Travel adventures with a twist of history!
Latest ArticlesCanada Articles
Toronto, Canada’s largest city, has been one of our favorite travel destinations for years. Close enough to make the trip comfortable, yet varied enough to offer things that we could never find at home, the Great White North has been a classic for American travelers for generations. One of the issues we’ve faced on our last few trips, however, has to do with luck and the weather.

Of course, our experiences were outliers, but even still, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at what you can do when Canada hits you with a snowstorm. Luckily enough, travelers are still spoiled for choice.

Toronto on a snowy winter day.

Toronto on a snowy winter day.

Eat Well

Wherever you happen to find yourself in Toronto, you can rest assured that great food is not far away. As Canada is a nation with a wide-ranging heritage, it’s not difficult to find something new and interesting to expand your culinary horizon. Each region and city has something special, from Montreal-style bagels to Nova Scotia lobster rolls to a Ceasar cocktail (a Calgary, Alberta, invention) for the adults, all of which are easy to find in Toronto restaurants.

But there’s more!

Often called the most multicultural city in the world, you’ll find Toronto has a wide selection of both food and drinks. This city welcomes 200 ethnic groups speaking over 140 languages, so checking out the diverse offerings will help you keep warm and in good spirits even through otherwise disappointing cancellations of plans.

Caesar cocktails were invented in 1969 by restaurant manager Walter Chell, in Calgary, Alberta.

Caesar cocktails were invented in 1969 by restaurant manager Walter Chell, in Calgary, Alberta.

Relax in Comfort

While snow can put a damper on the more adventurous of activities, it can also afford other opportunities when it comes to rest and relaxation. Travel, as much as we love it, can be stressful after all, so taking a day off to recharge yours and your family’s batteries can sometimes be just what the doctor ordered.

There is nothing quite like enjoying a stay in a comfy hotel–downtown Toronto has many great ones–while chilling out with a book a movie, or even something less traditional for the more technologically inclined. Play a game against the backdrop of the Canadian wilderness, or drop a few coins into some virtual casinos as you would at home–the digital age has made this all easier than ever before. But make sure you are aware of local laws. There are a lot of guides to help you plan your indoor activities safely, find a quiet spot for your family to get loud, or look up guidelines to ensure you are playing online slots responsibly. Remember that local laws and customs are different than at home, so be sure to avoid being labeled as one of the “those” tourists.

The Chelsea Hotel in Toronto is Canada's largest hotel with 26 floors.

The Chelsea Hotel in Toronto is Canada’s largest hotel with 26 floors.

Check out PATH – the World’s Largest Underground Shopping Centre

Snow isn’t a problem if you’re under the streets instead of on them! Torontonians built the first underground “path” to avoid inclement weather in 1900 when the T Eaton Co. joined its main store at 178 Yonge St. and its bargain annex by tunnels.

Today, the PATH has over 30 kilometres of development where you can shop and find services or entertainment from over 1200 businesses. In fact, Guinness World Records has named it the largest underground shopping complex in the world.

Getting on the PATH is easy, especially with its new Wayfinding System. Just look for the PATH stairs or elevators through six subway stations, three major department stores, nine hotels, Toronto’s busiest transit hub – Union Station, and of course, the CF Toronto Eaton Centre.

When the streets are snow-covered in Toronto, use the PATH to explore the city under the streets!

When the streets are snow-covered in Toronto, use the PATH to explore the city under the streets!

Embrace the Culture

A great way to get a feel for a country is to take part in the larger parts of their culture, to experience the passion and excitement firsthand in order to better understand their values and shared interests. Many of these are weather independent as well, as Torontonians have had a lot longer to prepare for the inevitable turns than we have as visitors.

One of our best experiences as sports enthusiasts came from attending a hockey game after overhearing a heated debate between two passionate fans of the hometown team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Anybody who counts themselves as followers of sports should not miss out on the intensity and crowd enthusiasm that’s offered by an experience like this.

