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13 Festive Christmas Events in Toronto

13 Festive Christmas Events in Toronto

Looking for some fun and festive Christmas events and activities in Toronto to attend this holiday season?

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 and activities!

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…

Holiday season at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, Ontario

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!

Be sure to also follow me on Instagram and TikTok – I share a lot more content on those platforms that don’t make it to the blog!

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If you’re looking for more festive things to do this Christmas, you might enjoy these posts:

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Best Christmas events & activities in Toronto

Christmas in the Distillery District

Distillery Winter Village at the Distillery District

The holiday season isn’t complete without a visit to the Toronto Christmas Market, which is now called the Distillery Winter Village!

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Located in the adorable Distillery District (where there are so many fun things to do), there are tons of festive decorations and delicious holiday eats.

Grab a turkey leg, sip on some hot apple cider, and do a little holiday shopping at all the unique vendors.

Or, hit up one of the many local restaurants in the Distillery District neighbourhood like Cluny (for French cuisine) or Boku (for Japanese eats)!

The Distillery Winter Village is happening everyday except Mondays from November 18th through December 31st.

There’s a tree lighting ceremony happening on opening night, and you’ll have to get tickets in advance online.

Tickets ($8) are also required for entry Friday through Saturday after 4 PM, but it’s a free event otherwise.

It’s a staple Christmas event that every Toronto person does at least once a year!

Dates: November 18th to December 31st, 2021

LOCATION: Distillery District, Toronto, ON

Christmas in the Distillery District

See Canada’s tallest Christmas tree at the Toronto 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 gift shopping, head on over to the centre of the mall to see Canada’s tallest Christmas tree.

The official tree lighting will be closed to the public this year, but you can see it in all its 108 feet of glimmering glory all holiday season long starting November 19th.

You can also grab photos with Santa from November 19th through December 24th for a donation fee of $5 (which Cadillac Fairview will match).

LOCATION: 220 Yonge St, Toronto, ON

Distillery District in Toronto, Ontario

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 happening this year from November 27th through December 31st, and you can see the official tree lighting on opening night from 5-7 PM, with live performances by Kiesza and Carys!

It’s totally free, and Yorkville is especially beautiful with all the festive lights and decorations lining the streets.

You can even make it a productive visit and get some of your holiday shopping done along Yorkville.

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There’ll also be traditional carollers strolling and singing their way through Yorkville on weekend afternoons!

Dates: November 27th to December 31st, 2021

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, and it’s happening on December 4th this year.

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

If you can’t make it in person, you can also watch it live on CTV!

Fun fact: the Santa Claus Parade has been happening annually since 1905 – it’s been almost 120 years!

Dates: Saturday, December 4th, 2021 at 7 PM

Christmas cocktail from Miracle Toronto holiday popup bar
Photo by Miracle Toronto

Miracle Toronto on Bloor St.

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

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

This adorable popup cocktail bar will be open 7 days a week from November 25th through December 26th, from 5 PM to 2 AM!

You can also stop by Sippin’ Santa, their holiday tiki sister bar happening down the street.

Dates: November 25 to December 26, 2021

LOCATION: 875 Bloor St. West, Toronto, ON

Christmas cocktail from Sippin' Santa holiday popup bar
Photo by Miracle Toronto

Sippin’ Santa on Bloor St.

You may not be jetting off on a tropical vacation this winter, but you can at least enjoy some tiki-themed cocktails at this popup bar by the same people behind Miracle Toronto.

Just like Miracle Toronto, it’s happening 7 days a week, so you can bounce between both bars for a festive bar hop.

Dates: November 25 to December 26, 2021

LOCATION: 866 Bloor St. West, Toronto, ON

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

One of a Kind Winter Show at the Enercare Centre

The annual 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.

Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students, and GO Transit even offers discounted combo tickets if you’re coming from outside of the city.

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Since the event is indoors at the Enercare Centre, you’ll need proof of vaccination in order to enter!

Dates: November 25 to December 5, 2021

LOCATION: 100 Princes’ Blvd. Unit 1, Toronto, ON

Polar Winter Festival at Bandshell Park

See all the pretty holiday lights as the Polar Winter Festival turns Bandshell Park into a winter wonderland.

You can enjoy all the fancy light displays, fun holiday rides and attractions, and delicious food and cocktails.

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

It’s open Wednesday through Sunday evenings from November 25th through December 26th, and tickets are $19.99 per person (or $14.99 per child).

Photo opps with Santa and Elsa from Frozen cost $12.99-$20 (with your own camera), and rides also cost additional fees.

