Happy feet! (Or, one of the things we miss about Toronto)

I apologize in advance if you find this posting in Radio Free Daglan remarkably free of Daglan itself. But the topic of happy feet is too important to ignore.

To begin, you should know the most common question asked by people who learn that my wife Jan and I moved to rural France from the big city of Toronto, where we spent most of our adult lives. Inevitably, they ask us: “What do you miss most?” And our answer has been simple: “Well, first of all, we miss family and friends. And then, we miss Kim’s Nails on Bayview Avenue.”

Given everything that a big city like Toronto has to offer, it may seem peculiar to focus on a nail salon as one of its best features.  But that’s largely because, after several years of trying, we haven’t been able to find a place in the Greater Daglan Area that can offer a decent, proper pedicure.

Even at some fairly high-priced spas in the GDA, it’s clear that no one (in our experience) understands what is needed for a thorough, comfortable pedicure — a purpose-built chair, a long soaking in warm and soapy water, a careful and meticulous cutting and filing of nails, and so on.

Instead, the pedicures we’ve endured in the GDA tend to be fairly slap-dash affairs, followed by a long period of massaging with a lotion, as if that would make up for a second-rate pedicure.  (You might recall that last September, I wrote about French pharmacies, and included these comments:  “I suppose that what I find most amazing is this apparent French love of ‘magical’ lotions and creams — anti-wrinkle, anti-aging, anti-spots, anti-stretch marks, and so on. And not only does price seem no object, it often appears that prices are set at outrageously high levels as some sort of badge of quality and effectiveness.”)

In any case, as a public service, I’m offering a look inside Kim’s Nails on Bayview Avenue in Toronto, where Jan and I had excellent pedicures last month on our visit to the city. First is this photo of the long row of purpose-built chairs waiting for clients — chairs that offer not only a variety of positions but also built-in electrical massage systems, heating,  and water baths:

The row of proper chairs at Kim's Nails in Toronto.

The row of proper chairs at Kim’s Nails in Toronto.

In this close-up, it’s easier to see the controls built into the arm rests; clients use them to find the perfect angle for their chair and the right kind of back and shoulder massage:

A proper pedicure chair: What comfort should be.

A proper pedicure chair: What comfort should be.

And now we get to the real strength of the place — professional staff who actually know what they’re doing. In this photo, a client is having a manicure and a pedicure at the same time:

A client gets the full treatment -- manicure and pedicure.

A client gets the full treatment — manicure and pedicure.

Hope springs eternal, of course, and Jan recently heard from a friend that there’s a salon in Gourdon (less than 30 minutes away) where you can get proper pedicures. If it’s even half as good as Kim’s Nails, we’ll be happy, because it’s awfully expensive flying to Toronto for a pedicure.

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9 Responses to Happy feet! (Or, one of the things we miss about Toronto)

  1. Deborah says:

    Be interesting to hear from Jan if they are any good and what the prices are. Having my Toe Nails done next week in Wales just before returning to Latge.

  2. Doug Curson says:

    I’m amazed to see the luxurious place in Toronto where one gets a pedicure (I had to look up what “pedicure” meant). Being brought up in rural Lancashire in the thirties I have feet which have never received (or needed) such treatment! Forgive me for being so ignorant but I imagine the same applies to the majority of French people in and around Daglan.

    • loren24250 says:

      Yes, I understand, Doug — I don’t think there would be much of a market here for good pedicures. It needs to be part of the culture. On the other hand, a good pedicure is awfully good.

  3. Lesley says:

    We pay €30 for a 20min session at what is called a Pedicure-Podologue. I just get a clip, file, smooth of toe nails and file & smooth of feet with a bit of a non oily massage. She will sort more ‘medical based’ problems and would be horrified to be asked to paint nails.
    I would like a more pampered service but we do not have a nailbar as such locally.
    I regret that I can’t reach and see to do things myself. Hope this is not Too Much Information!

    • loren24250 says:

      No, not at all “too much information.” The way we’re all built — or most of us, anyway — our toes are quite a long reach. Which is why it’s great to pay someone knowledgeable and skilled to do all the clipping, filing, and smoothing for you!

  4. Double D's says:

    We are also regular customers of Kim’s and visited a few days after you. Although we had talked about you and Jan in the past I don’t think they really connected that we were friends. Now they were asking about you both and about your blog. We agree Kim’s is our favourite after trying many different places in the city.

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