Toronto is a sprawling city, with the Greater Toronto area encompassing over 7,100 km2, but the heart of town is actually just a few city blocks — and it’s where many of the best February events and attractions are. All month long, you’ll find an amazing array of exciting things to do in Old Toronto, within a few blocks of your home base. Here are just some of the adventures on offer…

Toronto Light FestivalJanuary to March

The Distillery District’s Toronto Light Fest is an antidote to the darkness of our winter days. Take in this celebration, created by local and international artists, from the area’s historic cobblestones. Afterwards, hit any of the Distillery’s many fantastic restaurants for a warming meal, then top off the night with a Mexican hot chocolate from Soma Chocolatiers.

Family Day — February 18
This is Ontario’s newest holiday, officially created in 2008 as a way to break up the long winter. If you’re here over that long weekend, spend it immersing yourselves in the history of Toronto at the Fort York National Historic Site, with all kinds of hands-on activities, pop-up shows and multi-dimensional exhibits. During the day, visit the fort’s 1826 kitchen and sample some baking and hot chocolate from the stone hearth. In the evening, enjoy family-friendly performances, activities and face painting.

The Hockey Hall of Fame is also assisting with some Family Day fun that’s bound to light the lamp. Try your hand at goaltending, shooting and play-by-play calling. Take in the new Mask exhibit, an homage to puck stoppers past and present featuring 90 goalie masks. Then get a family portrait with the coveted Stanley Cup!

Winterlicious — on until February 7

Explore Toronto’s fabulous food culture at Winterlicious where, for a limited time. three-course prix fixe menus are offered at nearly 200 Toronto restaurants. Here is just a sampling of the many fine Old Toronto establishments that are participating:

  • Barsa Taberna transports you to Barcelona with its contemporary Spanish décor and cuisine that has its roots in the Iberian Peninsula.
  • Café Nicole, conveniently located in the Novotel Toronto Centre, features a menu that is based in tradition and infused with local flavours.
  • The Chefs’ House at George Brown College is where the school’s chefs in training show off their skills! The resto’s globally influenced food is made from local produce using copious amounts of burgeoning talent.

Soulpepper’s Rose — to February 24
Soulpepper Theatre’s largest and most ambitious production to date, this brand new musical centres on Rose, a quiet kid from the town of Somewhere who’s a little different and knows it. Created for “everyone from five to 105,” Rose is playing at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in the Distillery District. While you’re there, visit the beautiful shops and galleries, and have a snack at one of the district’s many and varied restaurants. 

Black History Month at Mackenzie House —  February 2 to February 24
Visit Mackenzie House on Bond Street any weekend in February to learn about some of the Black Victorians of Toronto, with a focus on those who published newspapers. Take home a memento of this important history in the form of a souvenir copy of Mary Ann Shadd Cary’s newspaper, The Provincial Freeman, rendered in the museum’s replica 1850s printshop.

The Sunday Antique Market — every Sunday

Every week more than 90 vendors of antiques and collectibles hawk their wares at the Sunday Antique Market at 125 The Esplanade in the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood. This alluring trip down memory lane is fun for the whole gang. Practice your bartering skills! Grab a snack! Try to resist buying something!

Any of our downtown hotels put you within walking distance of Old Toronto. Take full advantage of that and enjoy your stay in Canada’s most vibrant city.

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