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Toronto’s Christmas Market: Everything You Need to Know

Get out of the house and have a jolly time at this market.

Photo by Madi Costa

Looking for a festive activity to do with friends or family? Check out the Toronto Christmas Market during winter break.

Dancing elves, lights strung from building to building, and Christmas music are among the things that greet you at the Toronto Christmas Market. Every year around Christmas, Toronto’s Distillery District is turned into a winter wonderland featuring foods, shops, and much more.

The Toronto Christmas Market has so much Yuletide cheer it’s sure to make even Scrooge smile. So, take a break, give them a visit and experience the holiday magic.

The Famous Dior Tree

Strolling down the cobblestone streets, your nose will pick up the scents of waffles and hot chocolate as you head towards the famous tree in Trinity Square.

A Christmas tree with the Dior logo at the bottom of it.
The Dior banner and Christmas lights shined from down the street. Credit: Madi Costa.

This year’s event is sponsored by Dior, the beautifully decorated tree displaying the company’s logo. Banners advertising the fashion business are all around the district along with fern trees decorated with twinkle lights and ornaments.

Alleyways Everywhere

The District is filled with multiple alleyways that feature different themes.

Twinkle lights with lama pinatas are strung in the sky between two little cabins with people walking between them at night.
Pinata lamas could be seen on the string lights, adding to the theme. Credit: Madi Costa

One of them is Mexican food themed, containing string lights with pinata lamas, taco and churro cabins, and a bar serving delicious whiskey hot chocolate.

A red and white up of hot chocolate with people sitting and a Christmas tree in the background.
The District’s whiskey hot chocolate could be bought at most bars in the alleyways. Credit: Madi Costa.

Most alleyways also have seating sections where you can rest your feet by a heating lamp or campfire.

Dazzling Decor

Where there aren’t string lights, the District has set up projections of festive images that dance along the sides of buildings, showing you it’s the merriest place to be this time of year.

A crowd of people underneath lights strung between buildings. A countdown to Christmas is above one of the buildings, displaying 6 days left.
As the countdown to Christmas continues, people continue venturing into the market. Credit: Madi Costa.

A large Christmas countdown can be seen over the buildings, almost as big and bright as the Dior tree, capturing the magic and cheer of the season.

The Distillery District is also known for its art, containing various art galleries you may go in and out of as you please. It also has art structures on the streets that are as big as the huge Christmas tree.

A man proposing to a woman under a heart-shaped structure at night with the word "love" in block letters under them and people in the background.
Love and the Christmas spirit are in the air as this person proposes. Credit: Lina Costa.

This human-sized heart always has a line of people because of its Instagram-worthiness. This time, while a couple were posing for their picture, the man turned and got on one knee to propose. Everyone gathered around and cheered when he slipped the ring on her finger. The market is truly a place where festive wishes come true.

Did Someone Say Shopping?

As you walk through the crowded streets, you may stumble upon a few of the quaint cabin shops scattered throughout the alleyways.

Little cabins with lights at night and people walking around them.
People could shop these cabins as they walked past the alleyways. Credit: Madi Costa.

Among these are vendors selling foods like hot waffles, poutine, mini pancakes, Portuguese natas, pierogi, and more.

There are also vendors selling handmade crafts and gifts galore – everything from cozy knitted hats to cute bracelets. You may also spot the Elf General Store where you can buy cute Distillery District merch, ornaments, and tote bags.

Selfies With Santa

Under a canopy with string lights, a thrown with presents behind it and Christmas trees beside it hold Santa, taking photos with people.
People line up to take pictures with Santa all night. Credit: Madi Costa.

The second hottest spot in the District (after the Dior tree, obviously), is where people have lined up to take photos with Santa in the Mill St. Brewery area.

Around Santa’s throne are presents and elves, the perfect backdrop for Christmas cards or Instagram posts.

Elves guide the way to take photos with the jolly man – one elf even holds up a tall post to show where the long line starts.

Drinks, Please

You may drink freely and cannot take beverages past the entrance/exit of an entire area dedicated to the Mill St. Brewery. Walking into this area is a little cramped because people make a zig-zag line that leads to the big man in a red coat.

A building at night decorated with white and yellow lights and a sign that says "Mill St. Brewpub"
People can get warm with some beer in the Brewpub. Credit: Madi Costa.

Also in this area are multiple Mill St. Brewery bars – it’s the Mill St. area, after all – heating lamps, and a patio section with seating underneath a canopy. There’s also a food truck with the sign “Streat Food” on the roof of it and the letters “eat” lit up.

More Shopping

The inside of a shop has red and white snowflakes strung across the ceiling, a Christmas tree in the corner, and people walking around, looking at things to buy.
At this festive store, you can buy sauces, honey, cookies, and sweet treats. Credit: Madi Costa.

If you want to get some shopping done, there are many stores inside the buildings that sell miscellaneous items and other brands like The Ordinary Company.

Tickets are a little pricey, starting at $15. However, the District is free from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and until 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Then, they’re open from Dec. 26 until Jan. 7, even on New Year’s, when they close at midnight.

For more information, head over to the Distilery’s website.

Written By

Hey, I'm Madi, an aspiring editor in my second year of Journalism at Mohawk College. Other than hanging out with family and friends, I spend my time snuggled under a warm blanket, wearing the fluffiest socks I own, knocking books off my TBR list.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Caesar Costa

    December 27, 2023 at 5:05 pm

    Great job Madi keep up the great work ….love this article

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