“Oh, this is exactly what I needed!” I thought to myself as I crossed the street instantly being filled with holiday cheer. It was the Toronto Christmas Market. The sun had yet to set but, the twinkling lights were still creating that magical holiday feeling in mid-afternoon – a feeling has been missing so far this year.
I heard of the Christmas Market at the Distillery District for the first time last year after the fact and was super disappointed I couldn’t see it. P.S. let this be a note to anyone involved with the Toronto Christmas Market, you guys need to pump up the advertising – the friend I invited to come with had also never heard of a Christmas Market in Toronto. I’ve never been too much into Christmas but I did enjoy the Christmas Markets in Germany when I lived there in 2008. So, I made it a mission to go see how Toronto does Christmas Markets this year.
Now, I love the Distillery District on a regular day, but put a Christmas Market in the middle of it, I’M IN LOVE! The area is already a pedestrian-only zone of buildings from the 1800’s that have been converted into boutique shops and cafes [find out more in my Historical Toronto post]. The Distillery really makes for the perfect location for a Christmas Market.
The Toronto Christmas Market has everything you’d want in a Christmas Market. Artisan products like Christmas ornaments and candles are for sale. There are sweets galore including churros and fudge. But if you want something savory there is the schnitzelhaus stands or a poutine stall (this is Canada after all). Being located in the Distillery, you can find some unique Christmas gifts in the regular stores if the stands don’t have anything you like. You could always pop into one of the stores to warm up a bit as well or go over to the Beer Garden for mulled wine or hot rum-based drinks. Pro Tip: Mulled wine is where it’s at!
The bitter cold wind (making -4˚C feel like -11˚C) was the only real downside to the afternoon. I was freezing the entire time despite being bundled in my winter coat and gloves. It made things like seeing the musical acts on the stage less enjoyable, eating an Oktoberfest sausage a little uncomfortable, and riding the Ferris Wheel unthinkable (okay, maybe I did think about it).
So, I would conclude with saying that go and enjoy the Toronto Christmas Market. If you couldn’t make it this year, go next year. It runs every year from the very end of November to mid-December in the Distillery District (which you should visit anyways).
Have you been to the Toronto Christmas Market? If so, what’s your favourite part?