The five best Christmas markets in Toronto this year
December’s dip in temperatures heralds a bevy of outdoor Christmas markets for holiday shoppers unafraid of braving the chilly air to pick up artisan goods, handmade gems and some seriously killer street food. Here are five can’t-miss markets to visit this month:
Where: Distillery District
When: Through Dec 22 (closed Mondays)
What’s there: The largest Christmas market in Toronto is also arguably the most popular (and most famous: it was named one of the world’s best Christmas markets last year by Fodor’s). Highlights include hand-crafted ornaments, a carousel, carollers and a Santa brought in on Tuesdays specifically to pose with pets.
Hot tip: Non-shoppers ought to hit up this market if only to warm up with traditional German schnitzels.
Where: 136 Yorkville Ave.
When: Through Dec. 22
What’s there: Yorkville’s freshman entry into the seasonal market game is as swanky as the neighbourhood itself. Alongside holiday entertaining workshops and promises of fresh Beaver Tails, the multi-level holiday market features a pop-up spa, DIY tuque station and holiday party-ready baubles from Petite Etoile.
Hot tip: Luxe clothier Judith and Charles will feature an exhibit from photographer Roberto Dutesco for the duration of the holiday market.
Where: Nathan Phillips Square
When: Through Dec. 21
What’s there: The pavilion outside City Hall hosts its first holiday market, offering traditional street food, artisanal crafts, carnival-style rides for the kids and an open-air ice bar for some holiday spirits.
Hot tip: As far as Toronto-specific winter activities go, it doesn’t get more traditional than a turn on the Nathan Phillips ice rink. But if skating isn’t your thing, there’s also a merry-go-round nearby.
Where: Evergreen Brick Works (550 Bayview Ave.)
When: Dec. 10-Feb. 28
What’s there: From Christmas trees and canned goods to heirloom seeds and packets of salt-and-pepper mealworms, Winter Village is basically a one-stop holiday shop. Plus, with a farmer’s market taking place each Saturday, Christmas shoppers can squeeze in a quick grocery pick-up, too.
Hot tip: A partnership with Etsy brings a 60-vendor makers’ market to Evergreen until Dec. 23, with everything from hand-knit kids’ sweaters to artisanal cupcakes.
Where: The Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen Street W. (entrance on Lisgar St.)
When: Dec. 9-11
What’s there: Toronto’s craftiest holiday market turns 10 this year, showcasing some of the city’s best artisans and entrepreneurs, with gems from Rare Specimens, ceramics from Ness Lee and handmade skincare from Corktown Soap.
Hot tip: The first hundred visitors on Saturday morning get free screen-printed, limited edition tote bags filled with crafty tchotchkes.