33 things to do this Christmas in Toronto

Nov 30 2016, 5:25 pm

Tis the season for everything Christmas in Toronto.

From Santa, to carolers, and holiday markets, there is something for everyone. Naughty or nice, these events are for you!

Toronto Christmas Market

Toronto’s Christmas Market brings the spirit of the season to life! One of Toronto’s favourite holiday events, guests are invited to rediscover the magic and romance of Christmas by taking in stunning light canopies, enjoying unique shopping experiences, traditional music and dance performances, and activities for the whole family to enjoy. If you haven’t checked it out yet, make sure to head down soon.

Where: Distillery Historic District, 55 Mill Street
When: Now until December 22

A Christmas Carol

Soulpepper’s beloved production of A Christmas Carol has become a Toronto holiday tradition. Follow Ebenezer Scrooge as he is visited by three ghosts who help him understand the importance of charity in the holiday season.

Where: Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill Street
When: December 2 at 4:30 pm

Twist Your Dickens

The Second City’s Twist Your Dickens, an irreverent and interactive seasonal satire, will haunt the Toronto Centre for the Arts this month. Created with The Second City Theatricals in Chicago, Twist Your Dickens is written by former The Colbert Report writers Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort.

Where: Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge Street
When: December 2 to 30

Wishlist Holiday Pop-up

thisopenspace and Hermann & Audrey have teamed up for Wish List; a holiday gift pop-up shop opening this weekend! Wishlist features five different brands: Frank + Oak, KOTN, Bobbies, Mary Young, and Chance & Fate. This is a one-of-a-kind unmissable shopping destination for everyone on your list.

Where: 12 Ossington
When: December 2 to 15

Union Station Holiday Market

Head down to Toronto’s busiest transit hub this December to visit the Union Station Holiday Market. This holiday market features a curated mix of approximately 20 local businesses, designers, artisans and gourmet food vendors offering a selection of the city’s best gifts.

Where: Union Station, 65 Front Street West
When: December 5 to 16

Hoppy Holidays

The 3rd annual Hoppy Holidays craft beer sampling event! A festive spin on the much loved “Beer Experience” event, complete with seasonal brews, one-off creations, and yuletide beer cocktails!

Where: The Berkeley Church, 315 Queen Street East
When: December 6 at 6 to 11 pm

Magical Winterland Nights

Explore the Magic of Casa Loma.. at night!  Wander through the dazzling lighting display in the gardens and witness famed illusionist entertainer Professor Wick’s holiday themed magic show, as well as live performers Soli and Rob and Circus Jon. Visit with wintery holiday mascots, sing along with live carollers, witness live wood carving, enjoy s’mores, hot cocoa and much more!

Where: Casa Loma, 1 Austin Terrace
When: December 7, 14, 21, and 28 from 5 to 9 pm

Festival of Carols

The evening program by the renowned 30-member Canadian Staff Band will include carols and other works that capture the mood of the season — from the contemplative nature of Biebl’s Ave MariaO Holy Night and Who is He in Yonder Stall to the joy expressed in The Sussex Carol and Ding Dong Merrily on High. Audience members will also be invited to join in the popular sing-along of favourite carols.

Where: Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, 1585 Yonge Street
When: December 7 at 7:30 pm

Holiday Fair in Nathan Phillips Square

Santa will be setting up his workshop in the heart of downtown Toronto at the Nathan Phillips Square Holiday Fair. Guests are welcomed into the warmth of Santa’s home for a meet-and-greet and holiday photos, plus kids can write letters to Santa, meet an elf or two and build a stuffed toy.

Where: Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St West
When: December 8 to 23

Holiday Market

This outdoor market will feature a collection of seasonal and artisan vendors, live music, food and drink, a warm-up lounge hosted by Jack Astor’s and a strolling Santa.

Where: Shops at Don Mills, 1090 Don Mills Road
When: December 9 – 11, and 16 – 18, Fridays from 3 to 9 pm, Saturdays & Sundays from 12 to 6 pm

The Twelve Days of Christmas

A delightful concert for the whole family featuring beloved comedian Colin Mochrie. The TSO’s RBC Resident Conductor Earl Lee leads the TSO, the Highland Creek Pipe Band, the Resonance Youth Choir, and Tha Spot Holiday Dancers for a festive evening, complete with sing-along holiday classics, and a hilarious live-action pageant.

