The City of Toronto invites residents and visitors to take advantage of the City’s many activities, programs and attractions available during the holidays.
Fitness, camps and recreation programs
The City offers fitness classes, weight rooms, camps, permitted hobby clubs and more, offering something for everyone.
December 24 and 31: Community recreation centres will close at 4 p.m., except those with scheduled permits.
December 25, 26 and January 1: Community recreation centres will be closed.
Some facilities may be closed during the broader holiday period for annual maintenance.
More recreation information and program schedules are available at http://www.toronto.ca/rec or by calling 311.
Swimming: Drop-in swim programs at pools across the city make it easy to make a splash this holiday season. Schedules vary by location and are available at http://www.toronto.ca/swim.
Skating: The City offers a variety of free leisure skate programs for all ages and abilities at indoor arenas and outdoor rinks. Outdoor rinks that are open may be unsupervised. Skaters may use the unsupervised outdoor rinks at their own risk. On December 25, indoor arenas will be closed. Schedules vary by location. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/skate.
Riverdale Farm: Visitors to Riverdale Farm will be able to see its cows, sheep, goats, ducks, rabbits and farm cats. The farm is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/parks/featured-parks or by calling 416-392-6794.
High Park Zoo: The High Park Zoo is home to domestic and exotic animals, including bison, llamas, peacocks, reindeer, highland cattle and yaks, and is open daily from dawn to dusk. The babies that were born this year can be viewed. Admission to the zoo is free. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/parks/zoo/.
Flower shows: Christmas flower shows at the City’s Allan Gardens and Centennial Park conservatories are a tradition during the holiday season. The flower shows are open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until January 10. Admission to both conservatories is free. Donations to the Daily Bread Food Bank are welcome. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/conservatories/.
Playground Paradise: Located at Flemingdon Park Community Centre, Playground Paradise offers family fun for children ages 12 years and younger. Kids can play on a two-storey play structure, go down the spiral slide, swing on the track ride, climb the cargo elevator, talk to friends through the talk tube and play in a ball pit with more than 8,000 balls. The rate is $2.50 per child for two hours. Holiday hours are available at http://bit.ly/1aZjJ4T or by calling 416-395-6014. The regular schedule resumes on Monday, January 4.
Downtown Discovery Walks mobile app: Get exercise outdoors and explore the city with the help of the new 10 self-guided Discovery Walks app. The app will illuminate Toronto’s historic, entertainment and commercial core, from St. Lawrence Market to the Toronto Stock Exchange, with special offers. Bookmark the app on a smartphone’s home screen. Go to discoverywalks.ca and select “add to home screen” for easy access. (This feature works best on Chrome and Safari mobile browsers).
New Year’s Eve celebration
The City of Toronto will host and produce a free New Year’s Eve celebration at Nathan Phillips Square on December 31. The evening will feature a midnight fireworks display choreographed to music, and music throughout the evening by Toronto DJs MelBoogie, P-Plus, and Starting From Scratch. The square will be also animated by performances from Zero Gravity Circus. The celebrations will start at 8 p.m. with a DJ skating party sponsored by Tim Hortons. More information: http://www.toronto.ca/newyearseve
Tickets to the Winterlicious 2016 Culinary Event Series are now on sale. Presented by Interac Association and produced by the City of Toronto, Winterlicious – Toronto’s favourite culinary celebration – returns on January 29 and runs through February 11. The Culinary Event Series features 11 unique culinary events. More information: http://www.toronto.ca/winterlicious
Until January 3, nine of the City’s historic sites are offering numerous holiday-themed events and tours for families and adults. Most of the City’s historic sites are open daily (except Mondays). All the sites will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Highlights for individual locations are listed below. Times and participant age details for activities will vary by day and by location. Holiday Season admission prices apply. More information is available below and at http://www.toronto.ca/holidays.
Colborne Lodge (11 Colborne Lodge Dr., High Park): Visitors will experience the sights and aromas of a Victorian Christmas and can toast the season with hot mulled cider by the wood stove and nibble on special holiday treats.
Fort York National Historic Site (250 Fort York Blvd.): Visitors can sample baking from the 1826 officers mess kitchen and soak up the warmth of a crackling wood fire. From December 27 to 31 (at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.) children can join the cooks in the historic kitchen to create traditional gingerbread cookies.
Gibson House Museum (5172 Yonge St.): Visitors to Gibson House will enjoy the simple and elegant traditions of the Scottish holiday season and learn how the Gibson family celebrated Hogmanay in the 19th century and sample some tasty treats by the open hearth. On December 21 or 22, parents may pre-register their children for a fun-filled day baking treats in the historic kitchen, making seasonal crafts, playing games and meeting new friends ($30 plus tax per day, extra for extended care). On December 28 and 29, special evening dinner events will celebrate the Scottish traditions of Hogmanay. Pre-registration is required. Gibson House will be closed from January 1 through 15 for annual maintenance.
Mackenzie House (82 Bond St.): Discover the story of how families celebrated Christmas in 19th-century Toronto. Until December 24, children are invited to write a letter to Santa Claus during their visit and select a card from the 1845 printing press. From December 27 to January 3, children can enjoy printing in the re-created print shop and make a New Year’s noisemaker.
Market Gallery (95 Front St. E., second floor): On December 19 from 9 a.m. to noon, families can drop by the West Mezzanine Kitchen of the South St. Lawrence Market for cupcakes and colouring, then visit the Market Gallery for an arts and craft activity. Admission is free.
Montgomery’s Inn (4709 Dundas St. W.): The weekly Wednesday afternoon indoor farmer’s market and the Sunday afternoon tea time will continue during the holiday season. On December 19 and 20, a special ticketed event will feature the Humber River Shakespeare company performing the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol.
Scarborough Museum (1007 Brimley Rd.): Weekend visitors can sample hot chocolate and baked holiday goodies. On December 21 to 23 and December 29 to 31, the museum offers holiday camps for children five to 12 years of age. Pre-registration is required.
Spadina Museum (285 Spadina Rd.): Holly wreaths, evergreen garlands and mistletoe adorn the house based on the memories of the Austin family grandchildren. In the re-created 1930s kitchen, visitors can enjoy holiday treats made from period recipes and sip mulled cider warmed on the art deco gas range.
Todmorden Mills Heritage Site (67 Pottery Rd.): Visitors can experience two different eras of Christmas traditions – the 1890s and the 1940s. The public can sample historic recipes, create a take-home craft and join staff for an outdoor tour of the Wildflower Preserve. From December 22 to January 3, the Papermill Gallery will feature works by Canadian First Nations’ artists in the exhibition Journey by Canoe.
Solid waste management services
There will be no residential collection service on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day for garbage, recycling, organics, electronics or bulky items (collection moves from the Friday to the Saturday).
All Transfer Station Drop-off Depots, including household hazardous waste and computer Drop-off Depots as well as container pickup locations, will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, re-opening for business on Boxing Day – Saturday, December 26.
Residents should check their collection calendar for residential schedule changes or consult the detailed chart at http://www.toronto.ca/recycle.