Winter Activities Toronto
Mercifully, Toronto’s beginning the thaw from last week’s fierce Polar Vortex — in case you’ve been living under a palm tree sipping piña coladas, that was the punishing weather system that plummeted temperatures to feel in the negative double digits, cancelled Ubers, and froze out transit (even the UP, my preferred mode of transportation, had its normal, clockwork precision shattered as the intense cold messed with the doors actually being able to open. TTC was also disrupted, but that’s the standard, so no surprise there.)
Of course, freezing temps aren’t all that shocking to us hearty Canadians. But, just because we’re not surprised by it, doesn’t mean we have to like it.
Heck, that’s the inspiration behind Drink Toronto’s new PATH tour, a warmer way to experience some of the city’s best restaurants and bars by travelling underground through Toronto’s 30-kilometre stretch of catacombs linking shops, cafés, restaurants and subways stops.
Believe it or not, there are ways — plenty, actually — to enjoy Toronto in winter. Some of our favourite outdoor activities include ice: skating at Nathan Phillips Square or on the Bentway is fun for both date night and family time.
Incidentally, our favourite indoor activities also involve ice — check out our blog on the best places to have a drink in Toronto.
As we’re always keen on expert advice, so we talked to five of our favourite leading Toronto bloggers and influencers to find out how they like to put the “win” in winter.
5 activities that will actually make you like winter in Toronto
Annika Friesen, travel and lifestyle blogger, Fernweh Society
“One of my favourite things to do in winter in Toronto in fact does not include the great outdoors. Does this make me a city girl or what!? Oh well 🙂 I love booking a service at The Ritz Carlton downtown Toronto and enjoying a full day pampering myself instead of freezing my butt off outside! Typically I will book a massage and then either come early or make sure that my schedule permits me some flex time after my service. I chill, maybe bring a book, take full advantage of the lounge hot tub and pool! This is a full-on staycation! There is something so cozy about pampering yourself at a spa when it’s a winter wonderland :)”
Arienne, travel blogger, See You Soon
"When it comes to winter in Toronto, the best way to get through it is to embrace it. My favourite thing to do during the winter months is to head to the Toronto Islands. Many people don't realize you can still visit the islands (only the Ward Island ferry operates during winter), so you end up having the islands almost all to yourself. You can go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing all without having to venture out of the city".
Irene Matys, recipe curator and food stylist, Irene Matys
“My husband was born and raised in the Bloor West area and every year, we take our girls tobogganing at High Park followed by a hot chocolate. We also look forward to Winterlicious which gives us the opportunity to sample many incredible restaurants in our beautiful city for an affordable price.”
Natalie Preddie, travel and family blogger, Natty P
“I will be honest, winter drives me indoors. I… love an evening by the fireplaces in the Shangri-La lobby while enjoying some fantastic live music from the house band. Now that I have two little kids, winter means cuddling on the couch watching Disney movies and sipping a glass of red while telling the toddler to stop jumping on the couch.”
Solmaz, travel and food blogger, The Curious Creature
“I love visiting the CN Tower during the winter months. There's something special about seeing the city dusted with snow from above. Fewer tourists means a more intimate and relaxed vibe so it's the perfect season to visit the popular attraction.
While you're there, check out the new photo exhibit called REGALIA, Native Pride and feast on the unique Indigenous themed menu (both on until March 31st).
Local tip: book a table at the revolving 360 Restaurant and your ride up the tower is free. After your meal, descend the stairs to the new observation level, check out the new exhibit and take in the glorious sunset. Or stay at 360 Restaurant and sip a glass of wine from the world's highest wine cellar.
You can thank me later.”
Whether you like to brave the elements and play outside or prefer to escape the cold indoors, there are plenty of winter activities Toronto offers.
Another great activity is joining us on one of our tours of the best food and drinks Toronto has to offer. When you book with Drink Toronto, we plan every stop down to the last sip. You don't have to worry about a thing.
Come explore with us!