10 staycation ideas to enjoy in Toronto this winter

The holiday season can fly by in a daze, with many people off from work and school. Make the most of your time in the city with these staycation ideas. Whether you need some budget-friendly activities to keep the family busy or are looking to kick things up a notch with a bougie hotel stay, we’ve handpicked something for everyone. The snow makes travel difficult, so don’t! Lots of fun can be had right here in your own backyard.

Toronto Brewery Tours

Brewery tours aren’t just for the summer, and you don’t need to travel far to enjoy one! Toronto Brewery Tours will take you to three of Toronto’s best craft breweries on their public tours and up to 10 on a private tour, and you’ll get a flight of beer at each stop. Warm up from the cold weather with the city’s best brews!

Rouge National Urban Park

Move over Scarborough Bluffs, there’s a new spot in the neighbourhood you have to see to believe. Rouge National Urban Park is the largest urban park in North America, conveniently located in Scarborough. Take the whole family out for some fresh air and explore all the forests, creeks, farms and trails as well as marshland and a beach. Dress warm!

St. Lawrence Market

Do a self-guided food tour through one of the oldest markets in Canada. St Lawrence Market dates back to 1803 and has grown to house over 120 vendors. Bring some friends and sample some of the finest cuisine spanning the globe, from French-inspired baked goods to fresh produce, meat and cheeses and other international eats.

W Hotel 

Slip into modern luxury in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood and book a staycation at the brand new W Hotel. Right on Bloor Street, heading into The W is like walking into another world, filled with art, beautifully designed spaces and carefully chosen music. The Living Room, W’s version of a hotel lobby space, specializes in sparkling beverages so it’s the go-to spot for prosecco, champagne and pét-nat. They even have a Moet vending machine for bubbly-on-the-go; does it get any swankier? From the state-of-the-art gym to the beautifully designed rooms and stunning open concept bar, The W is a terrific choice for a trip that doesn’t require any travel time.


Bundle up and hit the hills on your toboggans. This ageless wintertime activity will be a hit with anyone in your circle. Many popular Toronto parks have hills perfect for flying down. Some go-to spots are Christie Pitts, Trinity Bellwoods, Bickford Park and L’Amoreaux Park.

A DIY art tour

So you’ve seen the AGO and now you’re looking for somewhere else to get your art fill. Luckily, you don’t need to travel far to enjoy some amazing culture and creativity! Spend the day doing your own art tour with some of Toronto’s most unique and underrated art galleries. Located in an actual power plant, The Power Plant on the Harbourfront is renowned in Canada for its contemporary art collection. For lovers of photography, stop by the Stephen Bulger Gallery to enjoy whichever surely spectacular exhibition is currently on offer (and trust that this gallery will be a big help if you’re looking to buy!). Then book an appointment to visit the Bay of Spirits Gallery located across from the AGO — it’s been specializing in Indigenous art for over 25 years. Next, stop by the Taglialatella Gallery — with a gallery in New York, Paris and Palm Beach as well as Toronto, you’ll get a truly international art experience.

Polar Bear Skate & Winter Clothing Drive

The Bentway, a 220-metre figure-eight skate trail located under the Gardiner Expressway, is hosting its annual Polar Bear Skate that returns on Dec. 31 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Both a clothing drive and a cool (literally) way to close out the year, brave Torontonians are invited to strip down and skate the trail for a good cause. Click here to register for the Polar Bear Skate. Donations of warm winter clothing will be collected onsite by New Circles Community Services and distributed to newcomer and refugee families experiencing winter in Toronto for the first time. Items in need include new and gently-worn winter coats and boots.

Ode Toronto

Change your scenery and explore one of Toronto’s hippest neighbourhoods with a stay at family owned, boutique hotel in Little Portgual on Dundas West. Surrounded by cool restaurants, cafes, bars and shops, the space itself boasts modern rooms each with their own individual personality brought to life by local Toronto based artists, designers and manufacturers. And if you need more convincing, book a staycation for New Year’s Eve and you’ll get a free bottle of prosecco. Pop, fizz, clink!

Rock Climbing at Basecamp

With two locations either on Bloor Street West or Queen West, Basecamp climbing makes indoor climbing accessible to anyone. Boasting 7,000 square feet of climbing walls with over 100 different climbing routes available for you to try, you can bring the whole family for a couple hours of vertical exercise in a fun and friendly atmosphere.

Book a hotel spa stay

If you don’t want to book an overnight staycation but still want to enjoy the luxury of a hotel, visit a spa in one of the city’s top hotels for a bit of relaxation! The Stillwater Spa at the Park Hyatt offers everything from aromatherapy to facials to massages and is open from Thursday to Monday. Or, try the St. Regis Spa, Canada’s highest luxury spa located 31 floors high, where you can enjoy sweeping views of the city while indulging in a hot stone massage or a rosy full body scrub.

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