The 10 Best (Cheap) Massage Clinics in Toronto




Looking for an Inexpensive Massage?



Looking for an inexpensive massage? You can get a great inexpensive massage from a student at one of Toronto's many massage therapy schools. Massage schools in Toronto have public clinics, in which you can get a massage from a 2nd or 3rd year student for a fraction of what a more experienced, graduated therapist would charge. And what's more, is the massages from students were overwhelmingly good. I got massages at 10 school clinics in Toronto and here is everything you need to know to get an inexpensive massage in Toronto.

What is a Student Clinic?



The primary purpose of a student clinic (sometimes called a teaching clinic) is for students in massage therapy school to gain experience massaging real, paying members of the public in a supervised and educational setting. Typically, the massages happen in curtained off sections of a large room, and often, a clinic supervisor will pop his/her head in during the massage to check in on the student and offer any educational feedback or support. The cost of these massages, usually under $40, is much less than the cost of a massage from a graduated RMT, which average above $100.


The Clinics



Clinic Price Weekdays Evenings Weekends Contact
Bryan College $32.50 1200 Lawrence Avenue West
416-630-6300
Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy $39.55 477 Mount Pleasant Road
416-736-4576 ext 226
Centennial College $35 755 Morningside Avenue
416-289-5353
Humber College $40.68 205 Humber College Boulevard
416-675-6622 ext 5055
Institute of Complementary and Alternative Therapies $40 385 The West Mall
416-695-4600
Kikkawa College $42 2340 Dundas Street West
416-762-4857 ext 249
Medix College $30 700 Lawrence Avenue West
416-630-8021
Oxford College $25 869 Yonge Street
416-907-2571
Royal Canadian College of Massage $37.85 220 Lesmill Road
416-447-7680
Sutherland Chan $42 330 Dupont Street
416-924-1107 ext 10



Map of 10 inexpensive massage therapy (student) clinics in Toronto.


1) Bryan College



Location: 1200 Lawrence Avenue West
Getting There: Bryan College is a building on the North-West corner of Lawrence and Caledonia. 25 minute drive from downtown. Free parking on site.
Hours: Monday and Thursday evenings.
Time of Year: Year Round
Price: $32.50
How To Book: Call 416-630-6300 or visit Bryan College Student Massage Clinic Website

Experience: The main door to Bryan College is locked in the evenings, so you must push a buzzer to be let in. Inside Bryan College is beautiful. The foyer resembles that of a luxurious spa. In addition to massage, Bryan College offers esthetics services such as facials, waxing and hand and foot services, all offered by students at discounted rates. The massages take place in a large, curtained off room. The therapist was in second half of Bryan College's 18 month program.

Bottom Line: The Bryan College experience was quiet and straightforward. It is a beautiful facility. Tons of free parking is a perk too. Recommended to anyone in the area.


2) Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy



Location: 477 Mount Pleasant Road
Getting There: The CCMH is located on the 2nd floor of a commercial building on the North East corner of Mount Pleasant and Davisville. The clinic entrance is on the Davisville side of building. 10 minute drive from downtown Toronto. The building has underground parking for $10.
Hours: Weekday afternoons and evenings.
Time of Year: Year Round
Price: $39.55
How To Book: Call 416-736-4576 ext 226 or visit Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy Student Clinic Website

Experience: The friendliness and customer service at CCMH were outstanding. When I arrived by the wrong door, staff and students were eager to help me find main reception. When my appointment had been booked for the wrong day, the receptionist was able to make some changes and have me seen immediately. The therapist was in the 10th month of a 16 month program. The CCMH also offers hydrotherapy, which involves using water and temperature to induce therapeutic effects. The student therapist gave me a tour of their hydrotherapy room, including steam chambers, a hot tub, jaccuzi, sauna and more. Members of the public can come for a 2 hour appointment which involves hydrotherapy and then a massage.

Bottom Line: Great reception and customer service. Easy to get to. Relaxing surroundings. Definitely Recommend.


3) Centennial College



Location: 755 Morningside Avenue
Getting There: Centennial College Morningside Campus is a large building on the North-East corner of Morningside and Ellesmere. 50 minute drive from downtown Toronto in rush hour. Parking in the school parking lot for the duration of the massage was $7.50.
Hours: Weekday afternoons and evenings.
Time of Year: Year Round
Price: $35
How To Book: Call 416-289-5353 or visit Centennial College's Massage Clinic Website.

