What to do this Winter!
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!
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 RIOT: violent disturbance; uproar; outburst of uncontrolled feelings; a large or varied display!
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 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. Their goal 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 wipe outs). One of our favourite places is Withrow Park – with plenty of room, it’s the perfect steep but smooth hill for all ages. Two more perks: steps on the side of the hill, and the Riverdale Perk Café just a block south for post-tobogganing hot chocolate.
Skating at Greenwood Park
For some twists and fun, check out the 215-meter skating path at Greenwood Park. You can even take advantage of Toronto’s first covered skating rink. The rink and path also include indoor changing facilities and ample outdoor seating. Don’t forget your skates though – they don’t have rentals there!
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/
Winter Festival at Ontario Place – Till March 18th
Ok so this isn’t eastbound but if you didn’t get your fill of pretty lights at the Distillery then head down to Ontario place for the Winter Festival. Highlights include 12 illuminated exhibits by local artists, a skating rink, movies at Cinesphere in IMAX®, food and drink concessions, and a bonfire to warm-up at the waterfront!
Check Out A New Eastbound Restaurant
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 and modern takes on French, Asian fusion, casual dining for island eats and more, each of them is special and worth checking out.
Gare de L’Est
Take a French brasserie and make it modern….a fitting approach as it’s tucked in the Crow’s Nest corner. Take them up on the option to make a reso for the Chef’s Bar seating and enjoy locally sourced ingredients from your hood. The Gravlax de Saumone is not to be missed! www.gdlbrasserie.com
If you’re looking for a comfortable, cozy spot to enjoy craft brews and Asian-inspired dishes check this place out. Named after a grandparent’s cottage lake, the atmosphere checks the eclectic, quirky vibe perfectly. www.lakeinezto.com
Finally, Beachers can enjoy another great lunch spot – this quirky, awesome restaurant is open morning noon and night + brunch on the weekend. Plus, there is the bonus of the bodega so you can bring it home with you too! www.bodegahenriette.com
Classy and cozy, the owner hones her experience from Nota Bene and La Societe to bring a touch of sophistication to the Leslieville restaurant scene. Modern French take gnocchi to the next level with the fan fave Gnocchi Parisian with tasty chunks of lobster. www.gretasolomonsdiningroom.com
Cocktail lounge meets live entertainment meets Caribbean staples which equals you wanting to stay and enjoy – or enjoy the takeout if you can’t. Don’t forget to try the Maracas -it’s a spiked coconut with an ounce of Malibu, lemon, San Pellegrino and dry ice. www.caribbeansunsettoronto.com
Craft Brewery Crawl
Last year we saw an awesome influx of microbreweries, brewpubs and tap rooms and it seems only fitting to try them all with a craft brewery crawl!
Left Field Brewery
Owners Mark and Mandie have created the perfect Murphy baseball theme and has become ground zero for Jays games. 36 Wagstaff Dr.
Radical Road Brewing CO.
This nano-brewery offers signature beers matched perfect pairings by chef Kyle McClure. Slingshot California Common and Yuzu Pale Ale are feature faves. 1177 Queen St. E
Luc “Bim” Lafontaine allows you to focus on the beer in the 6,000-sq. ft. minimalist space he created to feature Japanese comfort food and innovative brews such as citrus infused Yuzu. 242 Coxwell Ave. godspeedbrewery.com
Eastbound Brewing CO.
Dave Lee of Mill Street and his wife, chef Tara Lee of Cowbell and Bar Hop Brewco created the 80-seat beer hall to share their house-made brews and upscale menu in a casual-cool Canadiana-themed hangout. 700 Queen St. E
Saulter Street Brewery
Tucked away south of Queen East, you can get the excellent Riverside Pilsner – the flagship beer from founder John Sterling and brewer Peter Kufeldt – and even enjoy it in the 40-seat tap room and buy some for the home front. 1-31 Saulter St.
Rorschach Brewing CO.
The century-old mansion occupied by Le Papillon is now a brewery and restaurant with a great rooftop patio. Brunch is on the weekends in case you need to make this a morning-after stop! 1001 Eastern Ave. rorschachbrewing.com