We know it’s a cliché, but it’s true - each year seems to pass by quicker than the last, and it’s hard to believe that 2018 is nearly over.
Torontonians love to celebrate the new year in style, and as such, there’s no shortage of excellent events taking place throughout the city on the 31st of December each year.
While it was hard for us to narrow down our shortlist to a few blog post sized recommendations, here are what we think are 3 unforgettable ways to celebrate the end of 2018 in Toronto.
Fireworks Display – Nathan Phillips Square
Nathan Phillips Square,100 Queen St. W
For some people, new years eve doesn’t really feel like new years eve unless there’s a fireworks display of some sort. While there are multiple events taking place all over the city that are going to be putting on their own fireworks displays, they all pale in comparison to the spectacle that takes place at Nathan Phillips Square.
This completely free family-friendly event is organized by the city of Toronto, and each and every year the event seems to be bigger and better than the previous year’s offering.
While the star of the show is the fireworks display, there’s a wide range of other entertainment taking place from 8 pm onwards. DJ’s from all over the world will be performing on a festival-sized stage in the middle of the square surrounded by numerous amazing illuminated animations and art installations. If that doesn’t sound like your thing, then there’s an ice skating area and several gourmet food trucks here too.
If you’ve never celebrated new years eve in Toronto before, then we strongly recommend you add the celebrations at Nathan Phillips Square to the top of your shortlist. It’s an event that rivals cities like London, New York, and Tokyo in terms of new years eve extravagance – and it’s certainly going to be a night to remember.
Dinner And Drinks On A Cruise
Various Locations, Queens Quay
If standing outside in what is admittedly probably going to be reasonably cold weather doesn’t sound like your idea of fun, then why not enjoy the fireworks from the comfort of a cruise boat on Lake Ontario?
There are several special new years eve cruises taking place this year, but the two most well-known cruise operators are Mariposa Cruises and Jubilee Queen Cruises. Most NYE cruises in Toronto will set sail around 8 pm and return between 12.30am and 1 am. Some cruises are more refined experiences with a sit-down dinner, Champaign, and light entertainment, whereas others have buffet style dinners, cocktails, and live DJs playing electronic music.
Regardless of which cruise operator you book with, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable evening. The reflections of the seemingly endless fireworks shimmering in the water will leave you wondering if it’s better to look up or down.
Dwayne Gretzky NYE
Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave
If you’re looking for something a little different this year, then we highly recommend you consider celebrating with legendary local artists Dwayne Gretzky. The party band has an almost cult-like following both locally and internationally (for a very good reason in our opinion).
Dwayne Gretzky play their own version of hits from almost every genre, from Springsteen to Queen, and everything in-between. Their fresh take on classic songs combined with their world-class musicianship (and the impeccable acoustics of the Danforth Music hall) make this an event more than worthy of your consideration.
The atmosphere is guaranteed to be electric, and tickets are guaranteed to be in high demand – so booking in advance is strongly recommended.
Where to stay for New Year's Eve?
We have 8 locations across the GTA and Barrie, all booking up very quickly for this exciting night! Don't miss out on your chance to stay in affordable luxury at one of our locations. We currently have both standard rooms and suites available. Visit montecarloinns.com and choose which of our 8 locations would suit your needs best, and remember, never drink and drive.
Happy New Year Everyone!
There is no doubt that the Holidays are an extremely special time for families and friends alike. But as time goes on, the holidays seem to be more about giving back than just giving. We have heard more examples of companies opting out on giving client gifts and donating to their charity of choice. Or families sponsoring a family in need instead of buying their children and relatives gifts that they most likely do not need. We think the Holidays are a perfect time to put our needs aside and give back to those most in need of our time, love and support.
Our Annual Teddy Bear toss is a great example of our team coming together to raise money for Monte Carlo Inns’ charity of choice, the Darling Home for Kids. If you haven’t heard of them already, the Darling Home for Kids is a respite and palliative care centre for children that are medically fragile and technology dependant. Our team at the Monte Carlo Inn Barrie Suites, together with a few members of our corporate office, sold Monte Carlo inn teddy bears for $5.00 or $10.00 at the Molson Centre during a Barrie Colts game. At the first goal, all bears were tossed onto the ice. We were able to raise $3000.00 in just one night!
There are so many ways to get involved and help out, especially at this time of the year, around Toronto. Here are a few ways you, your family or your company get help out this holiday season:
Festive times and philanthropic efforts work hand in hand. Consider where you are spending your time and money this holiday season. Happy Holidays!
The weather is wetter and colder here in Toronto, and the glorious sunshine of the excellent summer we were blessed with this year is starting to become a distant memory.
However, there’s no shortage of fun and interesting indoor activities on offer in our wonderful city that are perfect for a rainy day. Here are 6 ways to enjoy your next rainy day in Toronto.
Let’s get started.
Art Gallery Of Ontario
317 Dundas St W
The internationally renowned Art Gallery Of Ontario has to be at the top of any rainy day activity list for visitors and locals alike. There are over 95,000 different works of art inside the walls of the magnificent gallery. With over 45,000 square meters of floor space, it’s one of the largest Galleries in North America, so even if it rains all day – you’re going to have plenty of exhibits to enjoy.
