Story Ideas

Best of: Great ways to chill indoors this winter

Whether you’re looking for spas, shops, arts & culture or farmers markets, Canada offers plenty of indoor fun

19 December 2012

Feel the healing powers of a waterside spa
My shoulders always drop before lulling ocean waves so a waterfront massage spells pure bliss. Nestled in the Northumberland Hills overlooking Lake Ontario, Ste. Anne’s Spa offers seasonal comforts like a peppermint and hot chocolate foot soak followed by a tingling deep tissue massage. Visit Montréal’s Bota Bota, a floating spa on the St. Lawrence River, your portal to plunge pools, saunas, and invigorating body treatments. Unwind in the forested sanctuary of famed Ancient Cedars Spa in Tofino, where hypnotic ocean waves echo locally inspired treatments – think body wraps with seaweed harvested off the coast of Vancouver Island.

Take in arts and culture
In the rich, vibrant colours of Frida Kahlo’s paintings, you may find traces of her fiery relationship with Mexican artist Diego Rivera. Warm up with some 70 works on exhibit at Frida & Diego: Passion Politics and Painting, at the Art Gallery of Ontario until Jan.  20, 2013. If you can’t see Frida & Diego before they go, then next up at the AGO is the exhibit, Revealing the Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Early Florentine Art, March 16 to June 16, 2013. Swing over to the Royal Ontario Museum where the exhibit, Ultimate Dinosaurs: Giants from Gondwana brings prehistoric dinosaurs roaring to life using augmented reality, but only until March 17, 2013. 

Delve into the world of science
Poised like a silver golf ball on the stunning False Creek seawall, Science World in Vancouver has just completed a $35-million makeover. Kids can get all hands-on and giggly about their bodies at the new BodyWorks exhibit where arcade-style games blend comedy with cutting edge camera technology. Don’t miss the new engineering lab and special exhibits along with faves like the OMNIMAX theatre and piano walk. 

Shop chic neighbourhoods
Canada is a catwalk for indie fashions and trendy boutiques. The Bloor-Yorkville corridor of Toronto is all see-and-be-seen restaurants, art galleries, and upscale boutiques, while the vibe on Queen Street West leans more to bohemian fashions and retro finds. The red carpet in Montréal unfurls along Boulevard St. Laurent and Mont-Royal Avenue where the über-chic and funky compete for European-inspired clothing, furniture and antiques. Yaletown’s cobblestone streets in Vancouver attract movie stars, foodies and fashionistas for everything from Pacific Northwest art to couture-inspired West Coast wear.

Check out indoor farmers markets
Full of fascinating locals – the guy obsessed with Québec cheeses, the singing artisanal chocolate maker – Canadian farmers markets let you sample local Fundy salmon or take home a handcrafted leather handbag. Here are some of the best winter markets across Canada:

City Market Downtown, Edmonton, Alberta
Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market, Fredericton, New Brunswick.
Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Jean-Talon Market, Montréal, Quebec
ByWard Market, Ottawa, Ontario    
Marché du Vieux-Port de Québec, Québec City, Quebec
Saskatoon Farmers Market, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
St. Lawrence Market , Toronto, Ontario
Granville Island Public Market, Vancouver, British Columbia
The Forks Market, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Charlottetown Farmers Market, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

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