In almost every Christmas classic, there is a small, quaint town filled with twinkling lights, beautiful bright Christmas trees, and snow glistened rooftops.
You can practically smell the comforting Christmas scents of gingerbread and chocolate as the holiday cheer radiates through the screen into your living room.
If you’re like me, you sigh and long to be a part of this incredible fictional Christmas village.
If only something this enchanting and magical actually existed, right?
Well, you no longer have to imagine being a part of such an experience! The Toronto Distillery Christmas Market delivers all the sights, scents, and sounds of the holidays in an exceptionally charming and festive manner.
It is bound to fulfill your vision of the ideal Christmas town as portrayed in the movies!
If you read our article on the best things to do for Christmas, you would know that a local festival was right up on that list! This year, we decided to put on our hats and gloves and head out to the Toronto Christmas Market to experience Christmas at its full potential.
And let me tell you, our experience was nothing short of delightful. From the breathtaking lights, delicious food, and great entertainment, we left the market with our stomachs filled and hearts bursting with holiday spirit!
Check out this YouTube video that will immerse you through a tour of the market in 2019!
Before we reveal our personal tips and recommendations for the market, let’s talk about some of our favourite parts!
Can You Taste It?:
What’s a night out at the market without food, am I right?
When you decide to venture off to the Toronto Christmas Market, be prepared to EAT! Endless amounts of sweets, festival snacks, crepes, sandwiches, chocolate, and even pierogies are available for you.
If none of those options make your taste buds water, don’t worry… did you forget that there are also year-round restaurants in the distillery district?
Some of my favourites include:
- El Catrin Destileria (Mexican)
- Pure Spirits Oyster House & Grill (Seafood)
- Madrina Bar y Tapas (Spanish)
Lights, Lights, & More Lights:
If you’ve never been to a light show before, don’t worry about going… at the Toronto Distillery District Christmas Market, lights are everywhere. From the outside, a large lit-up sign welcomes you to the market.
With sparkling Christmas trees on both sides of the entrance, you’ll definitely be drawn in immediately.
As you enter, it only gets better!
Strings of different coloured fairy lights are hung across the buildings above you, allowing you to embrace the feel of being in your dreamy Christmas village!
When you look ahead, you’ll be greeted with a large green bar that presents one of Canada’s largest alcohol distillers, Gooderham & Worts Limited. Just behind that lies a tall and beautifully lit Christmas tree, the largest of the entire market.
Oh, and the coolest part… a massive countdown to Christmas tracker that vibrantly displays the number of days remaining.
While these beautiful pictures highlight some of the incredible light displays, there is nothing to illustrate the actual feeling of being in the market!
Christmas in the Air:
Accompanying the best scents of the holidays were the sounds of cheer and celebration that radiated throughout the entire market. As you enter, you are immediately greeted by the sounds of familiar Christmas tunes that set a cheerful atmosphere.
Paired with the laughter and the gleeful voices of hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the holidays, the environment of the market is unlike no other.
But it doesn’t stop there! There were live performances and family-friendly entertainment that took place right in the center of the market as the night went on.
Our favourite performance was a group of carolers who sang Christmas songs as the cheer and energy they transmitted got everyone into the spirit – some people even joined in!
After shopping (more on that later) and grabbing a bite to eat, we definitely recommend you take a seat and watch the magic that occurs on stage!
Trust us, we had never been surrounded by so much Christmas spirit, we felt like we had been dropped right into a Christmas movie!
And the scents of the Christmas Market? At the Distillery District, the smell of mulled wine, apple cider, cinnamon, and evergreen surrounds you, making it feel like you’re right in Santa’s home or the ultimate Christmas bakery!
Overall, the entire atmosphere of the market is unparalleled. Christmas is literally in the air!
Hot Chocolate, Anyone?:
Ever heard of Soma Chocolatemaker? They are a high-end chocolatier known for their small-batch sweets, gelato, drinking chocolate & cookies.
Although they are a permanent store within the distillery district, this chocolatier is flooded with visitors during the market.
