10 Explore the bustling PATH
The PATH system was created as a means for the financiers of Toronto to get from one building to another without having to bundle up for winter’s bite. Now it is a sprawling underground shopping and food Mecca with an eclectic and busy atmosphere. A must do for Toronto sightseeing during the winter, as that is when the PATH is at it’s busiest and most of the workers from the financial industry can be found there. Who knows, you may overhear the next big stock to invest in.
A useful tool to navigate Toronto’s PATH system is with it’s very own map.
9 Warm your cockles at Allan Gardens Conservatory
Downtown Toronto’s Allan Gardens has six magnificent greenhouses with permanent plant collections including sub tropical, palm house and cactus collection. A great way to feel warmer during the season, is to wander the greenhouses while Toronto’s winter snow falls on the other side of the glass. Even though they have an impressive Palm house, there is neither sand nor pina coladas, but it is as close to summer as you can get during January in Toronto.
Allan Gardens is open from 10am to 5pm daily and is easily accessible by the 506 street car two blocks west of Yonge and Carlton.
8 Have a Brewsky and Watch a Game at Real Sports Bar
Whether you are going to see the Toronto Maple Leafs or Raptors at the Air Canada Centre, or you were unable to get tickets. The Real Sports Bar is the place to be during games.
The bar boasts not a 32 inch screen but a 32 foot screen, along with 199 “regular” television sets. These TVs show not only hockey or basketball, but also Premiership Football and sports from around the world.
Make sure you call ahead to reserve though, as during Leafs games Real Sports can often be fully booked up to two weeks in advance!
7 See a Movie at Bell Lightbox
Home of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the Bell Lightbox hosts an array of movies from the avant-garde to classic animation. Situated in the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District, there is an array of fine dining options right across the street.
6 Go on the Steamwhistle Tour
Something even the natives of Toronto have been known to do. The guided tour around the Steamwhistle brewery at the old round house near the CN Tower is quite the experience. Informing you not only on the history of the brewery but also the process of what goes into making their well known pilsner beer. The price of the tour is based on the price of one of the items you receive at the end. Be it a Steamwhistle bottle opener or glass, a six pack or finally a 12 pack of Steamwhistle bottles.
5 Skating at Nathan Philips Square or the Natrel Rink
A Toronto tradition for years, the skating at Nathan Philips Square right beside Toronto City Hall is a must do. Whether you have your own skates, or rent them on location, the rink is always a hub of activity. A newer ice rink is at the Harbourfront Centre right beside Lake Ontario. The Natrel rink gives impressive views of the water as well as Toronto Islands. An interesting distinction between the two rinks, is that the Natrel rink offers figuring skates for men, so if any guys would like to try a salchow, this is the place to go.
4 Go on a Shopping Spree at Honest Ed’s
3 Laugh your pants off at a Comedy Show at Second City
A sister theatre to the world renowned Chicago comedy troupe, the Toronto Second City has been performing since the early 70s. It launched the careers of Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Eugene Levy, and more recently Canadian stars such as Geri Hall and Gavin Crawford from CBC’s “22 Minutes”.
With performances every night bar once a month, this is the place for tourist and locals to experience the newest in improvisation and stand up comedy. The theatre is located right in the middle of the Entertainment District in downtown Toronto. They also have a very good “Dinner & Show” option with the nearby Wayne Gretzky’s restaurant.
2 Experience an OHL Hockey Game
1 Gorge on Food at Winterlicious
Probably something that the natives of Toronto love the most about Winter, is the food festival Winterlicious. This two week “Gorgy” of food