City of Toronto's Holiday Activities and Services

The City of Toronto encourages residents and visitors to take advantage of City programs and attractions offered during the year-end holiday period. Most City of Toronto operations and all municipal offices will be closed on Monday, December 26 and Tuesday, December 27, as well as Monday, January 2. City services that regularly operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week such as 311 Toronto and emergency services will be available. Information about curbside waste collection is provided later in this news release.

City Archives at 255 Spadina Rd., normally open on Saturday, will be closed on December 24 and 31 (Saturdays), as well as on the dates noted above for municipal offices in general.

Winter outdoor activities: Winter has arrived at Toronto’s parks, community centres and natural environments. More information about winter activities is available at http://www.toronto.ca/winter ("Welcome TO Winter Toronto").

Fitness, camps and recreation programs: The City offers fitness classes, weight rooms, camps and more, offering something for everyone. Community recreation centres will be open until 4 p.m. on December 24 and 31 (later for those with scheduled permits) and closed on December 25 and 26 and January 1. Some facilities may be closed during the holiday period for annual maintenance. More information and schedules are available at http://www.toronto.ca/rec or by calling 311.

Swimming: Drop-in swim programs at pools across the city make it convenient to "make a splash" this holiday season. Schedules vary by location and are available at http://www.toronto.ca/swim

Skating: The City offers a variety of free, leisure ice-skating programs for all ages and abilities at indoor arenas and outdoor rinks. Outdoor rinks that are open may be unsupervised. Indoor arenas will be closed on December 25 and 26 and January 1. Schedules vary by location. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/skate

Skiing/snowboarding: The City operates two ski/snowboard centres. Earl Bales Ski and Snowboard Centre will be closed on December 25. Centennial Park Ski and Snowboard Centre has not yet opened for the season. For updates and schedules: http://www.toronto.ca/ski

Riverdale Farm: The City's Riverdale Farm is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/parks/featured-parks or by calling 416-392-6794.

High Park Zoo: The High Park Zoo is home to domestic and exotic animals, including Toronto's famous capybaras Bonnie and Clyde, and is open daily from dawn to dusk. Admission to the zoo is free. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/parks/zoo/

Flower shows: Christmas flower shows at the City's Allan Gardens and Centennial Park conservatories are a tradition during the holiday season. The flower shows are open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until January 8 and admission is free. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/conservatories/.

Playground at Flemingdon Park: Playground Paradise at the Flemingdon Park Community Centre offers fun for children ages 12 years and younger. The fee is $2.50 per child for two hours. Holiday hours are available at http://bit.ly/1aZjJ4T or by calling 416-395-6014. The regular schedule resumes on January 7.

Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo will be open throughout the holiday period except on December 25. More information is available at http://www.torontozoo.com/.

Historic Sites 

Eight of the City's historic sites are offering holiday-themed events and tours for families and adults until January 3. Most of the historic sites are open daily except Mondays. All the sites will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day and on January 2. Highlights for individual locations are noted below. Times and participant age details for activities vary by day and by location. Holiday season admission prices apply. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/holidays.

Colborne Lodge (11 Colborne Lodge Dr., High Park): Visitors will experience a Victorian Christmas and toast the season with hot mulled cider by the woodstove.​

Fort York National Historic Site (250 Fort York Blvd.):  During special programming from December 27 to 31, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily, children can join the cooks in the historic kitchen to help make gingerbread cookies. Signup is in the Museum Store upon arrival for a tour of the fort – included with regular admission to Fort York.

Gibson House Museum (5172 Yonge St.): Visitors to Gibson House will experience the elegant traditions of the Scottish holiday season and learn how the Gibson family celebrated Hogmanay in the 19th century. On December 28 and 29, evening dinner events will celebrate the Scottish traditions of Hogmanay. Pre-registration with payment is required. Gibson House will be closed for maintenance from January 1 to 15.  

Mackenzie House (82 Bond St.): Visitors will learn the story of how families celebrated Christmas in 19th-century Toronto. Until December 24, children are invited to write a letter to Santa Claus during their visit and select a card from the 1845 printing press. From December 27 to January 3, children can make a New Year's Eve noisemaker in the print shop.

Market Gallery (95 Front St. E., second floor): The history and archeology of North America's longest continually running food market is revealed in a free Market Gallery exhibit that will run to March 18.

Montgomery’s Inn (4709 Dundas St. W.): The weekly farmers market will take a break on December 28, returning January 4. Montgomery's Inn will be open regular hours offering tours throughout the holiday season.

Scarborough Museum (1007 Brimley Rd.): Weekend visitors can sample hot chocolate and baked holiday goodies. On December 28 to 30 and January 3 to 6, the museum offers camps for children five to 12 years of age. Pre-registration is required online at http://www.toronto.ca/torontofun or by calling 416-338-4FUN (4386). 

Spadina Museum (285 Spadina Rd.): Visitors can experience a 1920s holiday season on a guided tour of Spadina Museum. Holly wreaths, evergreen garlands and mistletoe adorn the house. In the re-created 1930s kitchen, visitors can have holiday treats including mulled cider. 

Todmorden Mills Heritage Site (67 Pottery Rd.): Visitors can experience two different eras' Christmas traditions – the 1890s and the 1940s. The public can tour Todmorden Mills' two historic houses, sample historic recipes and create a take-home craft.

Special events

Two major City events are the annual New Year's Eve celebration at Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St. W., and Winterlicious 2017 (both highlighted below). The City's online Festivals and Events Calendar identifies many community events, on toronto.ca at http://bit.ly/2gc2B9B.

New Year's Eve at Nathan Phillips Square

Toronto will ring in the new year at Nathan Phillips Square on December 31, simultaneously launching a year-long Toronto celebration of Canada's 150th birthday known as TO Canada with Love. The countdown to 2017 will feature live musical performances, site animations, a skating party sponsored by Tim Hortons and midnight fireworks. New Year's Eve is presented by the City of Toronto in partnership with the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada. Details: http://www.toronto.ca/canada150.

Winterlicious culinary event

Advance tickets are now on sale for the culinary event series that will be part of Winterlicious 2017 starting in late January. The culinary series will feature nine one-of-a-kind cooking and dining experiences hosted by some of Toronto's finest venues and chefs. Details and ticket orders are available at http://www.toronto.ca/winterlicious.

Solid waste pickup

Given the days of the week that Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year's Day fall on, the three holidays have no impact on the daytime curbside residential collection schedule. All transfer stations and drop-off depots for residential drop-off of garbage, yard waste, recyclables, household hazardous waste and electronics will be closed on Boxing Day (Monday, December 26) and also on Monday, January 2, re-opening for business on Tuesday both weeks.

Depots for household hazardous waste and electronics drop-off will be open regular hours on Saturday, December 31. Only the Bermondsey, Ingram and Scarborough transfer station drop-off depots, which accept residential garbage, yard waste and recycling, will be open regular hours that day.

The City will not book any Toxic Taxi appointments to pick up household hazardous waste from residential properties from December 27 to 30.

Residents can check their collection calendar for residential schedule changes, or consult the chart (a PDF file) for details at http://www.toronto.ca/recycle.

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