We Canadians know how to embrace the colder months with open arms, and Toronto is no exception. There are so many things to do in Toronto this winter, from unparalleled outdoor experiences to incredible indoor events. Why hibernate in your PJs all season long when there are so many amazing excuses to get out there and make some winter memories?
Here are 21 things you absolutely have to do in Toronto this winter to make it the best one yet.
Warm up with decadent hot chocolate
If you love a snowy night in with a crackling fire, you might be a winter person. And it might be safe to say you probably like hot chocolate, too. Are we right? Of course we are.
Even if you’re still shedding tears over colder weather, you could be shedding them into a nice cup of the best hot chocolate in Toronto.
Where: See Toronto’s best spots for hot chocolate
Skate at Toronto’s outdoor rinks
The season of outdoor skating has begun! When it comes to outdoor skating rinks, Toronto has no shortage of fantastic options.
From ice trails through the city to DJ skate nights in the heart of downtown, these rinks will make you want to lace up your skates all season long.
Where: See Toronto’s best outdoor rinks
Barbara Ann Scott Ice Trail
The season of skating around the city is back, and open in Toronto this year is the Barbara Ann Scott Ice Trail at College Park.
The five-metre-wide trail opened in 2019 and is located right in the heart of downtown.
It’s also the first exterior skating path in North America to “incorporate state-of-the-art carbon dioxide technology in its refrigeration system,” according to the City of Toronto.
Where: College Park, Toronto
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Go on a gorgeous winter walk
This city is full of peaceful nature trails that are enjoyed by locals all year round, even in the colder months.
We Ontarians aren’t deterred by a little wind chill — just throw on a few extra layers, grab a thermos full of hot chocolate, and you’re good to go.
Where: See the best winter trails in Toronto
Rent an outdoor fire pit
You don’t have to trek to a cottage or campsite to bask in the glow of an open fire under a starry night sky. In fact, you don’t even have to leave downtown Toronto.
Ontario Place has fire pits you can book for an outdoorsy evening with your favourite people. You can invite up to 24 guests to hang at the fire pit with you during your reserved time slot.
When: Daily from 11:30 AM to 8:30 PM
Where: See locations
Colonel Samuel Smith Park Skating Trail
Tucked away, next to the Power House Recreation Centre near Humber Lakeshore campus, you’ll find the Colonel Samuel Smith Skating Trail. It’s in the shape of a figure-8 so you can do an infinite amount of laps this winter.
Where: 65 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Road
Take a romantic winter staycation
Looking for something romantic to do this season with your one and only? Ontario is brimming with gorgeous getaways that combine luxe amenities with historic charm.
From Nordic cabins on the water to country inns with outdoor hot springs, these romantic getaways in Ontario are worth the trip with your special someone.
Where: See Ontario’s most romantic getaways
Bloor-Yorkville Icefest is making a comeback this February and will transform the neighbourhood into a whimsical world filled with frozen displays.
There will be over 40 creations made from 60,000 lbs of ice on display at the festival, which will be carved into magnificent, one-of-a-kind sculptures.
Icefest will also feature live ice carving demonstrations, an ice lounge, and an ice wall with projections.
When: February 18th and 19th, 2023, 12 PM to 11 PM
Where: Village of Yorkville Park & Bloor-Yorkville area
Distillery District – Après Ski Weekends
Ditch the skis and join Toronto’s Distillery District for some fun Après Ski activities.
Warm up by the fire pits, sip on some hot chocolate (or alcoholic beverages), and munch on delicious treats.
These fun-filled festivities run every weekend until March 21st. Space is a little limited so just know that it is first come, first served and weather permitting.
When: Saturdays and Sundays until March 19th, 12 PM to 6 PM
Where: 55 Mill Street
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Chase frozen waterfalls
Ontario is a province full of waterfalls and you may not know just how majestic they are in the wintertime. Tiffany Falls Conservation Area is a stunning place to visit in the colder months as the cascading water transforms into giant icicles.
The second-highest waterfall in Ontario, Kakabeka Falls, is equally as breathtaking when it freezes over at a soaring 40 m above the ground.
The most amazing phenomenon is known as the “melting falls,” when melting snow and ice trickle over the rock face and freeze over in a giant cascading mass of shimmering icicles.
Where: See frozen waterfalls near Toronto
Hit up Toronto’s year-round rooftop bars
There’s something so special about sharing a drink with friends surrounded by the glow of twinkling city lights.
Whether you’re in the mood for a party vibe, a casual pub, or a sophisticated night on the town, you’re bound to find exactly what you’re looking for at these all-season rooftop bars in Toronto and with stunning views to boot.
Where: See Toronto’s best rooftop bars
Warm and cozy coffee dates
One of the best ways to stay warm this winter is with a hot cup of coffee at a cozy cafe. And these Toronto coffee shops give off homey vibes like no other.
Snug, comfortable, welcoming, and pleasant – Toronto’s coziest coffee shops capture it all from their interior design down to their hot drinks and treats.
Where: See Toronto’s coziest coffee shops
Go on a tabogganing adventure
When snow hits Toronto, we hit the hills — tobogganing hills, that is. We’ve got many days of snow to look forward to this winter and there’s no better way to take advantage than with an afternoon outdoors.
Get active and enjoy the winter fun at tobogganing hills around the city. There’s even a brand new one to check out this year!
Where: See Toronto’s best tabogganing hills
Pamper yourself at a spa
We could all use a little extra R&R these days, especially during the wintertime. There’s no better way to treat yourself than with a day (or a whole weekend) at the spa.
Enjoy relaxing massages, facial treatments, manicures, and more as you indulge in the luxury of one of the best spas in the city.
Where: See Toronto’s best spas
Take a dreamy winter stroll under the stars and the glow of twinkling lights and campfires. This special experience is a great excuse to enjoy the fresh air and nature and snap some adorable photos while you’re at it.
Enjoy the art installations displayed along the trail, live performers, food and beverages, and of course, breathtaking scenery.
Where: Mountsberg Conservation Area, 2259 Milburough Line
When: Until February 20th, 2023
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Disney Animation: Immersive Experience
A whole new world, a new fantastic point of view! An exhibit called Disney Animation: Immersive Experience is opening in Toronto this winter and it’s every bit as magical as it sounds.
The experience is described as “an innovative celebration that takes you inside the greatest films of Walt Disney Animation Studios, from their very earliest, groundbreaking features to the beloved hit movies of today.”
When: Until March 19th, 2023
Where: Lighthouse Immersive Inc, 1 Yonge Street
Winter Stations is making a comeback this February. This single-state international design competition takes place every year, and contestants must incorporate the Kew and Woodbine beach lifeguard towers into their installations in creative ways.
The winners get to bring their designs to life and showcase them along the beaches for several weeks in the winter and spring.
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