Experience: The Centennial College massage clinic is inside the main building doors and then to the right. My therapist was in his second year of Centennial's three year program. The clinic supervisor popped into our curtained-off area during the massage to give some feedback and guidance to the therapist. The teacher also demonstrated massage techniques on me. This was a definite highlight.

Bottom Line: A great option for those who live nearby.




4) Humber College



Location: 205 Humber College Boulevard
Getting There: Humber College's massage therapy student clinic is located at their North campus, in the Athletic Center (Building A) on Arboretum Road. There is a large parking lot on site with free evening parking.
Hours: Weekday afternoons and evenings. Saturday afternoons.
Time of Year: September - April
Price: $40.68
How To Book: Call 416-675-6622 ext. 5055 or visit Humber's Massage Program Website for more information.

Experience: Humber College's massage clinic was clean, large and well run. The experience involved a thorough health assessment, including blood pressure readings and health history. The massage took place in a large room divided by curtains. The therapist in was in her second year of a three year program. Upon booking a massage at Humber, you will be asked to choose between receiving a "Wellness/Relaxation" massage or a "Rehab/Therapeutic" massage. The Humber clinic was busy with students and faculty. Two supervisors came into the massage area a number of times to check in on the student therapist and offer educational input.

Bottom Line: Humber is a nice facility, with plenty of parking and a well run clinic. Recommended for anyone who lives in the area.


5) Institute of Complementary and Alternative Therapies



Location: 385 The West Mall
Getting There: The ICAT is located in Etobicoke, on the South-East corner of West Mall and Civic Centre Court. Best access by car is the free parking lot behind the building, accessible off of Civic Center Court. Walk in the back doors of the lo-rise commercial building and take the elevator up to the 5th floor. Getting here took 40 minutes from downtown Toronto.
Hours: Tuesday and Thursday evenings
Time of Year: Year Round (except August)
Price: $40 - cash or cheque only.
How To Book: Call 416-695-4600 or visit the ICAT Student Clinic Website for more information.

Experience: The clinic at ICAT was smaller than other student clinics. There were only a few people around and I was the only person getting a massage at the time. The environment was peaceful and the staff very friendly. Like other student clinics, the massage took place in a large room curtained off into sections. Considering the quietness of the space and the skill of the therapist, the ICAT experience was similar to getting a professional massage at a commercial clinic.

Bottom Line: ICAT has great access and parking for anyone who can easily drive to Etobicoke. Also, the clinic was small, quiet, comfortable and the therapist seemed very experienced. A definite recommend for anyone with access.


6) Kikkawa College



Location: 2340 Dundas Street West
Getting There: Kikkawa College is located on the ground floor of Crossways Mall, which is the large commercial building on the North-East corner of Bloor and Dundas. 20 minute TTC subway ride from downtown Toronto.
Hours: Tuesday to Friday evenings.
Time of Year: Year Round
Price: $42 (however, your first visit is $21.50 after a 50% new patient discount.)
How To Book: Call 416-762-4857 ext. 249 or visit Kikkawa's Massage Clinic Website for more information.

Experience: Kikkawa College is a spacious school, with a large reception area, student lounge and wide hallways leading to the treatment area. The receptionist applied a 50% discount to my massage fee, because I was a first time visitor. From there, my therapist escorted me to a large room divided by curtains where I'd estimate about 6 other massages were going on.

Bottom Line: Great access for anyone on the subway line. Great price for first time visitors.


7) Medix College



Location:700 Lawrence Avenue West
Getting There: The Medix College Toronto massage clinic is located inside Lawrence Square Shopping Centre, at Lawrence and Allen. The clinic is located on the ground floor of the mall in the North-East corner, near Fortinos and the Canada Service Centre. There are many other Medix signs in the mall, for offices and classrooms; ignore these and stay on the ground floor. Access is 20 minutes by car from downtown, or via TTC to Lawrence West Subway station.
Hours: Wednesday mornings and Friday afternoons
Time of Year: Year Round
Price: $30. Also sells 10 pass for $200.
How To Book: Phone 416-630-8021 or visit Medix's Massage Program Website for more information.

Experience: The Medix facility is quite large and well established. There were plenty of students around and there is a dedicated receptionist. The massages take place in a medium sized room curtained off into individual massage areas. Despite the busy-ness of the school, the clinic room was serene and quiet.

Bottom Line: Medix is a great choice, especially for anyone living in the area.


8) Oxford College



Location: 869 Yonge Street
Getting There: Oxford College has a street level storefront entrance at 869 Yonge Street. It is between Bloor-Yonge Subway Station and Rosedale Subway Station, just north of Canadian Tire on the East side. If you're driving, there are some parking lots in the area.
Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday Afternoons
Time of Year: Year Round
Price: $25
How To Book: Call 416-907-2571 or visit Oxford Toronto's Massage Program Website for more information.

