Located on Lake Ontario’s northern shore, Toronto, Canada’s most populous city, sparkles with exciting museums, interesting neighborhoods, good theater, and a lively waterfront. Easy to get to as several airlines offer service, Toronto, like the rest of Canada, is a budget-stretcher for Americans since the US dollar gets you about $1.34 in Canadian money. Whether searching for a different kind of cold weather vacation or fantasizing about relocating to Canada, experiencing Toronto in winter is a good first step and a great plan.
Toronto for the Holidays
Toronto Christmas Market (Through December 21) – At Toronto’s European-inspired Christmas Market, artisan booths, and food vendors line the streets of the city’s Distillery Historic District. Peruse hand-painted ornaments, wooden toys, musical snow globes, and more; munch on gingerbread cookies, maple fudge, sausage, and shortbread; and warm up by downing Glühwein (German-style mulled wine) at the beer halls.
Toronto Christmas Festival (December 9 to 18) – Harbourfront Center’s Christmas Festival features 28 bands (check times), children’s shows, Christmas carolers, and vendors. The ice skating rink remains open all winter.
You can join the crowds cheering the Maple Leafs, Toronto’s hockey team, or the Raptors, the city’s basketball team, at the Air Canada Centre.
Royal Ontario Museum – One of Canada’s largest museums, the Royal Ontario Museum, focuses on world culture and natural history. The Dale Chihuly exhibit creates the sense of walking through a brilliantly colored kaleidoscope. Purchase tickets in advance for this special exhibit available through January 8, 2017. Permanent galleries explore the legacy of Canada’s First Peoples, as well as the cultures of Japan, China, and Egypt. The museum’s dinosaurs are impressive, especially the towering skeleton of the Tyrannosaurus rex.
CN Tower – From the 1,815.5-foot CN Tower, a Toronto icon, enjoy panoramic views. If you want to feel as if you are floating above the city, stand on the glass floor that positions you 1,122-feet above the sidewalk.
Ontario Science Centre – At the museum, famous for its more than 800 interactive exhibits, adults and children alike can climb a rock wall, get close to giant cockroaches, create electricity by pedaling a bike, and watch movies at the OMNIMAX Theatre. At the Weston Family Innovation Centre, older kids find out about the latest science news and at KidSpark. Younger ones can create shapes with magnets, stage a puppet show, and float boats as part of water play.
Convinced yet? Save 43% on five top Toronto attractions and forego waiting in lines to enter the facilities with CityPASS.