What’s open and closed in the City of Toronto this holiday season

GTA Weekly News
Toronto's official Christmas tree

The City of Toronto encourages residents and visitors to have a relaxing and safe holiday season and wishes all a Happy New Year. Below are the City of Toronto activities with planned openings and closures for Saturday, December 23, through Monday, January 1, 2024.

Outdoor City events and locations:

Cavalcade of Lights
Enjoy glittering lights and public skating at Nathan Phillips Square until January 7. More information is available on the City’s Cavalcade of Lights webpage: www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/festivals-events/cavalcade-of-lights.

New Year’s Eve
Ring in 2024 with the largest fireworks display in Canada at midnight, visible from anywhere with a view of Toronto’s inner harbour. The celebration begins at 10 p.m. with DJs Sofia Fly and Cozmic Cat, followed by the countdown hosted by world-renowned drag entertainer Tynomi Banks at 11:30 p.m. Tune in to a livestream of the event via the City’s Culture YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/culture_to.

More information is available on the City’s New Year’s Eve webpage: www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/festivals-events/new-years-eve.

The City also encourages residents and visitors to take the TTC free from 7 p.m. on December 31 until 8 a.m. on January 1, 2024. More information about the holiday service schedule is available on the TTC’s website: www.ttc.ca/riding-the-ttc/Updates/Holiday-Service.

Welcome TO Winter
Skate under the stars, toboggan down scenic hills or explore snow-covered trails on cross-country skis. The City’s parks, outdoor ice rinks and trails are a true winter paradise for all ages, offering endless opportunities for outdoor fun. Visit the City’s Welcome TO Winter webpage to learn more: www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/festivals-events/welcome-to-winter.

Outdoor and indoor skating rinks
More than 50 outdoor ice rinks and skating trails are open daily during the holidays, offering family favourite activities, including free public leisure and figure skating, shinny, ringette, instructional programs and permits for a fee.

As weather fluctuates, skaters are encouraged to check the status of their local rink before heading out. Outdoor rinks operate from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. More information about outdoor skating rinks is available on the City’s Drop-in Skating webpage: www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/recreation/skating-winter-sports/public-leisure-skating/#location=&lat=&lng=.

Skate Lending Library
The Skate Lending Library is a City winter sports initiative, in partnership with Desjardins Financial Group, to support and engage children, youth, families and adults.  You can find the mobile Skate Lending Library at various locations across the city, providing access to skates, helmets and skating aids so all Toronto residents can try this Canadian winter pastime. The Skate Lending Library will be available every day over the holidays, including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Please check the schedule for upcoming times and locations on the City’s Skate Lending Library webpage: www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/recreation/skating-winter-sports/public-leisure-skating/skate-lending-library.

Public washrooms and portable toilets are available in many local parks and outdoor rinks through the winter months. To find the closest available park washroom, residents are encouraged to check the City’s Park & Recreation Washrooms & Drinking Water webpage: www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/recreation/washrooms-drinking-water-in-parks-recreational-facilities.

High Park animal display
Toronto’s oldest animal display is open daily over the long weekend between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Visitors heading to High Park are reminded that roads in the park will be closed to vehicular traffic for all three days of the long weekend. More information is available on the City’s Zoos & Farms webpage: www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/parks-gardens-beaches/zoos-farms/high-park-animal-display.

Riverdale Farm
Residents and visitors to Toronto can visit a working farm in the city’s centre. Riverdale Farm is open daily all weekend from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free. More information about the farm is available on the City’s Zoos & Farms webpage: www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/parks-gardens-beaches/zoos-farms.

Indoor City events and locations:

Toronto History Museums
All Toronto History Museums sites – except the Market Gallery – are open standard hours on December 24 and from December 27 to 31. More information and visiting hours are available on the City’s Toronto History Museums webpage: www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/history-art-culture/museums.

Free and ticketed seasonal activities celebrating light and joy are listed on the City’s Lots of Light webpage: www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/festivals-events/lots-of-light.

The Union Station indoor Roller Express Rink
The indoor rink will be available to the public throughout the holidays, except from December 24 to December 26. Learn more about the rink, including operating hours, on the City’s Union Winter webpage: www.torontounion.ca/tdunionwinter.

