Toronto is a beautiful city during the holidays. There is no shortage of beautifully decorated trees, thoughtful window displays and fun markets to explore. If you are looking for the ultimate holiday experience this year, we recommend following our mini guide to the holidays in Toronto. Bring a friend, your children or family along for each special experience.
The 114th Toronto Santa Claus Parade
On November 18th you can enjoy the annual Santa Claus parade that features some of the most beautiful and extravagant parade floats. This parade is what kicks off the holidays in Toronto and really gets the city in the holiday spirit.
Skating At Nathan Phillips Square
Weather permitting, the outdoor ice skating rink is decked out in beautiful holiday décor, a large Christmas tree is lit up and decorated – it’s a magical scene. Ice skate to holiday music with and enjoy the crisp outdoor weather.
Visiting The Window Displays At The Hudson’s Bay Company
The Hudson’s Bay Company never disappoints with their very well-thought window displays. They are fantastical and whimsical, with adorable themes that immediately put you in the holiday spirit. Grab a hot chocolate to keep you warm and slowly walk by each window taking in every detail – you don’t want to miss any of it!
The Christmas Market in The Distillery District
For this one, we recommend going as early as possible to avoid line up and large crowds. If you live in Toronto, try to make it after work for a reduced entry price and of course, fewer people. This is one special holiday tradition not to be skipped. Sip on mulled wine, roll maple syrup on sticks in the snow and enjoy the gorgeous displays set up throughout the district. The cobblestone paths and old buildings make it an extra special experience.
The Nutcracker Ballet At The Four Seasons
The Nutcracker Ballet is a very special holiday tradition. The National Ballet of Canada puts on a 2-part ballet that features the most beautiful sets and costumes that will dazzle you. The music alone gives you an instant nostalgic feeling that reminds us of the holidays. This ballet is an absolute treat for people of all ages – including children!
Christmas At Casa Loma
Casa Loma is enchanting, but during the holidays it becomes extra special. The castle gets an overhaul as it is decorated in glittering lights and seasonal décor, creating an absolute wonder to look at during the festive season.
Cavalcade Of Lights
On November 24th, you can enjoy brilliant fireworks and an outdoor skating party under the glow of half a million lights! The kick-off event is spectacular – and if you haven’t gotten into the holiday spirit by this point, this special show will surely help. If you miss the kick-off event, you can enjoy the lights for weeks after (see skating at Nathan Phillips Square)
Window Shopping in Yorkville And The Twelve Trees Of Christmas At The Gardiner Museum
If the shops of Bloor-Yorkville are beyond your budget, you can enjoy window shopping in the charming village. There are a few light exhibits set up around Yorkville to enjoy, and you can always finish your trip at the Gardiner Museum to see the beautifully created, and unique Christmas trees created by various artists. Each tree is sponsored, and Chestnut Park has sponsored trees in the past. They often have a lovely story behind them as well.
Home Alone In Concert At Roy Thomson Hall
Most of us think the Holidays when we heard any soundtrack from Home Alone. The favoured movie’s soundtrack can be heard in a performance by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. It’s a really great way to enjoy the Holidays with friends and family as a nice treat.
Holiday Fair In The Square
This event has only been around for 3 years but is located conveniently at Nathan Phillips Square (skate, check out the fair and then head over to Hudson’s Bay to look at the windows!). It’s free and features vendors for food and drinks, along with activities for the family.