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Review: Toronto


toronto, Canada

Winter break in Toronto

  • By SilverTraveller nafsicaa

    6 reviews

  • Jan 2008
  • Adult family

104 people found this review helpful

Multicultural Toronto makes a great destination for a winter break. It’s not all snow and ice, though that certainly does play a major part, and in any case, the Torontonians are the last people to let a spot of Arctic weather spoil their enjoyment of their beautiful lakeside city. Toronto is easy to explore, on foot or by public transport, and it is a safe, courteous, friendly city. There are so many things to do and see, indoor and outdoor, with fine museums and art galleries, fantastic shopping from exclusive to discount to flea-market, and one of the most varied restaurant scenes to be found anywhere. Toronto is said to be the most ethnically diverse city in the world, and this is reflected in the incredible choice of cuisine. The ‘Winterlicious’ event is popular, held in February each year, with about 150 top restaurants all over the city offering three-course lunches and dinners for a reasonable set price.
The city is distinguished by its numerous ‘neighbourhoods’, each one displaying its own ethnic origin, whether it is Greek, Chinese, Italian or Portuguese, amongst others, or, as in the case of ‘the Beaches’ – a one-time hippie hangout, which is now an academic centre with fine antique shops. Yorkville is delightful – quaint Victorian architecture, fine restaurants, art galleries and antiques and the proximity of up-market Bloor Street with its designer shops.
Not all winter activities are confined to the indoor variety – ice-skating is something practically every Canadian does, and in Toronto you can skate in the parks or on the lake. In fact ice contributes to much of the winter fun, with ice huts on the lake for fishing, home-made ice rinks on suburban creeks where the locals play what must be Canada’s national sport – ice hockey. The Zoo is open in winter and it is wonderful to see cold climate animals such as polar bears in the snow. Toronto Harbour, too, can be spectacularly beautiful when ice and snow coat the masts and rigging of the ships and yachts moored there.
When it comes to theatres and cinemas, there is a great choice, but for me two of the best are the wonderful old theatres such as Pantages, restored to all their old-fashioned glamour, and the highly entertaining ‘dinner theatres’, where you can dine and simultaneously watch a play and even participate in the action, often with hilarious results.
The ability of Toronto to deal with inclement weather and make it enjoyable is also evident in the great 28-km network of underground and indoor walkways that link the metro system with many of the shops, hotels and other attractions of Downtown Toronto and save the visitor the trouble of having to cope with icy winds and pavements. (Called PATH, a map can be downloaded from the Internet)
A day excursion to Niagara Falls should not be missed – it has a unique beauty in winter, especially when there is a build-up of ice – but wrap up warmly! In fact, warm clothing and footwear is essential for a winter trip to Toronto, but bear in mind that this is a great place to shop for outdoor clothing and boots.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 1 Comment(s)

  • DRSask
    over 7 years ago
    I used to live in Mississauga, just west of Toronto, and often go back to the Toronto area to visit family and friends. However, I usually go in the spring or summer before or after a trip to England. Thanks for reminding me what a good destination it can be regardless of the weather. Even in winter it is warmer than where I live now!