Find Your Sparkle in Toronto
Make a magical escape to Toronto this winter and celebrate the holiday season. ShareThis
Top Holiday Picks
You won’t want to miss these iconic holiday events sure to get you in the festive spirit.
Christmas shopping in Toronto is a truly magical experience.
Discover what’s new and happening this winter at Toronto’s most popular attractions.
Toronto’s the place to shop for everyone on your list. Here are the gifts – and the shops – that’ll have your friends and family declaring “It’s perfect! How did you know?!”
Itinerary: Two Days of Holiday Magic
Whether it’s for skating, festive events or just strolling around taking in the sparkle, Toronto has all the right ingredients to create a truly memorable holiday trip.
Looking for inspiration? Check out this sample itinerary for a magical couple of days of yuletide cheer in Toronto.
Itinerary: Two Days of Holiday Magic in Toronto
Day 1: Skating, Lighting and Dining
Begin your holiday with a spin around the rink at Nathan Phillips Square the home of City Hall and the city’s most popular outdoor skating rink in Toronto. Practice your figure eights surrounded by a brilliant light display and a soundtrack of your favourite Christmas tunes. Skates are available for rent for about $10 a pair. Afterwards, warm up with a hot beverage and a light meal at Café on the Square.
Next head one block along Queen Street and take in the Christmas windows at the Hudson’s Bay store. The iconic Canadian retailer goes all out every year with its Christmas-themed tableaux. Everything from miniature trains, to mechanical mice, to life-size nutcrackers make up the displays. Simply walking by these windows is enough to get anyone in the holiday spirit.
Just across the street is the epicentre of shopping Toronto Eaton Centre. Around holiday time, the mall becomes a hub of activity filled with shoppers, Christmas decorations and Santa himself (book your visit ahead of time). Check out one of the over 90 fashion, accessory and footwear retailers or just take in the 50-foot Christmas tree that’s the centerpiece of the mall this time of year.
Post-shopping, head outside to Yonge-Dundas Square. Often called the Times Square of Toronto, the large public space at the intersection of Yonge and Dundas streets is always buzzing with activity. In the winter, look for the three-dimensional polar bear trio and the 40-foot sculptural light tree (it’s hard to miss). If you’re lucky, you might even catch some live music on the outdoor stage.
Hop on the subway up to Bloor Street and visit Toronto’s upscale Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood. An evening stroll through the twinkly lights and artful window displays is the perfect way to wrap up your day. For a sophisticated dinner, make your way to ONE Restaurant or Sassafraz.
Day 2: Snowshoeing, Theatre and the Distillery Historic District Christmas Market
After a sleep-in at your hotel, it’s time to head out to the west end to explore the winter wonderland known as High Park (nearest TTC stop: High Park station). Spanning 400 acres, High Park is Toronto’s largest park and in the winter its hiking trails are ideal for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing or you can go skating on Grenadier Pond. If you don’t have the appropriate gear, you can’t go wrong with simply exploring the park by foot. The snow-topped trees, twinkling icicles and frozen streams are picture perfect no matter how you view them.
How about a matinee show to warm both your body and your spirit? There’s a myriad of theatrical and dance productions to entertain you in Toronto. For laughs, check out Peter Pan, The 20th Anniversary Family Musical PANto-monium! or The Second City’s Unwrapped. For classic tales there’s The National Ballet of Canada’s production of The Nutcracker or Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella.
No holiday trip to Toronto would be complete without a visit to the most festive attraction of them all, the Toronto Christmas Market held in the Distillery Historic District. This month-long event transforms the area into a Victorian-era, European-inspired Christmas village. Sip on hot chocolate from Soma Chocolatier, mulled wine, or hot buttered rum as you wander among the artisanal booths displaying a variety of Christmasy crafts and gifts. Treat your ears to the music of strolling carolers and marvel at the 45-foot tree. Then end your day with a toast to the holidays and a sumptuous meal at Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie or Archeo Trattoria.
Restaurants & Nightlife
10 Great Restaurants for Holiday Dinners
Hungry for a memorable holiday feast? Toronto’s your city. Our exuberantly eclectic culinary scene is the perfect place to celebrate the season, no matter what your taste.
Trend Watch: Holiday 2015
Globe Bistro’s proprietor, Ed Ho, shares his take on this festive season’s top food and entertaining trends.
A Toronto Roots Music Odyssey
Toronto is enjoying an unparalleled folk and roots music revival. The chillier weather is the perfect time to discover Toronto’s rich roots music scene: It Had to Be You: A Toronto Roots Music Odyssey.
12 Trees of Christmas
Celebrate the joy of creativity at the Gardiner Museum’s 12 Trees of Christmas, one of the city’s best-loved holiday traditions.
From dazzling artistry to classic show-stopping production numbers, this is a theatre lineup worthy of a standing ovation.
Featured Video: Holiday Trailer 2015
The holiday season in Toronto is a time for family, friends, fun and festivity. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, the city transforms into a wonderland filled with sparkling lights, outdoor skating rinks, snow-covered parks and festive window displays.
Find more Toronto videos on our official YouTube channel.