Experience: Oxford college was a great experience. The street-level school is easy to get to and the staff and therapists we all very friendly and professional. The therapist was in the second year of the two year program. The school is unassuming, but the experience was fantastic. Oxford College is also the least expensive of all the student massage clinics in Toronto.

Bottom Line: Very good experience, highly recommended for anyone who can get here. Also the least pricey of all the clinics visited.


9) Royal Canadian College of Massage



Location: 220 Lesmill Road
Getting There: Royal Canadian College of Massage is located near Leslie and York Mills, on Lesmill Road. There is plenty of free parking on site. 25 minute drive from downtown Toronto.
Hours: Weekday afternoons and Saturdays
Time of Year: Year Round
Price: $37.85 (however, I happened to visit while the RCCM was promoting through Groupon, and they gave me the Groupon price, which was $27.40)
How To Book: Call 416-447-7680 or visit Royal Canadian College of Massage Clinic Website.

Experience: The Royal Canadian College of Massage is the only student clinic in this list in which the student massages occurred in private rooms. Also, no supervisor came in during the massage. Therefore, the experience at RCCM was much like getting a massage at a commercial clinic.

Bottom Line: The Royal Canadian College of Massage experience was easy and private, much like visiting a commercial massage clinic. RCCM is a great choice, especially for anyone living nearby.


10) Sutherland Chan



Location: 330 Dupont Street
Getting There: The Sutherland Chan Teaching Clinic is located at 330 Dupont Street, which is just West of Spadina, on the North side. The building is a 4 story lo-rise and the clinic is on the top floor. While there is no dedicated parking lot, there is street parking, and the clinic is steps from the Dupont subway station.
Hours: Monday to Friday afternoons and evenings
Time of Year: Year Round
Price: $42
How To Book: Call 416-924-1107 ext. 10, email clinic@sutherland-chan.com or visit Sutherland Chan Student Clinic Website for more information. During booking you will be asked to specify if you want a 'Relaxation' massage (for general relaxation) or a 'Therapeutic' massage (to treat a specific condition).

Experience: The Sutherland Chan teaching clinic is bustling. Staff, students and patients populate the waiting room and hallways. My therapist was in the 6th month of an 18 month program. It is Sutherland Chan protocol that in student clinic they give a full body relaxation massage unless the patient requests otherwise. Sutherland Chan also offers specialty clinics such as a Seniors Clinic, a Pregnancy Clinic and a Breast Clinic. These clinics are to help the students develop skills with specialized populations, and run at a cheaper rate of $18 per massage.

Bottom Line: Sutherland Chan student clinic offers full body relaxation massage as the norm. It's also professionally run and convenient to book.


Tips For Student Clinics


Here's some general information that can improve your student clinic massage experience.

  • Determine whether you want a "Relaxation Massage" or a "Therapeutic Massage." Ask your therapist for what you want in advance. Therapeutic Massage is for specific injuries, dysfunctions or diseases, like a painful low back, or lower leg spasms. The therapist will focus on an area or related areas of your body and apply techniques specifically for to help your condition. The primary aim of a Therapeutic Massage is to reduce pain and restore function. A Relaxation Massage is more general, less focused on a single problem area, and is all about relaxing. Relaxation massages often are more full body. In practice all massages are relaxing and therapeutic, but these are still useful terms to help you communicate the type massage you want.
  • Arrive early. Showing up early allows you time to fill out the necessary health history and consent forms. It also gives you a chance to settle in from commuting to the clinic. Sitting in the waiting room for a few minutes can be a great way to relax and prepare yourself to receive a massage. Also, since the student clinics are run like clockwork, your therapist won't be able to extend the end-time of your massage to accommodate for lateness.
  • Students crave feedback. Should they apply more pressure or less? More lotion or less? More heat or less? Would you like them to change their focus to a different area of your body? Ideally, with a student therapist, or any therapist, you provide feedback to them throughout the session to ensure the massage is comfortable for you. So feel free to speak up and politely ask your therapist to change their technique if something isn't working for you.

Conclusion


Getting a massage at a student clinic in Toronto can be a great experience. The massages are very affordable and the therapists were all friendly and displayed surprising competence. Student massage clinics serve as fantastic educational opportunity for students, and affordable access to massage for everyone else. In exploring these clinics, and perhaps visiting the one closest to you, you just might find a massage solution that works for you for years to come.