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The top 10 ways to escape the cold in Toronto

Posted by Erinn Beth Langille / March 7, 2014

escape cold torontoEscape the cold in Toronto? Sometimes that seems like impossible, especially this year. When winter threatens to get you down, and has you battening down the hatches, cranky and puffy and desperate for spring, when it feels like you are never going to dig yourself out from under the hundred blankets and coats and hats, when you can't shake the sense that old man winter has stolen your sunshine for good, remember Albert Camus.

He wrote, "In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And this makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there's something stronger - something better, pushing right back." Keep that staunch existentialist's epiphany in mind when battling the endless winter, and try a couple of these great soul warming staycations.

Here's my list of the top 10 ways to escape the cold in Toronto.

Join a Hot Yoga Class
Or as I like to call it sweating to the age oldies. It'll get the heat back into your frozen bones, and get your body and mind ready for spring.

Have a cup of Hot Chocolate
It'll warm your hands, and the sweet sugar rush will give you a burst of energy to fight winter's lethargy. Besides, it just feels weird to drink hot chocolate when it's summer. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Head to the spa
Hot pools, saunas, steam rooms, even warm stone treatments will rejuvenate. You can heal the crackled elbows and knees, soften lizard-y skin, sloughing off the dead of winter and physically and mentally preparing yourself to be beach ready.

Enter the lush paradises of Toronto's Greenhouses
Allan Gardens is the most beautiful, with its multiple greenhouses of various climates, producing gorgeous flowers and greenery more akin to the subtropics than Toronto. Centennial Park Conservatory in Etobicoke is another gem.

Hit the PATH
Sometimes the PATH of avoidance is the best way to escape the cold. The tunnel underworld of downtown Toronto is replete with boutiques and food shops to keep you troglodytic and happy until the weather warms up for good.

Treat yourself to a whiskey warm up
You'll be hard-pressed to find a more pleasing sensation on a cold winters night than this devilish elixir burning down your throat. Drink too much though and you might find yourself upside down in a snow bank.

Hit the dance floor
The music alone will probably brighten your mood, it's a fun way to get some exercise and who knows maybe you'll hookup with a honey and have an early onset summer fling.

Break a sweat
After suffering months of cabin fever doing something active can break the funk. Why not grab a friend, or a few for that matter, and snap out of the blues with some bowling, squash game or rock climbing.

Find a fireplace
Your house or apartment doesn't have a fireplace? Quel horror. But you know, there are places you can go for that. Several pubs and restaurants around the city act as veritable hot spots in the fight against the cold let you snuggle up by the fire. C'est What, The Caledonian and Roof Lounge are good bets. Really brings new meaning to the phrase chill out.

Play board games
This is more of distraction than an answer to the problem of winter, but with the intense levels of distraction available through lengthy board games like Monopoly and Settlers of Catan, by the end of it you're half way through June. Bonus! no shame in wearing a full Snuggie while playing either. Hit up Snakes and Lagers, Snakes and Lattes, Roll Play Cafe or Castle Board Game Cafe for the best selection.

What did I miss? Add your tips for ways to escape the Toronto cold in the comments below.

Photo of Body Blitz East by Carlos Avalos



careful with hot yoga! / March 8, 2014 at 07:59 am
my g/f got pregnant because she way overdid it for several weeks and ended up sweating out all her birth control, and now we have a kid!

a (very) happy accident, but still something to keep in mind, fellas.
Anthony / March 9, 2014 at 02:30 pm
Check out this post about Allan Gardens
Anthony replying to a comment from Anthony / March 9, 2014 at 02:30 pm
Allan Gardens Conservatory: A Touch of Summer in February
Sofija / November 20, 2014 at 05:49 pm
Or you could actually get out of here. My sister's Toronto travel agency is offering a special deal on all-inclusive vacations that beats any other travel site right now:;theater

This is because any All Inclusive deals have to be the same no matter which site you book on (eg. Expedia, Trip Advisor, etc.) but because she's offering a personal rebate it ends up being the cheapest. AND you'd be supporting a local Toronto business, which is pretty awesome
hair salons toronto / November 20, 2014 at 07:46 pm
I love hot yoga, I miss it so much.
olivia / November 22, 2014 at 01:00 am
Where was this pic taken?? I was anticipating to read specific places mentioned, including where the photo was taken, but instead the author listed general things to do. This article was a waste of time.
Karen / November 23, 2014 at 02:40 pm
@Olivia The photo was taken at Body Blitz Spa in Toronto.
Jenn / January 6, 2015 at 08:32 am
Go to an escape room!! Nothing is better than hanging out with your friends indoor in this cold weather!!! ESCAPE THE COLD!!
Martin / February 15, 2015 at 08:06 pm
Every time I see that image of Body Blitz I get annoyed, because it looks so soothing but they don't allow men.
marina / February 15, 2015 at 09:23 pm
Check out the newest escape room in Toronto. Captive Escape Rooms are right at Bay and Elm and offer one of the most realistic experiences in the city. Book online at
Carmen / February 15, 2015 at 11:07 pm
Haha i loved the "quell horror" hahahahaha
Jan Christopher / February 16, 2015 at 12:46 am
Go to Oasis Aqua Lounge!
Other Cities: Montreal