Our Story

Greetings!

Terveisiä (Ter-vay-see-uh)

Vettä is a Finnish-inspired Nordic day spa that celebrates Finnish lifestyle and culture. Where time is cherished and spent wisely among friends and family. Our mission is to help each guest escape the stress of their day by giving them an opportunity to relax, recharge, and reconnect.

We Believe in Taking Time
Time is precious.
It will slip by unnoticed if we let it.
Today, we reclaim our time.
We choose how we spend it.
We will cherish each and every second.
Today is our time to take.

What Guides Us

Our Values

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Reconnect

Our guests are reconnecting with what’s important to them. Whether it be a quiet moment with their inner thoughts or a social day with loved ones, their mind, body, and soul are taking the time to reawaken.

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Relaxation

We want our guests to breathe a sigh of relief when they come to Vettä. Our goal is to help them experience pure physical and mental relaxation as stressors from their every day fade away.

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Nature

Immersion in nature contributes greatly to feelings of relaxation. We have surrounded ourselves with natural elements and offer a dining experience that embraces natural ingredients from local sources.

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Tradition

For centuries, the Finnish culture has embraced the sauna lifestyle of steam, cool, relax, repeat, and social connection. Sauna life is full of meaningful and beautiful traditions that Vettä will embrace.

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Health and Wellness

Vettä is all about taking care of yourself. It’s important to have balance, to have a place to go recharge. We have created a space where our guests’ overall health and wellness is the priority.

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Time

We are very aware that our guests have chosen to spend their precious time at Vettä and they are looking for a day away. For that reason, we are committed to giving them an exceptional experience.

Some background

Our Roots

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Our story is Finnish

(but it’s only just begun)

In 1957, Yrjö Harkonen left Finland, his family, his sweetheart, and everything else he knew for Canada. All on a chance that the rumours were true and that the mining industry in Elliot Lake Canada would give him a better life. Though it was not a comfortable journey, it was worthwhile. One night, while playing poker at the mine, Yrjö won a jackpot. He bought a car (Chevy Impala) and flew with it, back to Finland for a visit, hoping to impress the woman he loved.

His plan worked, and Kaisa flew back to Canada with him. Yrjö and Kaisa settled first in Thunder Bay, then Manitouwadge, then finally in Elliot Lake, building a life on a Finnish foundation. That meant living among nature, being resourceful, and integrating relaxation and friends into daily life. Their son Eric (the man behind Vettä ), grew up understanding that quality time in the sauna each day was as important as brushing his teeth.

Fast forward to years later. Eric and his wife Donna had started a family of their own. Eric was working as a mining engineer, travelling across Canada and the world (too often), commuting daily, and experiencing more stress than he could comfortably manage. The answer was simple. He built a Nordic spa in his back yard with a sauna and a pool to bring his body to full relaxation, through hot/cold circuits, as is done in Finnish culture. The spa helped him relax and negate everyday stresses, but it was also a massive hit with everyone invited to try it.

It occurred to Eric that this part of the world is missing out on the authentic Finnish spa experience.

Eric shared his dream with his wife Donna, and they spent countless nights in their sauna discussing the details. That dream is now a reality. Eric left the rat race to bring this part of his culture to the greater community, and with Donna’s help and support, the result is even better than he ever imagined.

Scaling up

Authentic touches from start to Finnish

Vetta Spa is a larger-scale replica of Eric and Donna’s backyard (much larger) and is now home to the world’s largest sauna. With a Finnish architect and designer (ISM), a Finnish founder, and even wood siding imported from Finnish trees (Siparila), wood-burning sauna heaters from Finland, and Finnish designed glass enclosures (Lumon) and the Harkonen family has created an authentic Nordic spa. As a result, guests are completely immersed in an indulgent experience allowing for a proper disconnect from daily stresses for total rejuvenation of body, mind, and soul.

Nauttikaa (Now-tee-kuh)

Enjoy your stay!