10 Best Snowy Places to Spark-Up in Toronto
Feel That Winter Spirit.
The snow has begun to fall once again in Toronto. The holidays are just around the corner, and we’re all hectically preparing for parties as we head through December and into the New Year. Trust me, our hearts are with you here at Backside Buds. The holiday season can be overwhelming– deprived of sun, and riddled with expectations, we at Backside just want to take a minute to encourage a little holiday relaxation in the midst of all the madness. In that spirit, our team has compiled a list of the most charming and charismatic Toronto destinations to make a pit stop and share a puff with a loved one or have an impromptu session with the gang.
For our customers outside of the GTA, you can look forward to seeing a landmark from your hometown featured in our upcoming article “Top 10 Canadian Toking-Tourist Destinations“.
So, to head off our GTA list, I will look to a personal favourite:
- The Big Red Canoe at Hunter’s Landing:
The Canoe at Hunter’s Landing was designed by Douglas Coupland in 2009 and has become a familiar haunt for many stoners in the area. It is on the edge of a hill that gives you a view of the Gardiner in action, and even in the cold Toronto winter it’s satisfying to sit in the canoe, smoke a big blunt, and watch all the poor souls passing in cars and minivans, so caught up in the rat race while we languish in an over-sized canoe stoned off of our tree.
- AGO Free Entry Wednesday-Nights:
This one is tailor made for the cultured or curious stoner crowd. Host to works by many greats, you can see the paintings of Tom Thomson, Lawrence H. Harris, Peter Paul Ruebens, Monet, Degas, Van Gogh, and many many more, as well as an abundant selection of sculpture, and a unique and wonderful miniature carving exhibit that is fun to tour with a nice stone on. Best of all, entry to the AGO general gallery is free to the public Wednesday nights from 6pm-9pm!
Now, while you cannot smoke inside the AGO without getting kicked out and probably heavily fined, you can certainly take a tour of the little park on the south side of the building, where you’ll find some lovely pathways, statue work, and interesting architecture as you burn up a couple joints prior to heading in. This beautiful little area has decent wind cover, and makes for the perfect aesthetic primer for the gallery itself. If you catch a chill while you are out smoking, hit up the cafe on the second floor of the AGO for a hot-chocolate or cappuccino after you smoke up and you’ll be warmed up and entranced by some larger-than-life paintings in no time!
- At The Cabin In Front of a Roaring Fireplace:
Now we don’t all have access to a Muskoka Cabin this time of year, or ever, but the principle carries to less sophisticated scenes just as well. Don’t have a fireplace? Get that fireplace channel loaded on the TV and fix a nice hot chocolate with a couple blocks of Shatter Bar thrown in for good measure, pick out your favourite body-high indica (Pink Bubba, anyone?), and you’ll be feeling the heat of that digital fireplace before you know it. And what can beat that fireplace, wool-socks, hot-chocolate-in-hand, staring-out-at-a-snowstorm, high-as-Santa type moments? That’s the real spirit of the season.
- Fourth Floor of the Parking Garage in Kensington Market:
Best view in the city, as one of our staff put it, and many other Torontonians agree. If you’re going to do some Christmas shopping in the kitchy and cool Kensington Market area make sure to pack a nice chunk of Moby Dick or Blackberry Dream to get that nice uplifting high while you overlook one of the finest vantages of the city in the heart of the core. Get up to the top of the Kensington Market Parking Garage, on St. Andrew Street and you’re in for a treat, especially if you make this one of the last stops on your list, just as the sun is starting to set. The view alone will be enough to renew your Christmas spirit if the grass doesn’t get you all the way there.
- Yonge-Dundas Square:
The novelty of being somewhere so intensely public and sparking up has not lost its appeal to me, and the pretty flashy billboards and abundance of entertainment, shopping, and munchies abound really makes Yonge-Dundas square one the best places to get stoned and spend an evening in the city. A blob of Seven Star shatter nestled in the middle of a two gram joint might be considered a little wasteful by some, but hey it will sure make those big flashy billboards look pretty wild, and get you well through dinner and a movie at the nearby Cineplex. Whether you’re out shopping in Eaton Centre and up and down Yonge Street, or just having a nice night at the movies and a quick bite at one of the nearby restaurants, a liberal dose of your favourite strain will make this hectic area not only tolerable, but fun!
- Ice Fishing on Lake Simcoe:
A popular locale for holiday and destination only smokers, this one requires a bit more planning and leaves no room for shopping, but is totally worth the effort. Get a couple of friends together and grab a nice bag of Astropink, pack warm clothes and a few days worth of munchies (you’re gonna be there a while), and scoot yourselves off to the ice-fishing cabins on Lake Simcoe for a low-stakes hunter-gatherer experience and the hot-boxing of your life! Floyd Hales Fish Huts was recommended to me personally by a troupe of non-sporting folk who gave me the utmost confidence that this is certainly a worthwhile experience, even for the laziest stoner out there. Don’t forget your fishing license!
- Graffiti Alley:
A local art event in the 2000s transformed this regular ol’ alley into an endless and ever changing arena of expression for a once under-appreciated style of art. On any given day you can find the alley just off Queen Street on either side of Portland populated with tourists and out-of-towners, and the odd pothead looking to grab a smoke on their 15 minute break, pre-shift, or just wandering through to admire the artwork of the many talented taggers of the city. It’s worth a gander if you feel like getting off the crowded Queen Street for a toke and a visual treat in the midst of your trip between Outer Layer and Steve’s Music.
- Torrance Barrens Dark-Sky Reserve: If you can get yourself a designated driver for the evening (and maybe a snowmobile if you are really feeling like a winter warrior) then head on up to Gravenhurst and the beautiful Dark-Sky Reserve anytime after sundown to get an almost surreal view of the night sky. Pack a couple joints and/or your favourite pipe and check local weather ahead of time, with good luck you might catch a rare breathtaking glimpse of the aurora borealis for a really out of this world time. The trails are accessible from the parking area at Highland Pond off District Road 13.
- Village of Yorkville Park:
If you’re having a lush Christmas dinner with a special someone or really splurging on your mother’s present this year, there is a great little nook of Toronto just north of Bloor and Yonge that has the fanciest shopping, a great little cafe, and famous restaurants and pubs that are sure to satisfy your munchies. With a rich hippie history, once inhabited or frequented by the likes of Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Gordon Lightfoot, as well as literary figures such as Margaret Atwood, Gwendolyn MacEwen and Dennis Lee, and with good wind cover most days, it seems like the perfect place to hang out a minute and have a puff with the spirits of the legends.
- Ryerson Campus Path:
This last one is for those of us who spend far too long each day walking around looking for a wind-free zone where we can actually enjoy a puff in the middle of our day. Well look no further that the dead centre of the Ryerson campus running parallel to Yonge Street where you will be in the company of the smartest minds of the next generation all huddling in the large enclosures offered by the nooks and crannies of the city-centre campus. No matter which way the wind is blowing, you are certain to find a place to enjoy your chronic free from that horrible winter wind.
Let us know in the comments what you like to smoke and where while you’re out and about in the city core!