The City of Toronto encourages residents and visitors to explore City programs and attractions offered during the holiday season. From outdoor winter recreational activities such as tobogganing and skating, to savouring seasonal hot cider and cookies at Toronto’s historic sites, there is always something new to discover in Toronto.
Most City of Toronto operations and all municipal offices will be closed on December 25 and 26, as well as January 1. City services that regularly operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week such as 311 Toronto and emergency services will be available. Information about the TTC and curbside waste collection is provided later in this news release.
Toronto Early Learning & Child Care Centres, along with District Offices, will be closed on December 25 and 26 and on January 1.
The City of Toronto Archives at 255 Spadina Rd., usually open on Saturdays, will be closed on December 22 and 29 as well as on the dates noted above for municipal office closures.
Welcome to winter
Winter in Toronto is best experienced in the City’s parks and natural spaces that become a winter wonderland for skating, hiking and snow-angel-making, and in the City’s recreation centres where residents can warm up and stay active with fitness, art, swimming and more.
Skiing and snowboarding
The City operates two ski/snowboard centres. The season begins January 1 and ends mid-March, dependent on weather and snowfall conditions. Ski and snowboard lessons are offered at both facilities. More information, including schedules, is available at http://www.toronto.ca/ski.
Residents can lace up a pair of skates and find their new favourite rink this holiday season, the City offers 113 indoor and outdoor ice pads, natural rinks and trails to choose from. A variety of free, leisure ice-skating programs for all ages and abilities is available this winter. Outdoor rinks that are open may be unsupervised. Indoor arenas will be closed on December 25 and 26 and January 1. Schedules vary by location. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/skate.
This winter, get out and try tobogganing in your neighbourhood. Tobogganing hill locations and safety tips are available at https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/recreation/skating-winter-sports/tobogganing/.
Fitness and recreation programs
The City offers a variety of fitness classes and other drop-in recreation programming over the holidays. Community recreation centres will be open until 4 p.m. on December 24 and 31 and closed on December 25 and 26 and January 1. Some facilities may be closed during the holiday period for annual maintenance. More information and schedules are available at http://www.toronto.ca/rec or by calling 311.
Drop-in swim programs are available at pools across the city this holiday season. City indoor pools will offer both family-friendly leisure swims and fitness swims. Schedules vary by location and are available at http://www.toronto.ca/swim.
Riverdale Farm is home to a variety of domestic farm animals, including Tamworth pigs, goat kids and sheep. These represent animals commonly found on a turn-of-the-century Ontario farm. Riverdale Farm is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/parks/zoo, or at http://www.riverdalefarmtoronto.ca/ or by calling 311.
High Park Zoo
Toronto’s oldest zoo has entertained people for over 120 years. The zoo houses domestic and exotic animals such as bison, llamas, highland cattle and reindeer. The zoo is open daily from 7 a.m. to dusk. Admission is free. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/parks/zoo.
Winter flower shows
City conservatories are must-see winter destinations. Each year, City gardeners craft floral scenes with thousands of colourful blooms, vines and lush plants from around the world. The shows at Centennial Park Conservatory and the Allan Gardens Conservatory run until January 9. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/conservatories/.
The Toronto Zoo will be open throughout the holiday season except on December 25. Admission on Boxing Day will be 50 per cent off. More information about the Zoo’s 12 Days of Enrichment event, operating hours and admission prices is available at http://www.torontozoo.com/.
St. Lawrence Market Complex
To serve Toronto residents and visitors, the St. Lawrence Market Complex has modified hours over the winter holiday season, including extended Sunday and Monday hours for the South Market from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on December 23, 24 and 30, as well as from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on December 31. The South Market will be closed on December 25 and 26 as well as January 1 and 2. Regular hours of operation will be observed on all other days throughout December and January.
The South Market features 64 merchants and is open five days a week, year-round. During the holiday season, the St. Lawrence Market will also offer a variety of paid classes and free drop-in cooking demonstrations and seminars on holiday meal ideas.
The St. Lawrence Market Saturday Farmers Market and Sunday Antique Market operate year-round in the Temporary Market at 125 The Esplanade. Both markets will be open during the winter holiday season. The Saturday Farmers Market will be open from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. on December 22 and 29. The Sunday Antique Market will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on December 23 and 30.
More information about the St. Lawrence Market Complex holiday hours and holiday-themed activities is available at http://www.stlawrencemarket.com.
Toronto History Museums
Eight of the City’s History Museums are offering holiday-themed events and tours for families and adults. Most of the museums are open daily except Mondays. All of the museums will be closed on December 25 and 26 as well as January 1. Highlights for individual locations are noted below. Times and participant age details for activities vary by day and by location. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/holidays.
Colborne Lodge (11 Colborne Lodge Dr.; south end of High Park)
Warm up by the hearth and take in the sights and aromas of a Victorian Christmas. Enjoy the natural greenery that decorates the house, toast the season with a glass of hot mulled cider by the wood stove and nibble on special holiday treats until Sunday, January 6, 2019. Note: the Museum Shop features historic games and decorations.
