The Toronto Christmas Market is all that is good in Toronto. There is festive cheer at every corner in the Distillery District at this time of year. The market runs from Thurs, Nov 15 to Sun, Dec 23, 2018 on every day except Mondays. It is free to get in during the week, but there is $6 fee on Fridays at 5PM+ and weekends.
Every image you have about the holidays can be found in this Christmas Market. I think it is best experienced with a loved one because there is so much magic in the air. If it *lightly* snows while you are out that makes it all the more romantic! I would start by locating the Christmas tree – which won’t be a problem because it is a HUGE centerpiece – and then wandering off in all directions. You can finish walking around the market in less than an hour, but most people come to take their time and appreciate how unique the distillery district is compared to the rest of Toronto (it’s like its own mini-world!). The magical lights and seasonal decor from the market brighten up this special spot.
The Distillery District is a pedestrian-only zone so it’s always nice to come and take a stroll here. There are tons of art galleries, specialized food and dessert shops (i.e. chocolate stores), breweries, pubs, and classy fine dining restaurants. This area has been designated as a National Historic Site of Canada in 1988 because of the Victorian-era industrial architecture and heritage buildings like Gooderham and Worts Distillery. The red bricks and old square clock are highlights of this neighbourhood. There are informative free walking tours available, and if you’re really adventurous, there are segway tours as well!
There are many free performances around the market which include dancers, carolers, bands and singers. There is themed entertainment on each day starting from Traditional Tuesdays, World Wednesdays, Classical Thursdays, Friday Night Jazz, Pop/Variety Saturdays and Ensemble Sundays. Every day you’ll find Santa’s Elves and Christmas Candy Cane Carolers singing who encourage the crowd to sing along.
Food & Drink
All the comfort food you can think of can be found right here in this market. Mac and cheese? Check. Grilled cheese? Check. Good ol’ Canadian poutine? Check. Really, ANY comfort food you can think of will be here. Make sure to get your Tornado Potato from Das Kartoffelhaus, bacon and maple donuts from Holey Dough, fudge from Niagara Falls Fudge Co., chimney cakes from Eva’s Original Chimneys, wafels from Wafel Bar, weiners from Weiner Haus… I could go on and on! Don’t forget your apple cider/hot chocolate on the side.
You can expect to see a handful of market vendors that are all decked out in Christmas flair like the photo above. You can find local Christmas crafts here that are perfect to gift to your friends, family, and self (#treatyoself). Some of the vendors offer products that are found in traditional European Christmas markets.
If you really want a blast to the past then head to the family entertainment zone to take a ride on the carousel or ferris wheel. Remember to buy tickets first to go on the rides (1 ticket is $5).
I would recommend going just before it gets dark and staying throughout the evening so you can see the market in the day and night time. Alot of the stores in the district close early, so if you wanted to check out local art, taste delicious chocolates, or visit some of the boutiques before enjoying the market then you should go during regular business hours. Have fun, and dress warm for the cold weather!
Have you been to the Toronto Christmas Market? How did you like it? Let me know in the comments below!
Toronto Christmas Market
At the Distillery District
Parliament St & Gristmill Lane