian take on it is to be quite social, you go with somebody. You take the time to disconnect to reconnect," said Van Weelden.

Edmonton's future spa will cost people $85 plus tax for all-day access to the facility, the current price used at their Kananaskis location, said Van Weelden.

The company is expecting about 130,000 to 150,000 people to visit the Edmonton nordic spa each year. That's double the number of people who have visited the Kananaskis location since it opened in March 2018.

"Kananaskis is very much a retreat. What we're planning on in Edmonton is turning it into a ritual than you can incorporate in on a weekly or monthly basis," said Van Weelden. "We want to have this as not just a special occasion but to factor it in as a ritual in everyday life."   

Edmonton Nordic Spa is expected to finalize their location by July, he added.

It is scheduled to open by fall 2020.


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