Lifestyle & wellness | { 8 MIN READ | 2023-12-13

Beat Your Winter Blues with this Winter To-Do List

Winter is here. And for Ontarians that thrive in the sun, this means coming face to face with winter blues. Despite the shorter days and day light savings adjustments, we've got the perfect antidote to banish boredom, encourage better sleep, and lift your spirits. 

In this guide, we discuss our favourite activities to stay busy, and make the most of Ontario’s winter weather. Discover what this winter season has to offer, and how to immerse yourself in your community. 

Couple skiing

Learn a new sport. 

Enjoying winter is a lot easier for those that play a winter sport - and there are so many to chose from! Skiing and snowboarding are popular winter picks for a reason. They are highly active, filled with adrenaline, very social (don’t forget about après ski!) and offer beautiful landscape and lookouts. Here are some of our top recommendations for beginner skiing and snowboarding in Ontario. 
In Central Ontario, we recommend: 
  1. Blue Mountain located along the beautiful Georgian Bay.
  2. Horseshoe Valley located in Barrie. 
  3. Hidden Valley Ski Resort located in Muskoka. 
In Southern Ontario, we recommend 
  1. Chicopee Ski located in Kitchener. 
  2. Glen Eden located in Milton. 
  3. Boler Mountain located in London. 
In Northern Ontario, we recommend: 
  1. Antoine Mountain located a few hours north of Ottawa, in Matawa. 
  2. Searchmont located about 40 minutes north of Sault Ste. Marie. 
Quebec also offers a great number of ski resorts, just a short drive from Ottawa. Here, we recommend Mont Tremblant located 90 minutes from Montreal. 
Keep in mind that if you are looking for a sport that is more beginner and cost-friendly, most of the resorts above also offer figure skating, snowshoeing, or sledding! 

Give back to your community. 

As we enter the season of giving, check out local charities and organizations in your area. Search for volunteer opportunities that interest you and give back to your community! 
Getting involved in local charities can be a great way to meet new people and find new sources of fulfillment. Find the perfect volunteer opportunities in your area here with the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network. 

Take some classes – there is something for everyone!

If you really dread the snow and the sight of your own breath – try taking some fun indoor classes! From cooking to pottery, there are plenty of indoor classes offered throughout Ontario. Of course, these options vary, based on your city and neighborhood, but these are some of our favorite types of indoor classes to try this winter. 
For cooking classes, we recommend: 
  1. In Toronto, book a class at Dish Cooking Studio where you can book a holiday cooking class. 
  2. In Hamilton, Gastro Market Cooking Classes offer couples’ class on Fridays! 
  3. In Ottawa try C’est Bon Cooking located in the areas historic Byward Market.
  4. Just south of Ottawa, in Maitland, Maison Maitland offers a unique cooking experience in a 1827 stone monor. 
For art classes, we recommend: 
  1. Create Turkish mosaic lamps while sipping on tea at the Mosaic Art Studio located in both Ottawa and London.
  2. In Toronto and Woodbridge, Pinot’s Palette hosts beginner painting classes along with wine & cocktails.
  3. Try creating pottery at Clay With Me in Toronto. Don’t miss out on creating your very own ceramic gingerbread house during the holidays!
For some interesting other classes to search for in your area this winter season, we recommend: 
  1. Cocktail making classes.
  2. Ariel yoga classes.
  3. Fitness classes like boxing, spin class or pilates.
  4. Archery or axe throwing lessons. 

Visit some winter festivals.

Although Ontario’s winter can be harsh, its festivity can not be denied! Cities and towns across the province host hundreds of winter festivals, a tradition that has kept Ontarians cheerful for the holiday season for ages. Check out our favourite winter festivals: 
  1. In Ottawa, experience the Winterlude where you can skate on the world famous Rideau Canal, shop at the Byward Market and view beautiful ice sculptures.
  2. In Toronto, Nathan Phillips Square showcases over 50 vendors and a lightshow, where all proceeds go to the NGO, Epilepsy in Toronto.
  3. Another Toronto favourite is the Distillery Districts Winter Village. With nearly 100 shops and food vendors it encompasses everything about the Canadian holiday season.
  4. In Vaughn, Canada’s Wonderland hosts a Winterfest with ice skating, live entertainment, and light shows.
  5. Niagara Falls holds its Winter Festival of Light which is a free-of-charge 8 km walking route, where visitors can enjoy lights, music, cuisine & fireworks. 

Couple Painting

Create a happier space.

Being inside as much as we are throughout the Ontario winter, calls for creating a space that keeps you happy. Personalizing your living space works wonders on your daily mood and allows you to exercise your creativity! 
When it comes to personalizing your space, here are some of our recommendations: 
  1. Frame photos! Run to Walmart, or even easier, order them online at Blacks to print your favourite memories and make your space, yours.
  2. Find your favourite calming scents and include them in your home. Weather its candles, diffusers, linen sprays or even dryer sheets, begin incorporating scents that you enjoy.
  3. Buy some plants! Plants are proven to improve mental health and liven any room.
  4. Paint a wall! Of course, if your landlord allows it, painting your walls can create a sense of self in your space. Pick a colour you love, we recommend warm toned shades, and make your space happier. 
We hope our list will help you enjoy your Ontario winter and help make this holiday season as cheerful as ever – happy holidays! 
Have recommendations for winter activities in Ontario? We’d love to hear them - let us know on our social media channels!