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Frosty Fun in Toronto: 31 Winter Activities You Can’t Miss! ❄️

Sometimes we wonder what to do when the long summer days and beautiful fall colours are gone. Whether you’re a new or lifelong resident of Toronto, or just visiting the city, I have what you need. I have prepared a list of 31 activities to do in Toronto during winter. I have included indoor and outdoor activities to make everybody happy.

Before going any further don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Youtube to learn more about Canada!

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1. Visit one of Toronto’s museums

Toronto has several museums, the most popular being the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). But you also have several more niche museums like the Bata Shoe Museum which has more than 1000 shoes and shares the history behind. You also have the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) or the Aga Khan Museum, the museum of Islamic arts and culture. Some even offer free slots to help you save some dollars, I’ll leave the blog post I wrote about free museums in Toronto here.

2. Go sledding at Riverdale Park

Yes you can go sledding in downtown Toronto. Yes, like when you were a little kid and it used to only snow once a year. Well, at least that was the case for me growing up in the south east of France. There are several places where you can rediscover your childhood feelings, but the most popular is at Riverdale Park, with a lovely view of the city as you descend.

3. Visit the Toronto Christmas Market

The Distillery Winter Village is an mandatory stop if you are in Toronto between the end of November and Christmas. The Christmas tree is getting more and more majestic every year (this photo is from 2020). You can enjoy some time in one of my favorite neighbourhoods in Toronto: Distillery District. You even have the countdown to Christmas like in the movies!

The only little advice I will give you: if you can avoid weekends, go during the week instead. Entrance is free during the week, there is a fee from 4 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday after 4 p.m. Plus, there are a lot fewer people during the week.

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4. Go to the movie

When it’s very cold outside, you may want to hide in the back of a heated room. You have several options for movie theatres in Toronto. The best known: Cineplex. But you also have cheaper neighbourhood cinemas, like Imagine Cinemas near St Lawrence Market or on Yonge and College. And you also have specialized cinemas that offer unique programming like Hot Docs Cinema or TIFF cinema.

5. Rent an outdoor fire pit near the lake

No you are not dreaming, it is possible to grill your marshmallows and s’mores even in winter and even in Toronto. Only requirements is to book priore and to bring your own wood. You can book some at Ontario Place for example (they have 3 options) or across town, you can find the options here.

6. Take a yoga class

Toronto loves sports. I talked about this in my Youtube video where I talked about 5 facts about Toronto: Apparently Toronto is the third sportiest city in the world. One in three people watch sports every day. You have multiple opportunities to exercise. And also the opportunity to try new sports. It was actually in Toronto that I started yoga 8 years ago and it has been part of my routine ever since. You have several studios across the city and probably one in your neighbourhood! A good activity to take care of yourself.

7. Go for a walk at Woodbine beach to see the frozen trees

This is one of the activities to do in Toronto in winter that should be saved for when it’s really winter in Toronto. I mean when it’s very, very cold. So bundle up before embarking on this adventure. Winter is a somewhat complicated season in Canada. Activities are limited. But when you start to observe nature changing around you: it’s fascinating. Last winter, I took a walk on Woodbine Beach east of Toronto. What a show. The beach covered in snow, the vegetation completely frozen and the pieces of ice in the water which came to spread out on the beach. You can see more on Youtube.

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8. Visit Allen Garden

Need a little tropical break? I have what you need ! Allen Garden Conservatory is a botanical garden in downtown Toronto. Walk among cacti and tropical plants. Look for turtles in the ponds and also observe the fish. Guaranteed change of scenery. Please note, during the renovations certain parts are not accessible. This is honestly one of the only activities to do in Toronto in winter that will warm you up!

9. Winterlicious

I call all foodies for this activity. Every year, usually between late January and mid-February, more than 200 Toronto restaurants participate in Winterlicious. They offer 3-course menus at a fixed price. This is an opportunity to try restaurants that may usually be out of budget and that become accessible during Winterlicious.

10. DesignTO festival

Every year in January, art exhibits take place throughout the city. One of the activities to do in Toronto in winter to discover the city and get inspired. DesignTO offers more than 100 exhibitions across the city. Including photography, sculptures but also conferences. You can find the full program on their website.

