Canada’s biggest city, Toronto is a cosmopolitan capital boasting four distinct seasons. Whether you explore the city when the streets are covered in snow, the sun is shining or the leaves are glowing orange, you won’t be disappointed. Every month of the year, the city is bustling with world class festivals and outdoor events for all ages. Here’s an introduction to the four seasons of Toronto to help you decide when to visit.
Winter in Toronto is c-o-l-d. But for those who love winter fashion, hot chocolates and snow, this city really does come into its own around the holidays. Over 50 ice skating rinks pop up all over the city with the Toronto Christmas Markets starting in late November. Festive activities are on offer round the clock with a host of popular vendors. Sip mulled wine by a roaring fire or devour all kinds of sweet treats including maple fudge, freshly made waffles or German baked goods. Winterlicious is considered the city’s favourite foodie event, with a variety of experiences available at more than 200 top restaurants. January also hosts the Toronto International Boat Show, with the Canadian International Autoshow in February. Enjoy more of the great outdoors and go tobogganing on one of the nearby hills, or strap on some snowshoes and explore Toronto’s beautiful parks. During the first week of February, many restaurants join in celebrating the classic Canadian dish, poutine. You can find fries covered in cheese curd and gravy all around town during La Poutine Week.
For less crowds and cool weather, spring is a fantastic time to visit Toronto. As the flowers begin to bloom after a chilly winter, the city emerges with a host of events. May sees Canadian Music Week erupt with good tunes across ten nights. Over 1,000 bands will showcase their talent at more than 60 live music venues. The Food and Drink Market also pops up in April with a host of vendors offering tasty titbits. If you are a budding chef, join one of the master classes and watch intimate and interactive cooking demonstrations. Spring is also when Canada’s largest garden and flower show, Canada Blooms, comes to town. Celebrating all aspects of horticulture, the festival sees many of the world’s top designers, architects and garden builders compete for coveted awards. Spring is also the perfect time of year to explore more of the city’s gorgeous flora at the Toronto Botanical Gardens, Allen Gardens or admire the cherry blossoms at High Park.
Without a doubt, the peak time to visit Toronto is in summer and for good reason. The skies are blue and the temperatures pleasant, averaging around mid to high twenties. Locals relish a reprieve from the cold and flock to enjoy the outdoors. Learn how to surf or go paddle boarding on Lake Ontario or head to the Corktown Common, a modern park perfect for a picnic. The Summerlicious event offers the opportunity to snag gourmet eats from top restaurants around town or hunt down one of the city’s many food trucks. Indulge in a soft serve from Tom’s Dairy Freeze or check out the city’s outrageous deep fried dishes, from deep fried coke to the more outrageous deep fried butter. The Toronto Fringe Festival showcases emerging artists with a host of performing art shows or why not join in the action-paced adventures of the Honda Indy in June. Caribana Toronto offers hundred of Caribbean-inspired events and is recognized as North America’s largest cultural festival.
Autumn or fall as it’s more commonly known, is a popular time to visit Toronto. The summer heat subsides and the trees transform into stunning shades of orange, red and yellow. You may be surprised to note that many visit Canada in fall just to admire this magnificent spectacle of nature. You can still enjoy many outdoor activities including hiking, camping or even whale watching. September welcomes Toronto’s Oktoberfest, a lively replica of Germany’s famous event. Munch on tempting Bavarian fare, chug German beer and enjoy plenty of live entertainment. Then there’s the Toronto International Film Festival – the world’s largest public film festival. TIFF offers screenings, lectures and workshops, showcasing the best of international and Canadian cinema to film lovers. Spring is also the perfect time to visit the city’s famous CN Tower. Dine at the incredible revolving restaurant for unrivalled city views or venture onto the terrifying EdgeWalk. Daredevils can dangle over the edge of the tower on the world’s highest full circle hands-free walk.
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