Toronto's Must-See Holiday Markets

Friday Dec 16th, 2016



Avoiding the mall this shopping season? Here are five festive alternatives.

Yorkville's first-ever Holiday Market​ is opening to the public December 2nd through December 22nd, adding to the city's already healthy East German tradition of showcasing local food and wares. 

Beyond the standard crafts and carols, the Yorkville affair will feature a pop-up spa with mini-facials, yoga classes and personalized laser-cut ornaments for purchase. 

Sound good? Here are your other options to avoiding the mall this season:

Toronto Christmas Market, 55 Mill Street

Branding itself as the Toronto Christmas Market, the annual offering at the Distillery District is so popular that large retailers were recently accused of freeloading off it.

Running until December 22nd, it is probably the most well-known market in the pack, and the first thing people recommend to newcomers and tourists. This year, it shows 350 free performances, a nightly singalong and local craftspeople.

If you can't stand the crowds - and there will be crowds; an estimated 550,000 people came last year - you can always just hit the beer garden. Tickets are $6 on weekends, starting at 5.00pm on Friday. 

Holiday Fair in the Square, 100 Queen Street West

As the Star reported in November, another new Christmas congregation is coming to the steps of City Hall this season at Nathan Phillips Square. Organized by Epilepsy Toronto, the first Holiday Fair in the Square opens Dec. 8th and feature 60 vendors setting up shop until December 23rd. It's free.

Evergreen Brickworks Winter Village, 550 Bayview Avenue

The Don Valley is a destination on its own, but the Winter Village is a good excuse to enjoy Toronto's wild outdoors from December 10th to 23rd. The market - which encourages Torontonians to "eat, shop and play local" - has partnered with online maker-enabler Etsy to bring 60 crafters to the fore this year and will also feature a farmers market and outdoor park activities, if skating around a 480-acre property is your thing. Bonus: the event is free and the international food trucks will be sticking around until April. 

Union Station Holiday Market, 65 Front Street

If you don't actually feel like trekking to a market (or the mall) at all, the Union Station Holiday Market is the commuter-convenient option. Free and possibly on your way home, "Canada's busiest building" welcomes 20 vendors just west of the Great Hall from Dec. 5 to 16th. They will also be open at 7.30am Monday to Friday for your early shopping needs.

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