Where to Find the Toronto Christmas Spirit

Christmas markets have been going on for over 600 years. Their roots began in Germany, but are now found across the globe. And the official Toronto Christmas Market is one of the best! December is a great time of year to visit Toronto. Christmas markets pop up across the city throughout the month, and other events and sights to see are happening all month long. A Toronto Christmas winter wonderland is yours to discover!

Top 5 Places to Experience the Toronto Christmas Spirt

Toronto Christmas Market

Toronto Christmas Market

The official Toronto Christmas Market is located in the historic Distillery District. Running for close to ten years, it’s the best one in the city. The Toronto Christmas Market has everything that the European ones have. From fabulous food stalls to local goods, a beer hall and even that old classic feeling, with its cobblestone pathways and red-bricked buildings. But boy do they ever know how to put you in the holiday spirt. With a giant Christmas tree, a countdown to Christmas day, carolers, elves and Santa all put in an appearance, this is a must visit during the holiday season!

But the atmosphere really amps up when the daylight fades and all the lights strung overhead turn on, highlighting the garland and helping to solidify that Christmas spirit. There is even a ferris wheel and merry-go-round for children and the young at heart. Plus there’s always great photo-ops, like last year’s pink tree mini maze, Glade’s Joy sign, snowmen and the Distillery’s own big heart.

Note: Weekends are extremely busy, so if you can try and visit during the week. There is also a $6 cover charge starting Friday’s at 5pm, and throughout the weekend. But it’s free Tuesday through to Friday at 5pm. And the Christmas market is not open Mondays. For more information on times and vendors visit their website here.

November 16 – December 23, 2017

Fair in the Square

Holiday Fair in the Square

New in 2016, Holiday Fair in the Square, is a Christmas market and fair located in Nathan Phillips Square. Home to a few carnival rides and games, along with various market stalls selling everything from fabulous local art to cool clothing. There are also a bunch of food trucks selling everything from Tim Hortons to poutine, all wrapped around the square. All to support Epilepsy Toronto. On top of the fair and market, Nathan Phillips Square is a must visit in Toronto, during summer or winter. It’s home to the city’s iconic Toronto sign. And in the December it’s also home to Toronto’s official Christmas tree! Also during the winter you can strap on a pair of skates and have a merry skate around the outdoor rink.

December 1 – 23, 2017

Nathan Phillips Square

Union Station Holiday Market

Union Station Holiday Market

In Canada’s busiest building, Union Station, you’ll find a quaint and small little Christmas market. Located in the Oak Room, the Union Station Holiday Market is a perfect stop for commuters. Full of great gift ideas for everyone on your list. You’ll find everything from upcycled vintage jewellery to Toronto socks, and so much more. And most of the goods are made in Toronto, by the people of Toronto. Plus, it’s free!

Note: There will not be a Union Station Holiday Market in 2017. Instead they will be highlighting shops within the Station.

Union Station Holiday Market

Eaton Centre

Eaton Centre

Toronto’s Eaton Centre is a massive shopping mall in the heart of the city. Home to over 200 stores and restaurants it’s a bit of a tourist attraction in itself. And every December it’s decked out for the holiday season. Last year it was home to Toronto’s tallest Christmas tree, as well as a gang of enormous reindeer decorations that are lit with LED lights. They even have a few spots marked for you to help you take optimal photos of you and the decorations!

Hudsons Bay

Hudson’s Bay

Founded in 1670, Hudson’s Bay is a Canadian staple. And every year when they unveil their holiday window displays people always flock to see them. It’s a tradition for many to bundle up and head over to Yonge & Queen, to walk around the Bay to see what they’ve come up with. Last year it was mannequins in Christmas candy dresses along Yonge and LED and animatronic animals in the winter, putting on a festive show down Queen Street. And as you walk around Christmas music pours from the speakers.

How do you get into the Christmas spirit?

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Toronto Christmas


I'm a Canadian gal with a passion for wildlife, the great outdoors and travel and hope to inspire others to feel the same way! Travelling mostly solo I love to explore Ontario Gems in my own backyard as well as exotic cities around the world.

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6 Responses

  1. Hannah Logan says:

    If I’m not elsewhere in the world early December next year I think I need to come to Toronto for these markets! They look like a ton of fun. Wish we had some in Ottawa- just a farmers market here that only runs a few hours on *I think* the first 2 weekends of December.

    • Stephanie says:

      Oh, you’d love Christmas in Toronto Hannah! And the Distillery District’s Christmas Market will have you thinking you’re in Europe! I’m surprised Ottawa doesn’t have any, especially a big one.

  2. Clayton says:

    I wish we could do more to celebrate Christmas here in Markham. We are no longer a town after all. But we do have a great outdoor ice rink.

    • Stephanie says:

      I wish we had a market here in Barrie too! I’m surprised there aren’t more in big cities and small towns across Ontario.

      • Clayton says:

        Hey Stephanie,

        We do have the Markham Fair in October which gives Markham a small town feel when it’s on. I love all the pies at the market. Check it out maybe. I know it’s a long way from Barrie though.

      • Stephanie says:

        Thanks Clayton! I’ll try and remember to check it out next year!

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