When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade, so the saying goes. And when Ontario hands you winter, you do the very same: You get out there and enjoy it. On top of the full urban experience associated with living at 8888 Yonge, you’re also close to a multitude of outdoor pursuits in Richmond Hill—fun ways to recharge by getting in touch with nature. Embracing all the fun and festivity that the winter season brings to this neck of the woods is a great opportunity to get some exercise and enjoy time together with family and friends.
1. Throw a skating party at Richmond Green Skate Trail
The 250-metre looped trail in this natural setting brings with it breathless fun and rosy cheeks. The trail also has lights for nighttime skates, along with heated washrooms and changerooms. Plus, it’s open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. right up until March.
Where: 1300 Elgin Mills Road East (next to the Tom Graham Arena)
If and when you want to explore further, other outdoor rinks in the region include Mill Pond at 321 Mill Street and Crosby Park at Crosby Avenue and Newkirk Road.
Richmond Hill’s plethora of indoor rinks have well-managed schedules and programs for people of all ages and stages, for recreational skating and shinny, birthday party fun or learn-to-skate programs.
- Tom Graham Arena Complex, 1300 Elgin Mills Road
- Bond Lake Arena, 70 Old Colony Road
- Ed Sackfield Arena, 311 Valleymede Drive
- Elgin Barrow Arena, 43 Church Street South
- Elvis Stojko Arena, 350 16th Avenue
2. Take everybody tobogganing
And really, you don’t have to leave this activity with just the youngsters. Young-at-hearts will also get a nostalgic kick out of this ultra-Canadian tradition. At Hunter’s Point Wildlife Park, the toboggan run is long and wide open, leading right into Chapman Park. This beautiful park and conservation area makes for a very enjoyable afternoon.
Where: Hunter’s Point Drive and Highway 7
3. Escape for a walk in the woods
There’s nothing like the solitude of a quiet hike through Oak Ridges Trail. This hiking system takes over more than 160 kilometres of moraine trail, offering routes of varying difficulty, perfect for a recreational romp outside on a fresh winter day. And you certainly don’t have to go it alone—bring your friends and make the outing time for catching up. Snowshoe and cross-country ski trails are also part of the plan here.
Where: Yonge Street north of Stouffville Road
4. Hit the slopes!
With a vertical drop of more than 30 metres, and slopes averaging 300 metres in length, Uplands Golf & Ski Club is the perfect environment for recreational skiiers of all ages, but especially for children. Enjoy 20 trails reached by nine lifts.
Where: 46 Uplands Avenue
Though not a huge hill, The Earl Bales Ski and Snowboard Centre has a variety of programs for skiers and snowboarders. And hanging out in the park itself can make for a lovely afternoon. Bring your sunglasses.
Where: 4169 Bathurst Street
5. Go flat out on the cross-country ski trails
Albion Hills Conservation Park is a natural heritage site on almost 450 hectares of forested land within the Humber River Watershed, open since 1955. Its ski-trail system includes almost 30 kilometres of terrain for winter fun.
Where: 16500 Peel Regional Road 50, Caledon
6. Take in a winter festival
WinterFest at Canada’s Wonderland dials up the holiday cheer with a full spectacle of holiday lights and decoration, live entertainment and delicious treats. This could be your new holiday tradition in the making, perfect for groups large or small—and for kids big and small, too.
Where: 1 Canada’s Wonderland Drive, Vaughan
The Richmond Hill Winter Carnival on February 1 and 2, 2020, is a weekend of fun that doesn’t hold back. The lineup from previous years has included skating and snowboarding, a pond hockey tournament, horse-drawn sleigh rides, a rock-climbing wall, bed races and pony rides. Come for the children’s midway—but stay for the pancake breakfast.
Where: Mill Pond, 321 Mill Street
Richmond Hill really does have a lot to choose from when it comes to squeezing everything out of winter, all within a snowball’s throw of 8888 Yonge. This season, staying indoors is not an option!