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Solid bets for the holidays: A curated list of wintry city diversions

We're taking a little break over the holidays, but don't fret: we'll be back in gear with more of what's new and next in Toronto on January 7.

In the meantime, here's a roundup of some of the free (or almost-free) and fun cultural activities we're looking forward to checking out in Toronto during our downtime.

See you in 2015!


Christmas in the Valley
Fans of the intersection of history and DIY can revel in the holiday festivities at Todmorden Mills Heritage Site, tucked in the Don Valley. This particular event promises a dive into holiday traditions from the 1890s and 1940s, including recipe-sampling, craft-making, and an outdoor tour of the Mills' Wildflower Preserve.

$2-$6. Todmorden Mills,  67 Pottery, Toronto, Ontario. December 24 & 31, 10am-2pm.


Close to Home: How work, life and play coexist in 1914 Cabbagetown.
Ever wondered what your neighbourhood looked like way before you were born? This photography exhibition explores what historic Cabbagetown looked like a century ago. See how much of the past you can recognize in the present.

Free. Daniels Spectrum (Hallway Galleries), 85 Dundas E, Toronto, Ontario M5A 2B7. Open daily to the public (Mon–Fri 8 am – 9pm, Sat–Sun 10am – 6pm) until January 26, 2015.


Rouge Park Walks
Cabin fever kicking in? Fill a thermos with hot chocolate, bundle up and hit a guided nature walk at Rouge Park, Toronto's own national urban park. Walks are themed, tend to be around two hours long, and vary in physical rigour. Some of these walks are dog-friendly and many are family-friendly, but not all are either or both, so make sure you check the park's website for schedules and further information. Then, go and hit the trails.

Free. Rouge Park (various start locations), almost daily throughout holiday season and into 2015. Schedule available at the park's website, linked above.


Up & Rooted: Youth from Villaways
With the help of Art Starts, nearly 30 residents of the Villaways Toronto Community Housing complex at Leslie and Sheppard have put together a six-by-eight foot diorama that re-imagines what they'd like their community to look like following a major Regent Park-style revitalization, which set to unfold from 2017 to 2019.

Free. City Hall (rotunda), 100 Queen Street East. January 4-9 with official reception January 7 from 6:30-7pm.

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