Ontario is a large province with plenty of things to do to keep everyone entertained. Ontario has something for everyone, whether you appreciate getting out in nature or want to take in the sights of the city. Not only is this state home to the magnificent Niagara Falls and the well-known Blue Mountains, but it also has some wonderful National Parks, fantastic bars and restaurants, and a year-round calendar of festivals to keep you entertained. Outdoor adventure in Ontario.
Ontario is a winter wonderland from December to March, but that doesn’t mean the activities stop or that everyone should stay inside. In reality, it’s the polar opposite! In the winter, Ontario provides some of the most unique, interesting, and enjoyable excursions for the entire family.
Continue reading to learn about the greatest winter activities in Ontario…
Things to Do and Festivals in Ontario, Canada in the Winter
The Winter Weather in Ontario
It’s safe to say that Ontario is COLD in the winter! Because the majority of the region experiences subzero temperatures during the winter, it is critical that you dress appropriately to make the most of your visit. This means layers, lots of layers! You’ll be ready to explore the province once you’ve finished wrapping things up. Temperatures can drop to -30°C, which is quite cold when combined with the wind chill — hats and scarves are essential!
The snowy scenery is stunning in Ontario’s winter weather, and the cold temperatures allow you to enjoy natural ice rinks, thrilling snowmobiling adventures, and ice fishing expeditions.
Winter Outdoor Adventures in Ontario
Falls of Niagara
In the winter, Niagara Falls State Park is a serene haven, with fewer visitors and frozen scenery that make for an amazing excursion. Seeing Niagra at this time of year is unlike any other, with snow-covered trees and chunks of ice floating over the falls. Some areas of the cascade appear to be frozen, providing fantastic shooting opportunity.
Mountains of the Blues
The Blue Mountains in Ontario are a true winter playground where you can spend snow-filled days on the slopes with activities like as skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, and caving! You may have an epic holiday in one spot, with enormous snowy landscapes, miles of ski runs, opulent accommodations, delicious spas, and limitless outdoor activities.
Rice Lake, just a few of hours east of Toronto, is an enormous terrain that hosts snow-kiting in the winter. This exciting activity provides for a great weekend vacation from the city, whether you want to try your hand at ice skating or just watch from the sidelines. The beauty is worth viewing even when the snow-kiters aren’t out.
Loop of Good Luck
Snowmobiling along the Bon Echo Loop in Provincial Park is another fantastic outdoor activity. The snowmobile route takes you through some remote areas, allowing you to experience the wonderful winter nature at your leisure. Because the circle is almost 200 kilometres long, you can make a whole day of it by stopping for meals and photos along the way.
Ice fishing on Lake Nipissing is a classic Canadian activity practised in Ontario. While sitting in the snow can be chilly, digging your own hole and fishing right outside your warm cabin is enjoyable for the whole family.
Barrens of Torrance
The greatest way to see the Northern Lights is to travel to a remote location, and Ontario has just that! Torrance Barrens, a dark sky reserve just a few hours north of Toronto, allowing you to completely appreciate nature with amazing views of the Aurora Borealis dancing across the sky. Winter nights are the ideal time to see the lights, so plan a trip to Torrance Barrens to witness this breathtaking natural phenomena.
Winter family fun in Ontario
Skateway Rideau Canal
A visit to the Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa is a must for every winter travel to Ontario. When this UNESCO World Heritage Site freezes over each winter, it becomes one of the world’s largest ice rinks, allowing locals and tourists alike to skate for miles along the canal. This is an amazing opportunity to observe the city and watch the world go by while skating on a frozen canal!
Maple Syrup Matthews
Frozen maple taffy is a fantastic winter delicacy in Canada, and Matthews Maple Syrup is one of the greatest places to sample it. The sugar shack allows visitors to learn about maple production and watch maple being tossed in the snow to create the famous frozen taffy! The fresh year of sap tapping for new bottles of the golden nectar begins in the spring.
While dog-sledding used to be one of the most common ways to travel long, snowy distances, Huntsville, Ontario now provides family-friendly dog-sledding activities.Before returning to your hotel to warm up around a blazing fire, learn to mush and ride with your husky team as you journey through Muskoka’s winter paradise.
Winter City Sights in Ontario
Toronto’s Casa Loma
Casa Loma’s breathtaking splendour will leave you speechless for days, thanks to its snow-covered gardens and majestic turrets and towers that will make you feel as if you’ve stepped into a storybook. Every year, the Casa transforms into a Magical Winterland, complete with lights and decorations to get you in the holiday spirit.
Toronto’s CN Tower
Seeing the CN Tower rise above the city while there is snow on the ground, as well as seeing ice Lake Ontario from above, is a spectacular sight. Take the elevator to the observation deck or café for a 360-degree view of the city. You might even want to risk the glass floor portions where you can view city dwellers walking around like ants hundreds of feet below you!
Burlington, Ontario’s gorgeous city, is another excellent winter getaway. While the city’s parks and gardens will be blanketed in snow, the city’s galleries, museums, and historical buildings will be open all year. The city also has a wealth of bars and restaurants offering delectable cuisine, live music, and lively atmospheres for an unforgettable evening.
Winter Festivals and Events in Ontario
Restaurant Week: Winter Bites
The Winter Bites Restaurant Week in Windsor, Essex County, is a great chance to sample a variety of local cuisines while staying on a budget! For less than $40 (and often as little as $15! ), you can have a three-course meal at one of the county’s greatest restaurants during this food festival. This is a fantastic winter exercise that allows you to stay warm while layering up for the chilly months ahead!
New Year’s Eve on Parliament Hill
If you plan on spending the New Year in Ontario, Canada, you should pack your belongings and head to Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The entire region has been converted into a winter wonderland, and New Year’s celebrations will undoubtedly be in full swing!
Every year, it transforms into the ‘Hill of Lights,’ with hundreds of lights creating a picture-perfect scene. Not only will the lights be stunning, but there will also be musical performances, traditional Canadian snacks such as BeaverTails, and warm cups of hot chocolate to help you ring in the New Year.
Winterfest in Stratford
Sledding, snow and ice carving competitions, fat biking, tai chi in the snow, and igloo construction are just some of the activities available during Winterfest in Stratford. Face painting, train rides, ice skating, and even a petting zoo are among the festival’s many activities for children. This is a fun-filled family event for all Ontario fans!
Ontario, Canada, offers no shortage of things to do during the frigid winter months, with lakes, mountains, cities, parks, waterfalls, and festivals for the whole family. The province stretches from the cities of Ottawa and Toronto all the way to Hudson Bay in the far north, so expect variety and vibrancy along the way.
Despite the fact that much of the province is buried in snow throughout the winter, you may still go exploring since these Canadians know how to provide activities and experiences despite their harsh climate. Layer up, get out in nature, and follow in the footsteps of the locals, and you’ll have a fantastic day experiencing this lovely region in the winter!