A Local’s Guide To The Festive Season in Toronto

A Locals guide to the festive season in TorontoToronto comes alive with activities, shopping, and markets the whole family can enjoy during the festive season of December. Look no further than this list:

FESTIVALS AND MARKETS

Nathan Phillips Square An old European Christmas is now (hopefully) a new Toronto tradition. will come alive December 8th thru 23rd with a charming Christmas market/winter carnival; a perfect setting for Toronto’s, official, dazzling Christmas Tree’.

Toronto Holiday FairintheSquare BlogTO

Toronto Holiday Fair at Nathan Phillips Square Credit BlogTo

toronto-festive-season-distillery-tree

Distillery District: offers it’s annual Victorian-era Christmas market, complete with carolers, crafts, and gift booths. Admission is free from Tuesday – Friday, with $6 admission Fri. evening, Saturday and Sunday. Open from November 18th – Dec 22nd

Union Station Holiday Market Find unique gift items at the lots of vendors, artisans. and designers, Union Square.  It runs from December 5th – 16th.

Yonge-Dundas Square’s December 9th – 18th is the launch of the 10 days annual Toronto Christmas Festival; laser light shows, music, shopping and even a sleigh ride with Santa Claus.

Bloor-Yorkville: Holiday Magic runs November 19 to the end of December; transforming into a magical holiday wonderland.

‘Winter Magic’ is again transforming our downtown Yonge neighbourhood into a wonderland for kids of all ages. This holiday season marks the 10th year of festivities with Kidzfest, Ice, Illuminate and Wine & Dine. Don’t miss the 40’ sculptural light tree at Yonge-Dundas Square, 3-D polar bears plus sleigh and reindeer.

GET OUTSIDE

For fresh air and exercise, there’s nothing better than a day on an outdoor skating rink; Nathan Phillips Square, Christie Pitts, High Park, Riverdale Park East and Rosedale Park is where you’ll find the great rinks. Then there’s the Natrel Rink, located behind the Bill Boyle Artport on the lakefront; they have heated indoor change rooms and Dec 17 to Feb 18th they feature ‘Saturday DJs Skate Night’. What a wonderful way to enjoy Saturday night, a dance party on ice. Through the whole winter season Harbourfront offers arts, culture and recreational programs.

Toronto's Natrel Rink DJ Skate night Toronto

Natrel Rink DJ Skate night Credit Harbourfront

Spectacle of Lights on the Toronto Waterfront begins November 26th.  An animated light installation of over 39,000 LED lights transforms the Toronto Music Garden into a fairytale.

EVENTS AND ATTRACTIONS

Not to be missed is the beauty, magic and inspiration of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King; returning to The National Ballet of Canada December 10 – 31st.

nutcracker_National Ballet of Canada

Nutcracker Credit National Ballet of Canada

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra features their annual Christmas concert, The Twelve Days of Christmas at Roy Thomson Hall. From December 9 – 11th

It’ wouldn’t be Christmas without a visit to Toronto’s spectacular Casa Loma, magically transformed into a Christmas Palace.

Toronto Casa Loma Winter Magic

Credit Casa Loma

There are extended hours at ROM (The Royal Ontario Museum) from December 26th – January 8th, allowing lots of time to take in the seasonal, family programs.

SHOPPING

The Toronto Eaton Centre has become a festive wonderland for shoppers. Here you can find the recently opened New Nordstrom and Uni-Qlo. Try to catch the Christmas Jukebox and Story Time with Santa.

Take the kids to see the phenomenal display of holiday windows at the Hudson’s Bay (Queen & Yonge) and Holt Renfrew (Bay & Bloor).

Yorkdale Mall is a great place for luxury and designer labels which can found at some of the first-in-Canada stores in the Mall. Everything you want under one roof, from the exclusive labels to fine cuisine and technology.

The recently refurbished Square One is the largest shopping centre in Ontario, it’s 360 stores and services offer everything from luxury to trendy. With over 1.7 million sq.ft., this mall is for serious shoppers.

Another spot for the savvy shopper is Vaughan Mills, one of the largest shopping centers in Canada. It’s an enclosed shopping complex with almost 1.3 million sq.ft., offering a unique mix of outlet and specialty concept stores.

For more information about what is happening around Toronto and the GTA visit:
Tourism Toronto’s site:  www.seetorontonow.com

 

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