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Christmas in Toronto Downtown

Things to do at Christmas in Toronto: Celebrate the 2023 Season

Did you know Toronto transforms into a winter wonderland each December? Christmas in Toronto is a time for bright lights, festive markets, and joy. This year, Christmas falls on a Monday, December 25, 2023. The city buzzes with activities for everyone. 

You can skate under the stars. Explore holiday markets. Enjoy seasonal shows. Each experience is a chance to make memories. Toronto invites you to join the celebration. Welcome the holiday spirit in this vibrant city.

Best Things to Do at Christmas in Toronto

Visiting Toronto during Christmas is a delightful experience. Here are some top activities:

Ice Skating at Nathan Phillips Square

Skate at Nathan Phillips Square, at 100 Queen St W, Toronto. It’s a winter tradition. The best time to visit is on weekday mornings for open space. Skating is free, with skate rentals available for a fee. 

Adults and kids pay the same for rentals. Enjoy poutine and hot dogs from nearby vendors. They are local favorites. Pro tip: bring your skates to avoid lines. 

The rink sparkles with lights at night. It’s perfect for family fun or a romantic glide. Warm up with hot cocoa from the snack bar. This is Toronto’s iconic holiday skating spot.

Toronto Christmas Market

Visit the Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery District, 55 Mill Street. It’s a festive hub. Weekdays offer a quieter experience. No entry fee from Tuesday to Friday; weekends cost around $8 for adults, and free for kids under 6. 

Try the schnitzel and apple fritters they’re crowd-pleasers. Pro tip: dress warmly, most stalls are outdoors. The market brims with crafts, treats, and cheer.

Lights and music fill the air. It’s a blend of tradition and holiday fun. For a classic Christmas feel, this market is the place to be. Enjoy the season’s best here.

Toronto Christmas Market

Magic of Casa Loma’s Holiday Lights Tour

Casa Loma’s Holiday Lights Tour is at 1 Austin Terrace. The castle’s evening glow is best seen after dusk. Tickets are around $45 for adults and $25 for kids. 

Pro tip: weekdays are less crowded. Savor gourmet hot chocolate and roasted chestnuts. They’re a treat. The tour takes you through twinkling lights and festive decor. 

Music fills the grand halls. It’s a holiday spectacle. Capture the moments with photos. This tour is a journey into a Christmas fairy tale. For a night of enchantment, Casa Loma is the key. It’s a seasonal delight not to be missed.

Holiday Magic at Yorkville Village

Holiday Magic at Yorkville Village, located at 55 Avenue Road, is free for all. Visit in the evening when the lights dazzle most. Pro tip: Weeknights are less busy. Indulge in gourmet treats from local bistros. 

Try the truffle mac and cheese. The area shines with festive lights and luxury shopping. It’s a blend of elegance and Christmas charm. The tree lighting event is a highlight. 

Live music adds to the ambiance. It’s a perfect spot for a festive stroll. Yorkville Village offers a chic holiday experience. It’s where Toronto’s Christmas spirit shines bright. Enjoy the magic of the season here.

Holiday Hills at Stackt Market

Holiday Hills at Stackt Market, 28 Bathurst St, is a festive gathering place. Entry is free for everyone. The best time to visit is early evening as the lights begin to sparkle. 

Pro tip: dress warmly to enjoy the outdoor activities. Sample the gourmet grilled cheese or artisanal hot chocolate. These treats are local favorites. The market is a maze of holiday delights with workshops and pop-ups. Find unique gifts and enjoy the lively atmosphere. 

Weekends bring live music and special events. It’s a creative twist on holiday cheer in Toronto. Stackt Market is where the community and holiday spirit meet.

Winterfest at Canada’s Wonderland

WinterFest at Canada’s Wonderland is a festive must-see. Located at 1 Canada’s Wonderland Drive, it’s a winter highlight. Best times to visit are weekday evenings for fewer crowds. Savor the park’s signature turkey legs for a holiday treat. 

Admission costs vary: adults pay around $30, while junior tickets are less. Pro tip: buy tickets online to save. Inside, the park dazzles with lights and holiday decor. 

Rides whirl with joy. Live shows add to the merry atmosphere. Don’t miss the ice-skating rink. Wrap up your visit with a hot chocolate in hand. WinterFest promises enchanting holiday memories.

Make memories with each laugh and cheer. WinterFest offers a world of Christmas magic. It’s a highlight of the season in Toronto. Come and join the celebration.

Santa Claus Parade

The Santa Claus Parade in Toronto is a holiday spectacle. It’s free for all, delighting both adults and juniors. 

The parade winds through downtown, starting at Christie Pits Park. Pro tip: arrive early to snag a good spot. The best views are near the start. Street vendors sell hot chocolate and beavertails, a sweet pastry treat. 

The parade features festive floats, bands, and dancers. Santa himself makes a grand appearance. It’s usually held on a Sunday in mid-November, kicking off the season. 

For a day of joy and community spirit, join Toronto’s beloved Santa Claus Parade.

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Festive Drink at the Thirsty Elf

The Thirsty Elf pop-up bar, nestled in the Fairmont Royal York at 100 Front St W, is a festive favorite. No entry cost, but drinks are for adults only. Visit early in December for a quieter vibe. 

Pro tip: Try their signature ‘Rudolph’s Nose’ cocktail. It’s a hit. The bar’s retro Christmas decor sets a merry scene. Snack on festive nibbles while sipping your drink. It’s a cozy spot for holiday cheer. 

The Thirsty Elf offers a quirky, cheerful escape from the winter chill. Gather friends for a toast to the season in this hidden holiday gem.

Holiday Fair in the Square

Holiday Fair in the Square, at Nathan Phillips Square, is a festive treat. Entry is free, making it perfect for all ages. For a less crowded experience, visit on weekday afternoons. 

