Many people choose to plan their visits to Toronto during the summer months, tempted by beautiful weather and a calendar full of exciting events. They leave before winter begins, keen to avoid freezing cold temperatures.
However, the locals actually look forward to the winter. Yes, it's cold, but with the snow comes even more activities that summer.
Read on to find out exactly why spending winter in Toronto is the best.
In summer, the streets, hotels, and attractions of Toronto are packed with hot, sweaty tourists. By contrast, in winter the city is the locals' playground, with queues and crowds gone.
As a result, as the temperature drops, so do the hotel prices, airfare prices, and waiting lists for the best restaurants. There's a lot to be said for the off-season.
Christmas and winter events
Torontonians embrace winter by filling their calendars with even more events than during the summer. The Christmas markets in the Distillery District look like a holiday postcard, offering stalls, rides, Santa, food, and drink in the most picturesque of settings.
There is also the Aurora winter festival which transforms Ontario Place into a winter wonderland of ice skating, tubing, and other winter activities.
Another activity not to be missed is Holiday Fair at Nathan Phillips Square – the perfect spot for some holiday shopping, ice skating, and dining.
Following on from the above two points, Winterlicious combines saving money with winter activities for Toronto's annual restaurant week. Around 200 restaurants offer three-course meals for a fixed, discounted price.
Many top tier restaurants take part, offering a rare opportunity to try some of Toronto’s best restaurants in a short period of time and for an excellent price.
It Add wouldn't be winter in Toronto without ice skating and tobogganing. There are several places to skate in Toronto in the winter, and it can be a very budget-friendly activity.
For example, for just $10 you can rent skates for two hours and skate the Bentway trail in the heart of Toronto. The hills of Toronto also offer one of the best places in the world for tobogganing if you can get hold of a snow craft.
The Maple Leafs
Torontonians are mad about the Maple Leafs, and spending winter in Toronto gives any hockey fan the perfect opportunity to watch them play in their home town, with the season running from September through to April.
Next Stage Theatre Festival
In summer, people flock to Toronto for the Fringe Festival – one of the biggest indie theatre festivals in the world.
Every January, artists who have performed at Fringe Festival show off their latest work at Next Stage, a 12-day festival which guarantees to be anything but boring.
Every February, Yorkville is transformed with the arrival of glittering ice sculptures of a specific theme.
This year’s theme is Hollywood North, and you can expect to see over 70,000lbs of crystal clear ice carved into breathtaking sculptures inspired by Toronto’s film industry.
You will also find live music by top DJs, hot chocolate, and winter-inspired cocktails.