The top 10 ways to escape the cold in Toronto
Escape 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