As the temperature starts dropping, you’re probably wondering what to do in the city? Thankfully there’s plenty of activities to celebrate the winter season. Whether you’re an art lover, music fiend, foodie, or outdoor enthusiast, there’s something for everyone. Here are some of our top picks.
1. Starting January 18 until March 3rd, the Distillery District will be lit up with thousands of lights, as the Toronto Light Festival returns for another year.
2. Lace up and hit the ice. There is Nathan Phillips Square or Harbourfront Centre in the downtown core. For those looking for something a little different than your traditional rink – Bentway Skate Trail which consist of a 220-metre long figure eight loop, underneath the Gardiner Expressway. Admission is free. If you don’t have skates, you can rent them for a nominal fee.
3. Discover the world of tea at the annual Toronto Tea Festival from February 1st to the 3rd. Enjoy tea samples, cultural ceremonies, lectures, and an array of exhibitors.
4. Usher in the Year of the Pig at the Lunar New Year celebrations in Old Chinatown. Enjoy Dim Sum in the neighbourhood at Dim Sum King Restaurant (weekends only for cart-service) or Rol San.
5. See works of art carved by master ice sculptors from around the world at The Bloor-Yorkville Icefest. This year’s theme is Hollywood North, inspired by the film industry in Toronto transforming the neighbourhood into a magical display of over 70,000 lbs. of crystal clear ice.
6. The Stop’s Farmers’ Market located at the historic Artscape Wychwood Barns, is held indoors on Saturday mornings during the winter. You can shop for local and organic vegetables, meat, cheese, honey, jam, preserves, prepared meals and more.
7. Head on down to Woodbine Beach to experience The Winter Stations. Temporary installations are set up to celebrate the city’s waterfront landscape. The exhibition runs from Feb 18th to Apr 1st.
9. Wander The PATH which is a 30-kilometre-long underground pedestrian walkway for shopping. Enjoy great food and drinks at Assembly Chef’s Hall that features signature dishes from some of the top restaurateurs in the city.
10. When the next snow storm hits the city head over to the slopes. Riverdale Park is a hill with a great view of the Toronto skyline and a popular spot for tobogganing. Afterwards, warm up with a cup of coffee or tea at Rooster Coffee which is conveniently located across the park.
11. Explore the city’s museums, aquarium, and science centre. There is something for everyone and all age groups. Venues like The Royal Ontario Museum, Aga Khan Museum, have rotating exhibits. The Science Centre and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada are great for families.
12. Eat out for less at Winterlicious produced by the City of Toronto from Jan 25th – Feb 7th. The two-week culinary event features participating restaurants all over Toronto that offer a three-course, prix fixe menu for lunch and dinner. There is also a series of food workshops led by chefs and food professionals that you can sign up for in advance.
13. Take a walk through nature. Strap on your boots and head to High Park. The urban oasis has many wooded trails and scenic views. The Nature Centre and High Park.org offer year-round complimentary family walks.
14. Make a day trip. About an hour’s drive from the city, Hamilton is home many waterfalls (there are more than 100 making it the official “Waterfall Capital of the World”) which is the perfect opportunity to see such natural wonders near the city limits. Some of the waterfalls don’t require hiking but rather a short walk to the viewing area including Webster’s Falls. Are you a wine aficionado? Just head to Niagara on the Lake for the Niagara Ice Wine Festival from Jan 11th to the 27th. Blue Mountain
15. As winter’s last hurrah before spring, break out your bright green clothes and go celebrate at the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.