Should I visit Toronto in January?

Am I crazy to consider a Toronto vacation in January? I’ve been there once and loved the city. I’d probably stay downtown, near or on Younge street and keep my itinerary to mainly the museums and perhaps the Toronto Symphony. It’s obviously not going to be a good time for neighbourhood strolling. I’m from Chicago, so the weather shouldn’t be too much of a shock. I won’t like the short days, January in Chicago means dark by 5 PM so I assume even shorter days in Toronto. At least I can assume there want be hordes of tourists then.

I had to work in Montreal one week per month for a year and a half. Which weeks perforce included winter. Nay, they included *two *winters. I’m familiar with Chicago winter. Montreal makes a Chicago February seem like early fall. I can’t speak to Toronto, but I agree you won’t have to worry about tourists in your way.

Toronto and Chicago have very similar weather. For all of the jokes about the Great White North, Toronto is the same latitude as Milwaukee.

If you are sticking to the downtown core, Yonge (note the spelling) west to Spadina, Bloor south to Front you can hit all the major sites including Roy Thompson Hall for the Symphony, Royal Ontario Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, the Eaton Centre, Chinatown, the CN Tower, Bloor St. shopping (high end Mag Mile type stores), etc. without being more than 4 or 5 blocks from the subway or streetcar.

And if the weather is truly frightening you’ll be surprised how much is accessible through underground concourses! If you’re from Chicago you already own the gear, (hat, coat, scarf, mittens, boots), and you know about weather, I think you’ll be just fine. It’s a total roll of the dice weather it’s sunny and balmy, winter wonderland, or polar vortex, of course. Are you driving? Flying? Train?

You’re from Chicago? I’m from Michigan, and I lived a year in the GTA, including multiple trips downtown. You’ll be just fine.

Yes, Chicago and Toronto are very similar climatically. Montreal is sharply colder because it’s away from the great moderating influence of the Lakes.

Are you going to be staying downtown? Because if not, be prepared for significantly-colder conditions in the northern suburbs.

Toronto will have an average daytime high of zero Celsius for January, so not as cold as much of Canada. However, it will be a rather unpleasant zero however with more wind rain and sleet than you would expect

My honest opinion: Try to find a better time to come.

All the “but Toronto isn’t any colder than Chicago” stuff is fine but the fact is the weather will suck by any objective standard. I wouldn’t visit Chicago in January, either. It will be cold and wet and unpleasant to be outside, and the inability to enjoy the outside is a serious downside.

Frankly, Toronto is also much UGLIER in winter. It’s grey and gross, with dirty snow piled up and mud and sand. The foliage is mostly all gone, robbing the city of much of its colour. It’s a lovely city in June so come then. Go somewhere warmer if you have time in January.

Toronto is no worse than Chicago. And sunset will be later because Toronto is west in its time zone and Chicago is, if anything, east in its. Today, the sun rises in Chicago at 7:07 and sets at 6:03. In Toronto, these times are 7:36 and 6:28, so just a couple minutes shorter.

I was just about to mention the PATH system. It goes all over the place downtown.

Downtown Toronto isn’t too bad in the winter. The buildings provide a bit of a windbreak and you can always duck into them to warm up a little. If you’re from Chicago and used to the cold you’ll feel right at home.

If you want to splurge on a hotel try The Royal York. At one point it was the fanciest hotel around. Still is. I like to look at all the old-timey pictures around the mezzanine. It has a steam sauna up in the workout room too.

Enjoy your visit, eh.

Toronto is a slushy mess in the winter. Still, there’s plenty to do inside.

As already said, Toronto winter weather is basically the same as Chicago. As a matter of fact, according to a quick lookup Toronto is actually warmer than Chicago in January – low 20°F, high 31°F compared to low 12°F and high 30°F for Chicago, though the information is from different sources.

Concur, however, that the city can be grungy in winter – very pretty at Christmas time if you happen to get a fresh snowfall, but frequently wet and gray and slushy. Toronto doesn’t get that much snow, though, compared to some other nearby areas, so streets and sidewalks are often dry.

And yes, Montreal is a whole different story. Much colder, and much more snow.

Well, for better or for worse, I’m visiting Toronto in January 2016. The inexpensive flights on Porter from Midway to City airport sealed the deal. My birthday is in January and I’m tired of sunbelt cities

Be sure to report back; we’d like to hear of your exploits.

Is poutine Quebecois only or an all-Canada event? Enquiring minds and all that. …

When you get out of customs, just head for the tunnel to the mainland. You’ll come up the elevators, walk outside, and there should be a whole row of taxis waiting. The ferry is quaint, but in January the brand new tunnel will be much more pleasant!