Let your holiday spirit loose at these 11 live music concerts, shows, sing-alongs and performances for every musical taste.
December is here, and Toronto is the place to be—it’s one of the best cities for music, after all! Grab your people and come out to see artists breathing new life into the classic holiday symphonies, carols and performances that we all know and love.
The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays
November 28 to December 3, 2023
You’re dazed, confused and looking to fellow patrons for answers. Where could you be but one of The Illusionist’s mind-bending performances?! See magic and mystery for yourself at the Entertainment District’s Princess of Wales Theatre and watch The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays as the pros display their expertise in stage illusions, mind reading, escapology and comedic magic.
Regain your composure afterwards at Bang Sue Bar with Thai-inspired snacks and cocktails.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Ghosts of Christmas Eve
December 3, 2023
The world-renowned Trans-Siberian Orchestra is returning to the Scotiabank Arena for a special performance of The Ghosts of Christmas Eve. Catch one of their electric (and pyrotechnic) performances and rock out to their one-of-a-kind creation of holiday music that blends modern and traditional scores, instruments and energy.
Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s Festival of Carols
December 5 & 6, 2023
Share in the holiday spirit and celebrate traditional songs of Christmas live at the Yorkminster Park Baptist Church for Festival of Carols. Listen to religious classics, including O Come All Ye Faithful and Away In A Manger, and get ready to join the choir for singalong crowd pleasers, including Deck The Halls and Silent Night.
Don’t forget dinner: refuel with late-night Mexican delights at Deer Park’s Playa Cabana Taqueria Norte after carolling.
Home Alone in Concert
December 7–10, 2023
This time of year brings us another local holiday favourite: Home Alone in Concert. Experience the classic film at Roy Thomson Hall with a dynamic soundtrack performed live-to-picture by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, led by renowned conductor John William.
Holly Cole: A Swinging Christmas with The Royal Conservatory Strings
December 8, 2023
Canadian icon and critically acclaimed jazz songstress Holly Cole returns to Toronto with her legendary annual Christmas concert, Holly Cole: A Swinging Christmas with The Royal Conservatory Strings.
Experience her smoky, sophisticated voice, eclectic musical taste and contemporary style on the Koerner Hall stage. The performance will feature a diverse set list of songs as well as beloved standards from the songstress herself, her talented band of musicians and string players from The Royal Conservatory of Music.
National Ballet’s The Nutcracker
December 8–30, 2023
As one of the world’s most beloved ballets, Marius Petipa’s The Nutcracker has been reimagined and performed by companies all over the world. The National Ballet of Canada boasts one of the finest versions of James Kudelka’s contemporary interpretation.
December 9, 2023 to January 21, 2024
Though not a holiday musical per se, 42nd Street is a can’t-miss this season. Follow small-town girl Peggy Sawyer in her quest for stardom in this classic, inspiring Broadway fairy tale that will lift any spirit. Delight the senses with iconic songs, choreography, storylines, and more at the Princess of Wales Theatre this winter.
After the show, keep the fun going by strolling down Front Street to Vagabondo Restobar for modern Italian food with a casual flare.
Loreena McKennitt: Under A Winter’s Moon
December 10, 2023
Be spellbound by Under A Winter’s Moon, a captivating live performance of carols and storytelling from Celtic, Welsh and North American Indigenous cultures. Featuring artists from around the world and an array of traditional musical instruments from their respective lands, this concert immerses you in history, culture and the magic of winter.
See it at Koerner Hall, just a short stroll from the Royal Ontario Museum, where you could stop by first to make a day of it.
TSO Holiday Pops
December 11–13, 2023
Another can’t-miss comes to Roy Thomson Hall with Holiday Pops. This musical celebration features legendary Canadian jazz vocalist Molly Johnson, backed by a youth choir plus the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Soak in the festive vibes with timeless classics and holiday favourites that will get everyone into a merry mindset.
December 17–23, 2023
Whether you are a Handel fanatic or just love a good oratorio, indulge in an unforgettable evening with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and four outstanding soloists for Handel’s Messiah. Kick off the evening in the Entertainment District, where you can savour dinner before walking over to Roy Thomson Hall for this holiday tradition.
Barra MacNeils: An East Coast Christmas
December 22, 2023
Get a taste of Celtic music, culture and dance with the MacNeil siblings’ performance of An East Coast Christmas. This group puts a fresh lens on traditional Canadian holiday music with inspiration gleaned from Christmas ceilidhs (in the most basic form, traditional Scottish and Irish social gatherings) and midnight masses.
Utilizing an eclectic mix of international instruments and vocal stylings, the Barra MacNeils create an unmistakable and one-of-a-kind sound you must hear for yourself live at Massey Hall.