1. Dog Sledding
Imagine leading your team of huskies through the forest and the rush of the cool wind in your face - this is truly a Canadian experience!
This is a great way to explore the beauty of winter by strapping on your snowshoes and walking across a frozen lake and through the forest, exploring all that nature has to offer during the winter season. Some places even offer moonlight snowshoe tours!
3. Tubing & Tobogganing
Imagine a giant inner tube in which you and your friends can sit and go sliding down the tubing hill – loads of fun for everyone! Tobogganing is a traditional fun thing to do in winter. As long as there is a small hill you’ll find young and old alike sliding down on their toboggans.
Snowmobile through the world’s largest network of snowmobile trails and spectacular winter scenery. This is an exciting way to travel across the 33,600 km of groomed trails in Ontario. A variety of experiences await you – some resorts offer guided excursions for beginners and other outfitters offer overnight excursions.
5. Ice Fishing
Once winter has settled in, and the lakes are solidly frozen, ice fishermen head out on the lakes with their wooden huts to partake in a favourite winter sport: ice fishing. Using an auger they drill a small hole in the ice and drop a line to catch white fish. Lake Simcoe, less than an hour’s drive north of Toronto is considered the ice fishing capital of Canada!
6. Ice Skating
There are many ice skating rinks in just about every town in Ontario but you can also skate on any frozen pond or small lake. One of the most famous places to skate in the winter months is the Rideau Canal in the nation’s capital Ottawa. This is the largest skateway in the world! In Toronto you can rent skates at Nathan Philips Square and skate on the outdoor rink right in front of city hall.
7. Nordic skiing, Downhill skiing and Snowboarding
Whether at a resort in the Muskokas or at a conservation area in the countryside, cross-country skiing is easy to do for just about everyone. There are hundreds of kilometres of groomed trails throughout the province in the winter months.
Though we don’t have mountains in Ontario, we do have large hills which provide for excellent downhill skiing especially for beginner and moderate skiers. The best known spot is just 2 hours north of Toronto in the town of The Blue Mountains. There are more than 35 runs and it’s also excellent for snowboarders! In Muskoka there are several downhill ski areas such as Moonstone, Horseshoe Resort and Hidden Valley.
Near Collingwood, just 2 hours north of Toronto, you can hike through the woods and explore some of the Niagara Escarpment’s uniquely formed caves.
9. Ice Climbing
Northern Ontario is ice-climbing country as there are hundreds of places for you to climb. From Thunder Bay to Red Rock and Marathon along the north shore of Lake Superior and Orient Bay on Lake Nipigon, dozens of ice-clad routes reach heights of more than 90 metres (300 ft.) and the waterfalls freeze so thick that the ice can stay until June.
10. Winter Festivals
We celebrate winter by having great outdoor festivals where young and old can enjoy the fun. From the Bon Soo Festival in Sault Ste. Marie in northern Ontario, to the Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls, to the Icewine Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake to Winterlude in the Nation’s capital, Ottawa – there are winter festivals throughout Ontario for you to experience a wide range of activities from maple syrup taffy pulls, tobogganing, chilli cook offs, Icewine tastings, dogsled races, horse-drawn sleigh rides and much more!