Whether you’re a cold-blooded adrenaline junkie or just killing time until the next season of Mad Men starts, winter offers plenty of worthwhile diversions well beyond the ski hill. Here, the best winter sports in Toronto.
Mush: Dog Sledding
Voyageur Quest offers dog-sledding experiences in Algonquin Park for anywhere from three hours to three days, complete with lessons and accommodations. No experience is required, and trips can be combined with backcountry skiing, snowshoeing and ice-fishing if harnessing a pack of dogs isn’t enough excitement for you. $185 pp/day trip, $684 pp/3-day trip. Voyager Quest, 416-486-3605.
Ascend: Ice Climbing
The definitive ice climbing experience in Ontario is just a couple hours away. After plunging your picks into towering walls of ice, another day at Joe Rockheads will seem impossibly mundane. $149. Muskoka Outfitters, 1-866-646-0492.
Of course, it took a Canadian to realize that the best way to enjoy winter is to tear past it at 80 km/h. Spectacle Lake Lodge is the premier destination for snowmobile enthusiasts – following the day’s adventure, park your ride at your private cabin and relax in front or in the outdoor hot tub. From $105/night. 613-756-2324.
Fly: Snow Kiting
Grab hold of a giant parachute-like kite and careen down a mountain at speeds that will make you pray for your own safety or, at least, a painless death. Plus, after catching 50-plus feet of air you can officially call every skier and snowboarder you know a pansy. Lessons from $283. PB Kiteboarding, 416-462-3791.
Image courtesy of Douglas Brown.