Pro tip: try the artisanal eggnog, a crowd favorite. The fair combines the charm of a holiday market with the excitement of a winter carnival. Find unique gifts, enjoy carnival rides, and taste gourmet food truck offerings. 

Address: 100 Queen St W, Toronto. It’s a blend of shopping, fun, and food in a merry atmosphere. The Holiday Fair is where Toronto’s festive spirit comes alive. Join the celebration this season.

Canada’s tallest Christmas tree at the Eaton Centre

Canada’s tallest Christmas tree at Eaton Centre

Marvel at Canada’s tallest Christmas tree at the Eaton Centre, 220 Yonge St, Toronto. This towering tree is a sight to see, and it’s free for all. The best time to visit is on weekday mornings when crowds are thin. 

Pro tip: grab a gingerbread latte from a nearby cafĂ© to enjoy the view. The tree lights up the mall, creating a magical backdrop for holiday shopping. It’s a beloved Toronto tradition. 

Snap a photo with the tree, it’s a festive highlight. The Eaton Centre’s Christmas tree isn’t just tall; it’s a grand symbol of the holiday season in the city.

Candlelight Concerts in Toronto

Experience the glow of Candlelight Concerts across Toronto venues. These concerts are held in various locations, so check the schedule for addresses. 

Tickets range, with adult and junior prices often the same. Pro tip: book early, as these intimate concerts sell out fast. The best time to go is mid-week for a quieter evening. Before the concert, try local eateries for a light meal. 

The ambiance of flickering candles and live classical music creates a serene escape from the festive rush. It’s a blend of harmony and light, perfect for a memorable holiday evening.

Skate the Bentway at Night

Skate the Bentway, a unique figure-eight rink under the Gardiner Expressway. Located at 250 Fort York Blvd, skating is free, with skate rentals available for a small fee. 

For a magical experience, visit at night when the path is lit and less crowded. Pro tip: Thursday evenings often feature DJs, enhancing the vibe. Warm up with hot drinks from nearby vendors, with hot chocolate being a local favorite. 

It’s a novel way to enjoy Toronto’s winter—gliding through art installations and lights. The Bentway offers a skate unlike any other, perfect for all ages seeking holiday enchantment.

Allan Gardens Winter Flower Show

Allan Gardens, at 19 Horticultural Ave, hosts the Winter Flower Show. It’s a bloom of color in winter. Entry is free, making it a joy for adults and children alike. The best time to visit is on a weekday morning for a peaceful walk. Pro tip: Check out the seasonal poinsettias. 

Local cafes nearby offer fresh pastries, a perfect complement to your visit. The conservatory is a warm oasis, filled with festive floral displays. It’s a tranquil retreat from the city’s hustle. Allan Gardens’ flower show is a hidden gem, offering a serene, fragrant escape during the holiday season.

Snow Magic at Ontario Place

Snow Magic at Ontario Place, 955 Lake Shore Blvd W, is a winter delight. Tickets are around $45 per vehicle, so pack friends or family in the car. The best time to visit is after dark when the light sculptures shine brightest. 

Pro tip: weekdays are less busy. No food is sold on-site, but you’ll find plenty of eateries nearby. Drive through a dazzling tunnel of lights, past mystical creatures and arctic scenes. 

It’s a drive-thru event, so stay cozy in your car. Snow Magic offers a festive journey, lighting up Toronto’s nights with wonder. It’s a holiday adventure for all ages.

Polar Winter Festival

The Polar Winter Festival lights up Bandshell Park, Exhibition Place, at 210 Princes’ Blvd. Tickets: about $20 for adults, less for kids. Visit in the evening for full light displays. 

Pro tip: weekdays are quieter. Enjoy gourmet food trucks with treats like maple taffy. The festival features a light maze, ice sculptures, and holiday markets. It’s a winter wonderland with festive music and entertainment. Bundle up for outdoor magic. 

The Polar Winter Festival is a sparkling escape into holiday joy. It’s a seasonal celebration that brings smiles and wonder to Toronto’s chilly nights. Come and be part of the festive cheer.


1. What are some free Christmas activities in Toronto?

  • Visit the Christmas lights at Nathan Phillips Square.
  • Enjoy the window displays and lights in Yorkville Village.
  • Walk through the festive markets like the Toronto Christmas Market on weekdays.

2. Where can I find the best Christmas lights in Toronto?

  • Casa Loma’s Holiday Lights Tour offers a dazzling display.
  • The Eaton Centre showcases Canada’s tallest Christmas tree.
  • Allan Gardens Winter Flower Show features festive floral arrangements.

3. Are there any Christmas markets in Toronto?

Yes, the Toronto Christmas Market and Holiday Fair in the Square are popular choices.

4. Can I ice skate during Christmas in Toronto?

Absolutely, you can skate at Nathan Phillips Square and The Bentway.

5. What unique Christmas experiences are there in Toronto?

  • Experience the Snow Magic drive-thru light display at Ontario Place.
  • Attend the Polar Winter Festival for a mix of lights, food, and entertainment.

6. Is there a Santa Claus Parade in Toronto?

Yes, the Santa Claus Parade is a beloved annual event. Check local listings for dates.

7. What are some indoor Christmas activities in Toronto?

  • The Candlelight Concerts offer a warm, musical reprieve from the cold.
  • Allan Gardens Winter Flower Show is a beautiful indoor floral display.

8. What should I wear to outdoor Christmas events in Toronto?

Dress warmly in layers, with a coat, gloves, and a hat, as temperatures can be quite cold.

9. Are there any Christmas events suitable for children?

Winterfest at Canada’s Wonderland and the Santa Claus Parade are great for kids.

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