Toronto Christmas Market – One Of The Top Things to Do in Toronto in the Winter
The holiday season is synonymous with tradition. No matter what you believe in or what holiday you celebrate, for most of us it is a time for family and kindness, reflection and warm wishes. For us, we are immersed in traditions we’ve developed with family, friends and each other. One tradition that we started during the first few months we were dating is a visit to the Toronto Christmas Market.
While there are many things to do in the Distillery District year round, the Toronto Christmas Market is definitely one of the top things to do in Toronto in the winter and always one of our favourites. If you’re visiting Toronto, or are already in the area and looking for something to do as the weather turns colder, here’s what you can expect to find when visiting the Toronto Christmas Market.
Street Vendors & Shops
The streets at the market are lined with European-style wood cabins selling a variety of different products for purchase by the people strolling by them.
You’ll find chocolate, stuffed animals, Christmas decorations, jams and other goods, meats and breads, handicrafts and knit products, and so much more. Each year the local artisans, entrepreneurs and businesses set up shop and impress us with what they have to offer.
Not only can you purchase goods at one of the many cabins, the shops that are permanent residents of the distillery district are open as well and offer not only an added variety of goods to peruse, but an escape from the cold when needed!
Food & Drink
The highlight of our travels usually comes down to our culinary experience and our visits to the Toronto Christmas Market are no exception. Schnitzel and sausages, poutine and sandwiches, fudge and donuts, hot chocolate and Gluhwein (mulled wine) and various other tasty treats are available for purchase throughout the market at the stalls that are set up. Added to that, the local shops also include cafes and restaurants where you can find some more amazing food and drink as you explore the market.
This year, we were excited to see one of the Toronto food trucks represented at one of the cabins. Chimney Stax Baking Co. is a food truck we’ve been trying to hunt down so when we heard it would be at the Christmas Market, we bee-lined it to the stand to purchase one of their amazing looking treats – cylindrical baked dough rolled in a variety of toppings and filled with a variety of options. We went for the one just rolled in sugar and were left speechless over just how good it was. We will definitely be hunting this truck down again to try more of the flavours available.
Activities and Entertainment
The decorations and lights create such a festive and enchanting atmosphere and the activities and entertainment throughout the weeks of the Toronto Christmas Market only add to the holiday cheer. Carolers and dancers on stage, rides for the children, a 50+ foot Christmas tree, Santa Claus and Rudolph, and regular contests, events and holiday fun can be found throughout the weeks of the Toronto Christmas Market.
There’s always something different going on so it’s good to check the schedule and see what’s happening. We happened to visit this year on ‘Red Nose Weekend’ which meant we got a red nose and got to see Rudolph roaming around the market!
A Festive Atmosphere
As we approach the entrance and look up at the lit sign that reads “Toronto Christmas Market” we always feel a small rush of excitement. The warmth of familiarity washes over us. This is our home. This is something that is rooted much deeper than a superficial glance or fleeting moment. It is tied to strong memories of good times and emotional connections with loved ones. Each year that we walk the brick-paved streets of the Distillery District in Toronto, we marvel at the transformation that has taken place to turn this area into a magical Christmas wonderland.
With the sounds of Christmas carols and laughter in the background, we inevitably grab some hot chocolate to warm ourselves from the cold and usually find something ridiculously delicious to eat from one of the vendors. We stroll along the streets, enjoying the activities and holiday spirit and relish the time we have to soak up the warmth of the festive atmosphere. At the Toronto Christmas Market, we forget the hustle and bustle of the city streets beyond and find some time to really enjoy the holiday season
Getting There and More Information
Hours & Admission:
Toronto Christmas Market 2016 runs Nov 18 – Dec 22.
Open Tuesday to Thursdays, 12pm – 9pm – FREE Admission
Open Fridays, 12pm – 10pm – FREE Admission before 5:00pm
Open Saturdays (10am – 10pm) and Sundays (10am – 9pm) – Cost: $6.00
The Toronto Christmas Market provides detailed directions, parking options and methods of transportation