It’s the perfect time of the year to get outdoors and enjoy the lovely Canadian winter weather! If you’re new to Toronto – welcome! You’ll find that the city is full of wonderful outdoor gems that can make your winter season an exciting one. For those of you who have called Toronto your home for a while now, you’re probably already familiar with many outdoor activities, but it’s always a good idea to freshen up on the city’s festivities.
As a Torontonian and fellow student, I’m sharing my top five outdoor activities to enjoy in Toronto this season, whether you’ve been here for as long as I have or have just arrived! For even more destinations, be sure to tune into next week’s post where I’ll go over my top five indoor activities, and check out our previous #YUBlog post, “All Aboard! A Student Guide for New Torontonians.” Now let’s get to it!
Visit the Toronto Christmas Market
Located in the Distillery District, the Toronto Christmas Market is a great holiday market for shopping and festivities. You’ll also find fantastic food vendors and a variety of activities, like photoshoots and a Ferris wheel. I definitely recommend a trip here with your friends and family because it’ll get you in a festive mood! It’s also a good bang for your buck – admission is free on weekdays until 5pm. On weekends and after 5pm, the ticket price is only $6!
Go Ice Skating
Ice skating is the perfect outdoor activity to enjoy during the winter months, and it’s a great way to stay physically active. The most popular downtown outdoor ice rink is Nathan Phillips Square, located in the heart of Toronto, right in front of City Hall, where you can enjoy and explore the city. Other popular outdoor rinks are the Natrel Rink, which is right along the shoreline of Toronto at Harbourfront, and the Bentway Skate Trail, which is right beneath the Gardiner Expressway.
Attend a Festival
The winter months in Toronto are bustling with festivals nearly every day – a quick online search will take you a long way! One of the most beautiful festivals is the Toronto Light Festival, which is located in the Distillery District and runs from January 18 to March 3. This festival showcases light art pieces, and it’s definitely a breath-taking experience that’s great for photos!
Another amazing festival is Icefest, which takes place on February 24 and 25 at Bloor-Yorkville. Here you can watch ice carving competitions, enjoy amazing ice sculptures and visit the Icefest lounge.
Did you know? Both of these festivals have free admission!
Tobogganing is a classic Canadian winter activity – all you need is some snow, a hill and a sled! I recommend taking a look at this list of tobogganing locations if you’re unsure where to go, but it’s always a good idea to consult with your city and local park.
Go on a Guided Walk
Another great way to get active while enjoying Toronto’s beautiful scenery is to go on a guided walk through a national park. For Torontonians, this means a visit to the Rouge National Urban Park! It’s important to note that guided walks vary in difficulty, so you can choose ones that are suitable for you.
I hope that this list has inspired you to explore the city and take in all that Toronto has to offer! For more outdoor activities, I highly recommend visiting BlogTO’s post, “10 Fun Things to Do Outdoors in Toronto this Winter.” And don’t forget to stay tuned for next week’s #YUBlog post where I’ll go over our top five indoor activities in the city!
If you have any questions about any of the destinations mentioned above, please comment below or tweet us at @YorkUStudents!