11. Observe frozen Lake Ontario

Above I told you about the beach covered in snow. Another of the must-do activities to do in Toronto in winter: observe frozen Lake Ontario. The advantage is that you have multiple options since Lake Ontario borders the city of Toronto. I still want to share with you my favourite places: the different intersections on Queen’s Quay. Jarvis, Yonge, York or even Simcoe. In these places you have some kind of returns which make the water freeze more easily. If it is really cold you will have the pleasure of seeing large blocks of ice. I always find it fascinating.

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12. Explore the PATH

This is one of the questions I often receive: yes Toronto has an underground city. You have a whole route that takes place underground to allow you to get between the buildings without having to set foot outside. Located downtown Toronto you can, for example, access the Eaton Center from Union Station, without having to go out. The PATH is found in many large office buildings. Hence the fact that you will sometimes come across people in small jackets in the middle of winter at -15. No, these are not superhumans who don’t fear the cold: they simply haven’t gone out! Some interesting facts about the PATH: more than 75 buildings are connected to the PATH, you will find more than 1600 restaurants/stores and more than 4600 people work in the PATH! Take advantage of it if you think it could be one of the activities to do in Toronto in winter to familiarize yourself with the place. Because one day you might get lost trying to get somewhere. Believe me, it’s much less fun and it’s happened to me more than once.

13. Canada’s Wonderland WinterFest

Canada Wonderland is the largest amusement park in Canada. There you will also find the largest rollercoster in the country. So very little for me, I don’t like having my head upside down. However, outside of the regular season, they offer themed events. Like the winter festival before the holidays. Enjoy a magical world that will make everyone happy. More information on Canada’s Wonderland Winterfest on their website.

14. Go outdoor skating in Toronto

One of the big advantages of living in Canada in winter: you have access to several free outdoor ice rinks. To take advantage of it, you can come on site with your equipment. Some ice rinks also offer rental on site. Be sure to check the City of Toronto website before getting there. This is one of the best things to do in Toronto in winter. You have more than 50 free rinks managed by the city, you have plenty to do! I also have a blog post that gives you more details on how to skate in Toronto.

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15. Go roller skating indoors

If you want to practice your skating skills in the warm before hitting the ice rinks: I have the solution! You can venture into one of the skating rinks. Beautiful floors, very bright colours, you will also have the impression of taking a step back in time. Besides, it reminds me of La Boum (if you are not French you might not this famous French movie!).

16. Snowshoeing in Toronto

Yes, if the weather permits, you can snowshoe in Toronto. Pretty cool right? No need to take the car or drive kilometres. It’s a good way to get moving and explore the city from a different perspective. Imagine seeing the same landscapes as in summer but under the snow. Believe me, you feel like you’re discovering new places. You can go to High Park, Tommy Thompson Park or the Toronto Islands. For more information on where to snowshoe in Toronto you can read the article published by Ontario Hiking here.

17. Skiing in Toronto

I warn you before reading the rest of this message: do not expect to be able to ski like in the Alps in Toronto. Now that I have managed your expectations, we can continue. You have 2 ski lifts in Toronto, you can take lessons there to learn to ski or just go there to have fun. The first is in Earl Bales Park and the second is in Centennial Park. I haven’t found much information on the second one too, but the first one has two descents: a beginner and a main one.

18. Visit Toronto Islands

The Toronto Islands are a must-visit during summer, but the beauty of the islands doesn’t stop once the summer season is over. If you walk around the smaller islands (South Island, South Chippewa Island for example) you will potentially see frozen waterways. This is a fun walk to do in winter. To learn more about how to get to the Toronto Islands click here.

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19. Walk by Glen Stewart Ravine

Glen Steward Ravine is a beautiful forest hidden in Toronto. It’s a great place to enjoy the summer and also to see the beautiful fall colours in Toronto without a car. But it’s also beautiful in the snow. Another way to get a change of scenery without having to travel kilometres!

20. Visit the Hockey Hall of Fame

The Hockey Hall of Fame has the largest hockey collection in the world. If you like this sport you will love this place. If you are a novice, you will learn more about the sport that Canadians are passionate about. Also take the opportunity to walk by Brookfield Place, the building which houses this museum, the architecture is one of the most beautiful in Toronto. Don’t forget to stop at the corner of Yonge and Front Street to take your photo next to the “Our Game” statue which depicts a group of young hockey players who are passionate about the sport. The statue is inspired by a magazine ad from the 70s.

