escape crowds toronto

10 places in Toronto to escape the crowds this holiday season

Places to escape the crowds in Toronto this holiday season are necessary with all the end-of-year hubbub. Avoid all the city's panic-inducing public spaces (looking at you, Eaton Centre) and opt for the hidden getaway for some hush hush time.

Here are my picks for places to escape the crowds this holiday season.

Sit in a salt cave at Hoame

I can't really think of anything more calming than lounging in a dimly-lit cave with your bare feet buried in Himalayan salt. This King West meditation studio offers one-hour sessions that researchers say is the equivalent of one week at the beach. 

Get your coffee and brunch from a laneway

You know what's better than throwing elbows in Eataly? Grabbing an easy snack from a cute little laneway window on St. Clair West and enjoying it on an outdoor bench. Jack and Lil's Commissary is far removed from the downtown crowds, plus it has amazing egg bites. 

Learn about the history of Toronto in the 1920s

There was a time when Toronto wasn't a crazy mosh pit of 3 million people. Explore those (kind of) good ol' days with a visit to the Toronto Archives, where you can spend the day scanning public records on microfiches or microfilms reading up on early 20th century Toronto. 

Watch movies for free at the Film Reference library

Peruse the incredible selection of films on the fourth floor of the TIFF Lightbox. Open from Tuesday to Saturday, this library is for the real film buffs—and best of all, it's free. 

Decompress at Toronto’s new infrared yoga studio and then drink cocktails

Melt away at Sweat and Tonic by Yonge and Dundas, which lets you get your flow on in 98 degrees Fahrenheit, or do absolutely nothing in an infrared sauna. When you're done, grab a handcraft cocktail and totally unwind. 

Try the tachyon chamber at Toronto’s new healing hub

Harness the powers of subatomic energy fields to purify your soul (which has undoubtedly been tainted by bad city vibes) at Tachyon Healing Centre in Moss Park. Book sessions in these tachyon chambers for as long as 90 minutes and connect to your spiritual potential. 

Check out the new iconic landmark on Toronto’s famous trail

You'll have nine kilometres of full-on privacy if you hop on the city's Beltline Trail, which carves its way from Caledonia all the way down to Evergreen Brick Works. Catch the twelve iron horses recently installed on the Beltline Railroad bridge on the way. 

Take a stroll through Mount Pleasant Cemetery

Get lost among the gravestones in this historic burial ground. It's easy to find solitude in a cemetery, but particularly so when the land stretches a whopping 205 acres. Depending on when you go, you likely won't bump into a single (living) soul on your walk here.  

Explore some rare books 

It's rare books and manuscripts galore at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, where you can peruse more than 740,000 volumes located at U of T. The library itself is a towering masterpiece, which should do wonders to undo any claustrophobic effects of city life.

Sit back and admire the ceiling at St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica

You may not be able to see the nighttime stars past the smog of the city, but head to this Catholic Church on Bond Street and you can relax in the pews and admire the cluster of hand-painted gold leaf stars instead. 

Lead photo by

dialeleven at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

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