Traditional and romantic at the same time, the Christmas market is wildly popular and draws tourists from all around. It’s based on the ancient European Christmas markets and has an authentic village feel.
The backdrop is the Distillery Historic District, which is just the perfect venue for it. It has a wonderful old world rustic charm that I can’t fully describe. Luckily, there’s some video and photos below so you can see for yourself.
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The Distillery District is easily accessible by car or public transit. If you’re driving, there are several paid parking lots in the area. When we visited it was $15 per car for the day. Street parking is also available, but to be honest, there’s not that many spots. I would recommend the convenient parking lot at Cherry St & Mill St, rather than hunting for a street parking spot.
Availability & Cost:
My favourite ‘F’ word…FREE!! There’s no charge Tuesday through Friday. On the weekends, there’s tickets for $6/person. The weekend tickets were introduced in 2015. The organizers had noticed that the market was getting to be so popular that the event felt a little crowded on weekends. So they introduced the admission fee to encourage visitors to come during the weekdays. My opinion is that’s the best thing the organizers could have done. I’ve been to this market several times, during both the week and weekend, day and nighttime. When the event is too crowded, you’re not gonna have a good time, lineups are longer, people are bumping into you, and it gets difficult to just get around. If you’ve got small children with you, it can be kind of a hassle.
Everyone takes a break on Mondays, so it’s closed. When it started in 2010, the market was only a few weekends in December, but now has grown to be a 4 week event. It usually starts in late November.
The Victorian architecture and cobblestone streets make for great photos at every corner. When lit up at night, the whole market takes on a real magical look. Your pics will be spectacular. Please note: Any commercial photography will need a permit from the Distillery District.
What to do:
Distillery District is open for business as usual, so that means all the restaurants, bars, galleries and shops are available. The market itself has seasonal vendors with everything from artisan crafts, gifts and you can even take home a Christmas tree. There’s also several beer/cocktail gardens for you to enjoy. Of course free booze is the best kind, and there’s usually several promotional tents with samples.
Special Features for the kids:
The little ones will definitely enjoy visiting Santa in a life-sized gingerbread house! They even have reindeer nearby. There’s a carousel and ferris wheel just behind the main stage and tickets for the rides are relatively cheap.
Top 5 things you need to try:
- Eating a smoked turkey leg with some mulled wine.
- Have a giant pretzel,with some warm cider.
- Try the FREE booze samples!
- Get some Christmas shopping done, there’s unique gift ideas everywhere
- Visit Santa and his reindeer!
As always, please visit the official Toronto Christmas Market website to get the latest info before your visit.
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