Nova Scotia

Traditional sauna put on wheels in Halifax's north-end

It won't be just food trucks wheeling around Halifax this summer.

'We love to socialize and we enjoy the outdoors,' says co-creator Erica Brook

Friends Laura Burke and Laura Mather try out the sauna. (Carsten Knox/CBC)

When you think of a sauna, you might think of good heat in the deep, cold winter, Scandinavian cultures, or maybe some relaxation time after a workout at your local gym or health club.

A Nova Scotia couple has taken all of that — and put wheels under it. 

Erica and Devin Brook came up with the concept of a mobile sauna together. She has a background in community design, and he's a carpenter, so they combined their interests. 

"We wanted to do a design build concept that would get people to gather together and enjoy time in leisure," Erica says.

"That, coupled with an interest in mobile business models and the popularity of mobile structures in general, and being really cold and bored one winter, it kind of just happened." 

Erica Brook runs a sauna available for community use in north-end Halifax. (Carsten Knox/CBC)

'We love to socialize'

Anyone can rent the sauna for a three day stretch, but if you are a resident of Halifax's North End, the sauna is available to you by donation during regular weekly community sessions. The next opportunity is Saturday, June 4, between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. 

"We love to socialize and we enjoy the outdoors, and the traditional form of sauna is very much about that," she said. 

The sauna is parked in a yard on John Street near the corner of West Street. This next session is part of the 100 in 1 Day festival, a global festival of citizen engagement that celebrates urban interventions. 

Little Hamish, the dog, is the official mascot for the sauna. (Carsten Knox/CBC)

A snuggly mascot

For the rest of the summer, the Brooks are looking to move the sauna to a spot near a beach to offer a warm alternative to the cold Atlantic.

The couple's friendly miniature Schnauzer-Scottie cross, Hamish, is the sauna's mascot.

"If he likes you, he'll lick the sweat off your ankles," said Erica.  

With files from Carsten Knox