If you prefer a more intimate and curated shopping experience than one giant trip to the mall, there are more than a couple of festive alternatives. The city offers some great markets that not only boast thoughtful products, but also Canadian designs — not to mention a plethora of tasty treats to sustain you and your friends as you cross off more than one thing on that holiday to-do list. Here are a few of the popular ones and what you can get at each one.
November 16 to December 23
The Distillery District
It’s hard to find a more festive experience than the annual Toronto Christmas Market. Hosted at the historic Distillery District, it feels as though you’ve stepped back in time amidst the strings of light, wooden huts and cheerful performances. A family-friendly tradition thanks to Santa’s House, carnival rides and a life-sized gingerbread house, you’ll be able to spend quality time with loved ones while picking up pretty trinkets for the home and food for parties.
November 23 to December 3
Enercare Centre Exhibition Place
With more than 800 artisans, this is a one-stop shop for gifts for the whole family. From baked goods to children’s clothes and stunning jewelry, you’ll be able to pick up something for the little one, the significant other and even the host all in one go. With so many stalls to visit, make sure to put your feet up and eat some treats in between.
December 1 to 23
Nathan Phillips Square
You can’t get more central than this European-style holiday market and fair. Now in its second year, the Holiday Fair in the Square builds on its central skating rink with artisan crafts, gourmet snacks, a Holly Jolly Midway as well as festive drinks at the Jackson Triggs Polar Point Bar. Perfect for an outing with friends or that special someone.
December 3, 10 & 17
Evergreen Brick Works
With a similar historic vibe as the Distillery District, the Evergreen Brick Works brings a charming quality to Etsy’s annual event. It highlights some of the best local artisans in Ontario, the perfect foil to the more traditional One of a Kind Show — at least on paper. Since the Evergreen’s Winter Village also runs at the same time, you’ll be able to take breaks at the holiday food court with its rotating food stalls and trucks celebrating Toronto’s diverse culinary scene.
December 9 & 10
Artscape Wychwood Barns
If you’re looking for something a little more low-key and a lot more urban, the holiday edition of Flea at the Barn is just the ticket. With a more intimate selection from just more than 60 vendors, there will be everything from fashion and jewelry to home decor and crafts. A trip to this market wouldn’t be complete without a stop at The Stop kitchen, which will be serving Syrian comfort foods and gluten-free treats.
About the Author
Meghan Yuri Young is the editor of her eponymous site encouraging readers to pursue happier, healthier lives through her own experiences. Follow her adventures: Meghan Yuri Young on Instagram.