Toronto: A SNEAKY HOTSPOT FOR Winter Travel
Canada’s reputation for long, chilly winters is well earned. But, like a sculpture carved from ice, the frosty scenery for Toronto sightseeing becomes something wonderful. Canadians are a hearty crew, that pride themselves on our ability to conquer and thrive during our coldest months, making winter a fun season for all. (And, if we’re being honest, Toronto’s winters are nothing compared to what people face in other parts of the country).
Whether cozying up to a fire with some good food and drinks, or bundling up for some invigorating winter sports, Toronto has plenty to offer everyone this winter season. Let’s take a look at a few choice highlights for our winter visitors to consider.
HIT UP A Heated Patio
Heated patios show such blatant defiance for the harsh winter cold - it’s great! Perhaps best of all, many of these patios are set on rooftops, allowing guests to stay cozy and warm while taking in some beautiful views of the snow-covered city, even as weary, parka-clad Torontonians scrape ice off their windshields on the streets below. Some popular cocktail spots include the Drake Sky Yard, Bar Raval, and the Broadview Hotel, but with more patios opening up every year, there are plenty of options out there.
2. Winterlicious (January 25 to February 7, 2019)
Winterlicious is one event that really gets people excited about embracing the cold. For food-obsessed Torontonians and travellers to the city, the variety of menus on offer just keeps getting better and better with each passing edition. For 2019, roughly 200 restaurants will participate with three-course prix fixe meals in different price ranges. To help with your selection, the City of Toronto website has even put together a search tool that caters specifically to your tastes. Be sure to lock in your reservations before the best seats get gobbled up.
3. Toronto Winter Brewfest (March 1 to 2, 2019)
Just as winter begins to wind down, yet another festival will take place, this time targeting beer lovers. With more than 150 varieties from brewers across Quebec and Ontario, this festival should provide plenty of surprises for even the most cultured beer drinkers. And, of course, where there’s beer, there’s bound to be delicious food. Expect to see a fleet of Toronto’s finest food trucks on hand at Evergreen Brick Works for this one!
4. Toronto Light Fest (January to March 2019)
The Distillery District is eye-catching and charming at any time of year, but visitors in the winter months get the added bonus of seeing these historic grounds decked out in wildly creative light installations. Works by Canadian and international light artists cover just about every part of the area, and while some installations are impossible to miss, others reward keen eyes and extra efforts. With several respectable food and beverage options readily available, it’s easy to plan an entire evening around dinner, drinks, and a stroll through the Light Fest.
5. Winter at Ontario Place (November 23, 2018, to March 18, 2019)
With winter bringing the shortest days of the year, we could all use a bit more light in our lives. The Winter Light Exhibition at Ontario Place is just one of the magical events happening as part of this year’s “Winter at Ontario Place,” a free festival that also offers skating on the venue’s synthetic rink, film viewings, and bonfires.
6. Bloor-Yorkville Icefest (February 9 & 10, 2019)
Some of the season’s hottest events fall right in the heart of the city, and Bloor-Yorkville Icefest is a perfect example. This two-day festival is fun for all ages, as an array of jaw-dropping ice sculptures take over part of the city’s downtown core. Live demonstrations are offered for guests to watch artists; creations take shape in real time. This years event is themed around Toronto & movie industry and also features a scavenger hunt, a lounge with live DJs, and plenty of warm or cool drinks and snacks.
7. TORONTO Winter CITY Tours
Even in winter, having a tour through Toronto can offer a unique perspective of the city. Whether it’s walking, cycling or even a short ferry ride over to the Toronto Islands, a local guide can transport you into a serene environment that’s far-removed from the bustling downtown streets. Or streamline your journey by guiding you thought the underground path like a true local winter warrior. Guided Toronto offers walking and cycling tours that let visitors explore the best sites in the city, and of course these tours can also be done by car, meaning the cold will never get in the way of your having a good time. Chose your touring style here.
7. Outdoor Skating
Canadians often learn to skate soon after they learn to walk, and Toronto’s many outdoor rinks reflect the obsession this nation has with ice hockey and winter sports, in general. Of the many popular options available, Nathan Phillips Square offers perhaps the most picturesque of all, highlighted by the ‘TORONTO’ sign and City Hall in the background. The Natrel Rink around Harbourfront Centre is a great option, as well, while the newly opened Bentway Skate Trail, running under the Gardiner Expressway, offers yet another unique outdoor skating experience.