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12 Festive Things to Do in Toronto During the Holidays

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12 Festive Things to Do in Toronto During the Holidays

Looking for some fun and festive Christmas events to check out this holiday season in Toronto?

The holidays are one of my favourite times of the year here in the city.

From ice skating under the stars to sipping hot apple cider at festive markets, there are just so many fun and wintery Toronto holiday events!

It also makes me so excited to see glittering lights and decorations across the city.

Everything is just so darn jolly and cute!

Maybe the Canadian winter weather isn’t so bad with all the festive cuteness going on…

While there are tons of great Toronto Christmas events, today I’ll be sharing my absolute favourite things to do whenever the winter season rolls around.

Here are my favourite Toronto holiday events, markets, and festivals to visit during the Christmas season!


Christmas in the Distillery District

1. Toronto Christmas Market in Distillery District

The holidays aren’t complete without a visit to the Toronto Christmas Market!

Located in the adorable Distillery District, there are tons of festive decorations and delicious holiday eats.

Grab a turkey leg, sip on some hot apple cider, and take a ride in the ferris wheel!

The Toronto Christmas Market is definitely a staple on my holiday to-do list, and you should definitely check it out at least once during the holiday season.

Admission is free on weekdays and $5 on weekends, beginning at 5 PM on Fridays.

If you’re looking for more cool spots in the neighbourhood, I’ve got blog posts on things to do in the Distillery District and the best Distillery District restaurants!

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The Toronto Christmas Market has been cancelled for 2020, however you can still shop and dine in the Distillery District as part of the Winter Village from November 12 to March 31.

LOCATION: Distillery District | Website


Christmas in the Distillery District

2. Watch the tree lighting ceremony at the Eaton Centre

Get at least some of your holiday gift shopping done while you’re at the Eaton Centre.

Let’s be real – who really gets it all done before the last week leading up to Christmas?

After you’ve done your shopping, go see Canada’s tallest Christmas tree get lit up!

Even if you don’t catch the tree lighting ceremony, you can see the tree in all its 100 feet of glimmering glory all holiday season long.

LOCATION: Toronto Eaton Centre | Website


Distillery District in Toronto, Ontario

3. Holiday Magic in Yorkville

Every year, the Bloor-Yorkville BIA kicks off the holiday season with Holiday Magic, an annual community concert in support of the Canadian Foundation for Aids Research.

It’s totally free, and Yorkville will be especially beautiful with all the festive lights and decorations lining the streets!

You can also get some of your holiday shopping done along Yorkville.

Holiday Magic has been cancelled for 2020.

LOCATION: Yorkville | Website


4. Watch the Santa Claus Parade

The Santa Claus Parade draws in crowds and crowds of families every year, but you’ll never be too old to watch it!

The Toronto Santa Claus Parade begins at Christie Pits Park and ends at St. Lawrence Market.

Don’t forget to bring a warm hat and a hot drink – it gets pretty dang chilly out there.

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The Santa Claus Parade will be going virtual on December 5, 2020.


Holiday season at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, Ontario

5. Cavalcade of Lights at Nathan Phillips Square

Watch as the official Christmas tree of Toronto lights up and enjoy live music, skating, and fireworks!

This is probably the biggest event of the holiday season in Toronto.

It does get really crowded when there’s events at Nathan Phillips Square, so if you’re not into crowds, it might not be for you!

The Cavalcade of Lights has been cancelled for 2020.

LOCATION: Nathan Phillips Square | Website


Holiday Fair at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, Ontario

6. Holiday Fair at Nathan Phillips Square

From cute gift booths, to skating under holiday lights, to the delicious food trucks, the Holiday Fair at Nathan Phillips Square is a super cute festive market to visit.

Admission is free, and it’s not as crowded as the Cavalcade of Lights because it’s not a one night event.

The Holiday Fair will be going virtual for 2020.

LOCATION: Nathan Phillips Square | Website


Distillery District in Toronto, Ontario

7. Miracle at Stackt Market

If festive cocktails are your thing, you’ll fa-la-love Miracle Toronto at Stackt Market.

You can snap some cute holiday pics for the ‘Gram and sip on holiday-inspired classic cocktails (while safely social distancing).

Happening Tuesdays through Sundays from November 20th to December 26th, 2020!

LOCATION: 28 Bathurst St. | Website


The best festive activities to do in Toronto during the holidays!

8. One of a Kind Winter Show at the Enercare Centre

The One of a Kind Winter Show is the perfect spot to get all of your holiday shopping done.

You can shop locally-made goods and unique gifts from over 800 Canadian makers and artisans.

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Admission is $18 for adults and $10 for students, and GO Transit offers discounted combo tickets.

The One of a Kind Winter Show will be going virtual for 2020.

LOCATION: Enercare Centre | Website


Aurora Winter Festival Toronto

9. Aurora Winter Festival at Ontario Place

The Aurora Winter Festival turns Ontario Place into a winter wonderland.

There are fancy light displays, holiday vendors, delicious food, and plenty of festive things to do.

You’re guaranteed to get plenty of festive Instagram photos here!

The Aurora Winter Festival has been cancelled for 2020.

LOCATION: Ontario Place | Website


10. Go skating at the Natrel Rink at the Harbourfront Centre

What better way to ring in the holiday season than with some ice skating?

You can skate at Nathan Phillips Square as well, but Natrel Rink is much less busy and just as awesome.

Get gorgeous waterfront views and sip on some delicious coffee from Boxcar Social next door, one of my fave Toronto coffee shops.

There are tons of fun things to do at the Harbourfront!

I’ve also got a blog post all about the best Harbourfront restaurants if you’re looking for places to eat in the neighbourhood.

LOCATION: Harbourfront Centre | Website


Christmas in the Financial District

11. Explore the Financial District and see all the holiday decorations

The Toronto Financial District is filled with glittering lights and festive decorations during this time of the year, and it’s absolutely stunning to see!

Adam and I have made it sort of an annual date to walk around and enjoy all the pretty decorations in the Financial District during the holiday season in Toronto.

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It’s all just so dang pretty.

LOCATION: Financial District


12. Check out holiday decorations at Hudson’s Bay

Every year the Bay puts up holiday decorations in their display windows at the Eaton Centre, and it’s always so pretty to see!

They’re fun to take a look at while doing holiday shopping, and they’re v cute for Instagram photos.

LOCATION: Toronto Eaton Centre


Christmas events in Toronto to check out this holiday season:

  1. Toronto Christmas Market
  2. Tree lighting ceremony at Eaton Centre
  3. Holiday Magic in Yorkville
  4. Santa Claus Parade
  5. Cavalcade of Lights
  6. Holiday Fair at Nathan Phillips Square
  7. Miracle at Stackt Market
  8. One of a Kind Winter Show
  9. Aurora Winter Festival
  10. Skating at Natrel Rink
  11. Holiday decorations in the Financial District
  12. Holiday decorations at Hudson’s Bay

The holidays are a great time to be in the city, and you’ll find a lot more Toronto Christmas events and activities than what’s on this list.

I wish you all a wonderful holiday season, no matter what you celebrate!

Will you be kicking off the festive season at any of these Christmas events in Toronto? Are there any other Toronto Christmas events I missed? I’d love to know in the comments!

Looking for holiday gift ideas? Check out some of my holiday gift guides:

Be sure to keep up with me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest if you aren’t already!

Jessica Lam | Toronto lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and travel blogger | Diary of a Toronto Girl, a Canadian lifestyle blog

The best festive activities to do in Toronto during the holidays!

Photos by Adam G.

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