Looking for something to do on the first holiday of the year? New Year's Day in Toronto may see many businesses and services close, but there are still a lot of great ways to spend your day on January 1st. (Just like there are lots of great ways to spend your night on New Year's Eve in Toronto!)
Attend a Levee
These free receptions are held on New Year's Day by many public officials in and around the GTA. Generally, you can drop by to meet your representatives and other local residents, and often enjoy some free family entertainment or activities such as skating. Unfortunately, although the Toronto Star has reported that Rob Ford will indeed be hosting a levee on the first, so far the city hasn't confirmed the details for what's taking place in Toronto on January 1st.
- Mayor Rob Ford's New Year's Day Levee - Details TBA
- The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario's New Year's Levee - Queen's Park, noon-2pm
- The Mayor of Mississauga's New Year's Day Levee - Celebration Square at the Civic Centre, 2-4pm
- The Mayor of Brampton's New Year's Day Levee - Rose Theatre, noon-3pm
Visit (Some) Toronto Attractions
Although all Toronto attractions close for Christmas Day, most are open on New Year's Day, giving you the option to start your new year with a family-friendly outing.
Toronto Attractions Open on New Year's Day
- The Ontario Science Centre
- The Toronto Zoo
- The CN Tower (although the 360 Restaurant will be closed)
- The Royal Ontario Museum
- The Art Gallery of Ontario
- Casa Loma
- The Bata Shoe Museum
Toronto Attractions CLOSED on January 1st
Have a Laugh at The Second CityLegendary comedy club/theatre/school The Second City actually has two shows on New Year's Day 2012:
While most stores will be closed New Year's Day, there are still options available. In 2013 The Eaton Centre will be open from noon to 5pm, Vaughan Mills Mall will be open from 10am to 7pm and Square One in Mississauga will be open from 11am to 6pm (see more about holiday hours at Toronto malls).
There's also shopping to be had in the area surrounding the Eaton Centre, since stores within the Downtown Yonge BIA and the nearby Bloor-Yorkville area are allowed to open. In the south end of Toronto, The Distillery District is also designated as a tourist area, which means retailers are allowed to open if they choose. If you have a particular shop in any of those areas in mind, it's recommended that you call in advance to confirm hours for January 1st.
You can always start the new year off in front of the big screen. Of course because so few things are open on New Year's Day the movie theatres will be busy, so go early if you want good seats!
• Find a Movie Theatre
Reassess Your ResolutionsI know, I know - most people with New Year's resolutions consider January 1st a write-off. But that makes it a great day to make sure all those lofty goals you came up with for yourself have a solid plan of action to back them up. To get started, check out How to Make Sure-Fire New Year's Resolutions from Mark Stibich, About.com's Guide to Longevity.
Stay InWhich, depending on what you did for New Year's Eve, you may also refer to as "recover".
Some Things You Can't Do
- Go to the library
- Have the last year back. Sorry.