Dates: November 25 to December 26, 2021

LOCATION: 100 Prince Edward Island Crescent, Toronto, ON

Snow Magic at Ontario Place

Snow Magic at Ontario Place

Instead of walking in a wonderland, you can drive through this festive winter oasis at Ontario Place.

Experience 18 different illuminated art projections by Canadian artists, cool fire effects, and light tunnels all from the warmth of your car!

It’s happening November 12th through January 16th, and tickets are either $45 or $65 per car depending on when you visit.

Check it out Wednesday through Sunday in November or 7 nights a week December and January!

Dates: November 12 to January 16, 2022

LOCATION: 955 Lake Shore Blvd. West, Toronto, ON

Go skating at the Natrel Rink at the Harbourfront Centre

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

You can skate at Nathan Phillips Square as well, but Natrel Rink at the Harbourfront 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.

Or, pay a visit to one of the best Harbourfront restaurants!

Dates: November 15 to March 6, 2022

LOCATION: 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto, ON

Christmas in the Financial District

See all the holiday decorations in the Toronto Financial District

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

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It’s so much fun to walk around and enjoy all the pretty decorations in the Financial District during the holiday season in Toronto.

Christmas decorations at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel

The Fairmont Royal York Hotel is one of the best spots to see holiday decorations – they deck out their front windows in festive displays during the holidays!

You can also make your way up towards the Eaton Centre, where you can peep out the pretty holiday window displays at the Hudson’s Bay.

LOCATION: Financial District, Toronto, ON

Holiday Market at Street Eats Market

If you haven’t heard of the Street Eats Market, it’s basically an outdoor food park at the Scarborough Town Centre, where you can enjoy delish eats from different food truck vendors.

You can peep out the Holiday Market the first 3 weekends in December, where you can shop goods from local artisans, bask in the holiday music, and of course eat all the delicious food truck offerings.

Admission is free, and it’s open December 4-5, 11-12, and 18-19!

Dates: December 4 to December 19, 2021

LOCATION: 520 Progress Avenue, Toronto, ON

Holiday Fair at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, Ontario

Holiday Fair in the Square

Normally held at Nathan Phillips Square, Holiday Fair in the Square will now be in Vaughan (right by the 400 & 407).

From one-of-a-kind gifts at the Artisan Marketplace to delicious eats from Toronto’s best food trucks, the Holiday Fair in the Square is a super cute festive market to visit.

There’ll even be a 50-foot-tall Christmas tree for all your Instagram photo needs, and Santa will be visiting on weekends for more photo opps.

This year, there’ll also be a fun holiday light show at the fair called Nights of Lights, with over 1 million LED lights – tickets are $12.99 for children and $16.99 for adults!

The fair itself is completely free to visit, and it’s open Wednesday to Friday evenings or all day on weekends.

You can take the subway straight there – it’s about a 15 minute walk from the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre!

Dates: November 26 to December 30, 2021

LOCATION: 80 Interchange Way, Vaughan, ON

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Christmas events & activities in Toronto to check out this holiday season:

  1. Distillery Winter Village
  2. Tree lighting at Eaton Centre
  3. Holiday Magic in Yorkville
  4. Santa Claus Parade
  5. Miracle Toronto
  6. Sippin’ Santa
  7. One of a Kind Winter Show
  8. Polar Winter Festival
  9. Snow Magic at Ontario Place
  10. Skating at Natrel Rink
  11. Decorations in the Financial District
  12. Holiday Market at Street Eats Market
  13. Holiday Fair in the Square

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? Let me know on Twitter or Instagram!

If you’re planning a trip to Toronto, be sure to check out my posts on the most fun things to do in Toronto (including free things), the best time to visit Toronto, and what to wear in Toronto.

If you’re looking for fun tours and activities to try in Toronto, check out this Kensington Market food tour!

More things to do in Toronto

If you’re looking for more festive things to do this Christmas, you might enjoy these posts:

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

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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!

Cat Forsley

Friday 24th of November 2017

Holiday VIbes sooooooooooo Good

Courtney Connolly

Saturday 18th of November 2017

I live only about 40 mins away from Toronto and Ive been meaning to visit the market for the past 4 years, I'm hoping I can actually make it this year!

Laurel Musical

Thursday 16th of November 2017

I love all these recommendations Jessica! Especially, skating! Ps. You look gorgeous as well. <3

Laurel xo

Jessica Lam

Thursday 16th of November 2017

Thanks so much Laurel! :)