What to do this Winter 2019!
Hey we get it…sub-zero temperatures can make you want to cozy up and Google tropical vacations but since most of you are here, why not make the most of winter? Check out our favourite picks–inside and out–to enjoy the season in Toronto’s east end!
Bring the Tropics Home
While it might not feel hot outside, you can treat yourself to a fresh plant at the newly opened 3,000 square foot ‘inhouse’ at Beech Nursery. Maybe just hanging out in there will lift your winter spirits by smelling the tropical air!
WinterStations at the Beach – Feb 19th to April 1st
WinterStations are back this February! The international design competition brings artists, designers, architects and landscape architects together to create an incredible variety of art installations along The Beach. This years’ theme is the concept of MIGRATION. Installations will focus on the movement from one location to another with the intent of permanent or temporary settlement. Go check it out!
Fat Bike Riding at Evergreen Brickworks
Why would piles of snow stop you from a bike ride? Head on down to Brickworks to Sweet Pete’s Bike Shop for a tour through the best winter trails, or rent and go yourself! Two hour guided rides take place Sunday at 1pm.
Guided rides are 1.5–2 hours for $40/person.
Fat Bikes are available for rent for $20/hour and $60/day – An appointment needed, so book in advance.
Fat Bikes are available for rent by appointment for $20/hour and $60/day.
Toronto Light Festival – Till March 4th
If you didn’t get down to the Distillery Christmas Market and still want some winter magic, the Toronto Light Fest might just be the ticket. The goal of the light fest is to “create a positive, magical urban world…transform a moment of consciousness from the cold of the dark to the warmth of the light” and quite frankly, “make winter not suck so much.”
Toboggan at Withrow Park
Whether you’re a kid or a kid at heart, there is no way you can keep the smile off your face when you fly down a snowy hill (minus the wipeouts). One of our favourite places is Withrow Park – with plenty of room, the perfect steep, and a smooth hill, it makes for the perfect ride for all ages. Two more perks: there are steps on the side of the hill for an easy climb back up, and the Riverdale Perk Café just a block south for post-tobogganing hot chocolate.
Skating at Bentway
The Bentway has transformed nearly 2 kms underneath the Gardiner Expressway into a winter wonderland skating trail! Activities and events are in no short supply – go check out the art, special exhibitions, festivals, theatre, musical performances, and more!
Retro Bowling at Danforth Bowl
Sure, there are fancy new bowling alleys downtown but sometimes you want to stay local and feel a bit of nostalgia. It’s six lanes of 5-pin bowling and you can’t help but fall in love with the coloured lights and the disco ball, plus it’s fully licensed. Part of the charm is owner Sandy whose family has run the place for 56 years!
Single Lane Rental – $35.50/hour for max. 6 people, shoe rentals are $3 each – Reservations required: 416-463-3000 www.danforthbowl.com/
The Bay’s #the7TO Exhibit
You won’t want to miss this – the Bay has transformed the 7th floor into whimsical art installations! Known as “The 7,” the Instagrammable displays range from flowers to dinosaurs, to disco balls and unicorns. The 7 officially opened in January at the downtown Hudson’s Bay location. It’s free to visit — just be sure to tag your social media posts with the official hashtag, #the7TO.
Brews with your Best Friend!
Black Lab Brewing Inc. was founded in March of 2018 by Billy and Anne Madden, and inspired by their trusty and loyal black labrador mix named Snoopy. Now eastenders can enjoy truly exceptional beers with their canine companion – we’re having trouble thinking of anything that is more ‘east end’ Toronto than that!
A Good Ol’ Movie
Maybe going out to the movies is a lost art for some but there’s something special about going to The Fox Theatre. This local favourite offers wonderfully curated movies – from contemporary, to classic, to cult films, there is always something worth checking out. The Fox is also licensed and offers an array of craft beer, and wine in addition to the best popcorn. Let’s keep this Beach institution thriving by heading to The Fox this winter!
Get Outta Town!
Sometimes you just have to jet. And Marie-France from Bespoke Travel Design is just the person to make it happen. If you’re looking for something other than the all-inclusive beach vacation, elevate your travels with a curated plan featuring preferred access and exceptional experiences.
Contact Marie-France Gravel directly at: email@example.com
Check Out New Eastbound Restaurants
Last year saw the opening of some great new restaurants, so make it your mission to try them all before winter is over! From classic pizza, new vegan and vegetarian options, and French with a twist, each of them is special and worth checking out.
If you are a Food Dudes fan then you’re in luck…they opened up a pizza joint with chef Matt Blondin. As if the pizza wasn’t already amazing, you can get salads with vegan dressings and soft serve ice cream! All their pies are 13 inches and you have five red and five white options.
Luxury toppings like truffle butter and local greens get amped up with chili and jalapeno buttermilk ranch dipping sauce.
With the movement towards healthier, plant-based eating, the opening of Grasshopper Salon in the Beach couldn’t have been timelier. They are known at their other two locations for vegan and vegetarian comfort dishes with an East Asian inspired menu. Don’t skip dessert – the Japanese baked goods are worth the indulgence…and after your super-healthy meal, why not? www.grasshoppereats.com/restaurants/salon/
Once known for coffee, this sublime location is now a French food hotspot with an incredible menu including a kale and cheese loaf, an epic escargot in bacon cream sauce with mushrooms and a bacon puff pastry, plus an unreal steak frites and other French classics with a twist. You can also try some wines with their 2oz wine flights!
Is it time to chill with a friend for a coffee and something interesting to eat? Dineen Outpost on Gerrard is the place. The gorgeously styled interior will keep you lingering from coffee right into cocktail hour where the offerings are just as tempting as the caffeinated varieties. Sustenance will not be an issue with a wide range of baked goods and savoury snacks. www.dineencoffee.com
Noted as one of Toronto Life’s Best 100 Restaurants of the Year, you can get your fresh pasta and seafood at Wynnona (nothing to do with Rider or Judd!). Everything is made in-house from scratch and served family-style – our favourite way to eat!
Nothing says pick-me-up like a fresh donut and now eastenders can enjoy the soothing squishy decadence of Glory Hole Doughnuts’ new location at Gerrard and Coxwell. Made fresh every day, you can choose your own sweet adventure including vegan varieties. Our personal faves include Ferrero Rocher and Applie Pie Bear Claw. https://www.gloryholedoughnuts.com/