Fort York National Historic Site (250 Fort York Blvd.)
During special programming from December 27 to 31, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily, children can join the cooks in the historic kitchen to help make gingerbread cookies. Upon arrival, sign up at the Museum Store to participate – included with regular admission.
Gibson House Museum (5172 Yonge St.)
Visitors will experience the elegant traditions of the Scottish holiday season and learn how the Gibson family celebrated Hogmanay in the 19th century. On December 29 and 30, evening dinner events will celebrate the Scottish traditions of Hogmanay. Pre-registration with payment is required.
Mackenzie House (82 Bond St.)
Through January 6, visitors will learn the story of how families celebrated Christmas in 19th century Toronto. Enjoy a cookie and cider, and print a seasonal card on the 1845 press. On December 28 and 29, evening events will celebrate the Scottish traditions of Hogmanay with live music and refreshments. Advanced tickets required for evening events.
Market Gallery (95 Front St. E., second floor)
Toronto Through the Eyes of Women Artists features works by Canadian artists such as Marion Long, Paraskeva Clark and Doris McCarthy. The exhibition highlights how women artists have depicted and engaged with Toronto over the past 160 years. On display until April 27.
Montgomery’s Inn (4709 Dundas St. W.)
Visitors can learn about traditions of light and warmth from around the world with the Montgomery’s Inn advent calendar.
Scarborough Museum (1007 Brimley Rd.)
During December weekends until December 23, visitors can experience the beautiful festive decorations, enjoy delicious winter treats and make a Victorian ornament or a traditional pop-up Christmas card. On Saturdays, the museum will stay open until 8 p.m. Visitors can witness the beauty of the site under sparkling lights, listen to stories by the fire, taste traditional treats in the historic kitchens and sing carols in the parlour.
Spadina Museum (285 Spadina Rd.)
Through January 6, visitors can experience a 1920s holiday season on a guided tour of Spadina Museum. Holly wreaths, evergreen garlands and mistletoe adorn the house. In the re-created 1930s kitchen, visitors can have holiday treats including mulled cider.
Todmorden Mills Heritage Site (67 Pottery Rd.)
Through January 6, experience the Christmas traditions of two different eras – the 1890s and the 1940s. Visitors can enjoy festive sips and treats in the historic homes decorated for the season, create a vintage take-home craft and enjoy a winter stroll through the Wildflower Preserve. A guided tour of Helliwell House explores the late Victorian fern craze that swept the nation.
New Year’s Eve at Nathan Phillips Square
Ring in the New Year at Nathan Phillips Square. The annual celebration takes place against the festive backdrop of Toronto’s official Christmas tree and the lights of Nathan Phillips Square. Audiences will experience live musical performances by LIZA, Cadence Weapon and DJ NDN. The evening includes a DJ skating party featuring DJ Money Jane and DJ MelBoogie, sponsored by Tim Hortons, and a stunning fireworks display to usher in 2019. Full program details are available at http://www.toronto.ca/newyearseve.
More activities can be found on the City’s Festivals and Events Calendar at http://ow.ly/IMye30heuqo.
Winterlicious Culinary Event Series tickets
Tickets are now on sale for the Culinary Event Series that will be a part of Winterlicious 2019, running from January 25 to February 7. The series will feature 13 eclectic and exciting food experiences. Tickets make for a perfect holiday gift. Details are available at https://www.toronto.ca/winterlicious.
On certain days during the holiday season, the TTC will run on modified or holiday schedules. More information is available at http://www.ttc.ca.
From December 22 to January 6, the TTC Group Day Pass will be available at the weekend discount price of $12.50. With it, a group of up to six people, maximum two adults, can explore the city for one day of unlimited travel. Children 12 and under always ride for free.
The TTC will also provide free, extended New Year’s Eve service from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. on January 1, courtesy of Corby Spirit and Wine. New Year’s Eve last subway times are available at http://www.ttc.ca.
Garbage, Blue Bin and Green Bin collection
There will be no collection on Tuesday, December 25 and January 1. Those who receive Tuesday daytime or night collection will receive collection on Wednesday. Wednesday daytime and night collection will be shifted to Thursday. Thursday daytime and night collection will be shifted to Friday. Regular daytime collection on Friday, December 28 and January 4 will take place on Saturday.
Night collection will begin earlier than usual on Monday, December 24 and 31, so material should be placed out no later than 5 p.m.
All transfer stations and depots for residential drop-off of garbage, yard waste, recyclables, household hazardous waste and electronics will be closed on December 25 and on January 1.
The City will not book any Toxic Taxi appointments from December 25 to 28 or January 1. Regular service will resume on January 2.
More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/waste.
The City’s winter operations will continue as usual during the holidays. Local road plowing will begin when the snow stops falling and if the snow accumulation has reached at least eight centimetres. Residents are reminded that 311 will only take specific snow-clearing service requests after the crews have had a chance to clear the snow and are asked not to call 311 during the storm to ask when a street will be plowed. Residents can track where plows and salt trucks are and which roads have been serviced using the City’s real-time, online tracking map available at http://www.toronto.ca/PlowTO.