Season's greetings: 5 things to do in Toronto on a winter weekend
With the right attitude (and boots), the city can become a magical place to explore this season.
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Wear your warmest winter gear and get outside, whether you're checking out the light show at Ontario Place or going for a nature walk.
Sharpen your skates
New skate trails, like this 250-metre one in Colonel Samuel Smith Park in Etobicoke, are open this season. Check out the scenic rink at Riverdale Park or the trail winding under the Gardiner at The Bentway, set to open Jan. 6.
Become one with nature
Almost a fifth of the city is covered in ravines. Now is an ideal time for a peaceful run, walk or roll through the stillness of the winter season. Bonus: a trip through the Don River Valley will take you past nature's wonders as well as newly installed art works near the Evergreen Brick Works, such as Duane Linklater's Monsters For Beauty, Permanence and Individuality. The concrete gargoyles were installed in the fall and will grow with the landscape. More works will be unveiled over the season and for the next three years.
Enjoy a bonfire by the light of the Cinesphere as Ontario Place hosts its free Winter Festival until March Break. The West Island features a light exhibit boasting 12 different displays (sure to pair well with Instagram filters), a skating rink and bonfire, plus hot drinks and snacks.
All about architecture
The Beaches in Toronto's east end will once again play host to a series of Winter Stations: whimsical, wintry redesigns of the lifeguard posts. Organized in 2018 around the theme of "riot," the winning designs will be unveiled Jan. 5 and open in February.
Sounds of silence
If you're still sore about missing summer on the Toronto islands, you're in luck. Winter is just as wondrous. Stacey Ho will be February's artist in residence at Artscape Gibraltar Point on the south shore of Hanlan's Point. With a focus on listening, Ho will lead public sound walks and readings. She looks forward to "the quietness of winter ... the sound of the lake, of snow, of plants and animals sleeping," she told Metro. Ferry service runs to Ward's Island only. Some public washrooms are open during the day. But with the recent closure of the Rectory Cafe, pack some snacks.