It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, especially in Toronto’s charming Distillery Historic District. The picturesque neighbourhood nestled in the east end of the city has had a festive makeover and has once again transformed into the Toronto Christmas Market.
The outdoor market, composed of several wooden cabins housing one-of-a- kind gift vendors, various food carts, and a beer garden are decorated to the max in Christmas lights and decorations. The photogenic market is a must-see for anyone in the area.
The holiday ambience is enhanced by the sound of live carolers singing Christmas songs, the smell of mulled wine mixed with a wood fire burning, and the sight of an enormous white spruce tree adorned with over 18,000 twinkling lights and festive decorations.
After all, capturing the real holiday ambience is the ultimate goal of the market.
“The magic and romance of Christmas is entwined with nostalgia,” Mathew Rosenblatt, executive producer of the Toronto Christmas Market said in a press release. “We want to create traditions so that our visitors can have memories and experiences that bring them together.”
Sam Buch, a new Torontonian, attended the market for the first time to see what all the hype was about.
“The Christmas Market was amazing,” she said. “I have heard people rave about this event and it did not disappoint.”
Buch is just one of thousands who have visited the quaint neighbourhood to attend the festivities. The Market, now in its seventh year, is one of North America’s largest Christmas markets and is expected to host over 50,000 people throughout its six-week duration.
If you are planning on attending the Christmas market, there are a few things to consider. Due to it’s proven popularity, the market now charges an admission fee of $6 per person on the weekends, and there is quite a lineup to enter. You can rest assured that the proceeds from the admission fees are all donated to local charities. However, you can skip the overwhelming crowd and the entrance fee if you visit Tuesday through Thursday when the market waives the entrance fee.
The market is outdoors, and though the cobblestone road and scenic historic buildings add to the overall feel of an old time Christmas movie, it means the weather can be a deterrent. Dress warmly and be prepared to brave the elements if you plan to attend later into the Christmas season.
Additionally, due to the artisanal and obsessively curated nature of the market, most of the gift and food items are very pricey. The market houses several different vendors where attendees can purchase treats, Christmas ornaments, candles, candies, and hand-knit items that are sure to impress. Be prepared to spend a bit of money if you are looking to tackle some Christmas shopping.
It is also a good idea to go with an empty stomach. With an endless supply of tasty treats to try, including artisanal grilled cheese sandwiches, traditional turkey legs, authentic Canadian poutine, schnitzel, and sausages, foodies will not be disappointed.
“The grilled cheese was definitely my favourite part,” said Buch, “It’s such a simple concept, but it’s the best one I’ve ever had.”
Due to its overwhelming popularity, The Toronto Christmas Market has been extended, and will run from Nov. 18 until Dec. 22.