Is it even possible to make winter enjoyable for someone who hates the cold?
Even as someone who’s had to endure the frigid Canadian winters for the last 25 years of my existence, I absolutely dislike everything about winter.
I will never appreciate the below zero temperatures, the salty slush lining the streets (and destroying my fabulous shoes), or the fact that I’m always either freezing or sweating (and nothing in-between).
Do Torontonians ever get used to winter?
I mean, life in Toronto is pretty great, but sometimes the harsh winters make me question why I love living here so much.
For every other Toronto person out there who hates cold weather, here are my winter survival tips so you can make the most of the brutal winter season.
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1. Wake up earlier
Yawn, who wants to wake up at 7 AM during the winter (especially if I’m working from home)?
If you’re not much of a morning person, maybe it’s about time to finally become one.
With daylight savings, the sun rises earlier and sets earlier, and don’t ya wanna max the amount of sunshine you get in a day?
I personally am much more productive early in the morning than I am late at night, but I’m saying that as a morning person myself.
2. Keep winter essentials on-hand
Runny noses, chapped lips, and dry hands are some of the downfalls of winter.
As someone with eczema, dry skin ain’t no fun.
Perhaps hand sanitizer is something we should keep on-hand as well for winter!
I have a separate blog post all about the best moisturizers for dry skin, for my fellow dry skin peeps.
3. Keep your skincare routine in check
A skincare routine is always important, but it’s especially important to keep your skin well-hydrated during the drier Toronto winters.
Especially for my fellow eczema sufferers!
A good moisturizer is of course important, but it might be nice to have extra hydrating skincare products in your daily routine.
4. Invest in warm winter gear
Standing in the cold while freezing your toes off is not fun.
While you may not be standing outside for hours on end in the winter cold (like Adam has made me for sneaker releases), you still don’t want to be freezing your booty off on your walk to the grocery store or subway station.
Invest in a warm winter coat and boots, and don’t forget to always keep a toque and mittens in your pockets!
I’ve been wearing Canada Goose jackets every winter for almost a decade now – they offer free lifetime warranty, but their jackets literally last forever.
They’re a Canadian brand (obvs), and their jackets are also all Canadian-made!
If Canada Goose jackets are a bit too pricy (they typically range between $800-$1000), The North Face and Columbia are both also great options for warm and great quality winter jackets in the $200-$400 range.
I’ve been wearing the UGG Adirondack Boots for the last couple of winters, and they’re great.
They are a little bulky, so I definitely prefer them for doing outdoor activities like hiking in the snow.
I recently got Call It Spring’s Frosted Boots, which are just as warm, and a lot more comfortable to slip on and walk around in the city!
The UGGs are rated for -32 degree weather and the Call It Spring boots are rated for -30 weather, so there’s not much of a difference.
5. Find a favourite hot drink
Whether it’s your classic double-double or a festive holiday-flavoured latte, having your go-to hot drink will warm you up and make you feel even just a bit better about the cold.
I dunno about you, but taking that first sip of hot coffee every morning while cozied up in a warm sweatshirt and sweatpants is so satisfying.
If you’re able to, definitely hit up local coffee shops in your area and find your new fave hidden gem!
And if you’re on a budget (comme moi), grab your fave coffee beans or even some flavoured instant coffee and make it yourself at home.
6. Treat yourself to hot comfort foods
One of my favourite things about living in downtown Toronto: all the incredible food options available.
I particularly enjoy eating hot soups like ramen or pho during the colder weather.
Here are some of my fave local soup spots, if you’re looking to try new Toronto restaurants:
- Sansotei Ramen
- Touhenboku Ramen
- Kinton Ramen
- Pho Hung (in Chinatown)
- Pho Xe Lua (also in Chinatown)
- Niuda Hand-Pulled Noodles (read my restaurant review)
I’d recommend ordering takeout or delivery straight from restaurants (so they get 100% of the fees), but you can also order it on Toronto food apps!
7. Cook up fall/winter recipes
Does anyone else get super lazy during the colder months?
I still have to cook for Adam and I, and I’ve been trying to make more fall/winter recipes so we can ~embrace~ the colder weather and make winter a little more enjoyable.
Just Google or Pinterest some recipe ideas, or even whip up something on your own in the kitchen!
Here are a few recipes I’ve made or plan on making this winter:
8. Grab DAVIDsTEA’s Cold 911
One way you can absolutely make winter more enjoyable: not catch any (bad) colds.
DAVIDsTEA’s Cold 911 is amaze for colds, y’all – and it’s organic and natural!
The Headache Halo is also great for headaches, in case you forget to wear a hat and get headaches from the winter wind.
9. Stock up on propolis spray
We literally always have Beekeeper’s Naturals propolis spray in our household at all times, and we always have extras.
It’s amazing for cold symptoms and sore throats, and we even take it when our throats are itchy to help prevent colds.
Plus, it tastes delicious – just like honey! 😉
The only ingredients are bee propolis extract, vegetable glycerin, and purified water, and it’s sustainably sourced here in Canada!
10. Get outside and do winter activities
Go outside in the freezing cold?! Am I crazy?!
Okay dudes, winter really isn’t that bad if you do something fun.
As long as you’re dressed warmly and prepared with all the essentials, you’ll be totally fine!
It’s also super important to get Vitamin D, so you should go outside and get dat sunshine when you can.
The city is opening up some outdoor skating rinks this winter (with limited capacities), and if you live outside of Toronto, you can do some pretty winter hikes in the snow.
If anywhere in your community offers safe, socially-distanced tubing or skiing, that’s another great option!
I personally like more active activities during the winter, ’cause taking leisurely walks through the Distillery District in -20 weather is torture (although super nice).
How to make winter more enjoyable:
- Wake up earlier
- Keep winter essentials on-hand
- Keep your skincare routine in check
- Invest in warm winter gear
- Find a favourite hot drink
- Treat yourself to hot comfort foods
- Cook up fall/winter recipes
- Grab DAVIDsTEA’s Cold 911
- Stock up on propolis spray
- Get outside and do winter activities
Cold weather ain’t fun for anyone, but there are definitely ways to make winter more enjoyable (or at least more bearable).
Be sure to check out some local tours as well, if you’re looking to do some fun and unique activities.
What are your tips on how to make winter more enjoyable? I’d love to know in the comments!
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