If you’re looking for fun things to do in Toronto this holiday season than you’re in the right place!
Toronto is THE holiday destination OMG we had so much fun taking in all the festive things recently during our Destination Toronto collaboration!
DISCLAIMER: This post is in partnership with Destination Toronto. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting our partners that help make this content possible!
From tips on where to stay, where to eat, and things to do: we’ve got your winter Toronto vacation covered!
WHERE TO STAY
Is there anything more festive than The Fairmont Royal York at the holidays? This hotel is so stinking cute! Like I cannot! They do so well to not only decorate, but also host amazing events, and activities! Whether you’re a guest or just in town, I highly recommend you visit the Fairmont Royal York over the holidays, and if you can be sure to check out the The Thirsty Elf pop up bar! It’s a must!
From the food , to the holiday decor, to the cozy bed we had such a great stay at the Fairmont Royal York. Not only is this hotel ICONIC, and stunning, but the location is also pretty great too! We did a lot of walking which is always my favourite way to explore a city!
WHERE TO EAT
When planning an itinerary for any trip, if you’re anything like me, your food + drink list might just be greater than your activities list! Hey, I mean I think eating is an activity lol so I’m not judging.
Toronto has an amazing food scene, and I absolutely think you should enjoy as much of the food as you possibly can during your time there. Below is a list of all the food spots we went to (and loved), as well as a video recap from insta !
If you’re looking for authentic Italian this is THE PLACE, and Eataly is honestly an entire experience in and of itself. If you can, plan to go here when you can also do some shopping (because you’ll want to stock up on yummy cheese, bread, and wine).
We both ordered pizza (we LOVE pizza) I got the burrata, and Travis got a margarita (and added olives), and we shared the arugula salad. IT WAS SO GOOD! I would eat that salad every day of my life if someone made it for me lol I wish we had more room to have some tiramisu! I definitely will next time!
I also asked the server to recommend a wine pairing for me, and while the name escapes me it was delicious, and paired perfectly with my meal! I always recommend asking your server for recommendations they are so knowledgeable, and it’s such a great way to shake things up and try something new!
We all know, and love the Fairmont for accommodations, but they also has some great spots to eat and drink as well! I love when a hotel as great food, and drinks because you can just pop down stairs, and not worry about having to brace the weather!
We love the Library Bar, it’s such a cute spot, and I love the vibe, and that it’s kind of tucked away. It’s a great spot to grab a cocktail, or a bite to eat!
You could also do the Clock Tower, located in the centre of the hotel lobby it’s such a cool place to hang out, and it’s always very lively! Just make sure to make reservations (you can do so online).
As well we also did Reign for breakfast (and room service), and I highly recommend the avocado toast (I ordered it twice), or they do make a delicious French omelette and the crispy bacon is chefs kiss.
A completely immersive multi sensory experience that combines food, and art, and ALL the things. It’s such a cool experience I definitely recommend. We stopped in before heading over to see Mean Girls, and the location couldn’t have been more perfect.
We both ordered the deconstructed tacos, I got the crispy fish (it was delightful), and Travis got the chicken, and everything was SO fresh and delicious. Definitely bring your appetite because it’s a generous serving 🙂 But if you’re like me and love variety when it comes to a meal THIS IS THE PLACE! Every bite was different, but so fresh and flavorful! Also my cocktail lit up, and changed colors so that was pretty cool!
✔️ Seed Eat Repeat Food Toronto Food Tour:
During our visit we also did a food tour with Seed Eat Repeat, and it was SO fun!! We tried a few different food spots in the Parkdale, and we learned so much about the area (both present, as well as the history) and about the restaurants we were sampling!
It’s pretty cool because Aashim’s food tours are totally customizable, and he’s so lovely and knowledgeable ! It’s a must for any foodie! You can find all the details to make your request by clicking here. On our tour we visited the following spots fresh pasta at @simplthings.to, momos from @logoscorner, and Trinidadian doubles at @alisrotitoronto
You know the part of every trip where you just need some vegetables in your life? Planta is such a cool spot, but it’s really taking plant based dining to whole other level! During our visit we have the wonton soup (delish and so welcomed on such a frigid day), and we shared the chick’n fried mushrooms (Travis’s fave), cauliflower tots (loved the zip of the lemon), and the Kung Pao eggplant (added rice). OMG I would order every dish again! So flavorful!! Also they have multiple locations making it easy to plan a visit!
