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One salon already has 225 people in line for an appointment!
It has been a long time since anyone in Toronto has been able to treat themselves to a day at the salon. If you've been growing increasingly desperate, wondering when Ontario's nail salons will reopen, you'll be glad to know there's finally a light at the end of the tunnel.
When Ontario moves into step two of its Roadmap to Reopening, personal care services like nail salons will be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity, with a maximum of five people. The current guidelines call for at least 21 days between each step, and since the province hit step one on June 11, this means you may be able to get a fresh manicure as early as July 2.
Narcity spoke with the owners of four popular nail salons in Toronto about what customers can expect when they make their appointment and finally walk through the doors.
Majesty's Pleasure has been adding clients to its waitlist since January and is planning for a tentative start date of July 5. But according to Jeff Armstrong, co-founder of the Yorkville and King Street West salons, they may push their opening date up to July 2, if allowed.
"We're staggering appointments, we're opening earlier, you know, all the things we were doing at the height of the pandemic. The demand is crazy like our managers are non-stop fielding phone calls and emails and online booking," said Armstrong.
The salon had a two-day virtual training session for their staff to go over their new procedures. To move things along more quickly, guests will be able to pre-pay for their services so they can walk right out the door as soon as their appointment is done.
As a special treat, Majesty's Pleasure will be serving up European vacation vibes for their reopening. "Our locations and patios will be filled with the sounds of French and Italian beach club playlists, guests will sip on aperitifs, a long list of rosé and Prosecco and our colour collections will be inspired by the landscapes of beautiful vacation destinations."
Armstrong told Narcity that they want guests to feel pampered for their first time back. "We've all been very short on human touch," he said. "Our first visits back to the salon, which is likely some of the first things we do, is going to be sort of the first time we're reintegrating ourselves [with] that human touch and the pampering and the 'feel good, look good' is one of the first steps in the sort of mental and physical recovery."
Address: 556 King St. W. and 102 Yorkville Ave., Unit 5
Despite already having 225 people on their waitlist, Naked Beauty Bar is ready to book appointments as soon as they're able to. "It's difficult because we don't have a date, so what we've asked clients to do is just give us full availability in July," said owners Julia and Gabrielle Bautista.
"As soon as phase one went live we were getting so many calls, DMs, messages, emails, about our reopening, and I wish we had the date to tell people, but we can't tell anybody," said Bautista. "As soon as they say when we can, we're going to be open on that day."
Naked Beauty Bar will be conducting health screenings for guests after appointments have been made and confirmed, as forms will be sent out to clients that they can fill out either beforehand or on the salon's iPad once they get there. There will also be limited seats, and social distancing and masking protocols will be put in place.
In the meantime, the salon is selling press-on nails handmade by their technicians if you've been craving a fresh set.
Address: 889 Dundas St. W.
Courtesy of THE TEN SPOT
Kristen Gale, founder and CEO of The Ten Spot, told Narcity that despite most of their Toronto locations being closed "for more than 300 days at this point," they are already looking at a "jam-packed" reopening.
The Ten Spot has already opened its bookings for Ontario locations but is still awaiting final confirmation for its tentative July 2 opening date.
"We opened our books, kind of officially earlier last week, and have just had like, the most unbelievable response people are, like itching to get back into a bar and have some services done," said Gale. However, there are still plenty of spots available in the first few weeks after opening.
Guests can expect "clinically clean" standards when they hit up The Ten Spot, as Gale says The Ten Spot's cleaning protocols have exceeded the government's expectations since before the pandemic hit.
While July will mostly be spent getting back into the groove of things, The Ten Spot will have promotions to announce in August.
Address: Various locations across Toronto
"Our team is incredibly passionate and excited," said Leeanne Colley of Tips Nail Bar on Danforth and Dundas Street West. "We've been told we're like the Cheers of nail bars, a place that everyone knows your name. It's like your home away from home, your bi-weekly visit with your besties."
Since personal care services can open at 25% capacity to a maximum of five people in step two, Colley is working within these parameters to see as many guests as possible. Tips Nail Bar will be increasing its hours and will stay open seven days a week.
Colley says they've been re-booking their cancellations from April when Toronto salons were almost given the chance to reopen. Some of their regular customers have appointments booked right up until the end of the year.
Tips Nail Bar will offer manicures and pedicures at the same time with two different technicians, and without compromising the level of service, Colley told Narcity in a text. They will also be announcing a bunch of nail art designs closer to when they reopen, and will also be offering head, neck and shoulder massages during manicures.
Address: 848 Danforth Ave., and 1243 Dundas St. W.
These interviews have been condensed and edited for clarity.
The restaurant is also giving out 200 free chicken sandwiches at Yonge-Dundas Square this Friday.
Last week local restaurant Churrasqueira Martins made a big splash on social media with their Yonge-Dundas Square billboard reading, "Hey Kyle Lowry, if you stay, we'll give you free chicken for life!"
And they're doing it again this Friday at Yonge-Dundas Square with another billboard begging Lowry to stay as he approaches free agency.
Rui Martin, 24, owner and manager of Churrasqueira Martins, says Lowry hasn't commented on their offer yet, but he hopes he will after this Friday.
Martin has grown up loving Lowry, and he believes Toronto won't let him go without a fight. "I don't think Toronto will let him go because they know he's the heart of the city," he said. "I'm doing my part to keep him in the city."
In light of the positive response, both he and his marketing team agreed to give it another go, with two more billboards going up this Friday. One in Yonge-Dundas Square and another on the Gardiner Expressway.
On top of this, they will also be handing out another 200 free chicken sandwiches at 12:00 p.m. for the people of Toronto.
Designed in collaboration with Toronto artist Camyl Buenaventura.
Narcity may receive a small commission if you purchase something we recommend in this article, which was created by the Narcity Shop team.
Short for non-fungible token, an NFT is a unique digital asset that can't be copied. Buyers gain sole ownership of the work and all the rights associated to it. It's the hottest commodity on the blockchain right now.
An NFT can be anything from a JPEG, a GIF or even a tweet. Some are sold for as much as $69 million—no big deal!
Celebs like Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Snoop Dogg have all bought NFTs and now you can get in on the action, too. Wouldn't it be so cool to own something that nobody else in the world has?
Narcity has partnered with Canadian artists to create its first NFT collection called Back To The City.
The first one, titled The Six Bloom, comes from Toronto artist Camyl Buenaventura, who designed a 30-second animated video showing the city coming out of the hardships of COVID.
"Despite the challenges the pandemic has caused the city, we always come out of it together as a nation. The TTC represents Torontonians and the cherry blossoms represent our resilience," she tells Narcity.
Buenaventura is a filmmaker and digital artist who's been in the creative space for five years now, having recently gotten into animation. Her work is known for its dark and cinematic style with emphasis on detail and creative storytelling.
You can catch Buenaventura on our first ever live discussion on Clubhouse tonight (Wednesday, June 16) at 7 p.m. EST. She'll be chatting with host Brian Tong about the meaning behind her artwork and what led her to create this incredible NFT.
As soon as the Clubhouse chat wraps, you can start placing bids in an auction on our OpenSea page which runs until June 23. Could the first ever Narcity NFT owner be you?
The highest bidder will gain the rights to the NFT, a Ledger Nano S and a lifetime subscription to Narcity.
Narcity will be donating 20% of the proceeds to the Toronto Arts Foundation, a city-wide organization that aims to connect every Toronto neighbourhood with the transformative social and economic benefits of the arts.