Off the Slopes: Don’t Dismiss the Rest of Ontario

It’s no secret that one of the big things that bring people to Canada during the winter months is the skiing. Out west, there’s the world-famous Whistler Blackcomb, but even here in Ontario, skiing is a major tourist attraction. Even still, it’s hardly all that the province has to offer. Don’t believe the stories of bone-chilling cold and unbelievably short days. These stories are true, but don’t let them fool you. Starting with Toronto and in many towns throughout Ontario, Canadians have no trouble getting through the winter with the season-long festival they seem to throw. Early darkness is a cause for celebration during the Toronto Light Festival which just happens to center around the historic Distillery District.

Better yet, despite this perpetual cheer and festivities, the discounts that come with the offseason for tourists are in full force. You get to immerse yourself in a more authentically Canadian experience at bargain prices. Thinking about splurging on a higher-end spot with these discount rates in effect? Take a look at the Chelsea Hotel with its glass-enclosed rooftop gym, pool, and entertainment area. Maybe skiing isn’t your only winter sport, and you’re interested in the Hockey Hall of Fame. There’s plenty of dining, shopping, and microbrews all within walking distance. It’s an easy walk too with the enormous underground walkway system, known as PATH.

It can be difficult to convince skiers to take a day off their ski trip or to leave an extra day or two in the vacation planning to see one of the premier cities in North America as well as other cultural touchstones. If you’re a die-hard skier who can’t get enough, we’re not going to try to convince you to be someone you’re not. But otherwise, you’re really doing yourself a disservice by holing yourself up in a mountain resort during the entire holiday.