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A few years ago my friend and I went to Toronto. It was our first time visiting Canada’s largest city, and we travelled there in the middle of January. Our reasons for going when we did was to see the final Broadway tour of Rent (my favourite musical). When Expedia.ca asked me to write about the top things to do on a winter vacation in Toronto I was more than happy to share my tips.
The CN Tower is a significant icon of Toronto, and for a long time was the tallest freestanding structure in the world. It is the tallest freestanding structure in the Western hemisphere. You can head up to the top to get a bird-eyed’s view of the city, and Lake Ontario. They say if the weather is clear you can see away as Rochester, New York. And while it wasn’t there when my friend and I went you can now walk on the outside of The CN Tower with EdgeWalk.
See a Show
Of course, I’m going to tell you to see a show. There is usually a big musical or play production at one of the city’s major theatres. There are local productions of shows as well. You can check visit Toronto Theatre for more information about upcoming shows. Although I didn’t get to do this one thing I would love to do on my next trip is see a show at Second City. Toronto Second City has had alumni like Andrea Martin and Michael Myers.
Casa Loma is a historic landmark in the city. While it might not be a castle by European standards, it’s still a pretty impressive place to check out. Casa Loma was built between 1911 to 1914 by Financier Sir Henry Mill Pellatt. The home is now an attraction where you can see how the Pellat family lived in the early 20th century. There are also movies like Chicago that were partly filmed at Casa Loma. Just know that if you go in the winter, know the stables might not be open. Don’t go down the long hallway in the basement and try to open the locked door and set off the alarm. Not that I did that (I totally did that).
Royal Ontario Museum
The Royal Ontario Museum is an impressive museum. It contains artifacts from Ontario and from around the world. When my friend and I went to the Royal Ontario Museum, we decided to split up for a few hours. She went to the natural history exhibits like the James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs. Meanwhile, I wandered around World Culture Galleries like the Prince Takamado Gallery of Japan. We spent a couple of hours at the Royal Ontario Museum, but you could certainly give yourself more time here.
Go for a Walk
Yes, it’s winter, but it would be a shame to spend all your vacation inside. If you come prepared with a warm jacket, mitts or gloves, a scarf, and a toque a January day in Toronto can be great. Toronto has a variety of unique neighbourhoods and areas to check. Some of these areas include Downtown, Kensington Market and The Distillery District. As well Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. You’ll likely come across some delicious foods and places to eat as you wander around .
While I had never expected to visit Toronto in the winter my friend and I had a great time while we were there. We got to experience visiting a new city in the low season when it wasn’t too busy. I also learned that I shouldn’t limit my travel experiences to just certain times of the year. Visiting in January was a lot of fun, and a winter vacation in Toronto is one I recommend.
Things You Should Know
This post was written in collaboration with Expedia.ca All opinions and experiences mentioned in this post, including any embarrassing ones at Casa Loma, are my own.
My friend and I stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel Toronto Centre for this trip. This hotel was right downtown and only a short 2 minute walk to the CN Tower and Union Station. The rooms were modern spacious and comfortable. If you want to stay in a central location, this is the perfect hotel.
Have you been to Toronto in the winter?