While fall in the city of Toronto has been moving right along, you might find yourself still looking to make the most of the season, but get discouraged by a lack of ideas, and, well, so are we. Nevertheless, here is a list of things that should hold up to that fall aesthetic we spend the rest of the year craving, while not totally breaking the bank or your spirit.
Now, they are not all Toronto-specific, though some of them are. Sometimes you just need to get out of the algorithm-fed Toronto girlie mindset and change things up, so here's hoping these ideas help you to get outside and carve out that last bit of joy before the city falls into its harsher winter conditions.
Play sports in a park
Remember the one episode from Friends where they all go to play touch football while the Thanksgiving turkey is cooking? Well, Thanksgiving may be long past for us Canadians but playing a sport like football in the park is still giving immaculate fall vibes. It sure is one way to make Sunday Football an IRL experience.
But football or not, try making some time for sports that are best enjoyed before the snow arrives (and it becomes pond hockey season). Grab some pals and head to one of Toronto's many wonderful parks for a casual game (or not, depending on how competitive your friends are).
Learn to knit
Knitting! Knitting really seems to be coming back into the mainstream. In this economy, who wants to pay $80 for a knit turtleneck sweater that you could have just as easily made yourself? So, why not put that money towards learning to knit instead? Teach a man to fish...teach a person to knit, am I right?
Places like The Knit Cafe on Dundas Street West don't just have all the materials, but even offer classes for beginners to learn to make things like socks and scarves! What a cute new hobby for your to take into the even colder winter months.
Swap out the PSL and try making spiced apple cider or fall sangria
Halloween Cocktails: Fall Red Wine Sangria #DidYouYawn #halloweenrecipe #drinkrecipe #halloweendrinks #sangria
It's not yet the end of October but you may already be all pumpkin spiced-out. But giving up on the season's pumpkin spice latte mania doesn't have to mean giving up on seasonal beverages.
Consider swapping out the hot (morning?) coffee beverage for some spicy evening drinks. Invite your friends and brew your own spiced apple cider or fall sangria to sip and keep you warm in the crisp, less garbage-scented Toronto air. TikTok has plenty of awesome recipes worth experimenting with.
Sit by a cozy outdoor fire
If the pandemic lockdown taught Torontonians anything it's that outdoor firepits don't have to be a feature limited to summer gatherings. But being in the city, backyard patios or balconies big enough for fire pits may be in short supply.
Our suggestion? Finding a restaurant or bar patio with fire pit access poses a cute opportunity to take fall dining and drinking back outside. So next time maybe you suggest a place with a fire pit in group chat, popular options include El Catrin in the Distillery District or Figo on Adelaide Street West.
Day trip out of the city to Niagara-on-the-Lake for a wine tour
Whether you plan on hitting up Peller Estates or Pillitteri Estates, a wine tour during autumn is perfect for wine and fall weather lovers. Under 2 hours outside of Toronto, this little day trip is worth taking
Since winery tours and vineyards are not traditionally associated with the fall season, going around this time of year may help with crowd control, leaving you and your companions more time to sip, savour and enjoy the region's gorgeous views.
That being said, the area still hosts special events like Taste the Season throughout the month of November, so keep in mind that while it might be colder, wineries may still be hot spots for weekend traffic.
Throw a Halloween house party
Pandemic lockdowns seriously interrupted the concept of the house party, particularly the Halloween house party. So, instead of forcing yourself to wait in another King Street West line, consider throwing a Halloween house party instead!
While it's not like Torontonians to spend flashy holidays at home, this may help to curb, and therefore meet, expectations. Throwing a house party solves the problem of adapting your costume for the outdoor line-ups, or the long walk home (either that night or the next morning). Don't want to commit to a whole party? Keep it to a cute Halloween pre and then just, maybe...stay home?
Rent a cabin a little farther north for the weekend
There is more to cottage country than just boating in the sunshine and drinking beer. There are many perks to a vacation in cottage country during all four of the seasons but fall is especially ideal to make a weekend trip to Northern Ontario.
Take your significant other or your best friends and take a break from the traffic noise you forgot you've been tunning out, invest in some R 'n R in a cozy cabin, cuddled up in a blanket reading a book and having a nice glass of your favourite beverage, there's nothing like it.
Go on a haunted walk
In case you were not aware, Toronto actually has multiple haunted spots worth visiting. Whether you decide to follow a tour or check out some known haunts yourself, it's a great way to tour around and see the city.
With some dark moments in its history and records of spooky encounters, Ontario has preserved its eerie legends in an array of haunted houses. For self-directed walkers, consider a visit to the Keg Mansion or the Mackenzie House. For those looking to be entertained and educated, consider booking a seat for the new Haunted Toronto Harbour tour!
Go for an afternoon hike
Level up your city walking game with a hike. The drive there, the hike itself and the drive back all offer ample time to take in the last of the fall foliage. And besides, Ontario has some stunning nature reserves with some tried and true fall hiking gems.
Consider visiting Killarney or Bon Echo Provincial Park. Even if you're only doing it for the pictures, remember to give yourself the screentime break and just take in the scenic beauty these places have to offer. Hiking is not just good for the body, but good for the soul.
This article has been updated since it was originally published on October 12, 2016.
Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.
Narcity does not condone the overconsumption of alcohol or other substances. If you're going to drink alcohol or consume cannabis, please do so responsibly and only if you're of legal age.