It can get freezing cold in Toronto, to the point where no one wants to leave their homes and everyone dreams of escaping to the southern hemisphere where the sun is shining, and bathing suits are still out.
I came here from South Africa, so I’m very familiar with the fear of Canadian winter.
However, there are several reasons why winters in Toronto aren’t actually as bad as they may seem. Why? Because there’s SO MUCH to do!! I have compiled together a list of my favourite things to do or check out during the winter here so when that you’re here next year (or some time after that), you’ll know exactly how to make the most of the season!
To this list, first and foremost though, I have added one of Toronto’s most magical things called the PATH! It makes getting around the city in the cold so much warmer.
So here’s a list of reasons I love winters in Toronto!
The PATH is an underground pedestrian walkway in Toronto that spans more than 30 kilometres of restaurants, shopping, services, entertainment, and public transit. Not going to lie, figuring out how to get around it can be a challenge sometimes, but once you’ve figured that out, you’re golden! There is also a phone app on the way that will help you navigate.
Coffee and hot chocolate are my go-to drinks every winter. Ever thought you could get a photo of yourself printed on your coffee? Snap Coffee offers this really cool service where you can sip coffees with your face printed on them. It only costs $5 and you can let your imagination go wild! Snap Coffee makes coffee so much more fun to drink. Aside from this, there are only about a 100 other aesthetically pleasing cafes around the campus for you to warm up in – some of my favourites being Dineen Coffee Co., Sud Forno as well as the very basic Starbucks cafes (sorry!)
Toronto’s Indoor Life
Toronto also has pretty much all the cool indoor things a city could possibly have such as the AGO (the Art Gallery of Ontario), the ROM (the Royal Ontario Museum), The Canadian Opera Company, Basically Bows Archery, North Beach Indoor Volleyball and arcade game centres at awesome places like Tilt. Most of these have very cheap or even free entrees!
Do you enjoy skating? Yes? Great, me too! Lucky for us, Toronto has several rinks for us to skate all day, every day! One of my favorites is the Harbourfront Centre, which has free skate nights every Saturday throughout the entire winter season every year with DJs spinning music all night.
Also if you’re anything like me, you will love these Christmassy things you can do in Toronto this winter!
Holiday Fair in the Square
Every December, hosted in the great Nathan Phillips Square, there will be a Ferris wheel, skating parties all day and night, numerous local vendors selling gifts, seasonal treats and so much more! The best part is that it’s all for free!
Casa Loma Winter Nights
From December to January the gorgeous Casa Loma transforms into a winter wonderland with mesmerizing light displays in the gardens, a Santa’s workshop, holiday-themed magic shows, carollers, and, hot cocoa!
Toronto Christmas Market
This is most definitely my favourite place to hit every winter! The market opened up mid-November and runs until right before Christmas at the Distillery District with one of the biggest, and most beautiful Christmas trees in the city, a gazillion fairy lights, outdoor beer gardens, light tunnels, and several amazing vendors selling holiday gifts, poutine, waffles and much much more!