Canadian Winters: Things to do and ways to keep warm in Toronto!

Having spent the past 3 Christmases in Germany, I’m super excited to be spending it at home in Toronto this year! Things I can’t wait for:

The good – being able to spend it with family and friends that I haven’t seen in over a year.

The bad – oh how I’ve missed the commercialization of North American Christmas through overplayed Christmas music, mall Santas and The Christmas Story on constant replay.

And the ugly – apparently the last few winters in Toronto have been -40 degrees!

Ok, well the -40 degrees temperature I can do without, especially since winters in Europe have been fairly mild. While I may be able to walk around Germany unscathed by the -10 degree winters, in Canada, I’ll definitely have to find ways to keep warm.

Since my German boyfriend will be coming this year as well, I’ve started to put together a fun to do list of things happening in Toronto this winter. For those who will also be having a Canadian Christmas this year, asked me to share my list to spread the holiday season cheer and keep everyone toasty at the same time.

Here’s what made my top 6 of things to do!

Warm up with a drink at Tim Hortons

Seeing as there’s a Timmy’s on every Canadian block, it’s one of those things you take for granted until you leave Canada. Then iced caps and steep teas will haunt your dreams and you’re even a bit saddened by the fact that at every European café you visit, they will always get your order perfectly right (ok maybe that’s not that saddening but it’s definitely a sign of homesickness!).

Go Skating at Nathan Philips Square

The ice rink at Nathan Philips Square has been a quintessential Toronto experience for generations. It’s like the Canadian version of the Rockefeller Center except probably a bit less crowded. It’s definitely a must if you’ll be in Toronto this winter!

Visit a Christmas Market at the Distillery District

I’ve had my fair share of Christmas markets after having 3 German Christmases, but one thing I’m super excited for is to share the Christmas market experience with my family and friends back home!

The Toronto Distillery District has a large one every year and it’ll be exciting to see how Canadians have been carrying this German tradition! The one in Toronto offers what you would find in a traditional Christmas market – mulled wine, sausages, little trinkets and gifts – although for an extra Canadian experience, you can also order a poutine!

This year, the Toronto Christmas Market is open from Friday November 20th to Sunday December 20th, 2015.

See A Christmas Carol at the Alexander Showcase Theatre

For those -40 degree days, I know I definitely want to be somewhere nice and cozy indoors. The Alexander Showcase Theatre is performing the beloved A Christmas Carol from Nov 28th – Dec 7th. What better way to get into the Christmas spirit with the family then indulging in some nostalgia of Christmases as a little kid?

Tickets cost $22 for students and seniors and $27 for adults.

Go on a Santa Brunch Cruise at the Harbourfront!

For those really into the Christmas spirit, Mariposa Cruises is hosting a Santa Brunch Cruise on Sunday, December 21st, 2015. What better way to get ready for Christmas then with pictures with Santa, crafts, caroling and tons of holiday themed snacks and food!

Tickets cost $48.95 for adults, $24.95 for children (6-12) and free for children under 6.

Gingerbread Build for Habitat for Humanity

The holidays are a great time to help others and the annual gingerbread build is a great way to throw a party while helping those in the Greater Toronto Area who are living in poverty.

How it works is that a gingerbread kit can be purchased for $50, with the idea of decorating them at home, school or in the office. I love building gingerbread houses and the best part of this is that 100% of the proceeds to goes to building homes for the less fortunate!

How will you guys be spending your winter holiday this year? What ways do you like to keep warm when it’s freezing out?


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