Mid-to-late winter can be a tricky time for Torontonians. For many of us, there are days when it feels like spring can’t come fast enough. Unfortunately, while we’re wishing for green grass and sunshine, we’re also missing out on all that the colder months have to offer. From enjoying the snow to warming up with a hot beverage, there are all kinds of fun to be had this season.
If you’re looking to get out of the house this winter, here are our top five ways to enjoy Toronto’s west end…
Is there any activity that an outdoor enthusiast can’t do in High Park? These 400 acres are just as beautiful in the winter as they are in the summer, and cross country skiing is a great way to explore them. If you have your own equipment, why not load up the car and hit the trails? If you don’t, you can find rentals at your local Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC). Need some stylish outerwear before heading to the park? Try stocking up on warm essentials—such as flannels, toques, and wooly socks—at Muttonhead on Roncesvalles.
Warm up with a hot beverage
One of the best things about getting cold is warming up—preferably with a hot beverage. Whether you’re a coffee, tea, or hot chocolate lover, you’ll want to check out one of the charming cafes in Toronto’s west end. Delight, a quaint chocolate shop in the Junction, serves up some of the richest cocoa in the city. Along Bloor West, Outpost Coffee Roasters is the ideal place for a cup of joe. Last but certainly not least, check out Baka Gallery Cafe for a warming espresso-based drink or some relaxing tea (and don’t forget to peruse the stunning collection of local art while you’re there).
Jump on your sled
For many families, falling snow means it’s time to pull out the sled and head for the hills. One of the best places to do that in West Toronto is Rennie Park. This lively community space in Swansea is home to a series of hills, which are enjoyed by tobogganing enthusiasts of all stripes in the area. Just head to Ellis and the Queensway. The park is also the site of a popular rink, which offers both figure skating sessions and ice time for hockey players.
Grab a bite
If you’re feeling cooped up (and you aren’t really in the mood for outdoor activities), why not explore West Toronto’s incredible culinary scene? There’s no shortage of fantastic restaurants in our neck of the woods. One of our local favourites is Queen Margherita Pizza, located at Jane and Annette. The pies here are a cut above anything you’ll find at the larger chains, and the salads and starters round out the menu nicely. Coffee Culture is ideal for a light snack (the croissants are to die for), while Bandit Brewery is perfect for craft beer and upscale pub food.
Curing is considered a national pastime, and it’s a whole lot of fun. No matter your skill level, you can enjoy this winter sport at the High Park Club on Indian Road. Here you’ll find some of the best curling ice in the city, along with a bar and food menu. Beginner sessions are available throughout the season, and there’s even a Craft Beer Curling Series for those who feel like rounding up some friends and engaging in a bit of good-natured competition!
Spring may be just around the corner, but winter isn’t over yet. Whether you’re looking to have fun with the family or socialize with friends, now is a great time to get out of hibernation mode and enjoy Toronto’s west end.
Interested in learning more about the fun activities available in West Toronto? Check out our neighbourhood guides to find out what’s happening in your backyard!