16 Things Toronto's Winters Are Actually Good For
It's the most wonderful time of the year.
Photo cred - Steven Talunay
It's coming. Nobody's happy about it, and it's understandable. Winter means painful winds blowing at your face and frostbite at your fingertips. It means arguing with your landlord about the heating at least five times in as many months. But there's some good that comes from this cold and desolate time of year. Check out some of what you actually have to look forward to in the coming months.
All the tobogganing
Toronto's got a bunch of really great hills that feel like they were made to be slid down on sheets of plastic, so why not take advantage? The hills at Christie Pits and High Park are particularly noteworthy, but you can also check out the ones at the park nearest to you if it allows for such a thing.
Frappachinos are nice, but nothing's more satisfying than getting a big ol' mouthful of hot chocolate from Chocosol. The best thing is that you could use being outside as an excuse to get some every time you want it. "Ooh, it's cold today. I should get a hot chocolate." "Fuck, I have to walk five blocks to the grocery store. Better grab a hot chocolate for the road."
Breaking out your Doc Martins
As cute as summer-wear is, winter-wear is decidedly more badass. You know you can't wait to stomp around Parkdale in those big black boots, cigarette in hand, glaring at every person who walks past.
With winter comes ski season, and Toronto's got a lot to offer in terms of both cross-country and downhill skiing venues. For those who like to let gravity help them on their journey, check out Centennial Park and Uplands Golf and Ski. If you're more into skiing horizontally, hit up any of the city's nature trails, like the Discovery Walks or Crothers Woods.
Spending more time in coffee shops
Toronto has a billion cozy and comfortable coffee shops for you to escape the cold in. Grab a book or your laptop and park it at Manic Coffee for a couple of hours. Maybe you'll finally finish writing your novel this winter!
Photo cred - T-Square Media
Sweaty dance parties become a must
As the weather gets colder, moving your butt becomes favourable to sitting around and arguing about music over beer. So this winter, take advantage off the excuse to dance as much as possible. Take your crew to Parts and Labour, Sneaky Dee's, or (dare I say it) Dance Cave and get jiggy with it.
More time to explore your own neighbourhood
It gets harder and harder to brave the treacherous subway as the temperature drops, so why fight it? Use this winter as an excuse to get to know the cool things going on in your own 'hood. For example, as someone who lives in the Junction, I plan on getting better acquainted with the Hole in the Wall, 3030, and Indie Ale House. Check them out if you're in the area!
More time to watch movies
Whether you're into blockbusters or cult classics, Toronto's got ways for you to get your fill this winter. There's tons of theatres showing new releases all over the city, but if you're part of a more niche audience, check out the Projection Booth for showings of fun indie, art house and shlock films.
This means fancy foods at cheap prices from all those restaurants you've heard are ridiculously good but have never been able to afford. Reservations go up on January 16th, so get thinking about your game plan now.
Oversize vintage sweaters are now appropriate
You know you look cute in an animal print sweater that falls to your knees, and winter's when you finally get to bust them out. Don't forget to do a little hunting along Queen West if you need to refresh your collection for this summer.
Photo cred - Brett Davis
Just because it's cold out, doesn't mean you and your friends don't get to hang out at Trinity Bellwoods anymore. Just put together a friendly snowball fight, or let one happen organically. That totally happens right? I've seen it in movies.
A hearty brunch won't make you feel like you wanna die
If there's one complaint I have about summer, it's that you can't really sit down to a massive meal without starting to feel kind of sick. This stops being a problem in the winter. In fact, a big breakfast from the Lakeview will make you feel a billion times better, and more ready to take on the day.
All the outdoor ice skating you can handle
Toronto has so much ice skating, there's no way you won't get your fill if you want to. This winter, try out Campbell park for some shinny hockey if that's your thing, or Sherbourne Common for free skating.
The Winter Craft Beer Festival
It comes but once a year. On January 21st, head over to Roundhouse Park for an outdoor beer festival you won't forget. Craft brewers from all over Ontario come into town to show off their work to people like you and your friends, so drink until you forget the cold.
Hot yoga is awesome. It cleans out your pores and energizes you in a way that regular yoga really can't match. It's generally uncomfortable to do in other seasons, but it's perfect for winter. Especially because after spending 45 minutes in a hot yoga studio, you won't notice the cold for the next few hours. Toronto's got a great selection of Hot Yoga spots, but Moksha on Bloor West and Breathe in the Junction are particularly fantastic.
Photo cred - kaykaybarrie
Stout was made for winter, and the Indie Ale House gets this. Every December, they host Stout Night, at which you're served a four course dinner and an assortment of Ontario stouts. If this is something you think you wanna get in on, keep an eye out for when tickets go on sale, which should be relatively soon. Watch out though: they're $60.