Yes, Canadian winters are harsh and so are winters in many other parts of the world. So when I was moving to Toronto earlier this year, many people warned me about the freezing cold minus temperatures I would be experiencing this year. Having lived in London, I had an idea of how depressing winters can get and I was dreading the season in anticipation. But you've gotta keep going, whatever the weather. So here are a few tips to keep yourself active and out of winter depression:
1. Ice Skating: With the amazing winter gear you get here in Canada (Down Jackets, face covering woollies, gloves and snow boots) you don't have too much of an excuse for staying indoors. While you might not like getting out everyday, 1-2 times a week is very much doable. At the onset of winter, ice rinks become active around all neighbourhoods, some indoors while others outdoors, so its a great outlet and exercise to beat that winter muffin and coffee fat with ice skating at least once a week. Ice skates are quite inexpensive to get starting at about $30. Or you could just rent them at the rink if you like.
2. Warm up and Host: Yes, all those summers you've been busy with outdoor activities, lazing around on beaches or perhaps been out of the country - so no one minds that you've been out of touch with some of your local friends but its time to get back in touch again. Winters are an excellent time to starting hosting some dinner / tea parties at your place. Sitting by the fireplace with a warm coffee, chit chatting away with a group of friends is an ideal activity for when outdoors just doesn't seem fun at all! While most people have already done that around christmas and new years parties - winters are long and cold enough to continue the trend even after the holiday season.
3. Indoor Shopping Malls: Another escape from boredom is your nearest shopping mall. Not only can you do most of your shopping without having to go to the cold parking lot every now and again, but it also gives you a good opportunity to walk your legs. (some of the bigger malls are quite a walk, and sometimes people visit malls just for a walk!)
4. Read: Have you been putting off that book you were reading because summer outdoor activities were just so much more attractive? Well now is the time to catch up on your reading while you sip your hot tea or coffee, snuggled in the cozy blanket. (Or blog like me :-) - it's great way to stay busy if you're more a of a writer than a reader)
5. Visit Museums: Another indoor activity for your winter weekends. ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) in downtown Toronto is on my winter to-do list. I have been going to downtown all summer but getting into a museum on a bright sunny afternoon for 3 hours just always lost its chance against cycling around or walking by the high street.
6. Join a class/ Watch a Performance: Art, craft, baking and other interesting classes run all the year round at different community centers. Perhaps now is the time to take up a class in a warm indoor classroom environment. Check out Living Arts for not just courses but also other events and theatrical performances taking place during the winters.
7. Ski: If you're more adventurous for the list above, skiing is definitely one of the best activities during winters. Two great locations to skii are: Blue Mountains Ski Resort & Kelso Conservation Area. I'm sure there are many more near your area but these are two I have personally been to and loved!
Cheer up! Happy Winters!!!