What's open and closed in Toronto this holiday season 2018

Dec 20 2018, 11:22 pm

It’s that time of year again.

The holidays are in full swing over the next two weeks, and to help you maneuver life, we’ve compiled a list of what is open and closed during the holiday season.

City of Toronto

December 13


Most city operations and all municipal offices will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day. City services that regularly operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, such as 311 Toronto and emergency services will be available.

Community recreation centres

Community centres in the city will be open until 4 pm on December 24 and 31 (later for those with scheduled permits) and closed on December 25 and 26 and January 1. Some facilities may be closed during the holiday period for annual maintenance.

Swimming at city pools

While a few pools remain open over the holidays for drop-in leisure swimming, note that most pools across the city are closed on Christmas Day proper. Schedules vary by location and are available here.


Skating trails

City of Toronto/Flickr

The city offers a variety of free, leisure ice-skating programs for all ages and abilities at indoor arenas and outdoor rinks. Outdoor rinks that are open may be unsupervised. Indoor arenas will be closed on December 25 and 26 and January 1. Schedules vary by location. More information is available here.


The City of Toronto operates two ski/snowboard centres. Earl Bales Ski and Snowboard Centre and Centennial Park Ski and Snowboard Centre both open for the season on January 1 (weather permitting).

Riverdale Farm

Riverdale Farm is home to a variety of domestic farm animals, including Tamworth pigs, goat kids and sheep. These represent animals commonly found on a turn-of-the-century Ontario farm. Riverdale Farm is open from 9 am to 5 pm and admission is free.

Toronto Zoo

Baby Rhino Snow

Toronto Zoo/Twitter

The Toronto Zoo will be open throughout the holiday period except on December 25. Admission on Boxing Day will be 50% off.

High Park Zoo

The High Park Zoo is home to domestic and exotic animals, including Toronto’s famous capybaras Bonnie and Clyde, and is open daily from 7 am to dusk including holidays. Admission is free.

Christmas flower shows

Christmas flower shows at the city’s Allan Gardens and Centennial Park conservatories are a tradition during the holiday season. The flower shows are open daily from 10 am to 5 pm until January 9 and admission is free.

St. Lawrence Market Complex

Howard Sandler/Shutterstock

To continue serving Toronto residents and visitors, the St. Lawrence Market Complex has modified hours over the winter holiday season, including extended Sunday and Monday hours for the South Market from 8 am to 4 pm on December 23, 24 and 30, as well as from 9 am to 3 pm on December 31.

The South Market will be closed on December 25 and 26 as well as January 1 and 2. Regular hours of operation will be observed on all other days throughout December and January.

The St. Lawrence Market Saturday Farmers’ Market and Sunday Antique Market operate year-round in the Temporary Market at 125 The Esplanade. Both markets will be open during the winter holiday season. The Saturday Farmers’ Market will be open from 5 am to 3 pm on December 22 and 29. The Sunday Antique Market will be open from 7 am to 5 pm on December 23 and 30.

Historic Sites and History Museums

Friday the 13th

Spadina House/Shutterstock

While closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, a number of the city’s History Museums are offering holiday-themed events and tours for families over the holiday season. Times and participant age details for activities vary by day and by location. Holiday season admission prices apply.

Colborne Lodge (11 Colborne Lodge Drive, High Park) 
Through January 6, visitors can warm up by the hearth and take in the sights and aromas of a Victorian Christmas. Enjoy the natural greenery that decorates the house, toast the season with a glass of hot mulled cider by the wood stove and nibble on special holiday treats.

Fort York National Historic Site (250 Fort York Boulevard) 
During special programming from December 27 to 31, at 11 am and 2 pm daily, children can join the cooks in the historic kitchen to help make gingerbread cookies. Upon arrival, sign up at the Museum Store for a tour of the fort – included with regular admission.

Gibson House Museum (5172 Yonge Street) 
Visitors will experience the elegant traditions of the Scottish holiday season and learn how the Gibson family celebrated Hogmanay in the 19th century. On December 29 and 30, evening dinner events will celebrate the Scottish traditions of Hogmanay. Pre-registration with payment is required.

Mackenzie House (82 Bond Street) 
Through January 6, visitors will learn the story of how families celebrated Christmas in 19th century Toronto. Until December 24, children can write a letter to Santa Claus during their visit and select a card from the 1845 printing press. On December 28 and 29, evening events will celebrate the Scottish traditions of Hogmanay with live music and refreshments. Advanced tickets required for evening events.

Market Gallery (95 Front Street East, second floor) 
Toronto Through the Eyes of Women Artists features works by Canadian artists such as Marion Long, Paraskeva Clark and Doris McCarthy. The exhibition highlights how women artists have depicted and engaged with Toronto over the past 160 years. On display until April 27.

Montgomery’s Inn (4709 Dundas Street West) 
Visitors can learn about traditions of light and warmth from around the world with the Montgomery’s Inn advent calendar.

Scarborough Museum (1007 Brimley Road) 
During December weekends until December 23, visitors can experience the beautiful festive decorations, enjoy delicious winter treats and make a Victorian ornament or a traditional pop-up Christmas card. On Saturdays, the museum will stay open until 8 pm. Visitors can witness the beauty of the site under sparkling lights, listen to stories by the fire, taste traditional treats in the historic kitchens and sing carols in the parlour.

Spadina Museum (285 Spadina Road) 
Through January 6, visitors can experience a 1920s holiday season on a guided tour of Spadina Museum decorated with holly wreaths, evergreen garlands, and mistletoe. In the re-created 1930s kitchen, visitors can have holiday treats including mulled cider.

Todmorden Mills Heritage Site (67 Pottery Road) 
Visitors can experience two different eras’ Christmas traditions – the 1890s and the 1940s – through January 6. The public can tour Todmorden Mills’ two historic houses, sample historic recipes and create a take-home craft.


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TTC will operate on Sunday service with subway and most routes starting at 9 am on Christmas Day. On Boxing Day, Tuesday, December 26, the TTC will start at 6 am.

Garbage pickup by the city

There will be no collection on December 25 and January 1. Those who receive Tuesday daytime or night collection will receive collection on Wednesday. Wednesday daytime and night collection will be shifted to Thursday. Thursday daytime and night collection will be shifted to Friday. Regular daytime collection on Friday, December 28 and January 4 will take place on Saturday.

Canada Post

No collection or delivery of mail will occur on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day.

Shopping Malls

Black Friday

Eaton Centre/Shutterstock

Most malls in the GTA will be operating on holiday hours on Christmas Eve and closed on Christmas Day. Toronto’s Eaton Centre will be open on New Year’s Day from 12 to 5 pm.


Movie theatres across the city will be open. Just check your local listings for showtimes.

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada will be open 9 am to 11 pm. Note that holidays are exceptionally busy at this attraction, so it’s best to arrive early.

Grocery Stores

While many will be closed on Christmas, these grocery stores will be open.

Rabba: Various locations – open 24 hours

The Kitchen Table: 10 Queens Quay West – 8 am to 9 pm; 389 Spadina Road – 8 am to 11 pm; 595 Bay Street, at Atrium on Bay – 10 am to 8 pm, 705 King Street West – 8 am to 11 pm; 155 Dupont Street – open 24 hours

LCBO & Beer Stores

All LCBO and Beer Stores will be closed on Christmas Day. But take note: The Beer Store will be open on Boxing Day at 100 locations.

See also

DH Toronto StaffDH Toronto Staff

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