3 Winter Day Trips for Toronto Dwellers

Winter Day Trips | Toronto, ON

If you’re looking to get out of Toronto for some winter fun, there are so many day trips to consider. To help your decision easier, we’ve put together a list of things to do this winter near Toronto.

Take in natural beauty at Crawford Lake Conservation Area. Cold weather doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the great outdoors. Bundle up and head to the Crawford Lake Conservation Area. It’s the perfect place for a winter hike. Be sure to check out the meromictic lake, which is a rare lake type that has multiple layers of water that stay separate.

Get a unique glimpse of Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls is a beautiful destination by itself, but did you know you can experience what it’s like behind the falls, too? Visit the Falls and opt for the Journey Behind the Falls experience. You can enjoy a close-up view of the waterfall and venture 125 feet down into 130-year-old tunnels.

Relax at a spa. Winter can be a stressful time. Relax this year with a visit to Scandinave Spa. The spa is known for its heated outdoor pools that allow you to enjoy the beauty of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Niagara Escarpment. Right now, it even has strict COVID protocols to keep your visit relaxing, and the spa is only a two-hour drive away from the city.

As you make your travel plans, be sure to elevate your peace of mind with a visit to a Downtown Autogroup location. We’ll provide your vehicle with the service it needs to run reliably for the whole trip.

The Benefits of Winter Tires

Benefits of Winter Tires | Toronto, ON

Winter roads in Toronto are nothing to laugh at. From snow to ice, ensuring your vehicle can handle the slippery road ahead can be difficult. That’s where winter tires come in. Winter tires are a great way to improve your safety on the road when the weather gets colder. Here are some of the ways winter tires are designed to protect you.  

Built For Cold Weather

Unlike all-season tires, winter tires were created with a special rubber compound that can put up with extremely cold temperatures. While all-season tires stiffen as temperatures get colder, winter tires stay flexible, helping them to grip the pavement more effectively.

Unique Tread Depth & Patterns

Deeper treads and unique tread patterns work together to increase the traction of winter tires. The special tread patterns channel snow and slush away from the centre of the tire, while also expelling water. Deep treads reduce snow buildup in the treads, allowing them to give you more control.

Increased Biting Edges

The edge of your tires has tiny ridges, called biting edges. These features can help provide traction on slick ice, so winter tires increase the number of these biting edges to provide better traction on icy roads.

Now that there’s a chill in the air, you’re invited to stop in soon at one of our Downtown Autogroup locations in Toronto to learn more about winter tires or have them installed on your vehicle.

The Best Toronto Outdoor Activities You Can Enjoy Right Now

Toronto outdoor activities | Toronto, ON

Toronto is filled to the brim with green space, which makes it a lovely city to explore the great outdoors. Whether you’re looking to get some exercise or simply need things to do this weekend, consider these exciting outdoor activities in T.O.

Head out onto the trail

Toronto is filled with hiking trails to choose from. With the need to social distance out and about, hiking is a solid option for anyone looking to stretch their legs. Consider the Scarborough Bluffs Trails in particular for an easy walk with some beautiful vistas.

Try your hand at paddle boarding

Head out onto the lake with Toronto Island SUP, a local paddle boarding company that offers a range of fun experiences. You can do paddle boarding yoga, go bird watching, and more, all while staying at least 2 meters apart.

Have a picnic

There are so many gorgeous parks around Toronto, which makes heading out for a picnic easy. Pack up a meal of your own, grab a comfortable blanket that you don’t mind getting dirty, and find the perfect spot to enjoy the beautiful weather we’re having in the city.

Catch a movie outdoors

Throughout the city, you can find parks that are offering movies in the great outdoors. The best and most socially distanced option is Downsview Park’s Friday Night Lights series. In this annual movie night, you can bring along your vehicle and stay in it as you enjoy great films.

As you’re driving to these outdoor activities around Toronto, make sure your vehicle is in reliable shape to get you there — contact us here at Downtown Autogroup to schedule a service appointment.

Toronto Sights to Safely See Now

Safe Toronto Sights | Toronto, ON

If you’re looking for ways to enjoy the best of Toronto’s many sights, it’s possible to do so safely. Consider these sightseeing options that will allow you to enjoy the city without stress.

