escape cold toronto

The top 10 ways to escape the cold in Toronto

There's a saying that Toronto has two seasons: winter and construction. We spend the majority of the year either experiencing or mentally preparing for the cold weather. Thankfully, the city offers plenty of ways to escape the treacherous grasp of winter.

Here are my picks for the top ways to escape the cold in Toronto.

Try a Russian Bath

Russian and Turkish baths have been around for centuries and offer a unique refuge from the cold. Unwind in the dry heat of a real banya (or traditional steamhouse) at Banya, or take dip in the pool at Sanduny Spa. Your body will thank you.

Join a hot yoga class

There are many places around the city that'll get the heat back into your frozen bones. Studios like Union Yoga offer a wide range of classes designed for all levels of expertise that'll get your body and mind ready for spring.

Head to the spa

Hot pools, saunas, steam rooms, even warm stone treatments will rejuvenate, like at Body Blitz or Elmwood Spa. Shake off the dead of winter and physically and mentally prepare yourself to be beach ready at any one of these tranquil places.

Check out a greenhouse

Allan Gardens is the most beautiful of Toronto's conservatories, with its multiple greenhouses of various climates, producing gorgeous flowers and greenery more akin to the subtropics than the city. Centennial Park Conservatory in Etobicoke is another gem, and there are a few others worth checking out, too.

Eat some hot pot

This classic Asian dish is offered at any of the specialty hot pot spots across the city and comes in an endless variety of flavours and ingredients, all combined for the ultimate comfort food.

Go for some Turkish coffee

This particularly strong concoction of unfiltered coffee is sure to wake you from your winter slumber. Places worth checking out include Galata Cafe, Baklawa Queen, The Poet, Simit and Chai, and Istanbul Cafe.

Check out an absinthe bar

L'Absinthe Bar is great addition to the city, and Bacchanal is worth checking out, too. Both offer the anise-infused liquor that's guaranteed to light a fire in your belly. Be sure to pace yourself, though, or else risk ending up face-down in a snow bank.

Hit up a tiki bar

After suffering months of cabin fever, going out to a tropical spot can help break the spell. Why not grab a friend (or a few for that matter), snap out of the blues, and escape to the warmth of the islands at places like The Shore Leave and The Shameful Tiki Room, right here in the city.

Get lost in a virtual reality arcade

If travelling to the real tropics just isn't feasible for you right now, one of the city's many virtual arcades is the next best thing. Travel anywhere you want—hot or cold—at places like Toronto VR Games in Kensington, and arrive back in time for dinner.

Visit a board game cafe

Board game cafes are one of the best ways to ward off the winter blues. Places like Snakes & Lattes offer a brunch and dinner menu, drinks, and snacks, making it the perfect place settle in for long haul required for classics like Risk and Monopoly.

Lead photo by

Hazelton Hotel Spa


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