And don’t forget that exploring in the snow gives a whole new perspective to the city! Established at the end of the 1700s, there’s lots of history to see. Indeed, you’ll find a 1794 cabin at Exhibition Place, a Mixed Use District in Toronto. You’ll also see many examples of 1800s and early 1900s architecture throughout the city and its downtown.

There are around 30 museums to check out too, none more unique than the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir complex. Built between 2005 and 2007 by volunteers, It’s a traditional hand carved Hindu Mandir (Hindu place of worship), Haveli and Heritage Museum.

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir complex in Toronto complex consists of the first traditional hand carved Hindu Mandir (Hindu place of worship), Haveli and the Heritage Museum.

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir complex in Toronto complex consists of the first traditional hand carved Hindu Mandir (Hindu place of worship), Haveli and the Heritage Museum.

Be Prepared

It may seem counterintuitive, but being prepared for the unpredictable is something which experienced travelers will often stand by. Spend a little time before each trip coming up with a plan B, and you’ll be well on your way to covering your bases in the event of slight weather-based misfortune. Who knows, you might even end up picking up a new hobby or interest along the way.


Rachel Bell, freelance writer, is the author of this article.

More Things to Do in Eastern Canada

What To Do In 24 Hours In Montreal

Love exploring historic cities? Montreal, one of Canada’s oldest cities, has many historic attractions including Old Montreal & the ’67 World Fair site.

Catching Butterflies and Playing Slots: How to Spend your Time in Niagara Besides the Falls

The Butterfly Conservatory and Journey Behind the Falls are just two great things to do after you see the amazing three waterfalls at Niagara Falls.

3 Reasons Why You Should Book a Fall Trip to Ontario

Ontario, Canada, is the perfect place to visit in the fall. Find entertainment, culture, and relaxation plus the country’s most beautiful fall foliage.

Plan a Getaway to Quebec City

Looking for planning tips for your romantic getaway to Quebec City, Canada? Enjoy a touch of Europe in fine dining and wines & fun activities.

Adventure Travel — Kayak with Seals on the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec, Canada

The young seal bobbed in the water like those appendage-less Little People bathtub toys my kids had played with when they were small. Up and down. Down and up. Invisible hands patted the animal’s dark head and it disappeared beneath the water, only to pop up somewhere...

Visit the Vibrant City of Montreal – This Canadian Hotspot Is More Than First Meets the Eye

Stroll through the streets of historic Montreal, Quebec, the world’s 4th largest French speaking city, and check out Canada’s vibrant cultural capital.

Snowmobile Quebec–the Ultimate Winter Destination for Snowmobiling

Quebec is a winter paradise -- especially for those of us who love snowmobiles. This Eastern Canadian province has thousands of miles of groomed trails that stretch from the shores of the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Upper Laurentians to Gaspe, up against the Maritime...

Which Canadian City Should You Visit in 2020?

Check out this quick guide to decide which Canadian city you should visit in 2020. You’ll find lots of history, culture, and unique experiences in Canada.

Ultimate Winter Guide to Things to Do in Quebec

Quebec is the ultimate winter destination in the great white north-Canada. Find a flavor of Europe along with skiing, dogsledding, winter carnival and more!

Top 10 Places Not To Miss In Ontario

Planning to visit Toronto, Ontario? Here are 10 places outside this Canadian city that you won’t want to miss no matter what you like to see!

About the Photo

The photo in the header above was taken during a winter snow and ice storm in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Pin Me!

Take the CN Tower Edge Walk 116 storeys above the ground on a 5' ledge! #Toronto #Ontario #travel #CNTower

Shop in around 250 stores in Toronto at the Eaton Centre! #Toronto #travel #shopping #EatonCentre #Ontario #Canada

There's lots to do in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on a snow day! #Toronto #Canada #travel #winter

Search Categories

Share this travel adventure!