Community recreation centres
The City offers a variety of fitness classes and other drop-in recreation programming over the holidays. Community recreation centres will be open until 4:30 p.m. on December 24 and 31 (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 by calling 311 or visiting the City’s Recreation webpage: www.toronto.ca/rec.

Centennial Park Conservatory
Explore the Winter Flower Show at the City’s Centennial Park Conservatory until early January. The conservatory is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the holiday season. For additional details, visit the City’s Conservatories webpage: www.toronto.ca/conservatories/

Cultural Centres & Art Galleries
The Etobicoke Civic Centre Art Gallery is open standard hours during the holidays. Assembly Hall is open from December 27 to December 29 and will be closed on December 23 and December 30.

Clark Centre for the Arts and Cedar Ridge Creative Centre are closed from December 23 to January 1, 2024.

More information and visiting hours are available on the City’s Cultural Centres & Art Galleries webpage: www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/history-art-culture/cultural-centres-galleries.

City Civic Centres
Toronto City Hall, the City’s Civic Centres, tax and utility counters and the Toronto Archives are closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Stay safe this holiday season

Flu and COVID-19 vaccines
Stay up to date with flu and COVID-19 vaccines for the best protection against getting very sick. Vaccines are available at participating pharmacies across Toronto and some doctors’ offices. Residents are also encouraged to continue to practice self-protective measures to help reduce the spread of respiratory viruses by:
•       washing hands often and wearing a well-fitted mask in crowded indoor settings
•       staying home if sick and getting tested for COVID-19
•       covering your cough and getting COVID-19 treatment (if eligible).

Free COVID-19 rapid antigen tests are available at all Toronto Public Library branches and additional locations in Toronto, which can be found at www.toronto.ca/COVID19Testing.

More information on self-protective measures is available on the City’s Reduce Respiratory Virus Spread Guide webpage: www.toronto.ca/community-people/health-wellness-care/health-programs-advice/respiratory-viruses/covid-19/reduce-respiratory-virus-spread-guide.

Food safety
To ensure a delightful and worry-free holiday meal gathering with family and friends, residents are encouraged to visit Toronto Public Health’s Food Safety at Home webpage: www.toronto.ca/community-people/health-wellness-care/health-programs-advice/food-safety/food-safety-at-home. Discover tips on responsible food shopping and storage, food preparation and serving and learn how to store your food safely, even in the face of a power outage.

Those planning to dine out during the holiday can find food establishments’ food safety records through DineSafe. This valuable tool allows Toronto diners to make informed decisions about where to eat. More information is available on the City’s DineSafe webpage: www.toronto.ca/community-people/health-wellness-care/health-programs-advice/food-safety/dinesafe.

Fire safety
Fires are at their highest rate during the holidays as heating, holiday decorations, unattended cooking and candles can increase risk. The City encourages people to be mindful of fire safety this holiday by ensuring their smoke alarms work properly. Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home and tested every six months or as needed. More safety and fire prevention tips are available on the City’s website: ww.toronto.ca/community-people/public-safety-alerts/safety-tips-prevention.

Road restrictions and closures
Some events and critical City-led infrastructure work are in effect, which may impact holiday travel. Residents are encouraged to plan ahead and visit the City’s Road Restrictions & Closures webpage for more information: www.toronto.ca/services-payments/streets-parking-transportation/road-restrictions-closures/restrictions-map.

Garbage Collection and Recycling
There will be no service impacts for daytime curbside residential waste collection during the holidays. For nighttime curbside residential and commercial customers, there will be no collection on Monday, December 25 and all collections will occur the night after the regularly scheduled collection. On December 25 and January 1, 2024, drop-off depots and transfer stations will be closed to the public for drop-off of garbage, yard waste, recyclables, household hazardous waste and electronics. Christmas tree collection will take place on regularly scheduled garbage collection days in January. For more information, please visit the Holiday Collection & Drop-Off Depot webpage: www.toronto.ca/services-payments/recycling-organics-garbage/holiday-impacts.

SOURCE City of Toronto

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