If you've been checking the weather lately you know we're in for some freezing cold temperatures, lots of snow, and even a polar vortex in the next few weeks here in Toronto. This brutal winter weather is definitely not on our side right now but that doesn't mean we have to barricade ourselves indoors until April.
There are tons of fun winter activities to take part in throughout the city, but we all know the best ones are always free! If your bank account is still recovering from holiday shopping and boxing day deals, treat yourself to a day of fun times without spending a dime.
This map will take you to all the free activities happening in Toronto this winter so don't miss out!
Ice Sculptures are about to take over the Yorkville area this winter! On February 9th and 10th a series of winter wonderland ice sculptures that are made out of 70,000 lbs of ice. This year's theme is 'Hollywood North' which is inspired by the success of the film industry in Toronto!
Winter at Ontario Place
A stunning winter light festival has taken over Ontario Place this year and the best part is, it's completely free to enter! From November 23rd until March 17th you can find light installations, ice sculptures, a skating rink, a bonfire pit, and much more to explore on their grounds!
The Bentway Skate Trail
The new skate trail underneath the Gardiner Expressway is probably the coolest use of urban space this city has created. On Thursday nights, until the end of the winter season, you can skate for free at The Bentway! They also have free skate rentals from 5-9 pm on these evenings which is perfect if you don't own your own pair.
Sugar Shack TO
Experience maple syrup the Canadian way, poured over ice and eaten off a popsicle stick! Sugar Shack TO will be taking over Sugar Beach on March 9th and 10th with all kinds of delicious treats including maple taffy, poutine, loaded hot chocolate, and activities like a winter marketplace, an obstacle course, and more! Admission is completely free for the event.
Toronto Light Festival
The Toronto Light Fest is probably one of my favourite events of the year because, for one, it takes place in the coolest area of the city, The Distillery District, and second, it involves incredible light displays! The TO Light Fest is starting today, January 18th and running until March 3rd.
Every year a design competition takes place and the winners are constructed and placed on the waterfront in The Beaches! You can walk along from lifeguard station to lifeguard station admiring these unique installations from February 18th until April 1st this year.
Skating at the Harbourfront Centre is basically a rite of passage in Toronto during the winter. Probably because it's completely free and it has unbeatable views of the city skyline and Lake Ontario! On Saturday nights they also have DJ Skate Nights which are perfect for a fun evening out.
Tobogganing at Riverdale Park
If you love taking in views of the city skyline, Riverdale Park has some of the best in the east end! Once the snow starts sticking to the ground for real you can bring your toboggans out here and experience some real Canadian winter fun!
The TO Icebreakers is a similar event to the Winter Stations that takes place in The Beaches, except this one takes place at the waterfront downtown. Head to Queens Quay from January 19th until February 24th to experience some amazing art installations in the city!
This isn't exactly a winter activity but it is taking place this winter from January 18th-27th. If you want to escape the cold and experience some amazing art and design throughout the city, this is where you should come. It takes place at many different locations across the city and features some mind-bending installations!