Thursday, December 3, 2015

From outdoor skating to indoor retail therapy,
the city's best coffee to its best dinners, we've got you covered if you're in
town for this fine holiday.
If you find yourself in Toronto during the holiday season,
fret not; there are a spate of options open to the public that you can enjoy
should hotel or cabin fever hit.
A Toronto Christmas can start with a good cup
of steaming joe and move on to grabbing a pair of skates and hitting the
ice—there's something for everyone during what crooner Andy Williams calls
"the most wonderful time of the year." Fuel the Day A good cup of coffee
is paramount to most Torontonians.
Go ahead and make your wise cracks about
this country's baffling love of Tim Horton's, but for the good stuff, check in
with Manic Coffee on College Street at Bathurst for a perfectly pulled
espresso (until 3 p.m.).
Or grab a late breakfast at Bar Italia down the
street, where a good frittata and eggs Florentine await.
Retail Therapy If you're in the mood to pick up a few keepsakes or
perhaps want to buy a little something for yourself, head north to Markham to
get your fix of holiday retail therapy.
You'll feel as though you've stepped
into a downtown Hong Kong mall, when in fact you're at The Pacific Mall, North
America's largest indoor Chinese mall.
With its various high tech shops, Asian
fashion stores, and food stalls (if it's open, check out Sun's Kitchen for the
Northern Chinese, hand-pulled noodles), the vibe is Blade Runner meets
Chinatown, with a little holly jolly thrown in.
The Great Outdoors For a truly Canadian kind of holiday experience, lace
up and hit the ice at one of the city's many skating rinks.
Until 10 p.m., you
can skate to your heart's content at the Colonel Sam Smith Skating Trail, the
city's first outdoor trail, shaped in the form of a figure eight.
Evergreen
Brickworks also boasts an al fresco outdoor rink in the Don Valley, as does
Nathan Phillips Square, right in front of City Hall (skate rentals
on-site).
Down by the waterfront, you can always count on the Natrel Rink at
the Harbourfront Centre to provide some smooth ice and, on weekends, a live DJ
to enhance the atmosphere.
Scenic Sightseeing If you'd prefer to stick to snow boots over skates,
take a walk through some of the city's historic neighborhoods.
When it snows,
they take on a peaceful, hushed tone, perfect weather for exploring.
There's
Roncesvalles or High Park in the west end, and in the center of the city, the
Annex and Yorkville.
The latter two are both close to the historic buildings
adorning the University of Toronto campus.
You might also want to traipse
through The Beach on the east end, replete with a wide boardwalk, minus the
palms.
Catch a Film The TIFF Bell Light Box and other theaters across the city
are open, which means that you'll have your pick of the seats and first-run
films.
Grab some popcorn and settle in.
Evening Sustenance When it's time to nosh, you've got a good selection at
your disposal.
Since most hotels will have at least one restaurant open to the
public on Christmas Day, they're a sure bet.
Head over to the Four Seasons'
Cafe Boulud for French bistro fare with flair.
The Thompson hotel's diner is
open, serving up comfort food favorites like poutine and pastrami reubens, as
is Mark McEwan's One Restaurant in tony Yorkville (Turkey dinner's on offer
most Christmas days).
If you're craving Japanese, College Street's Hapa
Izakaya and Guu SakaBar are sure to fill the bill.
Mary Luz Mejia covers Toronto for Travel + Leisure.
Follow her on Twitter.
If you find yourself in Toronto during the holiday season,
fret not; there are spate of options you can enjoy should hotel or cabin fever
set in.

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