WHAT TO DO
✔️Custom candle workshop at Kandl Artistique we LOVED this experience, and can’t recommend it enough. Here you’ll choose your custom scent and make your very own candle to take home. You can also choose the color of the jar, and create your own customized label. Naturaly I chose Short Presents, but also considered “Let’s get lit” lol
The candle workshop is such a fun activity, I think it would make such a cute date idea, or even an activity with your friends. And with so many variations you could also come back, and do it again and again! Just make sure to allot time for your candle to set (45 min to an hour) or simply plan to come back another day to pick it up.
✔️ Mean Girls:
If you’re looking for a fun and sassy production to go see, look no further than Mean Girls! It makes my heart so happy to see live theatre I can’t think of a better evening activity! Grab your tickets here.
I mean would there be a better view of the city than from a Helicopter? Sadly we weren’t able to go because of the weather, but if they weather cooperates for you definitely do it! We did end up going in Niagara Falls, and WOW what an experience!
Grab the ugly Christmas sweaters, and enjoy a festive cocktail or two at the Thirsty Elf. Located on the second level of the Fairmont the Thirsty Elf is walk-ins only, so prepare to have a bit of a wait, but you can also take advantage of the decor outside to take some fun festive photos.
I love a holiday market, and the Winter Village at the Distillery District does not disappoint! I truly think it’s a must for the holidays. “With 65+ local shops, restaurants and cafés, you’ll find outdoor Distillery Winter Village vendor cabins offering specially curated seasonal items and gifts, plus delicious, can’t-miss food cabins. Enjoy strolling the cobblestone streets under the canopy lights while you select the perfect gift for that special someone (or yourself!)”. I mean so dreamy right??
Dubbed Toronto’s Majestic Castle, and positioned at the high point of the city no less! If architecture, and decor are your thing, than Casa Loma is a MUST. Wow it’s such a cool spot!
Whether you decide to simply roam around, or take in one of their many events, exhibits, or escape rooms: there’s so much to explore! Travis really enjoyed the 2 Intelligence and Camp X exhibit, and I loved the rooms! Be sure to visit the Casa Loma website for most up to date info!
While the aquarium is absolutely a major attraction for kids, and families. I can’t lie this was one of my favourite things we did during our visit. We saw, and learned so much about so many sea creatures! Also I touched a sting ray!!
We had a blast and we got some cool photos and videos if i do say so myself!
And if you do plan on doing a few different major attractions be sure to look into the CITYPASS where you can bundle and save on major attractions! It’s great!
✔️ Holiday Hills at Stackt Market
Designed entirely out of shipping containers, (I know, so cool right?) Stackt Market is pushing the envelop on community programming! While we were in Toronto we attended a media event/preview, and we learned so much about the space, and the biggest take away truly was how much they support local vendors, and how the flexibility to do short term leases just makes having a physical store/shop SO much more approachable and attainable for new and upcoming businesses! From a Ferris Wheel, to a pop up bar in a yurt to a cold plunge sauna circuit to a plethora of shops and services: you seriously gotta come check it out! There’s lots of events, so definitely pop over to the Stackt Market website for update details.
We always like to sneak in a little shopping while in Toronto because there’s just so much available. If you also like shopping, you might like to visit some of the high end retailers / designer shops on Bloor Street or shop indoors at the Eaton Centre (always a great choice and lots of options), as well as Queen Street, there’s plenty of shops along Queen Street West.
WHAT TO PACK
Whatever you do, make sure you check the weather ahead of time before you visit, so you’re comfortable during your visit. Just before we left, Toronto got it’s first snowfall of the season, and temps definitely dropped significantly from the week before. I was VERY grateful I wore my parka, lots of layers, and some waterproof boots (here I am wearing a Parajumpers Jacket, and Lani Waterproof Boots from Ketch Shoes they also come in wide *gifted*). Also recommend packing some heat tech layers, but if you didn’t happen to pack any duck into the Eaton Centre and pop into Uniqlo they have some great stuff that’ll keep you warm without all the bulk!
THANKS FOR READING!
Hope you found this post helpful! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to comment here or reach out on Instagram @shortpresents! Special thanks to Destination Toronto for hosting us, and planning the MOST fun itinerary! If you’re looking for a wintery destination look no further than Toronto Canada!! There’s really so much to offer!
If you’re interested in seeing more from our trip be sure to pop over to Instagram, and catch all our Toronto IG stories in our Toronto Highlight!