Toronto Zoo Scenic Safari

If your family has been missing its regular visits to Toronto Zoo, then the Toronto Zoo Scenic Safari is for you. This zoo tour allows you to see all of the animals you love without leaving your vehicle. Traverse the staff-only roads that are throughout the zoo with your very own zookeeper, who will tell you everything you want to know about the animals. You can even go through the Lion Cave and see the lions up close and personal.

Virtual Toronto Tour

Discover the city you love without having to leave your house. This virtual tour of Toronto from Air Pano gives you the chance to check out what the city has to offer from a bird’s-eye view. Scan the harbour, check out the skyline, and explore the parks — all while sitting on your couch. It’s such a great opportunity to see everything the city has to offer and even learn some interesting facts while doing so.

Here at Downtown Autogroup, we love our city and hope you’ll take the opportunity to enjoy some of its best sights in a safe, socially distanced way.

3 Tips for Driving Safely in Hot Weather

Driving Safely in Hot Weather | Toronto, ON

Summer’s high temperatures can affect conditions on the road and under your hood. That’s why Downtown Autogroup has put together these tips for driving safely in hot weather.

Keep an eye on your fluids. Your vehicle needs various types of fluids to run, and it’s a good idea to make sure they’re at the recommended levels before the weather gets too hot. Fluids to check include your coolant, motor oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power-steering fluid, and windshield wiper fluid.

Check your battery. Make sure your battery is in tip-top condition, since high temperatures can affect the way it works. Get a test to see if your battery is performance well, and, if your battery is too old, consider replacing it.

Remember, interior temperatures heat up fast. When it’s hot out, the interior of your car will get hot, too. Because of this, it’s important to remember some child safety tips along with driving safety. Don’t leave children in the car for any reason, even with the windows down. Also, teach your children not to play in, on, or around vehicles. Finally, make sure you check the temperature of your child’s car seat before you put them in the vehicle. If the seat is too hot, it can harm your child’s skin.

Need help prepping your vehicle for summer? Get in touch with one of our service departments at the Downtown Autogroup in Toronto.

Important Summer Safety Items for Your Vehicle

Important Summer Safety Items for Your Vehicle | Toronto, ON

Summer is a great time of the year to head out of Toronto and explore the great outdoors surrounding our city. If you’re planning on heading out for a weekend adventure, though, you should consider your family’s safety. Pack up these important summer safety items in your vehicle to give yourself peace of mind on the go.

Portable Car Battery Charger

Getting stuck with a car that won’t start due to a dead battery is no fun, especially if you’re out in the wilderness or far from the city. Make sure you always have jumper cables or a portable car battery charger. The portable chargers sometimes come with accessories like USB ports to help you charge your mobile phone, too.

Spare Tire

If you find yourself stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire, it’s always handy to have a spare tire in the trunk to help you get to the nearest garage or to Downtown Autogroup, where we can help you get fitted with a new tire.

Emergency Supplies

You never know when an emergency might occur. Be prepared for anything with some emergency supplies. These should include a sun shelter, portable phone charger, first aid kit, road safety triangles, a multi-purpose tool, and water and snacks in case you’re waiting for a while.

For more suggestions on summer safety items to keep in your vehicle, or for service to help you drive more confidently, contact one of our service departments at Downtown Autogroup.

4 Tips to Help You Sanitize Your Car

4 Tips to Help You Sanitize Your Car | Toronto, ON

A clean car can help give you peace of mind in an uncertain time. If you’re wondering how you can make sure your car is clear of any pesky germs — and make it look and smell like new — then you should consider these tips on how to sanitize your car.

Put on gloves. Gloves will not only help protect your hands from any harsh cleaning chemicals you may use, but they will also help prevent the spread of germs. Make sure you wear gloves before you begin cleaning, but remember not to touch anything but your car and cleaning supplies while you’re wearing them — and dispose of them as soon as you’re finished.

Scrub hard surfaces. Scrub down the hard surfaces of your car’s interior with either disinfectant wipes or warm, soapy water. Also, don’t forget to clean germy hotspots like your interior and exterior door handles, steering wheel, and parking brake — basically anywhere you’ve touched or that may have been sneezed or coughed on.

Clean soft surfaces. Your car’s carpets, seats, and other soft surfaces can absorb dirt and germs easily. Depending on the type of upholstery your car has, use a leather cleaner, vehicle carpet cleaner, or upholstery shampoo to give everything a deep clean.

