The best Christmas markets in Toronto this year

Mulled wine and wood-burning fires aplenty at these winter festivals

Christmas markets in Toronto this year are sure to dial up the holiday spirit as the cold weather takes hold of the city. Get ready for plenty of mulled wine, wood-burning fires, and gourmet treats. And lineups. While the Distillery District’s Christmas Market may have started this festive trend, it’s become so popular that it can be hard to enjoy the atmosphere amongst the crowds. Fortunately, it’s not the only option for holiday cheer this season.

Here are five holiday markets that’ll add sparkle to your winter.

Evergreen’s Winter Village

Spend an afternoon at this old brick factory and skate around the open-air rink while listening to live music. Between skating sessions, you can sit by a fire pit as you sip on hot apple cider. There’ll be an array of tasty treats from local food trucks and you can still pick up fresh produce at the farmers market. Nov. 30 to Dec. 22, 2019

 

A Nutcracker Christmas at Casa Loma

A Nutcracker Christmas at the Castle

Toronto’s famed castle is set to be transformed into a winter wonderland, featuring stunning light displays, ice-skating performers and more. The interior will be decorated accordingly with a 40 foot tall evergreen in the Great Hall. The little ones can visit Santa’s workshop, decorate treats, and enjoy arts and crafts. There will also be an outdoor market on select days (Dec. 15 to 30). Dec. 1 to Jan. 5, 2019

Toronto Art Crawl Christmas Market

Get into the holiday spirit with rows of beautifully handcrafted goods by 110 local artists and designers at this all day event. Choose from art, fashion, jewelry, home decor, vintage, photography, and more. With a DJ, food vendors, and face painting, this event offers both adults and children a day of entertainment. Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019

Holiday Fair at Nathan Phillips Square

Think of it as a mash-up between a winter carnival and a Christmas market. Bring your skates and enjoy a host of performances, from carollers to a jazz band. You can also imbibe at a licensed ice bar with a crackling fire. After warming up, check out the “Artisan Village” for one-of-a-kind gifts and treats. Visits from Mr. and Mrs. Claus happen on the weekends. Dec. 7 – 23, 2019

 

The Distillery’s Christmas market

The Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery District 

This list wouldn’t be complete without the most popular holiday market in the city. Step into this twinkling holiday wonderland with giant gingerbread houses, strings of fairy lights, a giant Christmas tree, and an array of daily performances. Note well, there is an admission charge on weekends starting at 6 p.m. on Fridays. Nov. 14 to Dec. 22, 2019 (except Mondays)

The Holiday Hills Festival at stackt 

Toronto’s stackt market is joining the roster of holiday festivals in the city with its new Holiday Hills programming. The festival will feature interactive and unique activities, such as an outdoor Crokicurl rink — a mix of Crokinole and curling. There will also be a train ride through the market on weekends, and adults can visit the wine bar in a yurt. Admission is free and the festival will run Tuesday through Sunday. Nov. 22 to Dec. 21, 2019 

If you’re up for taking a drive through Ontario you should also check out the Christkindl Market in Kitchener, and Holiday Street Market in Milton.

To kickstart the holiday spirit, you can catch the Santa Claus Parade this Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

Article exclusive to TRNTO