outdoor activities toronto winter

10 fun things to do outdoors in Toronto this winter

Winter in Toronto might be characterized by frigid temperatures and bone-chilling winds, but it also presents many opportunities for outdoor fun thanks to all that snow that falls. From new skating trails to forested hikes, there's no excuse to hibernate this season.

Here are 10 fun things to do outdoors this winter in Toronto. 

Lace up your blades

This might be the best winter for skating in Toronto in a long time. There are new trails to explore under the Gardiner and at Riverdale Park, the natural ice at Grenadier Pond is already frozen, DJ Skate Nights are a blast, and our neighbourhood rinks can't be beat for frozen fun.

Immerse yourself in a winter wonderland at Ontario Place

Part of Ontario Place’s recent rejuvenation movement includes an impressive and free winter light exhibition that’s coupled with skating fire pits, and food vendors. It's open all winter long.

Be dazzled at the Toronto Light Festival

Miss the dazzling lights of the Christmas Market already? The Toronto Light Festival is back starting January 19 to remedy that, transforming the Distillery District back into a magical exhibit of light and art.

See some outdoor art at the Waterfront

Toronto's lakefront will once again be filled with art this winter courtesy of the Ice Breakers exhibition and the fourth installment of Winter Stations at the eastern Beaches. Installations will feature everything from glowing cabins to giant noise boxes. 

Go for a winter hike

Toronto's most challenging off-camber trails should best be left for summer explorations, but there are loads of majestic paths for exploring in the heart of winter. The Moore Park Ravine is particular favourite, though there are many more.

Warm your bones with beer

Craft beer, food trucks, campfires and DJs await at the Roundhouse’s cheap winter beer festival on February 10. Tokens sell for $1, then drinks are only 1 for a half or 2 for a full pint!

Check out giant ice sculptures

Toronto's waterfront often becomes an impromptu gallery of ice formations in the winter, but if you're looking for something with a bit more organization, Bloor-Yorkville Icefest will showcase the amazing things that artists can do with frozen water. 

Stand in awe of the super blue blood moon eclipse

Rare celestial events often require that you stay up almost all night, but this lunar eclipse during a January's blue supermoon only requires that you wake up early and find a good viewing spot. A conjunction of this kind hasn't happened since 1866.

Take advantage of the snow on cross country skis

You don't have to leave the city to strap on your skates. In addition to the downhill run at Earl Bales Park, one of the great winter pastimes in Toronto is cross country skiing. The Toronto Islands and High Park are two of the most popular spots.

Celebrate Toronto's birthday

Toronto's hosting a major outdoor bash to celebrate its 184th birthday this year. The festival will take place at Nathan Phillips Square and include vendors, food trucks, a photography contest, and a DJ skate party. It all goes down March 3-6.

Lead photo by

@thepixelsam


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