It’s that time of the year again; it’s getting dark at 4:30 PM, there are no leaves left on the trees, you need to bundle up every time you leave the house, and all your clothes have salt stains on them. For some, the winter months can be a really tough time to get through. Seasonal depression is a common occurrence for some “an estimated 2% to 3% of the general population suffers from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that is related to the amount of sunlight you’re exposed to.
If you have episodes of depression that recur at the same time every year for more than 2 years, you may have the dreaded SAD. Not everybody is a fan of the winter months, but it’s important to know that it doesn’t have to be dark and desolate the whole time through. You have many options.
If you partake in any winter sports or activities, this can definitely take the edge off the winter months. Instead of staying inside and wasting the time away, embracing the winter and finding things to do in the season will make it much more enjoyable.
One of the best winter resorts in the province is the Blue Mountain Village in Collingwood Ontario. Located just a 2-hour drive from Toronto, the Blue Mountain Village has some of the best winter activities.
As the Blue Mountain Village is one of the best winter destinations it makes sense that one of the top activities there is skiing and snowboarding. Not all of the skiing done in Blue Mountain is downhill. Many visitors enjoy cross-country skiing.
According to author of “Day Trips Around Toronto” John Barber, cross-country skiing in Blue Mountain is one of the best winter activities to get you through the dark months.
“If downhill isn’t your thing, extensive escarpment skiing can be found south of Collingwood at Highlands Nordic cross-country ski resort near the village of Duntroon. This popular spot for keen cross-country skiers also offers 7 kilometres of snowshoe trails and a groomed toboggan hill. From Collingwood, drive south to Hurontario Street (Grey Road 124) to Duntroon, turn west on Grey Road 91 and watch for the sign at the top of the hill” (John Barber, 55).”
Aside from skiing, Blue Mountain is also a great place to go to relax and unwind from everyday life. One of the best options for this according to “Day Trips Around Toronto” is the Scandinave Spa. Barber advocates, “Scandinave Spa is an award-winning Scandinavian style spa that is located on its own ten hectares just east of the village on Grey Road 21. It’s beautiful, posh and sufficiently popular. Because of the renowned reputation of this Scandinave Spa, this means that there is often a waitlist to get in. It is highly recommended that if you wish to attend Scandinave Spa, then you be prepared to book weeks in advance”.
When it comes to visiting the Blue Mountain Village, finding places to eat is essential. If you’re staying the night, you’re going to want to know the best places to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With many options, Blue Mountain village has something for everybody.
Casual Spots to Eat
The Bullwheel Pub is located on the south end of the mountain and is open concept. This casual setting has a beautiful view of the slopes for people to view skiers and enjoy their meals and drinks. The menu at Bullwheel Pub consists of classic Canadian comfort foods. The drink options at Bullwheel includes 8 beers all offered on tap. With a clear view of the Riglet Park, parents are able to watch their kids as they relax. The Bullwheel Pub provides an inviting layout and dining area with a rustic wood beam ceiling and is decorated with a traditional ski chalet interior.
The hours for Bullwheel are:
Saturday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Monday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Tuesday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Wednesday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Thursday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Friday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
BeaverTails was founded in Ottawa in the 1970’s and has since expanded across Canada and abroad. For those who don’t know what a BeaverTail is, they are flattened pieces of fried dough that are topped with a variety of different toppings like whipped cream, banana slices, crumbled Oreos, cinnamon sugar, and chocolate hazelnut. BeaverTails is located in the heart of the Blue Mountain village and is a great place for a post-slope snack.
The hours for Beavertails are:
Saturday 10 am – 9 pm
Sunday 10 am – 7 pm
Monday 10 am – 7 pm
Tuesday 10 am – 7 pm
Wednesday 10 am – 7 pm
Thursday 10 am – 7 pm
Friday 10 am – 9 pm
Upscale Spots to Eat
C&A Steak Company
Located in the heart of the Blue Mountain Village the C&A Steakhouse is considered one of the top restaurants in Blue Mountain. C&A is a traditional steakhouse and offers its patrons the best Prime Grade and Canadian AAA steaks. This venue is definitely one of the finer things to do in the Blue Mountain Village with its top-tier menu and incredible location.
Monday 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Tuesday 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Wednesday 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Thursday 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Friday 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Saturday 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Sunday 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Bars at the Blue Mountain Village
MJ Byrnes Irish Pub
MJ Byrnes Irish Pub is one of the classic bars in the Blue Mountain Village. With live music, every night this venue is has a great crowd and vibe to it making it one of the best things to do in Blue Mountain village if you’re looking for a less formal bar setting. MJ Byrnes Irish Pub has 28 international and local beers on tap, and 40 whiskies from Ireland and Scotland.
Smash Ping Pong & Nite Club
Similar to SPiN Toronto, this venue contains 4 Olympic sized ping-pong tables. Smash Ping Pong & Nite Club also has a diverse list of drinks and snacks on their menu giving patrons numerous options. Before 9:00 pm Smash is an all ages establishment but after that it becomes adults only and has more of a nightclub vibe to it. There is only one place like this in the village making it one of the most unique things to do in the Blue Mountain Village.
Twist Martini Restaurant and Lounge
Twist Martini Restaurant and Lounge is an upscale venue that makes for a very chic night out in the village. With classic French cuisines, Twist has some of the best cuisine and drinks and has an urban vibe in a rural setting, this contrasting tone makes it one of the best things to do in the Blue Mountain Village for a mature crowd. Barber describes this scene perfectly, “As dinner winds down and the DJ starts up, you will have a front row seat to the Blue Mountains most sophisticated nightlife”.
Portions of this content were aggregated from the book “Day Trips Around Toronto” written by John Barber, a prominent journalist formerly from Toronto but currently residing in Lakefield, Ontario. John Barber is a contributor to the Guardian, Toronto Star and United Church Observer, and was also a columnist for the Globe and Mail for an extended period of his career.