‘Tis the season!
It’s officially the time of year when holiday markets are popping up all around. The joyous offerings at these festive pop-ups make us want to put on our favourite ugly sweater and (try to) sing carols with friends and family over a cup of steaming hot chocolate. To help you get your cheer on, we rounded up some of the best markets across Canada where you can eat, drink, shop and be merry.
Located within the cobblestone alleys of Toronto’s Distillery District, this Christmas Market prides itself on offering loads of holiday magic and romance. With its iconic Ontario-grown Christmas tree standing tall as the centre of attention, plus the hundreds of twinkling lights, Christmas music and mistletoe, this isn’t one to be missed. Grab a delicious homemade snack from vendors like Santa’s BBQ, Schokoladen S’mores or the Wafel Bar, and browse the festive wares lining the streets. The market is open Tuesday through Sunday from November 14 to December 22.
As part of the centuries-old tradition in German towns, the Vancouver Christmas Market is in its tenth year of hosting a Christkindlmarket. Celebrating German traditions and uniting them with modern Vancouver offerings, this European-inspired holiday village is decked with twinkling lights from November 20 to December 24. If the market-wide scavenger hunt doesn’t get your inner child excited, the hand-crafted gifts from local artisans and regionally sourced refreshments surely will.
Look within Ontario for more Yuletide celebrations of German origin. From December 5 to 8, wooden huts lining Kitchener’s Christkindl Outdoor Village offer goodies like butter tarts from Carla’s Cookie Box, hot mulled wine from Concordia Club, and Christmas decor, giftware, handmade clothing and more. Inside adjoining Kitchener City Hall are two floors of even more vendors (plus some warmth). Jenny & Fred’s G-Scale Model Railway is a major attraction within the market, bringing over 25,000 visitors to the train display.
It’s hard to imagine a more magical location for a holiday market in Canada. Not only does the Banff Christmas Market offer classic tastings and crafts, but it does so in front of the snow-covered rocky peaks of Alberta. For two weekends in November (November 15 to 17 and November 22 to 24), enjoy the one-of-a-kind shopping experience, as well as the many scheduled activities like sleigh rides overlooking Banff National Park and outdoor bonfire lounges paired with warm beverages.
Bringing to life a magical atmosphere just weeks before Christmas with twinkling lights and all the Christmas decorations you could possibly need is the Marché De Noël Allemand De Québec. The largest in the province, this German Christmas market will undoubtedly bring back some childhood nostalgia with its schedule of adult board game evenings and outdoor story times. The market also offers products from over 80 exhibitors from Québec, Germany and Europe, and runs from November 22 to December 23 in Old Québec.
From December 12 to 23, a unique craft fair takes place in the Yukon. Featuring the wares of over 80 vendors, this market offers everything from arts and crafts to fresh baked goods, books and more, with a focus on Yukon handcrafted and grown items. Vendor K. Buerge of Poiema says “12 Days is a fun and welcoming venue where I love to stroll, socialize and leisurely admire local art and handcrafts.”
Twinkly lights are an instant emblem of the holiday season. Between November 30 and December 7, observe beautiful light displays at Halifax’s Splendour in the Park in Cornwallis Park. Don’t forget to bring your favourite family member (we’re talking about your pet!) to take a photo with Santa. Before enjoying a silent dance party, share the warmth in your heart by dropping off a donation for the Navigator Street Outreach Program.