With twinkling lights overhead, the sound of carolers bouncing off the old Victorian industrial buildings, the taste of warm, mulled wine, and the unmistakable smell of wood burning in the vicinity, the Distillery Historic District has transformed into a Christmas wonderland once again this year. The Toronto Christmas Market fills every nook and cranny of the Distillery Historic District and it’s a magical experience.
Today, Christmas markets are found all over the world and the Toronto one is one of the largest in North America. Here are some local tips on what to see, do, and eat at the Toronto Christmas Market.
At the centre of all the action is the massive 50-foot white spruce tree. It’s decorated with more than 40,000 lights, 800 Christmas balls, and a gold ribbon that runs 1.5 kilometres in length. It’s the perfect spot to grab a selfie with that special someone.
Santa’s Elves entertain visitors as they roam the market and break out into song and dance. You’ll also find carolers spreading holiday cheer, dressed in early 20th-century clothing singing Christmas favourites in 4-part harmony.
More than 400 free performances can be enjoyed at the main stage including award-winning singers, brass bands, cultural dancers, and carolers. There are themed performances each day of the week including Traditional Tuesdays, Classical Thursdays, and Pop/Variety Saturdays. Kids will love the daily Santa’s Elves Sing-Along, an interactive stage-show featuring Santa’s Elves that’s exclusive to the Toronto Christmas Market.
Back for its second year is a 100-foot light tunnel filled with one trillion lights! Inside you’ll find a bar to enjoy tasty beverages, heaters to warm up next to, and twinkly photo opportunities to fill up your Instagram feed.
Pop by Santa’s House where you can meet the man himself! Santa will be making daily appearances and you’re welcome to snap your own photos to remember the occasion. Your four-legged friend can also get in on the action and have their photo taken with Santa on Tuesdays.
The Distillery Historic District is lined with European-style wooden cabins housing various vendors selling all types of locally handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gifts. From hand-carved wooden figurines to artisan Christmas ornaments, naturally-made body products to cozy, fashionable socks. If you’re looking for unique gifts, this is the place to get them!
Learn about Christmas traditions and the history of the Distillery District on a special Christmas Market walking tour with Go Tours Canada. These hour-long tours are filled with stories of Toronto, how Gooderham and Worts became the largest distillery in the world, and how the distillery has transformed into the area is it today.
Keep the kids entertained with a ride on either the Ferris wheel or carousel while capturing the view from the top. There are also fun photo opportunities throughout including Santa’s Sleigh, the Snowmen, the Angel Wings Bench, and the 10-foot wide Ornamental Wall sponsored by Interac.
One of the best aspects of any Christmas Market is the food and there’s no shortage of tasty choices here! Fuel up on artisan grilled cheese sandwiches, turkey legs, classic Canadian poutine, potato tornados (an entire potato spiralled onto a skewer and topped with your choice of seasonings), Vienna-style schnitzel sandwiches, and spicy chorizo or Oktoberfest sausages grilled on a huge circular grill perched atop a wood-burning fire pit.
For those with a sweet tooth, you won’t want to miss the maple fudge, strudels, chimney cakes, Belgian-style waffle bits loaded with various toppings, or the hot chocolate from Wildly Delicious.
No Christmas Market would be complete without a beer garden to wash all that tasty food down, and the Toronto Christmas Market has a handful to choose from. Snuggle up with your loved one beside a fire pit and grab a traditional glass of Glühwein (mulled wine) and soak in your surroundings. If mulled wine isn’t your drink of choice, you can opt for a hot toddy, holiday spirits, or good ‘ol fashioned beer from Mill Street Brewery. Their Vanilla Porter or Coffee Stout are great choices on a cold winter day.
This year, the Toronto Christmas Market is running from November 15 to December 23, Tuesdays to Sundays. Admission is free from Tuesdays to Fridays and costs $6 on weekends and Fridays starting at 5pm.
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.
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.#OPENYOURCURIOSITY
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