Top 5 Activities to Avoid a Solo Christmas Holiday in Toronto.
As an introvert I enjoy my own company, and for the most part I find solitude is sweet. However, this year will be the third year in a row that I spend Christmas without family, in Toronto. This has me reflecting on destinations, events and volunteer work that I have participated in during family-orientated holidays. I dedicate this blog post to any solo travellers, foreigners and immigrants who are not spending the holidays with family this year in Toronto.
If you are new to this city, travelling alone, or an immigrant in a country where you don’t know anybody, why not volunteer your time to charity? It is a great way to make friends and to become apart of a community.
5. Food bank
Every year thousands of people across Toronto rely on food banks. Last holidays, I volunteered at St. Ann’s Parish church, helping to distribute food to those in need. While the main gesture is to help the less fortunate, it is also a great way to make friends with the parishioners and volunteers alike, and you are given the opportunity to become apart of their community.
St. Ann’s Parish distributes food every Saturday and there are also opportunities to help out with the annual Christmas lunch. For more information and contact details on Food banks around Toronto, click the link below!
4. Gift deliveries.
Last Christmas Eve I spent the evening delivering gifts on behalf of Volunteer Toronto and The Neighbourhood Group, to seniors lacking in mobility and living alone. There are many charities and volunteer activities you can get involved with; not only during the holiday season, but also all year round. If you have a few hours to spare, or even a few days, there are many fun ideas from Volunteer Toronto on how to get involved. I share these ideas in a previous blog that you can find here: Click Here.
3. Outdoor Hiking
Make friends with other hike-fanatics by joining local meet-up groups and explore some of the wonderful waterfalls and hiking trails in Hamilton. My personal favourite is Devil’s Punch Bowl (about 1 hour and 40 minutes drive from Toronto) which is a spectacular sight this time of year when it is all frozen. For those who are new to Toronto and looking for a group to hike with, check out: Toronto Outdoor Club or Meetup.com where you can find many outdoor-adventure meet-ups! Or send me a personal message, I know many outdoorsy Torontonians who would be happy to show you the Hamilton Fall hikes!
2. Live Comedy Show
Last Christmas holidays, on a spontaneous night out, I met many new friends at the Social Capital Theatre during a live comedy show! I find that often on an evening flying solo, you are met with the challenge to talk to complete strangers. This is what I did, and today I am still close friends with those I met that evening. If you’re a nomad in Toronto, and all your friends are preoccupied with their own family festivities, head over to the Social Capital Theatre for a night of laughter! Tonight is their Festivus Party, click here for more information: Click here.
1. Night in with other Travellers
I saved the best for last! I made the most of my very first Christmas in Toronto in good company with fellow foreigners who also had no family to spend Christmas with. Grab a girly bubbly drink, put on some festive colours, and dance like nobody is watching! (Except everybody on social media!!)
As any traveller knows, the best way to make friends, is with others who are also new to the city. If you are flying solo these holidays, just remember in a city with the highest population of immigrants in the world, you are not the only one without family! So whether you are braving a night out alone to meet strangers, or venturing on a hike with the Toronto Outdoor Club, you are sure to meet many other foreigners!
Happy Holidays everyone!