7 Brilliant New Holiday Events in Toronto this Year

Time to don your ugliest festive sweater and explore the city’s merriest events. Beyond the beloved classics, here is your go-to guide to some highly anticipated new holiday events in Toronto.

Visiting the Toronto Christmas Market There are, of course, the favourite top holiday things to do in Toronto: The Cavalcade of Lights at Nathan Phillips Square, The Toronto Christmas Market in the Distillery District, The National Ballet of Canada’s annual performance of The Nutcracker, The Toronto Chanukah Market and the Toronto Santa Claus Parade. But don’t miss all the new holiday events in Toronto this year, either – an amazing list of festive firsts. Father and young son at Christmas Market Toronto

Christmas Glow Toronto

November 28, 2019 to January 4, 2020

One of the world’s largest indoor Christmas festivals is debuting in Toronto this year, and it’s set to be spectacular. The Toronto Congress Centre will be hosting Christmas Glow Toronto, where you can wander under the twinkle of a million lights (yes, you read that correctly) while exploring the light gardens, illuminated structures and the Light Tunnel.

Kids Playing at Toronto's Christmas Glow

The kids can visit with Santa, take a ride on the Christmas Glow trackless train, or play on the LED swings and hopscotch, while you listen to live music and enjoy festive drinks and food. There’s also a Christmas market for buying unique gifts made by local artisans and boutique businesses. It’s festive fun for the whole family, and one of the few holiday events that spill into January.

Glen the GLOWcomotive at Glow Christmas Toronto

Terra Lumina at Toronto Zoo

Tickets on sale now

Visitors to the Toronto Zoo can take a luminous walk into the planet’s future, called Terra Lumina: An Enchanted Night Walk into a Bright Future. Passing through a portal, you’ll be transported to a fantastical vision of the year 2099 when humans have learned to live in harmony with nature and protect the planet.

Through the use of vibrant lighting, multimedia effects, animated projects, music, and storytelling, you’ll get an immersive experience and (hopefully) leave with a more optimistic perspective on the earth’s future. Tickets on sale now!

Toronto Vegan Christmas Market

December 14, 2019

Also new in Toronto for the holidays, the first-ever Toronto Vegan Christmas Market premiers on December 14, and is going to be a “celebration of peace, love and compassion for all beings – humans as well as animals.” Under one roof at the Ontario Heritage Centre, there will be vendors selling a wide variety of vegan products: from pastries and chocolate treats to cosmetic products and soaps to clothing – all made without animal exploitation. General admission is free, but bring pocket money in case you see something that catches your eye. Fun for vegan and “veg-curious” shoppers alike!

WinterFest at Canada’s Wonderland

Select nights from November 22 to December 31, 2019

At long last, Canada’s Wonderland is officially launching WinterFest this November, and it’s one of the most anticipated holiday happenings this season. First announced in 2018, the amusement park will be decked out as a winter wonderland, complete with magical holiday lights and décor, more than a dozen live shows and entertainment, holiday sweets and treats (Festive Funnel Cakes!), a Christmas Market, holiday caroling and hands-on family activities (like cookie-decorating with Mrs. Claus).

Dancing Elves at Wonderland Winterfest - new holiday events in toronto

The International Street fountain will also be transformed into Snowflake Lake for ice-skating in front of the mountain, and there will be two 50-foot tall Christmas trees decked out in more than 40,000 ornaments. Select rides will be running, and don’t miss getting pics with St. Nick or of the nightly tree-lighting ceremony. Get unlimited admission to WinterFest 2019 and 2020 if you hold a 2020 Gold Pass.

Singing Elves at Winterfest Canada's Wonderland - new holiday events in Toronto
Singing Elves at Winterfest at Canada's Winderland

Raptors vs. Celtics

December 25, 2019

Here’s the ultimate Christmas gift to “The 6ix”: this year, the Toronto Raptors will play a home game on Christmas Day – the first time in franchise history. The reigning NBA champions will host the Boston Celtics on December 25th and tickets are selling fast. If you can’t score seats to this epic event, put on your best “We The North” garb and join cheering fans outside the Scotiabank Arena or watch the game in one of the nearby sports bars downtown.

Raptors Basketball Game Toronto

A Christmas Story & A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play at Lower Ossington Theatre

November 8 to December 24, 2019

This is the first year that the Lower Ossington Theatre is presenting two holiday classics, A Christmas Carol and A Christmas Story. Based on the beloved 1983 holiday film, A Christmas Story chronicles the bespectacled boy, Ralphie Parker, as he schemes to get the gift of his dreams – a Red Ryder® Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle. Expect cameos from the infamous leg lamp, pink bunny PJs, a demented department store Santa, and the celebrated line, “You’ll shoot your eye out!”

BB guns aside, Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without visits from the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, who lead a stingy Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey of transformation and redemption. A treasured family classic, A Christmas Story: A Live Radio Play is performed in a fun, family-friendly format where you get to be part of the live studio audience.

Miracle on Ossington: Christmas-Themed bar

November 25 to December 26, 2019

Toronto is getting a Christmas-themed pop-up cocktail bar for the second year, but the location has moved to the Ossington area. This year, Miracle will be housed inside a vacant space at 146 Ossington Ave, which will be transformed into a Christmas-y wonderland complete with kitschy holiday décor, twinkling lights, festive cocktails, and hot drinks served in Santa mugs. Even the Grinch couldn’t resist enjoying a tipple or two at this pop-up event.

Miracle Christmas Pop Up on Ossington

About the Author

Lisa Jackson is a food and travel writer from Toronto. Her work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, The Independent UK, Saveur, CAA Magazine, Huffington Post Canada, Delta Sky Magazine, West Jet Magazine, iNews UK, Time Out, Fodors, The Food Network Canada, and many others.

See it. Snap it. Share it. In every neighbourhood, around every corner, through every door there's something that begs to be discovered in Toronto.


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