There are those among us who don’t hunker down and hide from the Toronto winter. Rather, we embrace the chill, the frost and the snow with Griswoldian passion, taking on this sub-zero season in all its toe-numbing glory. If you’re like us, you’re always on the lookout for things to do in Toronto this winter to warm the cockles of your activity-starved heart.
Search no further! Here are some of the best ways to spend your Toronto winter.
Nathan Phillips Square Skating
Nov 24 – Mar 17 | Website
No winter in Toronto is complete without slapping on the ol’ skates and heading over to Nathan Phillips Square for a few laps of the rink. It’s free, and open most days from 9am to 10pm.
Jan 15 – Feb 7 | Website
Hundreds of eateries across Toronto take part in this celebration of the culinary landscape of the city. Happening from January 25 to February 7, this Toronto winter event will drag you out of the seasonal blues, tastebuds first. Featuring new taste sensations and fixe prix specials, Winterlicious is a must-attend winter event for any foodie. If there’s a great Toronto restaurant you’ve been waiting to try, chances are, they’re part of Winterlicious.
Winter Craft Beer Festival
Jan 26 | Website
No winter in Toronto would be complete without swinging on by the Winter Craft Beer Festival. Hosted by yours truly and held at The Roundhouse on January 26th, the Winter Craft Beer Festival is everything every craft beer enthusiasts needs to warm up their spirits this season. Never been? Think of an Alpine Ski Lodge circa 1976, but with the brews you love today. The atmosphere is warm, the food, delicious and the beer? Oh, you know that’s good.
Winter Light Festival
Jan 28 – Mar 3 | Website
Bust through the winter blahs with some serious illumination, courtesy of the Toronto Light Festival in the Distillery District. Running January 28 to March 3, this beatific spectacle features a breathtaking, pupil-shrinking maze of large-scale installations from artists from around the world.
Jan 30 – Feb 17 | Website
Celebrate achievements and strides toward a better, brighter future at the Progress Festival. Taking place from January 30 to February 17, this artistic awakening shakes the snow off our minds with artistic works that engage, open discussion and challenge.
Feb 9 & 10 | Website
Ever seen over 70,000 pounds of ice in one place? Now’s your chance. Icefest is on again this year and returning to Bloor-Yorkdale Village on the weekend of February 9th and 10th to celebrate frozen H2O in all its glory. Oh, and that 70,000 pounds of ice? That’s there, just waiting for you to carve it. There’s also food and drinks, and in case you needed an altruistic reason to have a good time, proceeds support the Heart & Stroke Foundation. So if you’re looking for a Toronto winter activity that’ll make a difference, Icefest is a solid pick.
Toronto Black Film Festival
Feb 13 – Feb 18 | Website
Celebrate, educate and reflect during Black History Month this February by checking out the Toronto Black Film Festival. Running from February 13 to February 18, this exceptional event gives voice to exceptional and unique voices in cinema, while also giving power and shedding light on Black perspectives from around the world.
Canadian International Auto Show
Feb 15 – Feb 24 | Website
Get your rear in gear and head over to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. From February 15 to 24, this Toronto winter event is for car lovers in our fair city and beyond. See the latest makes and models, as well as cutting-edge innovations. Check out some classic beauts while you’re at it, cause retro rides are always in style.
This is by no means a definitive list of things to do in Toronto this winter, but it includes many of the seasonal highlights of the 6. Now don your fuzziest mittens and pom-pom toque, and get out there. The air is crisp, the weather fine, and the winter awaits!
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