The top 30 rainy day activities in Toronto
Rainy days in Toronto can totally put a damper on any sunny weather plans you had. While we definitely don’t suffer the same amount of wet days as cities like Vancouver or Halifax, we see our fair share of showers here in Toronto, so it's useful to find some inspiration when its sad and gloomy outside.
Here are some things to do on a rainy day in Toronto.
The architecture alone at the Art Gallery of Ontario is worth a rainy day visit, with the pitter-patter of droplets hitting Frank Gehry's arch of windows in the Galleria Italia. If that's not enough there's more than 90,000 works of art in the gallery's collection.
You're never too old to enjoy a good game of Street Fighter. Luckily there are a couple spots in the city that let you do that without feeling like a total kid. Pixels and Pints has retro video games, beer, and bubble tea, while The Rec Room's huge collection of entertainment is a sprawling gamer's paradise.
Wet weather makes some sluggish, so to keep the blood moving, it's best to move. You can hit an indoor obstacle course like Pursuit OCR for some epic wall-scaling. If that sounds like too much core strength, some Mario Kart-style racing might be more up your alley.
This Toronto museum celebrates the artistic accomplishments of Muslim civilizations from the Iberian Peninsula to China. You may not be able to explore their beautifully landscaped park, but you can check out the exciting Islamic art located within.
Weather have you down? You deserve a little pick-me-up, courtesy of the amazing spas in Toronto, dedicated to all things relaxation. Book a body scrub or soak in a healing pool: you'll body will thank you.
An overcast sky can be a welcome indication of a cozy afternoon, tucked away with a book or a board game. Board game cafes have sprung up all over the GTA to offer just such a respite on a rainy day.
Toronto is home to some amazing museums and the Royal Ontario Museum shouldn't be overlooked. The giant dinosaur bones are an obvious hit but there’s always some new exhibit worth checking out.
Sing your heart out in one of those private karaoke rooms the next time the weather turns sour. They usually have no windows anyway and are illuminated by the background videos of cheesy beach walkers and eye-gazing lovers while you read the accompanying lyrics.
Head to this old aluminum factory in the Junction Triangle and see how this space has been performed into Canada's foremost gallery for contemporary art. Admission is cheap (just $10 for adults) and there are always some amazing works on dispaly.
If the weather wasn't wet enough, you can get fully aquatic at Ripley's Aquarium. There's underwater tunnels and observation rooms surrounded by water and sea life. They've got thousands of different types of creatures, including many varieties of sharks.
Bingo seems a little sacrilegious on a sunny day so it makes it the ultimate rainy day activity. So next time the clouds roll in grab your stampers and strips and head on down to the hall for some games, and when you win a round, raise up those arms and holler “Bingo!” at the top of your lungs.
Next time the showers start, why not grab a couple of your wisest friends and book yourselves in at escape room? The principle sounds terrifying, lock yourself in a room and race against the clock to figure your way out but it sure is fun.
There’s something extremely peaceful about walking through aisles upon aisles of delicate porcelain and pottery. If rainy days make you existential, what better way to ruminate on the fragility of life than to visit an exhibition at Canada’s biggest ceramics museum.
An entire rainy day can easily be spent here: it is one of the largest Chinese indoor malls in North America after all. Stuff your face on Hong Kong-style street food, slurp on bubble tea, play some arcade games, or buy the futuristic rice cooker you never knew you needed. There’s no shortage of things to do at PMall.
You probably get lost every time you enter The PATH anyway, so why not get to know Toronto’s sprawling underground maze? Pick a spot to start and navigate your way through the downtown core using this 30-kilometre labyrinth—just make sure to download the app if you ever want to see sunlight again.
Painting isn't everyone's cup of tea, but drop into a Paintlounge some rainy day you might end up making a masterpiece. They provide the supplies, right down to the canvas, and there are knowledgeable instructors to help you get the hang of being a real-life artiste.
If this womp-womp weather is slowing down your need for speed, consider heading to the racing podium at K1 Speed, where you and your friends can get competitive while zooming down the sprawling race track.
Get cozy inside a giant plastic bubble and prepare to nearly pee your pants from laughing while engaging in this totally nonsensical human invention. It’s basically where bumper cars meets soccer practice. Try it out at the AT Bubble Soccer facility for a day to remember.
Maybe you don’t hate the rain, you just don’t like getting wet. If that’s the case, there’s no better way to enjoy it than inside a glass conservatory. Hit up Allan Gardens’ peaceful Palm House to sit on a bench and breathe in that good, green oxygen while the droplets glide down the window panes.
Stimulate your mind at this wonky collection of optical illusions on Front Street. This popular concept comes via Croatia and is surprisingly contemporary. Don’t expect your usual collection of garish 3D walls, there’s some pretty mind-bending stuff in here.
Prepare to be filled with child-like joy after visiting Sky Zone, a huge trampoline park that lets you bounce to your heart’s content. Just prepare for those hammies and calves to be real sore the next day.
Toronto is a well-respected movie town — we are Hollywood North, after all. With that in mind, the best place to watch a film in this city is not your couch.
Even on a sunny day, you may not consider Toronto a location for beach volleyball, so it seems like a stretch that such a sport could be enjoyed on a grim, wet day. Not so. Both Beach Blast and North Beach Volleyball offer year-round indoor beach volleyball with actual sand.
Sometimes the way to best deal with a rainy day is to dive right in. Many neighbourhoods have their own indoor community pool like the Regent Park Aquatic Centre. There are university pools like U of T's, or the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre too.
There are lots of outdoor table tennis locations around the GTA, but what happens when the sky rains on your ping-pong parade? The next best option is a ping pong bar. There's SPiN Toronto, Smash Ping Pong Lounge and Pong Bar where you can eat, drink and hit the court.
An indoor gym is a fantastic way to enter into the world of rock climbing, with qualified instructors, safe climbs and mats and rentable gear. Boulderz Climbing, Basecamp Climbing and Toronto Climbing Academy are all available for amazing climbing experiences.
Get retro with this nostalgic pasttime that’s perfect for when the weather is less than pleasant. The Ballroom may be the only downtown spot to bowl, though there are plenty of other classics worth hitting up, like Shamrock Bowl or the Rexdale Bowlerama.
Indoor tennis is another way to let off some steam on a rainy day. You’ll usually have to pay an hourly fee, even if you’re a member, but courst like L’Amoreaux Tennis Centre or North York Winter Tennis Club have super affordable rates for a drop-in sesh.
Fans already know of the abundance of great theatre in Toronto, but those unfamiliar with the many productions around should take some time on a grey-skied day and explore the local options. Check out the listings at theatres like Crowsnest, Mirvish, Tarragon and more.
Cameron MacMaster. With files from Jaclyn Skrobacky.
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