288 Bremner Blvd
Located in downtown Toronto (reasonably close to the CN tower) for many people, Ripley’s aquarium is a must-see attraction in the city – whatever the weather. There’s a mind-bogglingly big collection of aquatic life on display here from all over the world. For many people, the smaller (and stranger) species are often the most interesting here, however, the huge sharks that call the aquarium home are undoubtedly the stars of the show.
Toronto is home to a wide range of excellent comedy bars that will have you laughing so hard that you forget all about the wet and potentially windy weather outside. If you don’t know where to start, then we recommend you check out Yuk Yuk’s, Second City, or Comedy Bar Toronto – all of which are loved by visitors and Torontonians alike.
Royal Ontario Museum
100 Queens Park
No collection of rainy day activities in Toronto would be complete without mentioning the magnificent Royal Ontario Museum. The museum is the largest and most visited in all of Canada (over 1 million people visit here annually) and it contains several educational and interesting world culture, and natural history exhibits. Use our very own discount code MONTECARLOINN to receive 20% off general admission.
Tip:The ROM closes at 5.30pm most days, which is perhaps a little earlier than you may expect. Arrive early in the day to get the full experience.
Sky Zone Toronto
45 Esandar Dr
If you’re visiting Toronto with children, then Sky Zone is a great way for them to burn off their energy on a rainy day through what Sky Zone like to call “fun fitness”. You and the kids can experience weightlessness and the feeling of flight on the numerous different kinds of trampolines (and foam pits) that have been installed here.
While trampolines on their own are a lot of fun, it’s the group games that are often the most fun, and the exhilaration of playing dodgeball on a trampoline is something that needs to be experienced to be fully appreciated.
Tip:Be sure to wear loose clothing that is suitable for physical activity. There’s a good chance you’re going to get hot and sweaty (without even realizing it) while bouncing around all day.
Curl Up With A Movie
Monte Carlo Inns, Multiple Locations
As you can see, there’s no shortage of exciting activities to enjoy in Toronto when the weather is a little wetter than we’d like. However, facing the rain (even for a little while) can sometimes seem too much like hard work…
When you feel like this, there’s nothing better than staying indoors and having a little “you time”.
Why not get dressed in your comfiest clothes and curl up by the fireplace in one of our luxurious suites?You can then choose a blockbuster movie from the wide selection on our in-house entertainment system and forget all about the miserable weather outside.
Tip:Don’t forget to order a tasty treat or two from our extensive room service menu to complete the ultimate indoor rainy day experience.
The festive season is almost upon us. People from all the world are currently making travel plans for visiting friends and family to celebrate the holidays with those nearest and dearest to them.
All these extra travelers add a huge additional burden to transport infrastructure, and delays, traffic jams, and cancellations are all too common. It’s arguably the most stressful time of year to travel, but with a few hints and tips, you can make your trip as easy and as pleasant as possible.
Expect The Worst
Traveling around the holiday period is as much of a mental challenge as it is a logistical one. While you’ll make things easier on yourself by following the tips below, if you start your journey with the right mindset, any inevitable disruptions should be a little easier on your stress levels. Expect delays, expect traffic, and expect chaos – if these things don’t occur, it’s a bonus.
Fly Earlier Or Later
Arriving at the airport when you’re ready for bed (or should already be asleep) isn’t ideal. However, it can actually be a preferable option at this time of year as roads and airports are going to be quieter.
Missing out on a good night’s sleep can often be a much more palatable option than hours of sitting in traffic, navigating long lines at airports, and being around thousands of other people who are equally as stressed out by the situation as you are. If there’s a late flight to your destination that you usually wouldn’t consider, it’s worth considering that it might be the lesser of two evils during the festive period.
The weather at this time of year is often unpredictable in many parts of the world, which can often mean delays. Even if you’re flying between two areas that have reasonably mild weather, bad weather in other parts of the world can still affect you. Airlines have pre-planned routes, and if the plane you’re meant to be flying on gets delayed somewhere else due to bad weather earlier in the day – it means that you’re probably going to be delayed too.
There’s not much you can do to avoid this. However, by flying direct you’re limiting the number of planes you’re relying on being on time. Being stuck at a connecting airport because your initial flight was delayed (or your connecting flight is delayed) is the worst case travel scenario for many people. Flying direct might cost a little more, but it’s almost certainly going to cut down your stress levels significantly.
Carry On Only
If possible, you should do all you can to fly with carry on luggage only. Many airlines will allow you to check in online and obtain a mobile boarding pass, which enables you to skip the check-in desks entirely and simply head straight for security when you reach the airport.
Benefits can be found when arriving at your destination too, you’re not going to have to wait around in an inevitably busy and chaotic luggage reclaim hall at the end of your trip (which is going to feel like a real blessing after a potentially long flight).
Mail Your Gifts
There’s a good chance you’re going to be taking gifts to your destination, but as you may already know, flying with gifts is a real pain. They may get broken by heavy-handed baggage handlers, the wrapping paper may be opened by security for inspection, and they take up additional space – which means you might not be able to travel carry on only.
Mailing your gifts to your destination may sound like more hassle than it’s worth, and if you’re traveling internationally it’s probably not worth the risk (just in case they get held up at customs). But for domestic flights, the effort it takes to go to the post office is almost always going to be less than the hassle of having to pack your bags carefully and check luggage that could otherwise be carried on instead.