Toronto is a beautiful city and I can not tell you how much I’m in love with it. But because Canada has extreme negative temperatures, like -30 ° C, it carries the reputation of being a country with an “unbearable” cold, which in my opinion, is not true. It’s cold? IT IS! But that’s not all you can imagine. Even, I say what the winter is like here, in this post.
The good thing is that even in the winter bringing cold temperatures, it also brings a unique charm with snow, creating a charming and fascinating scenery throughout the city.
It was in Toronto that we saw the snow for the first time during a vacation trip in February 2015 and I can say that it was (and still is) to see the falling snowfalls is an unforgettable / exciting experience and to experience a winter so different from what we are accustomed to in Brazil is a magical experience, so I highly recommend visiting (also) the city at that time.
And if you are planning or want to get to know Toronto in the winter, I will share the roadmap we did on our 10-day city break. I also took advantage to include things that we did not do at the time, but which today I recommend.
WHERE TO STAY:
For this trip, we rent an apartment through Airbnb, which is a safe platform and I always recommend it, because I think cost x benefit outweighs a lot.
At the time we stayed in Downtown, which is downtown, but not a rule. If you get accommodation close to some metro station, it will help you a lot in getting around the city.
DUNDAS SQUARE Here is one of the main points of the city, which hosts several events throughout the year. The place is surrounded by huge screens, which take turns in several ads, assimilating much with times square in New York, but in a smaller proportion, because the place is also smaller.
Facing Dundas Square, is the main and best known Shopping in the city. It is not an outlet, but it has a huge variety of shops worth checking out. In addition, the place tells a sculpture of flying ducks, which deserves a photo.
REAL SPORTS BAR
The theme of the bar is sports and it is surrounded by televisions that broadcast all the sports in the world. Even though I’m not a fan of any sports, I highly recommend the visit, because the place is really cool, besides, there sells the best tomato soup … I love it! In this post I will tell you more about this place.
I love the Toronto Aquarium! It is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen, so I recommend to visit it at any time of the year. In this post, I share my visit there.
The Harbourfront is the area of the city that makes me travel to the coast because the place is very much like a beach promenade. I love going there!
In winter, the experience is not as hot as the heat, but that does not detract from the beauty of the place. Even more, depending on the cold, you can find the lake Ontario completely frozen. Can you believe?
The most famous tourist spot in the city, could not be left out. The tower provides a 360 view of the city and from the top the feeling is to be embraced by Toronto. By far, this is my favorite place in town.
If you have the opportunity, take the opportunity to dine (or have lunch) in the restaurant that is spinning at the top of the tower. The restaurant is expensive but the experience of eating a wonderful dish with a breathtaking view is unforgettable. In this post, I detail our visit better there.
Of all the seasons, the one I think most matches Distillery is winter. It is a delight to visit the place for coffee or hot chocolate and then stroll around, admiring the contrast of the red brick walls with the snow-white floor.
SOMA is a chocolate factory in the middle of the Distillery and when you enter you dipped in a delicious chocolate scent. It is worth going to have a hot chocolate and try some chocolate treats.
As hot drink is little for the cold, we also went in the Balzac cafe (it is almost next to SOMA), which is a very charming cafeteria and there we had a coffee with milk very warm.
ST LAWRENCE MARKET
The St Lawrence market is a market where there are several merchants selling fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, souvenirs, drinks, etc … very similar to the São Paulo market. In curiosity the place is very interesting to visit and right at the entrance there are two small shops with nice items of souvenirs to buy.
The University of Toronto sits in a huge area of the city and its castle-like buildings are even more charming with snow. So it is worth walking around. At the time we still went to have breakfast inside the University, but I do not recommend it. We paid $ 10 / person to eat at the buffet which had lettuce, baked potato, bacon, eggs, pancake, strawberry gala, that is, a typical American breakfast, but since it was still morning I wanted something lighter and not a lunch (laughs). In short, we paid and ate very little (by our choice).
The Casa Loma, is really beautiful and for being a very famous tourist spot of the city worth knowing. The site has already been the scene of several films, such as X-Man, where the mansion represented the school of mutants of Professor Xavier. The tour inside the house is paid (around CAD 25.00 / person), we have already done it and I particularly did not find anything too much. So if you want to go and see the house fax, which is beautiful, I recommend it.
