Winter tourism ideas in Ontario

Photographs courtesy of the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corp.

The best way to cope with winter is to celebrate it, not hide from it!
If you are new to this concept you may want to start slowly, perhaps with an inside and outside visit to the wonderful McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg / Vaughan. The gorgeous paintings, especially the works by Canada’s beloved Group of Seven, are inside the impressive museum; outside you can follow wooded trails and visit sculpture gardens designed to give you a sense of the land season-by-season. Help them celebrate their 50th birthday!

If you are an experienced winter celebrant, you may want to snowshoe your way through one of Ontario’s Provincial Parks and try some camping in a yurt, Ranger’s cabin, or even a tent. Perhaps you prefer the creature comforts of a first-class resort. In that case, make 2017 the year you learn to ski at Blue Mountain Resort, near Collingwood.
Do you have a daredevil spirit looking for a safe outlet? Try ice rock climbing. There are many opportunities for both the novice to the experienced mountaineer along the spine of the Niagara Escarpment. And everyone can find a winter festival that captures their imagination and gets them outdoors for a party.  

This year Ottawa is the place to celebrate: Every month there are special activities and events to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday and every year the celebrated  Winterlude / Bal de Neige --this year from February 3 to 20 -- makes the nation’s capital into winter’s playground.
The Rideau Canal becomes the world’s longest skateway, snow and ice sculptures populate the city with fantastic creatures and ice palaces, bands play outdoors and and so do children. If you can’t make it to Ottawa be sure to check the Events calendar at or call 1-800-ONTARIO (800-668-2746) to find a close and convenient Winter festival.  

Upcoming celebrations you should mark on your calendar include:

  • Barried Winterfest, Feb 4-5
  • Hamilton Winterfest, Feb 4-13
  • Snowman Mania, Wasaga Beach Feb 10-13
  • Brantford Frosty Fest, Feb 11-13
  • Family Days at Camebridge Butterfly Museum, Feb 18-20
  • Family Day in Cobourg, Feb 20
  • Bronte Creek Maple Syrup Festival, March 4-26