Practice prevention. When your car is cleaned, make sure you take necessary precaution from bringing unwanted germs into the cabin. Use hand sanitizer that has at least 60 percent alcohol content and regularly wipe everything down with disinfectant wipes.

For further sanitizing advice or assistance for your specific vehicle, get in touch with one of our service departments at Downtown Autogroup in Toronto.

Should You Fix or Replace Your Old Car?

Should You Fix or Replace Your Old Car | Toronto, ON

Sometimes, our tried-and-true older vehicles let us down. If you’ve found yourself on the side of the road with a breakdown, you’re faced with a big decision: Should you fix or replace your old car? Here, we look at the pros and cons of each to help you with your decision.

Fix It

The sentimental attachment you have to your old vehicle is one of the biggest pros of fixing it — you will get to keep a car that you love, even if you have to give it a bit of love to keep it running smoothly.

If you fix up your new car, you will also likely spend less money than you would if you replace one, since bills to fix your vehicle are usually lower than the cost of a replacement car.

Replace It

Replacing your old car means you won’t have to worry about future breakdowns. While a newer vehicle breaking down isn’t unheard of, the likelihood is far lower than it would be with your older vehicle.  

Sometimes, your old car’s mechanical issues can cost more than you expected. That repair price of $3,000 to $5,000 or more could easily be a down payment on a newer and better car instead.   

Buying used is a great option for replacing your old car. With a pre-owned vehicle, you won’t have to worry about your car losing a big chunk of its value in the first year. Plus, you can still get new technologies, premium appointments, and more.

If you’re ready to bid farewell to your old ride, stop in at a Downtown Autogroup location and check out our wide selection of outstanding used vehicles.

Spring Car Cleaning Tips for a Fresh Start

Spring Car Cleaning Tips | Toronto, ON

Have you thought about how to give your vehicle a fresh start in the warmer months? Start with these spring car cleaning tips and help your ride sparkle like new.

Give your vehicle a thorough wash. With winter’s ice-crusted windshields and stubborn road salt, your car’s exterior can really take a beating. If you leave it dirty for too long, it might even start to rust. To prevent lasting damage, make sure you include a thorough exterior washing as part of your car’s spring cleaning. Clean the tires with tire-cleaning spray and don’t forget to clean the undercarriage, too.

Tidy the interior. Over the course of the cold months, it’s likely that you’ve amassed a collection of litter and a coat of dust or dirt inside your car. Tidy up your car’s interior by getting rid of the trash and wiping down your dashboard.

Clean your floor mats. Your vehicle’s floor mats are probably dirty with dried mud or leftover road salt. Remove them from your car and give them a good vacuum and scrub. If they’re carpeted mats, use carpet cleaner; if they’re rubber mats, wipe them down with warm water and soap to help them look like new.

Follow these tips for a fresher-looking car this spring — and be sure to catch up on under-the-hood maintenance with a visit to a service department at a Downtown Autogroup dealership.

Enjoy Toronto’s Best Outdoor Winter Activities

Toronto’s best outdoor winter activities | Ontario

Snow, wind, and frigid temperatures are no reason to avoid Toronto’s great outdoors during the winter. If you’re looking for Toronto’s best outdoor winter activities, you’ve come to the right place. Just remember to bundle up before you head out to enjoy.

Go snowshoeing

Throughout the city and surrounding areas, we’re lucky to have a wide range of trails to enjoy. When there’s snow on the ground, it can be difficult to traverse these — until you strap on some snowshoes. You can rent these from a variety of sports stores and head to trails like King’s Mill Park Trail or Bronte Coronation.

Consider a bike ride

When you think of winter, it’s likely you don’t think of enjoying a bike ride. Well, now is the time to change that. You can easily make your bike winter-ready with larger tires. Fat tires are ideal for snow-covered trails, allowing you to explore the areas around Toronto without worrying about your bike’s grip.

Head to the farmers market

If you’re looking for something less physically taxing, why not visit a farmers market? Explore local delights while still enjoying the outdoors. Evergreen Brick Works has a family-friendly Saturday market with many vendors and outdoor fireplaces to keep you warm.

We love winter here at Downtown Autogroup, and we hope you’ll take advantage of these suggestions to make the most of the season!