a visit to Old Mill Toronto will stimulate all your senses

  • I’ve had the Old Mill Toronto on my radar for quite sometime. And it was a pleasure to finally visit this iconic property and see why the occupancy and use of this 57-room boutique hotel, spa, and conference/event venue is continually running at full (or close to full) year-round capacity.

The Old Mill Toronto is a captivating property offering a boutique hotel, spa, bar with live entertainment, and event venue.

Situated in the historic Etobicoke neighbourhood of Canada’s largest city, you’d never know you were only a 20-minute subway ride to Toronto’s downtown and an equal distance to Pearson International Airport. Etobicoke boasts many breathtaking heritage homes–many of them built as part of The Kingsway residential development in the 1920’s-1930’s. The site of Old Mill Toronto is reminiscent of the 1849 grist mill built by William Gamble (destroyed by fire in 1881) that was part of the original footprint for the modern property whose construction began in 2000 and opened to the public in 2001.


I had a full tour of the property and surrounding sites and really loved walking along the Humber River and Parkland area that is just across the street from the Old Mill Toronto. I loved walking the trail along the river, talking to people and seeing everyone enjoying the park in their own way.


This bridge across the Humber River transports you to a peaceful park where nature and mankind mutually enjoy the landscape of Etienne Brule Parkette.




I was so captivated by the beauty that I didn’t realize there were salmon spawning here at the Humber River Falls. Hard to believe this was just across the road from the Old Mill Toronto.

old mill toronto appeals to those who love history, music, pampering, and the beauty of nature

After discovering the beauty of the Humber River and Étienne Brûlé Parkette, it was time to make my way back across the small bridge to the Old Mill Toronto for the primary reason of my visit: a trip to the spa for its signature body treatment, the French Pear and Chocolate Dip Body Wrap. I assure you. I was not disappointed. You begin with an exfoliation to remove any dead skin. The scents of pear and chocolate fill your senses as you spend the next 90 minutes in a state of total bliss. My highly skilled technician Annetta dimmed the lights to ensure I relaxed my mind and became immersed in the moment. That prevented any good photos from taking place. But this shot of the chocolate-covered me cocooned in warm blankets gives you an idea of why I recommend the treatment without hesitation.



One of the lovely suites at the Old Mill Toronto. (Above and Below.)



There is live jazz almost every night of the week at the Home Smith Bar in Old Mill Toronto. They serve great food and drinks in comfortable surroundings while you take it all in.


I wrapped up my visit to the Old Mill Inn and Spa with the Chocolate Pavee dessert, a very dense, flourless fudge-like cake.

Following my spa visit, I had a tour of all the facilities and venues on the property. There is even an on-site chapel that is heavily used for the steady stream of weddings at Old Mill Toronto. And I enjoyed walking the trails surrounding the property. It truly was hard to believe that this rural-feeling one-stop destination was just minutes from the hustle and bustle of downtown Toronto and all its urban attractions.

Have you been to Etobicoke or visited Old Mill Toronto? Please join the conversation and share your thoughts on this most memorable destination in Ontario, Canada. I always say, ‘To know Toronto is to love Toronto, as each neighbourhood reveals its own story.’ 

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

60 Responses

  1. martha Chapman says:

    Great story! The Old Mill is a legend indeed in these parts of Toronto where it’s a bit of a secret, being “off the beaten tourist path”.

  2. Robert Henry says:

    The Old Mill looks like a great place to be! I am a fan of spas and relaxing therapies and I must visit this place – seems amazing, my kinda place. I regularly take spa and skin and body treatments at a spa in Houston, TX just to make my body and skin feel rejuvenated and young. I need to try that Cocoa spa you did. Thanks for this lovely blog!

  3. Peter Johansen says:

    We so very much enjoyed our stay at the Old Mill when my wife and I visited this past June. That blues bar certainly is a must for aficonados of any form of good live music, and the grounds are truly stunning. We didn’t have a chance to try the spa, but maybe next time! Thanks for the post, Doreen. It stoked warm memories.

  4. Your stay looked lovely. I wish I had been able to meet up with you as I live only 10 minutes away and the Old Mill is known for the jazz nights that they have. I’ve been there for weddings, meetings (many!), special events and I fondly remember buffet lunches and dinners with my parents and siblings. If you’re going to pick a beautiful place with great surroundings in Toronto, the Old Mill is THE place. So glad you had a wonderful time. And as for your French pear and chocolate dip body wrap, you looked EXTREMELY happy!

    • Thx so much for stopping by to comment, Jan. Had I known you live so close to the Old Mill (by the way, what a lovely neighbourhood!) I would have arranged to meet with you ahead. My time outside the conference I was attending in downtown TO was so limited. Just glad I had time to visit the Old Mill Inn and experience all the great things that I did. That spa treatment was amazing! πŸ™‚
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…exploring Cuba’s second largest city: Santiago de CubaMy Profile

  5. bradcarol says:

    What a superb setting! Thanks for this latest nice tour. I like the quaint, elegant furnishings of the Old Mill Inn. The lodge looks like a beautiful place to go to. What a stunning property in a beautiful setting! The renovations to the Old Mill lodge incorporate a winning combo of combining the old with the new.

  6. The bed in the suite and the washroom look so classy and luxurious. I am sure you enjoyed your time here. Live Jazz with good food and drinks sound just perfect! You seem to be so happy with the spa treatments. No wonder, the property runs on full occupancy most of the year. It is on my β€˜to-do’ now!

  7. neha says:

    The suites look luxurious and the location definitely seems very peaceful and charming. I do love nature as well as pampering πŸ™‚ So, I guess, this Old Mill from Toronto is going to get into my list. Definitely a must try.