It is right next door to Casa Loma. Outside it is not as beautiful as Casa Loma, but inside I found it much more interesting. So I recommend getting to know you. The tour is also paid (about CAD $ 6.00), but I think if it is to enter one of the houses, I would indicate this.
CITY OF NIAGARA
For Niagara, we closed a tour in advance with the Chariots of fire, which left us at 10am in the Niagara Falls Outlet, at 1pm seeking us to take the Niagara falls and then followed for a tour in a wine cellar. Even being run, I thought it was well worth it. Because of the cold, we would not be able to invest much time in these places.
Recently we visited this outlet and I shared in video as it was, check here. However, in winter the scene was different, because it was open, there was snow everywhere and the wind between the corridors was sharp. With that, the place was empty and we had the outlet just for us and with the low demand, the prices were also more attractive than those applied in the autumn, for example, where we made our last visit. So if you have intentions to shop, this place might be a good choice at this time.
This is one of the places I always like to go and I’ve talked about it in this post and in that. In any season visiting Niagara is special, but the only remark when visiting Niagara in the winter, is to get much warm, but very much, because due to the falls of the water the humidity of the place greatly diminished the thermal sensation. When we went in the winter of 2015, the thermal sensation was -42 and the constant wind prevented us from staying more than 2mins in front of the falls. I’ve never felt as cold as there.
In this tour, in addition to knowing the process of wine production, we tasted the delicious Ice Wine, wine made from frozen grapes, which became our favorite wine. In one of our trips to Niagara, we visited the Viniculus Inniskllin and I count on that post as it was.
PLAY HOCKEY GAME
If you have not yet attended a Hockey game, here is the opportunity to watch the game of Canadians favorite sport. The game is very intense, with players skating at high speed from side to side and the fans cheering the whole game. Even for those who are not a sports fan, it is worth considering watching as it is an interesting experience.
7TH AND 8TH DAY
SKIING IN BLUE MOUNTAIN If you’ve never skied, I think coming to Canada in the winter is a great opportunity to practice the sport, after all it’s not every destination that we have this opportunity, besides it’s a fun sport.
Blue Mountains is a ski resort, about 2 hours from Toronto, but by the opportunity and proximity I think it worth including in the script.
In addition to the ski resort, Blue Mountain has a small center with cool shops and restaurants to explore. So, to enjoy the tour well, I suggest staying 2 days there.
We went there by bus by the AUC tour and we stayed at the resort within the ski station, the Blue Mountain Inn.
High Park is Toronto’s most famous park. The place is huge, full of scenery and is beautiful in any season. It is worth taking a part of the day to walk through it and enjoy playing with the dogs that play with their owners there.
Just like the opportunity to ski, you can enjoy the winter to ice skate. In Toronto there are several ice skating rinks and you only pay for the roller skating rink.
How about enjoying the experience of visiting a bar where everything is ice, from the glasses to the chairs?
This is yet another winter opportunity worthy of being included in the screenplay. Learn more here.
THE GREATEST HINDU TEMPLE OF CANADA
We did not visit this temple when we were here on vacation in the winter, but I find this place so beautiful that I recommend the visit in any season. The walls of the temple are made of marble all carved by hand and full of delicate details. Most striking is that the sculptures were not made by artists, but by people of ordinary professions. It is so impressive and we really loved this temple.
SAVE A FREE DAY: It is always good to have in your script a more free day (as I left the 6th day) and to fit flexible schedules, which you have not managed to do on another day, especially in winter, where weather conditions can cause Interruptions in the operation of any attraction or delay for any of them due to possible traffic slowdowns (in the streets or metro lines).
ZOO: In our visit during the winter, we went to meet the zoo, which is a beautiful place, but not worth going in the winter, because because of the cold there are few animals and how the place is all open, windy and for not having places to shelter we stayed long Exposed in the cold.
I hope this script can help you with some winter walking options in Toronto. Enjoy to see other posts from Toronto, where I share other places you can also include in your roadmap.