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With hundred of twinkling lights hanging overhead, the sound of carollers singing, snowflakes falling, the smell of mulled wine and pastries filling the air, the Distillery District is transformed into the Toronto Christmas Market for another year.
Starting this week, the Toronto Christmas Market returns with a magical experience for locals and tourists alike. The Toronto Christmas Market is one of the largest in North America, filling every nook and cranny of the Distillery District with holiday vendors, good eats, and Christmas décor that’s sure to get you in the mood for the holiday season.
Thinking of attending? Here’s what you can expect at this year’s Toronto Christmas Market.
The Toronto Christmas Market starts on November 15 and runs until December 23 in Toronto’s historic Distillery District, located in the city’s east end. The market is open from noon until 9 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, noon until 10 p.m. on Fridays, 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturdays, and 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Sundays. Note that on opening day, the Christmas market will open at 4 p.m.
The Toronto Christmas market is closed on Mondays, however the Distillery District remains open seven days a week. Admission is free on weekdays and will cost $6 per person on the weekends, starting at 5 p.m. every Friday. Weekend entry is offered in time slots but you can stay as long as you wish within operating hours. If you’re looking to have a chill experience, organizers suggest attending on either Tuesday or Wednesday.
There’s a lot to do at the Toronto Christmas Market. Besides stuffing your face with delicious food and holiday inspired drinks, there are a variety of Christmas activities to take part in. You can roam the shops of the Distillery District as well as the selected market vendors, offering perfect, one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts for all your family and friends. Be entertained by Santa’s elves or carollers who spread the holiday cheer by breaking out into song and dance. And if you want to meet the big man himself, stop by Santa’s House for a photo.
At the centre of all the action is the massive 50-foot spruce tree, decorated with more than 40,000 lights, 800 Christmas balls, and a gold ribbon that runs 1.5 kilometres in length. While you’re taking in the sights, you’ll also get to enjoy over 400 live stage performances that follow a theme for each day of the week.
Indulging in some of the market’s holiday treats is one of the best ways to get in the festive spirit. But be sure to come with an appetite because choosing between the food stalls can be a serious dilemma. From Canadian poutine to turkey legs and Vienna-style schnitzel, potato tornadoes, grilled cheese and more, there’s something for everyone at the Toronto Christmas Market. Just be sure to save room for something sweet afterwards like maple fudge, Belgian-style waffles, or funnel cakes.
To drink, there’s nothing like a mug of warm mulled wine on a cold winter’s day, which you can find at lounges throughout the market. Look for that infamous “Naughty or Nice” light sign where you’ll find various spirits, specialty coffees, and festive cocktails hosted below its twinkling lights.
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If you’re coming from within the city, or even from outside Toronto but with direct access to a GO station, we suggest taking the TTC. It’s easy and cost effective as parking in the Distillery District can be limited, especially depending on what day you choose to visit the market. Get specific directions based on where you’re coming from here.