Toronto is the perfect winter getaway for any tourist. There are many fun things to do throughout the city, and this list of 5 should give you a good idea of things to do in winter in Toronto, Canada’s largest city. Niagara Falls tours are a must-do, ice skating will be a great activity, museums will be interesting for history and culture buffs, Wonderland WinterFest will offer tons of festive fun and outdoor activities at Blue Mountain will be incredibly fun. Use this guide alongside our 3 days in Toronto travel guide to plan the perfect trip!
What the weather will be like in Toronto in winter
Winter in Toronto is pretty mild compared to other major cities in Canada. The weather generally has cold temperatures with periods of snowfall. Expect the temperatures to be below 0°C, and often much colder. Expect January and February to be the coldest with an average high of 0°C and a low of -7°C. Weather can be unpredictable when it comes to how much snow will fall during any given day or week. In general, you can expect it to snow at some point in late November or early December. Winter weather will usually last until around late April.
What should you wear in Toronto during the winter?
During the winter, it’s best to dress warmly and make sure your outerwear can handle a bit of snow or rain. You’ll want to invest in a good coat if possible. If possible, try bundling up with layers of clothes so you’ll be warm outside but also able to cool off indoors. Also don’t forego wearing gloves, a hat and potentially doubling up on socks.
Plan a day trip to Niagara Falls from Toronto this winter
One of North America’s most iconic natural wonders is just an hour and a half drive away from Toronto. You might think Niagara Falls is more of a summer destination, but actually, in the winter, it’s just as beautiful, if not more so. The waterfalls freeze over and it absolutely beautiful. A lot of the attractions in Niagara Falls will still be open, like the journey Behind the Falls, Bird Kingdom and local restaurants.
Getting to Niagara Falls is possible either by bus tour or by car. Most tourists prefer to book a Toronto to Niagara Falls tour with a Toronto tour company. This is the easiest option to see Niagara Falls in 1-day. To the best of our knowledge, Queen Tour Niagara Falls Tours is the only local tour operator that runs a Niagara Falls winter tour. If you’re planning a trip with a larger group (4-6 or more people) you could also consider a private Niagara Falls tour.
Go ice skating in one of Toronto’s outdoor rinks or lakes
Toronto has several different outdoor ice rinks where you can rent skates or bring your own. In terms of skating rinks, the most iconic one is Nathan Philips Square. This is actually right by the famous 3D Toronto Sign. The best time to go will be during the night. The good thing about an official skating rink is that you’ll be able to rent skates, which is quite handy as a tourist.
If you’re able to snag your own skates during the trip, you could also consider going to one of the lakes which freeze over. Plus, skating on a lake is probably the most Canadian thing you could do!
Check out a museum or two
Toronto has several different museums which will suit the interests of any kind of visitor. There are art museums, history museums and natural history museums. This is one activity you could do indoors during the winter so it’s a great way to spend the day. Some places to check out include the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), the Ontario Science Centre, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), the Bata Shoe Museum and the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Spend an evening at the Wonderland WinterFest
Canada’s Wonderland is Canada’s most popular theme park, located in Vaughan, Ontario just north of Toronto. In the last few years, they started transforming the park in the winter for WinterFest, which is an immersive winter experience with ice-skating, live shows, holiday entertainment, light shows, and luminous Christmas trees across the park (including the famous 50-foot Christmas trees).
Plan a day trip to Blue Mountain
About 2.5 north of Toronto near Collingwood is Blue Mountain. This is a great place to go in the winter for some snow-based outdoor activities, like skiing or snowboarding. The resort looks picturesque in the winter, so you’ll have plenty of Instagram-worthy moments. Aside from outdoor activities, there is an actual village full of restaurants and activities in town, so you’ll definitely be able to spend time here even if skiing or snowboarding isn’t your thing.
Your best bet is to spend at least a night or two in Blue Mountain. The Blue Mountain website has recommended transportation methods for your review. You’ll be able to find a shuttle service that drives you from Toronto to Blue Mountain.
Enjoy your winter trip in Toronto
Toronto is a great city to visit in the winter. Despite cold weather, there are plenty of things to do and see. From ice skating at Nathan Phillips Square or Lake Ontario to checking out museums like ROM or AGO, or making day trips to Niagara Falls or Blue Mountain, Toronto has something for everyone – even in the winter!