21. Visit Casa Loma

Canadians envy our French castles and all the history they contain (my boyfriend is Canadian and never tires of discovering new castles when we go to France). It is much less common here, but you still have the opportunity to visit Casa Loma. It is a bourgeois house built between 1911 and 1914. Less than 10 years after construction, the owner had to abandon it for financial reasons. Many decades and stories later, it is today a city attraction. You can enjoy the beautiful architecture, permanent and temporary exhibitions. But also visit the themed events around the end of year celebrations.

22. Learn at the Toronto Science Center

You can spend hours at the Ontario Science Centre, and you can keep both kids and adults entertained! From temporary exhibitions to permanent exhibitions and numerous activities, you will definitely learn something new during your visit!

23. Ripley’s Aquarium

Just under the CN Tower you can find a paradise for kids like adults: Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto. I have been there several times and it is always a timeless moment that takes us back to our childhood. It’s the largest indoor aquarium in Canada, which has one of the largest exhibits of jellyfish (with the colours it’s magnificent!). And finally, you will find the longest treadmill in North America. Jump on and enjoy the view across the shark aquarium! Everyone is amazed, from 7 to 77 yo.

24. Sit down in a café

Toronto has so many independent coffee shops that you have plenty of options. Some owners really do a remarkable job decorating so that you feel good there. You can sit down with a book, go there with your computer to work or study. Or simply sit down with a friend to chat. I also have a Reel on Instagram with the prettiest cups from Toronto cafes. This might help you start your list!

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25. Go see a show

Many big productions are presented each year in Toronto. You can see shows performed in New York for example. That’s the big advantage of being in the economic capital of Canada, if the Americans are planning a tour in Canada, you can almost always be sure that Toronto will be included. This winter for example you have the musical Aladdin which will be performed at the Princess of Wales Theatre, you also have Chicago at the start of the year.

If you want something more intimate, there are several theaters across the city that have super interesting programming. And finally, I have some tips in this article to help you save money in Toronto on a daily basis on these types of activities.

26. Test pottery

It’s an activity that I practiced during my childhood. I still have relics from that time at my father’s house. Several pottery studios have opened in Toronto in recent years. This is one of the activities to do in Toronto in winter that is making a big comeback. You can go solo to give yourself a moment to recharge your batteries or you can make it a fun night with friends. You also have less expensive options with the Gardiner Museum.

27. Stackt Market

Add to your list to visit the largest market made of shipping containers: Stackt Market. Since it opens in 2019, the complex has received several awards for its innovation. The space is really nice and highlights local brands in small pop-up shops. you can stop by regularly and potentially discover new things.

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28. Explorer the Winter Stations at The Beaches

Since 2014, Woodbine Beach hosts an outdoor exhibit called Winter Stations. International artists present their work to the public on Toronto’s East Beaches. A good way to enjoy the beach during the colder months. I went there last year and it was really nice. The exhibition generally begins in the second part of February.

29. Discover local artists with Long Winter

Long Winter is an art festival that welcomes over 200 local artists and collectives. Each year more than 5,000 visitors take part in the festivities across the city. You have something for every style! The lineup for the next season has not yet been announced but keep your eyes opened!

30. Get inspired by Fashion Art Toronto

Fashion Art Toronto has a special place for me. It was one of the first events where I was invited as a blogger in 2015. We have come a long way since then (I have since become Canadian for example) and so have they. I went there during their early years, the event was over several days in a venue a little outside downtown. Since then we have been talking about several events during the year, a huge room in the city center. This is a good opportunity to meet the fashion world in Toronto if you are interested. Or just treat yourself by putting on your most beautiful bright clothes and hope to be photographed when you arrive on the sidewalk (this happened to me and I felt like I was living the life of a star for 3 and a half minutes!) .

31. Go watch a game in Toronto

Okay, it’s not the most original suggestion on the list, I grant you that. But listen to me carefully, if you are there during the winter this is one of the activities to do in Toronto in winter that you cannot miss. You have to watch a sports game in Toronto and enjoy the atmosphere. I understand that not everyone has the budget, which is why I have a few alternatives to the Raptors and Maple Leafs.

You can go watch the Marlies play, they’re the league below the Maple Leafs. They play at Coca Cola Colliseum and tickets are much more affordable. You can also go watch all types of sports at Toronto Metropolitan University (former Ryerson). You will find the list here, I have already seen hockey matches and it is of a very good level, with the university atmosphere like in the films!


I hope all of these recommendations for things to do in Toronto in winter will inspire you to enjoy the winter season. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Youtube to learn more about Canada!

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