The best holiday markets in Toronto

A roundup of the city's most festive spots for treats, carols and mulled wine

The holiday season in Toronto is about to head into full force in the coming weeks, and with that, we’ll see a wide array of markets popping up throughout the city. Some may be your tried and true, while a few new festivals make their way onto the scene this year. Regardless of where you go, there’s sure to be lots of festive treats, Christmas carols, mulled wine, and more.

Toronto Christmas Market
One of Toronto’s most attended holiday festivals, the Distillery District’s Christmas Market is back for it’s 9th year. Meant to emulate Europe’s famous, traditional holiday markets, the Distillery District’s will host European food items, heated outdoor beer and mulled wine gardens, holiday giftables, and a 50ft+ white spruce tree with over 40,000 lights.
Where: Distillery Historic District
When: November 15 – December 23
Admission: $6.00 *Free weekdays until Friday at 5pm​

A Nutcracker Christmas at the Castle 
Casa Loma’s holiday exhibit will include a dazzling display of lights, sugar plums, life-sized nutcrackers along with daily performances and an outdoor market. Plus visitors can stroll through the century-old castle’s light display from Dec. 17 to 23.
When: Dec. 1 – Jan. 6
Where: 1 Austin Terrace
Admission: $24

Aurora Winter Festival
Escape to this magical winter wonderland within the city, where you’ll see a Luminous Forest and Arctic Retreat for light displays and giant sculptures; skating on the frozen pond; and the opportunity to ride down a 180-foot slide. The village will have market vendors and food trucks, and Santa’s Workshop will host Santa and his elves, as well as crafts for kids. To round it all off, there’ll be an amusement park.
Where: Ontario Place, East Island
When: Nov 29 – Dec 30
Admission: $14.99+

The Eco Lifestyle Market
What: An eco-friendly market for those looking to clean up their holiday shopping this year. Browse over 55 vendors offering sustainable, eco-friendly, and wellness goods. There will also be a selection of local eats to fuel you. Don’t forget to bring your own bag to take away those gifts for your Secret Santa (and maybe for yourself too).
Where: The Great Hall
When: Dec 2
Admission: Free

Etsy Made in Canada Holiday Market
The Toronto Etsy Street Team is back with their popular markets, this time for the holidays. Expect lots of great prints, knitted goods, handmade cards, ornaments, vintage and more. This market will have two rooms of vendors to check out.
Where: St. Stephen’s in the Fields
When: Dec 22
Admission: Free

Holiday Fair in the Square
The Nathan Phillips Square is a great combination of a traditional holiday market with a classic winter fair. Bring your family and friends to check out some rides, play a game, and grab a snack or the perfect gift from the many vendors. Bring your skates (or rent them!), and then hang out in the evening for a glass of wine from the Jackson Triggs wine bar.
Where: Nathan Phillips Square
When: Dec 1 – 23
Admission: Free

Evergreen’s Winter Village
The Brickworks are transformed over the holiday season into their yearly Winter Village. Take the family skating, and have lunch from one of the food vendors and trucks. You can also shop the market, and pick up your own sustainably grown Christmas tree to ring home. This year’s Winter Village will be held in the redeveloped Futures City Centre surrounding the skating rink.
Where: Evergreen Brickworks
When: Weekends in December, Dec 24th, and Dec 26-31
Admission: Free

Junction Holiday Market
What: A neighbourhood wide holiday pop up in locations throughout the Junction. Vendors will be hosting parties, shopping events, and offering discounts, holiday treats, and more. Receive complimentary giftwrapping, enjoy musical performances, and watch out for the Creative Children’s Dance Centre’s holiday show in the windows of local businesses. As per tradition, Santa in the Junction will be there once again, so be sure to visit the info booth at the Train Platform to grab a free ticket for photos with St. Nick.
Where: Dundas West from Keele Station
When: Nov 30 – Dec 2

Article exclusive to TRNTO