Toronto is dazzling in the Winter. From its’ light strewn city streets to the quaint Toronto Christmas Market, there is no shortage of festive fun to be found. You can easily fill an entire weekend with all the Christmas-season activities in Toronto. Tie your scarves and prepare your taste buds for maple flavored everything because this is a Christmas destination you don’t want to miss.
Toronto Christmas Market
The Toronto Christmas Market fills the pedestrian streets of the Distillery District from late November until December 23rd. The cobblestone streets are crowded with people enjoying the holiday treats and cheer. This Christmas Market has such cheerful atmosphere that even the biggest Grinch will leave jolly.
The stalls sell everything from decorations to gifts. Decorations options were plentiful from ornaments to nesting dolls to German pyramids.
Come hungry as many of the stalls have food options. There are pretzels, chili and chocolates…and just about everything in between. There are many restaurants in the Distillery District as well if you’d prefer a sit down option. Don’t miss a stop at the “naughty or nice” beer garden for Glühwein (German-style mulled wine) or a craft beer.
Glimmering lights create a canopy over the market. It’s absolutely magical. Not only were there lights in the tree, there were lights everywhere. I tried to take in every sting of lights and tried to stop at every stand that I could. If the strings of lights aren’t enough, there are actual gas lanterns illuminating the sidewalk!
Follow the lights to the Christmas tree at the center of the Toronto Christmas Market. Allow the yuletide joy to overwhelm you as the song of Christmas carolers fills the air.
Skating at Nathan Phillips Square
Centrally located in Toronto is Nathan Phillips Square. This square becomes home to the city’s skating rink in the Winter. The Toronto City Hall serves as a beautiful backdrop for the skating rink. Nathan Phillips Square is all about the lights; from the infamous “Toronto” sign to the spectacular city lights. Spend some time skating under the lights for this quintessential Toronto experience. (Skate rentals are available.)
Window Displays at Hudson’s Bay
Amid Christmas shopping, take a moment to check out the window displays at Hudson’s Bay. This large department store is located on Yonge St, not far from Nathan Phillips Square. The window displays are updated every year and are brimming with holiday cheer.
Allan Garden Conservatory Christmas Garden Show
There is something so wonderful about visiting a conservatory in the Winter. It allows you to warm up from the cold while enjoying all the beautiful flowers. The Allan Garden Conservatory goes a step further by adding Christmas elements to its’ green house. There are various types of poinsettias all over the conservatory as well as special Christmas floral displays.
Christmas Cheer at Casa Loma
Casa Loma is named for House on a Hill, and this Gothic revival style castle sits hillside overlooking Toronto. This house has incredible views of the Toronto skyline and is a beautiful place to visit year round. Yet come December, this castle is transformed into a Winter wonderland. The castle decorations get a holiday update including a 40 ft tree and there are many Christmas activities to partake in.