Where: Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe Street
When: December 9 and 11

Toronto Christmas Festival

Over 60 vendors, entertainment, and Christmas cheer awaits you at Harbourfront Centre! Don’t forget to check out the DJ skating nights while you’re there.

Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West
When: December 9 and 18

A Victorian Christmas at Mackenzie House

This festive season take a step back in time to Victorian Toronto and experience the magic of a traditional Christmas in an 1859 row-house. Escape from the hustle and bustle while you enjoy a sample of mulled cider and a biscuit in the warmth of the historic kitchen. Discover the story of how families celebrated Christmas in 19th century Toronto as you tour the Mackenzie home dressed in greenery for the holidays.

Where: 60 Bond Street
When: Now until January 8

12 Beers of Christmas

They made a list and checked it twice–of 12 local breweries, naughty and nice – to join the annual all-you-can-taste, beer-drinking extravaganza. Throw on your ugliest Christmas sweater and cross a beer (or 12) off your list. There will be live music, DJs, and enough suds to give Santa’s village a hangover.

Where: Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West
When: December 9 from 6 to 9 pm

Breakfast With Santa

This holiday season, join Santa for breakfast under the sea. Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada will be hosting a mouth-watering breakfast with Jolly Old Saint Nicholas. Tickets include: breakfast, complimentary coat check, a family photo with Santa, general admission to the aquarium, and a gift for your child to take home.

Where: Ripley’s Aquarium, 288 Bremner Boulevard
When: December 10, 11 and 18 from 8 to 9 am

Desserts by Lamplight

A magical evening of lamp-lit rooms, decadent desserts and carollers. Space is limited for this fundraising event – early bookings recommended.

Where: Scarborough Museum, 1007 Brimley Road
When: December 10 from 6:30 to 9 pm

The Nutcracker

Ever since its premiere in St. Petersburg in 1892, The Nutcracker has been an integral and irreplaceable part of Christmas celebrations worldwide and a work of theatrical exuberance synonymous with the unfettered joys of childhood wonderment. The National Ballet of Canada’s touching and multilayered version of the famous ballet, choreographed by James Kudelka, is a spectacular re-imagining that has been greeted with rapturous acclaim by audiences whenever it is performed.

Where: Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen Street West
When: December 10 to 31

Evergreen’s Winter Village

Delivered in partnership with Etsy Canada, the Makers Market is the place to find locally-crafted gifts, treats and other surprises! With new vendors every day, you’ll be sure to find something for everyone on your list.

Where: Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Avenue
When: December 10 to 23

See also

27th Annual Charity Holiday Concert

The York Centre’s 27th annual charity holiday concert, in support of children’s mental health, features Juno award nominees Mark Masri and Liberty Silver, the University of Toronto Gospel Choir and Young Singers Children’s Choir.

Where: Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge Street
When: December 11 at 4 pm

Gladstone Christmas Flea Market

Start crossing names off of your Christmas list at the Gladstone Christmas flea market. Here you’ll find artist goods, reclaimed vintage, craft, jewelry, clothing and so much more for everyone on your list.

Where: Gladstone Hotel1214 Queen West
When: December 11, 10 am to 4 pm

A Jann Arden Christmas

Jann Arden & the Toronto Symphony Orchestra are uniting! With her warm voice, witty personality, and legendary charm, Jann Arden offers a memorable assortment of timeless numbers and audience favourites. The TSO is joined by the Etobicoke School of the Arts Chorus, under the baton of TSO Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke.

Where: Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe Street
When: December 13 at 8 pm

Ugly Christmas Sweater Cocktail Cruise

This 2-hour holiday cruise through the Toronto Harbour will include food stations, a costume contest (ugliest outfit wins!), and a complimentary Bad Santa photo booth.

