things to do in toronto winter

10 fun things to do in Toronto this winter

Fun things to do in Toronto this winter are best done outdoors, given that the status around indoor gatherings is still dicey. All the better to head outside and enjoy that snowy Canadian landscape. Plus there are plenty of events with socially distanced, limited capacity spaces to enjoy that sweet, frigid air.

Here are some fun things to do in Toronto this winter. 

Hit up the Miracle holiday patio 

This annual Christmas-themed bar is taking it outside this year with a pop-up patio at Stackt. Bundle up in your thickest ugly Yule sweater and head to Toronto's outdoor shipping container market for boozy Santa drinks. The event runs from November 20 to December 26. 

Take the Holiday Light Tour at Casa Loma

Toronto's historic castle is running a self-guided outdoor exploration this year in lieu of its usual indoor Nutcracker Christmas event. Walk the castle grounds to see this elaborate light show, which runs from December 3, 2020 to January 3, 2021.

Look for snowy owls at Leslie Spit

The time to spot snowy owls is fast approaching. These stunning wise birds start making their appearances with the arrival of cold temps, plus Toronto is known for the occasional snowy owl irruption. Tommy Thompson is a bird paradise year-round, so naturally this designated Important Bird Area will be a prime watch spot. 

Visit the speakeasy at the Old Mill's Holiday Magic Market 

The Distillery's Christmas Market may be cancelled, but Toronto's century-old hotel on the Humber River is making up for it with an outdoor market of local vendors. There will also be an adult-only Holiday Spirits Speakeasy. It runs every weekend through December. 

things to do in toronto winter

Sweaters n' Snowflakes promises light tunnels and fire pits.

Drink some cider at Sweaters n' Snowflakes

The Bathurst and Richmond pop-up patio has transformed into yet another seasonal event, this time in the form of a wintry pine forest.  Expect LED light tunnels, garlands galore, cider, BBQ eats, and — the best part — five fire pits. The patio will be running events all through December. 

Marvel at over 130 Christmas trees in Yorkville 

Their annual show is cancelled, but the Bloor-Yorkville BIA will be lighting up their glittering light tunnel in the next few weeks. Plus, Bloor between Church and Avenue wlll also see 139 lit-up trees and a new installation of 60 campfire-shaped benches (which light up when you sit on them) for the rest of winter.

Check out the giant installations at Winter Stations 2021

Winter Stations is one of the few events that hasn't been cancelled due to the pandemic. They'll be announcing the winners of it design competition in January, so get ready to visit the eastern beaches to see the winning installations, on display from Family Day weekend until March 31, 2021. 

Lace up your skates at an outdoor skating rink

What better way to let off some steam than hitting the ice rink? If you're lacing up at one of Toronto's public rinks, which open on November 28, make sure to head there when it's not too busy. Or check out the Porch's new Sky Skate, which enforces single-direction skating. 

things to do in toronto winter

The Thirsty Elf is moving things outdoors this year.

Drink some cocktails at The Thirsty Elf

The Fairmont Royal York is bringing its teeny elf bar experience back for another year. The 2020 edition is taking place in their heated tent at Front and York Street starting November 20. You're encouraged to indulge in libations while wearing your tackiest sweaters. The hotel is also turning their Clockwork Terrace into a wintry patio.  

Have your mind blown at the Illusionarium magic show

If braving cold temperatures really isn't your thing, the people behind the Van Gogh exhibit are running a magic show right next door wih Jamie Allan, a.k.a. the UK's 'High-Tech Houdini'. The spectacle includes holograms, 3D light shows and live musicians from December 14 until Valentine's Day 2021. 

Lead photo by

Sky Skate


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