The top 30 rainy day activities in Toronto
Rainy days in Toronto can sap your desire to leave the house. While we don't suffer the same number 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 for some rainy-day fun.
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.
Housing many articles of Canada's unique design history in its permanent collection, as well as some impressive exhibitions, there's always something sure to delight at the Design Exchange.
This Toronto museum celebrates the artistic accomplishments of Muslim civilizations from the Iberian Peninsula to China. Some of the world's most exciting Islamic art is on display, including paper works, ceramics, metalwork, ivory, stone, textiles, and other objects.
Dedicated to photography and related disciplines, the Ryerson Image Centre is a great place to spend a rainy afternoon. Some of this year's most notable exhibits include work from Canadian artist Suzy Lake.
Toronto is home to some amazing museums and the Royal Ontario Museum shouldn't be overlooked. Beyond the dinosaurs there's always a new exhibit worth checking out.
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.
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.
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.
TIFF's Film Reference Library carries thousands of cinema related books and magazines, scripts, and importantly for those rainy-day wanderers, viewing stations with 11,000 film and TV programs to plug into.
Moody weather can be directly combatted with a steady stream of laughs, so why not seek out some comedy the next time the clouds roll in? Major sites for comedy in Toronto include Yuk Yuk's, Second City and Absolute Comedy.
Most of Toronto's best sports stadiums are covered, making them perfectly enjoyable no matter what the weather. Don't have enough dough for tickets? Hit up your neighbourhood sports bar instead.
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.
If there is one thing that's more Canadian than skating, it's curling. I have yet to understand all the rules, and think the next time the weather turns I'll head to one of the many clubs in Toronto and get a better grip on one of the nation's favourite sports.
Many community centres and parks have rinks, and what's more Canadian than taking a spin on the rink? Thanks to the city's indoor rinks this is an all-season, all-weather option.
Thanks to Axis Freestyle Academy you can now hit the slopes indoors. Yes, really! Whether you're a skier or snowboarder this facility offers hills and ramps for you hit the slopes no matter the season or weather.
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.
Wet weather makes some sluggish, so to keep the blood moving, it's best to move. The Monkey Vault training centre is a huge indoor space set up for parkour. There's room for free running, tricking, gymnastics, breakdancing, even a place to work on your circus acts.
We could all learn a new skill or two, and there is often a shop with highly skills persons there to help lead the way. You can learn to fire a mug at All Fired Up, or fashion some outfit The Workroom. You can even make jewellery at Devil's Workshop.
Painting isn't everyone's cup of tea, but drop into a Paintlounge some rainy day and the hesitancy will subside. 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.
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.
Bingo seems a little sacrilegious on a sunny day so it makes it the ultimate rainy day activity. So next time the 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 scream BINGO!
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.
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.
Did you know Toronto has a simulating racing centre? RaceSim1 is the first of its kind in the city and it allows Torontonians to race luxury cars without the the cost, danger, and anger management issues incurred from driving on the real streets.
Photo by alexandramack22. With files from Erinn Beth Langille.
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