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toronto winter

Toronto was just named the best city in Canada to visit during winter

"Toronto's a great place to live... in the summer," says everyone all the time when talking about why they still reside in this city despite its exorbitant costs and many other more subtle annoyances.

It's as true for residents as it is for visitors, one would presume, unless there are tourists who enjoy trudging through sludge under grey skies as icy winds pelt their skin with the gentleness of a thousand tiny knives.

Do British people actually prefer gross weather to, say, waterfront bike rides and vibrant patios?

At least one BBC writer thinks so, and they've just dubbed Toronto the "Canadian city to visit this winter." Not the idyllic ski villages of Banff, Alberta, or Whistler, B.C., nor the history-filled Quebec City, which hosts a spectacular winter Carnival every year... but Toronto.

"Even though the city may be cold, winter can also be a gorgeous and less crowded time of year to visit," reads a BBC Travel feature published Monday, quoting a resident who alleged advises: "Don't just visit in the warmer months... Winter snow can be beautiful in Canada!"

While true that winter can be lovely in Canada — absolutely, jaw-dropping gorgeous, in some locales — "beautiful" isn't the term most people would use to describe Toronto between October and May.

We may get blasted with a pretty snow dump every once in a while, but winter wonderland conditions are definitely not as common as slush soup. Skating rinks and open parks and snowhoeing trails may abound, but so too do huge pools of mud.

Weather aside, though, the BBC does make some good arguments for Toronto as a travel destination in colder months, particularly this year, pointing to Canada's relatively high vaccination rate and cool new places to stay like the eco-concious 1 Hotel.

The piece also touts the city's many natural spaces, birding opportunities and, of course, our incredible culinary scene.

"As North America's fourth-largest city, Toronto has been one of the continent's leaders in spearheading sustainability initiatives, becoming the first to require green roofs and establish bird-friendly building guidelines to make city infrastructure less dangerous to migratory birds," reads the travel guide.

"The city has also created Live Green Toronto, which gives the community tools, programmes and grants to move towards the goal of becoming one of the world's greenest cities."

Toronto is indeed green in this context all year long, but prospective tourists should note that it's only really awash with the colour green in late spring, summer and early fall.

The rest of the time, we're pretty darned grey... but I guess people from England are used to that?

Lead photo by

Jack Landau

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