Winter in Toronto can be a magical time, with plenty of activities and events to enjoy despite the colder weather. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, here are some of the top things to do in Toronto in the winter:
Skate at Nathan Phillips Square:
One of the most iconic winter activities in Toronto is skating at Nathan Phillips Square, located in the heart of downtown. The rink is open from late November to early March and is free to use (skate rentals are available for a fee). Take a spin around the rink and enjoy the festive atmosphere, with the Toronto City Hall and the iconc “TORONTO” sign as a backdrop.
The Bentway Skate Trail:
The Bentway Skate Trail is an innovative public space that transforms the underside of Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway into a winter wonderland. Skate on the longest trail in downtown Toronto. Enjoy the unique perspective with views of the CN Tower, the Toronto Islands and the city skyline. The trail is free to use, and skate rentals are available on-site.
In addition to skating, The Bentway also features a variety of other activities and events during the winter season, such as fire pits for warming up, live music, and food trucks. The Bentway Skate Trail has become a popular destination for locals and visitors alike, and it’s a great way to experience the winter wonderland of Toronto in a unique way.
Visit the Christmas Market at the Distillery District:
The Distillery District is a charming pedestrian-only area with Victorian-era buildings that are now home to art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. During the holiday season, it transforms into a Christmas market with vendors selling handmade crafts, festive food, and warm drinks. It is a great place to get some Christmas shopping done and take in the holiday spirit.
Take a walk or cross-country ski in High Park :
High Park is one of the largest public parks in Toronto, and it’s a great place to enjoy the winter scenery. Take a walk on the park’s many trails, or rent cross-country skis and explore the park’s snowy trails.
Snowshoeing at Toronto Island:
Toronto Islands are a great place to explore in the winter. Rent snowshoes and take a hike through the island’s snowy trails, and enjoy the beautiful views of the city skyline. Check out the winter ferry schedule here.
Visit the CN Tower :
The CN Tower is an iconic Toronto landmark that offers panoramic views of the city. Take an elevator to the observation deck for a birds-eye view of the city, especially at night when the city is lit up.
Check out the Winter Light Exhibition at the Ontario Science Centre :
The Ontario Science Centre hosts an annual winter light exhibition, featuring interactive light displays and installations that are perfect for all ages.
Shop and dine in Yorkville:
Yorkville is a trendy and upscale neighborhood known for its high-end boutiques, restaurants, and cafes. Take a stroll along the neighborhood’s charming streets and pop into some of the cozy cafes to warm up with a hot drink.
Visit the Royal Ontario Museum or the Art Gallery of Ontario:
Both the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario are great indoor activities to do when the weather is cold. Both museums have a wide variety of exhibits that are perfect for a day out.
Enjoy hot drinks and food at a cozy cafe or restaurant:
Toronto has no shortage of cozy cafes and restaurants, perfect for warming up on a cold winter day. Try a classic Canadian dish like poutine or a bowl of hearty soup, or indulge in some hot cocoa or a steaming latte. Enjoy Winterlicious which is an annual event that takes place in January and February. During this event, you can enjoy a three-course prix-fixe menu at the restaurants that participate in this event .
Take a day trip to Niagara Falls:
Niagara Falls is just a short drive from Toronto,and it’s a beautiful sight to see in the winter. The falls are illuminated at night, making for a stunning winter wonderland.
Winter in Toronto is a great time to enjoy indoor activities such as bowling, ice hockey,rock climbing, and other sports. Many recreation centers and indoor facilities have special offers during the winter season.
Try Winter Sports at Centennial Park:
Centennial Park is home to a variety of winter sports, like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and tubing. Rentals are available on-site, and it’s a great place to enjoy the winter weather.
There are plenty of things to do in Toronto during the winter, from outdoor activities to indoor cultural events. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, you’ll find something to enjoy in this vibrant city.