It’s always tempting to get away this time of year, as the frost crystalizes on the corners of your windows and the fire is never quite warm enough. Unfortunately, many of us are bound to the city by the shackles of time, commitments to the kids, or that untimely Christmas party invite. Whether you’ve got a few days or just 24-hours to escape it all, here are a few winter escapes from Toronto that won’t take you more than 200km away…
As the list of well-deserved accolades lengthens with every year, Langdon Hall still remains one of the premiere quick escapes from the city of Toronto. Claiming the Conde Nast Traveler Readers Choice Award for best hotel in Canada for the third year running, their exquisite guest rooms and 5-star spa are reason enough to head west this winter. Pair that along with Executive Chef Jason Bangerter’s recent arrival from the Oliver & Bonacini clan and you know you’ll be kept in good hands.
It’s undoubtedly going to get busy around the base of the regions largest ski area – and though it may seem oxymoronic to describe any ski area in Southern Ontario large, this is the best a ski bum will get. With a swath of heavy snowfall of late resorts like Blue Mountain are already counting their green as a white Christmas rolls in. Book a resort package with them that includes everything from hotel and lift tickets, to Scandinavian spa packages for those averse to the alpine. Alternatively, shack up in your own private cabin and bring the amenities to you.
Need to stay somewhat close to the city, but dying to escape all the yuletide hullabaloo? Just over an hour outside of town you’ll hit the Mad Maple Country Inn in Creemore. The neighbouring Noisy River Provincial Park is the perfect setting for a sunny day of snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. As soon as you return to the elegantly converted 19th century farmhouse the smell of Miriam’s baked goods will set your soul at ease as you settle into the soft couches and take a sip from your pint of locally crafted beer.
An obvious destination for wine lovers… and lovers in general, Niagara-on-the-Lake is that charming little Victorian town that strikes the perfect balance between doing and not having to do. Tour the vineyards and sample the sweet, frost-kissed Icewine at the Niagara Icewine Festival and then cozy up in the hot tub at the historic Davy House Bed and Breakfast… or just never leave at all.
If you’re the kind of vacationer that pangs for something different, you’re down to earth, and don’t mind sleeping a couple centimeters above its frozen surface then yurt camping might be for you. There are a host of ‘hotspots’ for such an experience. Consider the Pinery Park on the Lambton Shores, MacGregor Point Provincial Park near the South Bruce Peninsula, or get crafty and build your own backyard haven.