As the holiday season brings about chilly winds and cool nights, a cup of hot chocolate is sure to keep you warm!
You can enjoy a traditional cup of hot cocoa, but, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can try a straight shot of high quality, bean to bar, melted chocolate!
They even have vegan options with different kinds of milk that can enhance the flavour profile in every sip.
Shop Til You Drop?:
You thought we forgot about this one, didn’t you?
If shopping is your hobby, the distillery district is the place to be. In every which way you look, you’ll be surrounded by local stores that sell unique products for every person’s taste.
From classical maple syrup candles to designer clothing, premium goods are abundant.
In front of the stores, you will be greeted by the warm smiles of employees in traditional wood cabins that serve as vendor booths.
You can find a variety of different take home products besides the food.
Gifts for your loved ones, handmade works of art, or holiday themed home decor, the Toronto Christmas Market has it all!
Photo Op, Anyone?
Looking to get the perfect photo for a Christmas card or a holiday post on Instagram?
Well, the Toronto Christmas Market is filled with photo opportunities so you can capture the most beautiful and artistic pictures!
Whether it’s a picture of you, your family, partner, friends or even your food, the market goes above and beyond to ensure every aspect of the festival is photogenic so everyone can snap the best photo!
While there is a service you can pay for to get a professional photographer with you, we’re gonna share the perfect ways to still capture the best pictures, but also save you the precious money that you can spend on other things!
For a Family Picture: We were thrilled to see a cute lit up “Family” sign located right outside the Chocolatier Soma Shop! This sign is made for you to snap the perfect picture of you and your family!
So, if you are bringing your family to the market, be sure to get a picture with it.
For a Solo Picture: To be honest, you can snap a solo picture solo basically anywhere and everywhere in the market!
There are lights, beautiful brick walls, green plant walls and beautiful signs plastered all over the district! If we had to pick a favourite though, we would recommend to take a picture at the pink flowered wall located near the back of the market.
You will know what we are talking about when you see it! (Maybe grab a hot chocolate at Soma Chocolatier or an ice cream while you’re at it?)
For a Couples Picture: Visiting the market with that special someone. You are definitely going to want a memorable photo together that will capture the romance and magic of the market.
Luckily for you, the distillery district has the perfect place. When you enter the market from the front entrance, walk towards the Christmas tree and turn right.
You’ll walk through a narrow alley lined with enchanting buildings and many vendors, but when you reach the end, it’ll all be worth it. There is a giant red heart figure that you can stand inside and have someone capture your love in a photo!
This is one of those pictures that you may want on a polaroid or high-end camera to display in your house!
Environment Photos: Again, you can take a picture at any place or from any angle at the market and it will turn out to be aesthetically pleasing!
From charming building exteriors, lit up alleyways, beautifully decorated Christmas trees and everything in between (oh, there is A LOT), you are bound to capture the magic of the market!
When You Should Go!
We recommend you go to the Toronto Distillery District Christmas Market in November, one or two weeks after it first opens!
If you go too close before Christmas, like near the end of December, it gets extremely crowded. If you want to just enjoy your time there not be overwhelmed by the crowd, going in November is the best option!
Plus, the temperature is not as cold in November so you can make the most out of the market instead of the extreme Canadian temperatures getting the best of your experience.
In terms of days and times, you can go from Tuesday to Friday before 6 pm, as it’s free! From Friday to Sunday, you have to pay to enter after 6 pm.
We went on Friday around 2 pm and stayed until 8 pm and it was just right!
If we had to pick one day to recommend, we would suggest you choose Friday if you can, it’s the perfect way to end the week!
If spending time with family and friends was one of your new year’s resolutions this year, the Christmas market is the perfect opportunity to accomplish this goal!
Already attended the Christmas market? You might be looking for other things to do this Christmas.
We have written an article on our favourite 11 things to keep you busy over the holiday season. Be sure to check it out here!
We hope you have an amazing time at the Toronto Christmas Market! Let us know if you have any comments on your experience below!