I had the pleasure to visit Toronto just this past Christmas. It snowed a lot and was very cold on the last week of December. The video below was taken on Dec 29th 2017 from my hotel room. It snowed the whole day!
I stayed in my hotel room a lot this trip due to the cold and snow. I was very thankful to receive an upgrade from a Standard King Room to a Deluxe Suite for my whole stay – the perks of being a WorldofHyatt Explorist member 😀 The Suite has a separate living/dining area, which made staying in during the snow more comfortable.
Here are a few suggested places to visit or things to do in Toronto:
1. EdgeWalk at CN Tower
I took up all the courage and signed myself for the EdgeWalk. It was an incredible experience and SO much fun! If you are afraid of height, you should not attempt this. But if you love being high up and adventurous (like me :p), I highly recommend this! It is extremely safe – the guides checked all harnesses many many times. Definitely worth the money! I am so thankful that it was such a clear and sunny day. It was still cold but there was no wind, making the whole walk so much easier. The view was stunning!
The EdgeWalk at CN Tower is the first of its kind in North America. It also holds the Guinness World Record for the “Highest External Walk on a Building” since Nov 2011. This walk is located 356 m (1,167.97 ft) above the ground, participants get to experience a hands-free, harness-secured EdgeWalk along a 150 m long (492 ft) ledge just 1.5 m (5 ft) wide. For more info on EdgeWalk and/or to book one, click here.
The ticket to the EdgeWalk also includes admission to the viewing area of the CN Tower and SkyDeck. I spent the late afternoon there after the EdgeWalk and was able to witness the sunset. It was incredibly beautiful.
2. Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is a must if you visit Toronto. It is the collective name for three waterfalls that straddle the international border between Canada and the United States; more specifically, between the province of Ontario and the state of New York. The largest of the waterfalls are the Horseshoe Falls followed by the American Falls and then the Bridal Veil Falls being the smallest.
After witnessing the magnificent waterfalls, take a stroll around the area or so called The Strip/Downtown of Niagara. It has hotels, restaurants, shops, casinos and amusement parks (something like Las Vegas – a very tiny version).
3. Niagara On The Lake
This is a small town close to the Niagara Falls. There are many wineries here. My friend and I stopped at the Pillitteri Estates Winery and did some wine testing. Their ice wine is really good and sweet. You can have free wine tasting if you make a purchase, otherwise, I think it costs $5. For more info, click here.
4. Queens St Neighbourhood & Kensington Market
This is a hipster neighbourhood. I love this area because it looks so much like Fitzroy/Brunswick in Melbourne, Australia (minus the snow and also opposite traffic). The similarity is probably because of the tram, well they call it street car in Toronto. Other parts of Toronto such as Chinatown looks so much like Victoria St in Melbourne! Missing good ol’ Melb and the sun!
Located close by is the Kensington Market – A walkable bohemian neighbourhood that draws artists and tourists to its indie shops, vintage boutiques and arts spaces.
5. DownTown Toronto
A must visit is the Nathan Phillips Square, which is situated between the Old City Hall and The New City Hall. We walked through the Osgoode Hall too – it was very beautiful in the snow. Another busy area is the Yonge-Dundas Square, which resembled a bit like New York Times Square (albeit a tiny version).
6. Photo Opportunity – Skyline of DownTown Toronto from Polson Pier
The view of DownTown Toronto from Polson Pier is stunning and unobstructed but it was just too cold during the winter! I took this photo below using high ISO instead of long exposure because I did not bring my tripod and could not use one either as the ground is covered with ice! I usually try to avoid high ISO. High ISO = noise, but after some editing, I am very happy with this shot 😀
7. CN Tower Lights Show
Thankful that I was able to stay in a room with the view of CN Tower, allowing me to witness the lights show below. The Tower’s new lighting system is designed to architecturally enhance the CN Tower structure from bottom to top, providing elegant night time illumination honouring the legacy of this national icon and landmark. The CN Tower installed an intelligent LED illumination system that is energy and cost efficient and provides a number of added unique benefits.
There is a lighting schedule throughout the months of December and January, for more info click here. A standard light show runs every night for 8 minutes at the top of every hour.
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