10 Ways to Spend Christmas Day in Toronto if You’re Not Celebrating
For many Toronto residents, Christmas Day is a time to eat, drink (lots) and be merry over gift exchanges, conversations with family and massive carb-filled feasts.
It’s also the one and only day of the year that Toronto is a ghost town when it comes to open establishments.
However, if you don’t celebrate the holiday (or just need a break from your extended family,) the good news is that you have other Christmas Day options than mowing down on whatever you have in your fridge and watching Netflix.
Here are 10 things to do in Toronto on Christmas Day if you’re not celebrating.
Catch a Movie
Most movie theatres – including the major players and the TIFF Bell Lightbox will be open on Christmas Day, offering a sometimes-needed escape from the overdose of cheer everywhere else.
Have a Skate Date
While others are indulging in calories, burn some even though the gym is closed at one of Toronto’s public skating rinks, most of which will remain open on Christmas Day.
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Hit the Aquarium
Take a trip under the sea at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada and bring along a niece or nephew if the gifts weren’t entertainment enough for them. The aquarium will be open for business as usual on Christmas Day.
See “Disney on Ice”
If you have a soft spot for Disney (and don’t we all), check out the annual “Disney On Ice” show at the Rogers Centre. There will be a Christmas Day performance at 4 pm.
Bowl Your Heart Out
Rock some retro bowling shoes and hit the Bathurst Bowlerama for a good, old-fashioned bowling match. The spot is open 10 am to 11 pm on Christmas Day.
Indulge in Chinese Food
Dim sum has always been a quick Christmas Day got-to in Toronto for those not celebrating. The strip of East-Asian restaurants along Spadina will be open for business in their delicious glory if turkey and fruitcake aren’t on the agenda.
Browse Pacific Mall
While every other major mall remains closed on Christmas Day, Markham’s Pacific Mall – the largest indoor Chinese mall in North America – will be open. Here, you’ll find all the cell phone accessories and gadgets you never knew you needed, in addition to clothing and a handful of restaurants.
Just because you’re either not celebrating or are simply not feeling the holiday spirit this year doesn’t mean you can’t use Christmas Day as an opportunity to give back by volunteering at a homeless shelter like the Yonge Street Mission or The Scott Mission by preparing and serving food for Christmas dinner. If spots are full, you could always assemble care packages for the homeless and distribute them yourself.
Do Dinner as Usual
Many may be surprised to know that you have more options when it comes to eating out on Christmas Day than we’ve historically seen – and we’re not just talking about the hotel restaurants. Spots like Vaticano, Lakeview Diner, the Drake Hotel and 7 West will open for business on Christmas Day.
Get Drunk at Bovine Sex Club
For anything other than that warm, fuzzy holiday feeling, get drunk and dirty at Queen West bar Bovine Sex Club this Christmas Night. As usual, the longtime rock n roll-inspired inspired watering hole will open for business with an open mic and no shortage of other non-celebrators and family avoiders.
Do you know any fun ways to spend Christmas Day in Toronto? Share with us in the comments.
Featured image: Instagram/ @jopangsim
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Erin is a Toronto-based writer, actor and queen of the side hustle. When she’s not writing the day away in a face mask, she’s taking in the city’s vibrant arts scene, doing a red carpet interview or brunching with her leading ladies. Follow me: @erinnicoledavis