Where: Mariposa Cruises – Pier 6, 207 Queens Quay West
When: December 16 at 9 pm

Home Alone Quote-Along

Because what is the holiday season without a little Kevin McAllister? Clearly a fan fave, this is the third annual Hot Docs Home Alone Quote-Along. Get ready to get rowdy!

Where: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, 506 Bloor Street West
When: December 16 at 9:30 pm

Let it snow: Craft Fair

The 2nd Annual Let it Snow Craft Fair returns, bringing together talented local artisans from across Toronto.

Where: Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street
When: December 16 to 18

Christmas Marketplace

Presented by the Toronto Etsy Street Team, Christmas time is prime time for craft shows and this is one cozy, intimate handmade show, on the LAST shopping weekend before Christmas. There will be festive music, handmade goods and vintage sellers, along with yummy treats!

Where: Church of Saint Stephen-in-the-Fields, 103 Bellevue Ave at College Street
When: December 17 from 11 am to 5 pm

Get those skates out, #Toronto! We’re happy to announce that the #NatrelRink is officially open!

A photo posted by Harbourfront Centre (@harbourfrontcentre) on

Skate with Santa

Fun for the whole family this holiday season. Join Greater Toronto Skating Academy for a Skate with Santa. This event is free. Bring your friends, bring your skates and a helmet and bring your joyful spirit.

Where: Scotiabank Pond, Rink 4, 57 Carl Hall Road
When: December 17 from 11 am to 12:30 pm

The Trinity Bellwoods Flea – Local Holiday Market

Skip the lines and the crowds this holiday season and find the special gift for that special someone on your list all in one place. All your favourite handmade, local, art and vintage vendors and artisans return to bring you a diverse and truly gift-worthy selection of goods. Sure to please everyone on your list! Two days, two spectacular line-ups of vendors all for one truly local holiday market. Admission is free!

Where: Studio Bar, 824 Dundas Street West
When: December 17 and 18 from 11 am to 6 pm


Hallelujah! Experience Handel’s Messiah, Toronto’s must-see holiday classic, performed with matchless spirit by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Acclaimed Baroque-music specialist Nicholas McGegan conducts the Orchestra and a stellar lineup of vocalists and chorus, in five tremendous performances of the immortal oratorio.

Where: Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe Street
When: December 18 at 3 pm

Tea with Santa and Mrs. Claus

Kids are invited to join Santa and Mrs. Claus for a holiday tea party. There will be plenty of photo opportunities, a holiday scavenger hunt, dance party with Santa, and guests can decorate their own tea cup.

Where: 8611 Weston Road, Unit 28
When: December 18 to 23

Bunz Flea Toronto Holiday Market

Bunz Flea is back with a Holiday edition, which promises to be even bigger and better than the last one! We will be able to house even more vendors this time, and there promises to be something for everyone, as well as plenty of trading!

Where: Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West
When: December 20 at 7 pm

City of Toronto Christmas Concert

Celebrate the holiday season at the City of Toronto’s annual Christmas Concert. Beginning at 11:30 am in the Rotunda of City Hall, the concert will feature local choirs: All the King’s Voices, Toronto Beaches Children’s Chorus and Toronto Mass Choir. They will be joined by the Tower Brass and organist James Bourne, while popular Toronto media personality Adam Wylde will once again emcee. As always, Santa Claus will make a special guest appearance.

Where: City Hall, 100 Queen Street West
When: December 23 at 11:30 am

Santa at the Eaton Centre

Check out Santa in an authentic Log Cabin at the Eaton Centre! A holiday-themed story will be read and each child will be able to spend time interacting with Santa. Be sure to book ahead so you can avoid the rush. Oh, and make sure to check out the epic tree while you’re there.

Where: Eaton Centre, 220 Yonge Street
When: Now until December 24

Fashion Santa

And of course, for those who want to pay the edgier and trendier Santa a visit, Yorkdale’s Fashion Santa will be back to take photos this holiday season. Yorkdale will be donating $1 to SickKids Foundation for every selfie shared using #FashionSanta2016.

Where: Yorkdale Mall, 3401 Dufferin Street
When: Various dates throughout December

DH Toronto StaffDH Toronto Staff

+ Listed
+ Christmas