Ways to Make Friends with Winter

The winter blues has swiftly taken the city by storm this week (pun intended). While it may seem time to throw on the touque and hibernate until spring, the city offers a whole new host of adventures to explore this season. While the colder months may mean more layers, Toronto is just as filled with life as in the warmer months. From festivals to local places to warm up, get ready to bundle up tight because winter is just beginning.

Sipping Hot Chocolate at Bobbette & Belle
When it comes to all things sweet and delicious, Bobbette & Belle is a go-to. While they offer their famous macaroons, cupcakes, butter tarts, and sticky toffee pudding year round, their seasonal homemade hot chocolate is the icing on the cake to a perfect winter’s day. Made in-house daily, the creamy beverage it topped off with a giant marshmallow that is then hand torched to perfection. On those extra frightful days grab a slice of carrot cake to pair with it, and cozy up in their homey cafe to people watch.

Tobogganing at Riverdale Park
As kids, we used to love getting outside to explore and experience the colder weather, especially when there was snow involved. When the snow begins to fall, hitting up the toboggan slopes is a great way to tune into your inner child and embrace the carefree silliness that comes with frolicking in the snow. There are dozens of parks across the city that are perfect for whipping down the slopes on a toboggan, but we are particularly fond of the steep, vast hills at Riverside Park. With a stunning view of the Toronto city skyline and the thrilling hills, Riverdale Park is a sledding must! Make new friends barreling down the slopes or sled solo for a fun break from the norm.

Hitting up Christmas Markets
Christmas markets are a cultural phenomenon that has made their jump over the pond to Toronto recently. With traces back to the middle ages throughout most of Europe, the multi-week holiday themed markets have been embraced wholeheartedly by Torontonians over the past seven years. This year, in addition to the now-famed Distillery District Christmas Market, new markets at Nathan Phillips Square and Union Station are hoping to get in on the holiday festivities, and we couldn’t be more excited. Spend the day or evening browsing the dozens of local vendors that are set up throughout the markets, or sip on hot apple cider while taking in carols. While the weather outside may be frightful, the passion and enthusiasm of the markets are indeed delightful. Most markets are running until the week before Christmas so be sure to check them out before it’s too late!

Skating at the Harbourfront
Is there anything more Canadian than hitting up any and every skating opportunity? Whether you’re in hockey or figure skates, zooming around a rink is a right of passage for nearly all Canadians. In wintertime, Most community centres and dozens of parks around the city turn into rinks where people can practice their twirls, goals, and glides. A favourite destination is the rink at the Harbourfront Centre. The Natrel Rink is set right on the waterfront, with the city as your backdrop, the large skating rink is a picturesque way to embrace a Canadian tradition. Admission is free and skate rentals start at $5.

East End Bar Hop
Patio season may be over but the East End’s bar scene is still as vibrant as ever. Spend a night braving the cold and check out the best that the East has to offer for late night entertainment. We recommend starting at Broadview and Queen with Prohibition, located at 696 Queen Street East. From there, pop into The Comrade, Hi-Lo, Boxcar Social, The Roy, Bill Hicks, the Thirsty Duck, Ceili Cottage, and Hitch. Round up your best buddies and get ready to paint the town.

What’s your favourite way to make friends with winter? Share with us on Facebook and tweet us @StreetcarLofts