Niagra & Toronto in January?

Mar 22nd, 2005, 08:23 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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Niagra & Toronto in January?

We are limited in our travel times and are contemplating taking the family to either Niagra/Toronto or Montreal/Quebec early next January. What are your thoughts? What will be closed in the Niagra area? Is this just a miserable time of year to be there? We have 2 teens (18/16) and an 8 yr old.
leahinsc is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2005, 08:59 AM
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if you can postpone it to the end of january, the quebec winter carnival is usually on that time of year. suppose to be a lot of fun.
personally, seeing the niagara falls in january would just make me cold and want to return to the hotel room and fire place.
toronto in january - would never spend $1 to go there then.
ltt is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2005, 10:18 AM
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Just curious as to why Itt is so anti-toronto. Is that just Toronto in the winter or anytime?
We may be limited by vacation time and have to take it when they are off school which is usually the first week in January. Maybe we'll just look at a long weekend in Quebec in late January to catch the festival and then save Niagra for a summer or early fall trip.
leahinsc is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2005, 03:17 PM
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I have to agree with ltt. Toronto is my hometown and frankly, I am not overly excited about the city in general. That been said, there are certainly nice places one can see out here; I just think that you couldn't possibly pick a worse time to visit this city than January. Weather here is very frosty during winter, especially so January through end of March (December, IMHO, is more bearable). Considering that most of the sights are close to Lake Ontario (=stronger windchill), don't expect to enjoy your strolls. There is an 'underground town' of sorts, but being confined to the endless shops that make it up is not my idea of fun.

The thought of visiting Niagara in January makes me shudder.

Please note that I have extremely low tolerance for cold, so I might be exaggerating things a bit, but yeah. Wouldn't pay a nickel for a trip to Toronto in January.

Montreal/Quebec might be a better idea, although generally, Montreal is even colder than Toronto.

My two cents' worth.

Razzle_Dazzle is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2005, 03:45 PM
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It depends on what temperatures you are used to and having appropriate clothing. There is a certain magic to the Niagara River in winter with all the ice but yes it can feel cold. Some places in Niagara Falls do close in winter but lots are open. January would not be anybody's first choice of time for a visit to Toronto but it is not (usually) that bad. It will likely be colder in Quebec. If January is your chance to travel then travel in January!
Gavin is offline  
Mar 30th, 2005, 08:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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I agree with Razzle a fellow canuk I can say the same. Its just too darn cold and miserable to do much sightseeing in January.

Most of us hibernate or go south ourselves to avoid the cold, there is no way I would pay to come here in Jan.
fille26 is offline  
Apr 4th, 2005, 10:56 AM
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I live within an hour and a half of both Toronto and Niagara, and there's lots to do in the winter. Just bundle up. One advantage is that hotel prices in Niagara are considerably cheaper that time of year and the crowds are "much" thinner. All of the indoor Niagara attractions are open (museums, butterfly and bird conservatories, Imax, Casinos, etc.). The Maid of the Mist and Marineland are closed. There is a special Festival of Lights (Christmas displays) in Niagara which I think runs through January. And the falls themselves are still spectacular. The shops and restaurants in the nearby historic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake will be open (the Shaw Festival Theatre is not), and the many wineries of the region are all open if tasting interests you. In Toronto, there is the Royal Ontario Museum (great mineral and geology displays, dinosaurs, archeological finds, etc.), the Ontario Science Centre (very popular with kids and teens - interactive), and the world-class Toronto Zoo are open (the latter has indoor as well as outdoor exhibits). Live Theatre is popular year round. All specialty and ethnic shopping/restaurant areas continue to be open (e.g. trendy Yorkville, bustling Chinatown, Little Italy and fun Greektown on the Danforth - although you'll miss the atmosphere of the summertime sidewalk patios). Cross-country skiing can be done in the Zoo, along the Niagara Parkway and in various other parks outside the city. In fact, the "cottage-country" resorts a couple of hours north of Toronto are quite popular in winter for winter activities (check out the Muskoka and Algonquin areas if this interests you).

So - whether you find it miserable has a lot to do with your ability to try to ignore the cold and focus on fun activities. Some people can do this, others can't. Good luck!
Apr 4th, 2005, 11:33 AM
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Thanks so much for all of your feedback. It looks like we maybe going to Quebec/Montreal instead.
leahinsc is offline  
Apr 19th, 2005, 10:40 AM
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Hello again - Regardless of what some of the posters say above, I still think there would generally be more choice of things to do and see in a Toronto-Niagara itinerary in January, versus Montreal-Quebec City. Especially with kids. And the weather definitely will NOT be better in Montreal - in fact, it's typically colder with more snow than Toronto.

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