Traveling to Toronto in January

Weather, Events, and Travel Tips

Toronto Winter Evening
••• Toronto Winter Evening. Orchidpoet/Getty Images

January in Toronto may be cold but with many post-holiday sales and few crowds, it can be a good time to visit this Canadian city. Some people actually enjoy the cold and snow, so for them, Toronto and its metro area offer plenty to do to make the most of the winter season.

Toronto Weather in January

Toronto has cold, snowy winters. Visitors to Canada in January should be prepared for rain or snow, both of which are likely.

The subzero temperatures feel colder because of the wind chill factor. Nevertheless, if you're prepared, you can comfortably enjoy the Toronto winter. 

  • January average temperature: -2 degrees C (28 degrees F)
  • January average high: -1 degrees C (31 degrees F)
  • January average low: -7 degrees C (20 degrees F)  

What to Pack for Toronto in January

Be sure to bring clothing that can be layered. Although it's cold outside, indoor stores, theatres, and restaurants may be quite warm. Here's what to include in your suitcase. 

  • Long-sleeve shirts such as sweaters and sweatshirts
  • A heavy winter jacket, lighter jacket, or winter vest
  • Hat, scarf, and gloves or mittens
  • Closed-toe, comfortable waterproof shoes and boots
  • Umbrella

Toronto in January Perks

  • Toronto is a great shopping city any time of year, but with January comes exceptional sales as stores try to unload all their Christmas-time wares. 
  • With fewer tourists, it will be easier to get good tickets to shows.

    January Events and Festivals

    • New Year's Day: January 1 is a statutory holiday so expect many businesses, services, and government offices to be closed.
    • Gardiner Museum’s 12 Trees Exhibition: Since 1990, this annual tradition has been a way for people to celebrate the holiday season by viewing some amazing art installations. The exhibit begins in November and ends in early January.

    • Next Stage Theatre Festival: Produced by Toronto Fringe, this is the city's premier winter theater event where you'll see new works by established fringe artists.

    • Winterlicious: This series of culinary events and the ever-popular prix fixe promotion takes place at more than 220 Toronto restaurants. It's held late January to early February.
    • Harbourfront Centre: Located in the heart of Toronto's waterfront, you'll always find special artistic and cultural events at Harbourfront Centre.
    • The Natrel Skating Rink at Harbourfront Centre: Go skating on Canada's largest artificially frozen outdoor rink. Located on the Lake Ontario shoreline, this scenic rink is free and operates from November to March.
    • Canada's Top Ten Film Festival: This festival offers the best of international and Canadian cinema along with lectures, discussions, and workshops.
    • The Distillery Historic District: Check out tours and other special events in this village featuring unique stores, galleries, restaurants, theaters, cafes, and shops surrounded by Victorian Industrial architecture.

    Getting Out of the Toronto in January

    • Day trips out of Toronto: Within two hours of the city, you can visit plenty of historic towns and tourist attractions such as Niagara Falls, Wasaga Beach, and the Niagara Wine Region.