  8. Old Mill Toronto looks like that kind of property that transports you into another era. A time when things were laid back and life had a unique charm, a grand era of style and luxury. I can very well understand its popularity. Apart from the hotel, the environs in which it is located looks so pristine. I love the Bridge over the Humber River, what a glorious sight.

  9. Old Mill Toronto looks lovely. I’m not much of one for massage, but I could make an exception for a pear and chocolate body wrap!

  10. Julia Smith says:

    What a fabulous setting! Thanks for this latest great tour. And I sooo love this place and your description is awesome … I have never ever seen the Old Mill Inn before.

  11. remo says:

    This seems like such a nice place to relax and rejuvenate. I would love to visit.

  12. Wendy says:

    I have never heard of the Old Mill Toronto, but I don’t know Canada well. I am hoping to change that with our 5 month trip in 2019 that includes Canada. I love staying outside of a city when visiting as long as I have accessible public transportation, like the 20 minute subway ride from the Old Mill; the park setting is a lovely country feel and looks like a great place to walk. If we get to Toronto, perhaps we will check out the Old Mill.

  13. The moment I saw the exterior of the Old Mill Toronto I was hooked. I adore those kinds of boutique hotels, especially when they offer unique experiences. The photo of you having a pear and chocolate spa treatment is hilarious!

  14. Priya Vin says:

    The pear and chocolate massage and wrap sounds blissful. I have had a chocolate face pack once and remember how amazing it felt, I bet the wrap takes it to the next level. Loving all your chocolate adventures.

  15. Bobby says:

    Hey Doreen, thanks for sharing your wonderful and so much interesting blog with the Internet readers. Nice to see the pictures and your smile! πŸ™‚

  16. alison says:

    Oh this is my kind of place. To think it is only a 20minute metro ride to downtown. What could be better. the chocolate scrub sounds divine, but I would be salivating the entire time.

  17. It is elegant. I love the old-fashioned. It seems like a wonderful place to visit.

  18. Nancie says:

    This is gorgeous! It looks like you are in seventh heaven on that spa table. I’m jealous πŸ™‚

  19. Octienne says:

    What a lovely property in a beautiful setting! The Old Mill Inn has a winning combo!

  20. OMG the smile on your face when you are wrapped in chocolate at the spa! Wonderful. The setting looks amazing, inside and out. I had to look up William Gamble. The Civil War guy? or? Pinned.

  21. Yes, that’s quite a special spot with a lot of history. The Seneca First Nation originally settled near there because the salmon in the Humber River were so plentiful they were practically jumping into the frying pan. You can see the salmon running upstream again today as Lake Ontario and the rivers that feed it become less polluted. It’s a good news story in our troubling times. I love to walk or run there along the riverside trail and soak up the history and nature.

  22. You had me at “French Pear and Chocolate Dip Body Wrap.” I’d love to visit Old Mill Toronto one day and get me one of those.

  23. What a lovely property in a beautiful setting! A winning combo~

  24. I love boutique hotels for the personal touch and often–as the Old Mill–for the lavish attention they give to detail and pampering. This looks like a great setting for a little self-indulgence.

  25. It looks like a fabulous place to visit, Doreen. Beautiful. I always admire your willingness to share pictures of yourself smeared in chocolate. I’d rather eat the chocolate myself!

  26. Old Mill Toronto looks like a fantastic destination both for its beautiful surroundings, history, and the amazing inn and spa! Wow, I’d love to spend a weekend here if I visit Toronto! The pear and chocolate wrap sounds heavenly, especially when it’s followed up later with that chocolate dessert in the restaurant!

  27. I was thinking “who wants to be wrapped in chocolate?” then I saw the look on your face! It must have been great. The Old Mill looks like a wonderful (heavenly), and rather unexpected, spot to visit in otherwise bustling Toronto.

  28. What a tranquil location for some relaxation time. It looks like The Old Mill Toronto treated you well. Thanks for sharing a slice of this place with us.

  29. Kemkem says:

    The Old Mill Toronto sounds absolutely awesome! You had me at Spa! and l can tell the look of bliss on your face that the body wrap must have been wonderful. I am seriously craving that right now. I just had a massage an hour ago and it would be nice to have a wrap as well. Thanks for sharing. Toronto is sounding more and more appealing, thanks to you :-).

  30. No, I have never been to Old Mill Toronto Dorern. It looks like a fabulous place. The beauty treatments, music, food and the luxury bedrooms. I could definitely stay here for a week! The chocolate pavee dessert looks delicious!

  31. Beverly says:

    I love the old fashioned, elegant furnishings of the inn. The inn seems like a wonderful place to visit.

  32. What an ideal location, halfway between downtown and the airport! With a chapel, lovely grounds, and great rooms. And that chocolate-infused spa sounds heavenly!

  33. I love the sound of the pear and chocolate spa treatment combination ( two of my fave ingredients!) and the setting is really lovely. Now that I’m living in Cobourg I should really consider the Old Mill as an option for an overnight when I’m headed to Pearson airport. I’d forgotten how close it was. The atmosphere of the Humber River setting would certainly be more relaxing than an airport hotel.

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Michele and thx for your comment. Yes, it’s quite amazing how Old Mill Toronto is so conveniently located to both downtown Toronto and to Pearson Airport.

  34. Betty Jackson says:

    That is a great destination. I wonder if I can get a trip to TORONTO……..

  35. Esther says:

    What a fabulous setting! Thanks for this latest great tour. And I sooo love jazz. It touches my soul and makes me want to dance!

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