What To Do In Toronto During Winter – Note: Although I try to keep the posts up to date, you are advised to check the opening times and details of the attractions and venues listed. This post may contain affiliate links. They provide me with a small source of income and at no additional cost to you.
When we first moved to Canada, we started our journey in Toronto in the middle of winter (late January). Coming from the UK, we were inexperienced when it came to extremely cold temperatures.
What To Do In Toronto During Winter
We quickly learned to adjust to the temperature, invested in good winter clothing, and even drove our RV to -20°C in the Home Depot parking lot!
Things To Do In Toronto In Winter
We got to experience our first real Canadian winter and discovered first hand the best things about winter in Toronto!
While Toronto’s cold winter weather may put some travelers off, Toronto has a lot to offer during the winter months.
From outdoor ice rinks and holiday markets to cozy cafes and indoor attractions, this vibrant city has something for everyone.
If you’re visiting Toronto this winter and want to know what to do in winter in Toronto, here are some of my top recommendations.
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Toronto, Canada’s largest city and the capital of Ontario, is located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario on Canada’s east coast.
It’s only a few hours from the US-Canada border and there’s plenty to do in both winter and summer.
The main airport in Toronto is Toronto Pearson International Airport. If you’re traveling from the West Coast or overseas, it’s the plane you fly in first.
To get to downtown Toronto from Toronto Pearson, take the UP Express to Union Station, which takes less than 30 minutes. You can also use the city bus and metro. This option is slightly cheaper but takes longer.
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Toronto is a metropolis, so you can drive here from almost anywhere. It is connected to the surrounding towns and cities by the 400 series highway.
However, traffic in Toronto can be bad, so if you’re only visiting for a short time, I recommend using Toronto’s public transportation, which is good and connects to most of Toronto’s main attractions.
I use comparison sites like DiscoverCars and RentalCars to rent a car because it’s easy to check prices and compare the best deals!
Toronto’s public transportation system is known as the “TTC” (Toronto Transit Commission). There are 4 metro lines and bus and tram routes.
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Public transportation in Toronto is very reliable, not too expensive, and will take you to the best places to visit in Toronto during the winter.
You can get a Presto card, download it and tap the gate at stations or buses and routes. Or use a touch / contactless phone on your regular payment card or phone.
Winters in Toronto can be very cold and snowy, with temperatures below freezing for much of the winter. The average temperature is about -3C, but there are times when it is much colder.
The first snow usually falls in November and lasts until the end of March in most years.
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The Toronto City PASS lets you visit 5 of Toronto’s most popular attractions and saves you 38% off the price of admission.
The pass remains valid for 9 days after activation, giving you plenty of time to explore. This is a great choice for those who want to see a lot of sights.
As you can imagine, to visit Toronto in winter, you need to get some clothes.
Although it can be cold and snowy in Toronto in the winter, with the right clothing you can stay warm and dry even when it’s wet and cold outside!
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I’d rather keep my feet warm and dry than suffocate my cold wet feet while trying to explore a new city.
I feel like you haven’t experienced a real Canadian winter until you’ve skated. Fortunately, in Toronto, you don’t have to go ice skating in the winter, as the city has plenty of ice rinks.
One of Toronto’s most popular ice rinks is at Nathan Phillips Rink. If you’re visiting Toronto or don’t have skates, you can rent skates here and it’s very easy to get to by public transportation.
In winter, the water fountain, outdoor ice rink and the city hall will be your backdrop.
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The ice rink is great, but it’s not the only thing to do at Nathan Phillips Field. Every year. this place becomes a beautiful winter landscape.
You will see a huge Christmas tree, thousands of lights and a Christmas market with products from local artists. There are often food stalls, performances and live music during the holidays.
Another rink for rent in Toronto is located at Harbourfront, which overlooks Lake Ontario. Here you can skate with views of the CN Tower and the surrounding waterfront.
On Saturday night there is a DJ party with amazing light displays, which is a lot of fun in winter in Toronto.
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The Bentway Trail, a 1.75 km long figure skating track under the Gardiner Expressway, is Toronto’s newest ice skating attraction.
There is also a village with warming stations and places where you can enjoy alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to warm up while skating.
Toronto’s Distillery District is a cobbled collection of Victorian industrial buildings, including a historic distillery and many brick facades. This is one of the most beautiful parts of the city.
Toronto hosts two major winter events this time of year at the Distillery, one of Toronto’s top attractions.
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Toronto’s Christmas market begins in mid-November with a tree lighting ceremony and runs until New Year’s Eve, now known as the Winter Village Distillery.
This is Toronto’s most popular Christmas market and includes a white Christmas tree, festive lighting and several food stalls.
Food stands include poutine, pretzels, beer, schnitzel, raclette, chicken and waffles, and fruit tarts. You can also grab a cup of mulled wine or hot chocolate as you pass by.
There are also stalls selling great local gifts to take to friends and family or to take as souvenirs for yourself. Items include ornaments, socks, clothing, cards, candles, pottery, spices, handmade jewelry, baked goods and more.
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If you miss the Distillery Christmas Market from November to December, you can enjoy the Toronto Festival of Lights in January, which illuminates the Distillery District.
The Festival of Lights features thousands of lights, illuminated sculptures and sparkling installations across 13 hectares and 44 buildings in the Distillery District.
The Toronto Islands are popular with locals in the summer, but are also worth a visit in the winter.
The ferry ride can be chilly when you’re out and about, but on a nice day you get a beautiful view of snowy Toronto when you reach the island.
Fun Things To Do In Toronto During Winter (activities & More!)
One of the best things to do in the winter on the Toronto Islands is cross-country skiing. You can rent skis from MEC in Toronto and take them with you on the ferry.
While I’m partial to hot chocolate any time of the year, the drink hits the spot in the winter.
Some of the best hot chocolates in Toronto are chocolates with interesting and unique flavor combinations. These include Cayenne, Ginger and Orange Hot Chocolate in Soma Chocolate and Peanut Butter and Caramel Hot Chocolate in Sweet Jesus.
Another fun light show in Vancouver during the winter is the Terra Lumina show at the Toronto Zoo.
Cheap & Free Things To Do In Toronto At Christmas Time
If you’re visiting Toronto with kids in the winter (or if you’re a big kid), don’t forget to go sledding at Toronto’s Riverdale Park.
It is one of the best places for sledding in the city thanks to its steep slopes and amazing views.
Ontario’s Snow Magic Trail is one of the best unique winter things to do in Toronto.
In this light show, you will drive through 17 light installations by famous Canadian artists.
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The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is one of Toronto’s most iconic tourist attractions and features stunning paintings and artwork of the Canadian landscape, including winter scenes.
If the weather is truly awful, then exploring the Art Gallery of Ontario is a great way to stay warm while exploring the best things to do in Toronto.
There are many places for snowshoeing in Toronto, including High Park, but one of the best is in East Toronto: Glen Stewart Ravine.
Another great museum is the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. The ROM (as it’s known) has one of the largest collections of dinosaur skulls in the world, and it’s amazing to see them – especially if you’re visiting Toronto with kids.
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In addition to dinosaurs, you can find minerals, fossils, Roman artifacts, and more. you can find This
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