November 22, 2021 (Toronto) – As restrictions ease, we invite you to (re) discover Toronto’s top holiday experiences. Find your Never Have I Ever, TO moment amongst some of the city’s classic sites, checking out the latest additions to the seasonal roster or book that hotel staycation you’ve always dreamed of. We also encourage you to give the gift of joy this season and reconnect with those you care about most by sharing your favourite holiday experience.
‘Tis the season for shopping local as the City of Toronto’s ShowLoveTO campaign encourages Torontonians and visitors to support local small businesses and restaurants to help them thrive.
Miracle Toronto Pop Up Bar & Sippin’ Santa
With kitschy holiday décor, professionally-developed cocktails and the nostalgic energy of the best office party you’ve ever been to, Miracle is sure to get even the grouchiest grinch in the holiday spirit. Sippin’ Santa, its sister holiday tiki bar, will also be popping up in the Bloor-Ossington area. $1 of every drink sold is donated to Nellie's Shelter, an organization providing shelter, education and advocacy for women and children in the GTA.
Sweaters & Snowflakes
Toronto’s fall-themed pop-up patio in the heart of the downtown core is transforming into a winter wonderland this month, get cozy at Sweaters & Snowflakes starting December 3rd complete with all of the festive vibes and activities that make this season so much fun.
Sugar & Spice Holiday Food Tour
Join Culinary Adventure Co for a new tour for the season, available for a limited time only. It's hip to go West, and it's hip to Shop Local. This Holiday Shopping + Food Tour will have you discovering and enjoying the best of Toronto's West End.
The Portland Street location of the Dutch-Indonesian food bar will transform it’s upper space into the Java Jingle Holiday Hangout this year – giving you the festive and vacation vibes you’re craving.
ANDPVA's Indigenous Art Market
Touted as the first of its kind in Toronto, Fifteen Indigenous artists, diverse in their artistic expressions, both traditional and contemporary, will participate in ANDPVA's Indigenous Art Market. They represent several different Indigenous nations and are gifted in working in several mediums. While diverse, they all share a commitment to excellence, pride in their Indigenous heritage and enthusiasm about sharing their culture through their art. ANDPVA's Indigenous Art Market has been organized and curated by Indigenous artists Barb Nahwegahbow, Anishnaabe nation, and Marcos Arcentales, Quecha-Mestizo whose work will also be featured in the Market.
A winter wonderland that only dreams are made of. Let epic creatures, caverns, sights and lights surround you.The drive-thru experience at Snow Magic includes 18 independent art installations across 1.7 km, some of which rely on real-time artist involvement. Come and be inspired as acclaimed Canadian artists tell the magical tale.
Winterfest at Canada’s Wonderland
Canada’s Wonderland will once again transform into a magical, winter wonderland for WinterFest – an immersive holiday experience for the whole family. This event features ice-skating on Snow Flake Lake, more than a dozen live shows and holiday entertainment, millions of spectacular lights, and hundreds of beautiful Christmas trees throughout the park, including two 50-foot Christmas trees on International Street. Bring your family and friends and explore the larger-than-life themed areas, enjoy festive food, shop seasonal merchandise and so much more.
The Distillery Winter Village formerly known as Toronto Christmas Market
The magic returns in person this year at the Distillery Market. For six weeks the historic neighborhood is transformed into a festive holiday wonderland featuring dining, shopping and interactive experiences.
Toronto Zoo Holiday Marketplace
Beginning on November 19th, the Toronto Zoo’s Front and Indo-Malayan Courtyards will transform into our second Holiday Marketplace, showcasing some of the amazing artisans, processors, and producers in our community.
Norden Festival of Cool Holiday Market
Harbourfront Centre invites you to (re)discover the richness of the Nordic region. Featuring some of the most creative driving forces in contemporary art, music and thought leadership, Norden: The Festival of Cool promises to make you think differently about the dark nights of winter. Discover the meaning of “happiness” through lively conversations, and groove on Toronto’s most scenic skating rink. Plus, with a visit to the festival’s artisan market, you’ll be ahead of the gift giving season!
Polar Winter Festival
Polar isn’t your average holiday market. From selfies with the real live Santa Claus to larger-than-life holiday decor, this is a Christmas festival designed to transport guests to an enchanting winter wonderland. As the very first walkthrough holiday market since the start of the pandemic, you won’t want to miss it!
One A Kind Show
The flagship event supporting craft and its makers is back! Rooted in purpose to champion creativity, One Of A Kind brings together a community of like-minded individuals to exchange ideas, stories and objects through the culture of craft. This holiday, shop directly from One Of A Kind makers to contribute to the local economy and to celebrate the resilience of our small business community.
Christmas At The Castle
This December, experience the magic of the season at Casa Loma’s Christmas at the Castle. Visitors will be surrounded by magic throughout the castle interior, resplendent with festive décor including a 40ft tall tree in the Great Hall, and a stunning collection of other signature holiday trees decorated by renowned Canadian designers. Younger guests will thrill to visit Santa in his castle workshop and visit with live holiday mascots, and more.
Night of Lights Festival
An immersive experience like none other, featuring more than 1,000,000 LED lights animated and synchronized to your favourite Holiday tunes. This year the WALK-THRU takes you on a stroll through the newly built gardens at Assembly Park in Vaughan. Nights of Lights is the must-see walk-thru event of the Holiday season for all ages. This year we join forces with the Holiday Fair in the Square to bring you a unique shopping and entertainment experience unlike any other. Get up close and personal to our famous, fully accessible light show and be immersed in this one-of-a-kind holiday experience.
Cavalcade of Lights
The City of Toronto looks forward to sharing the magic of the holiday season with Cavalcade of Lights 2021. This year’s event will be very different from previous years, with reimagined festivities available throughout the season to encourage physical distancing. Please note that this year’s Cavalcade of Lights will not include a fireworks display. Further details will be announced on November 23.
Immersive Nutcracker Experience
From the producers of the blockbuster, critically-acclaimed original Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit comes the ultimate holiday experience for the entire family – The Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle. Step inside as 1,296,674 frames of video brings the joy of the holidays to life around you – on a jaw-dropping scale.
The Junction 2nd Annual Window Wonderland
The exhibition will use 39 local and international artists and Augmented Reality (AR) to create an impressive public art display. In partnership with international tech company ARTivive, the display will showcase local businesses and artists featuring 20 interactive painted windows and a mural accessed through their AR app.
Toronto Botanical Garden Holiday Market and Open House
Go green this holiday season at the eco-minded and nature-inspired Annual Holiday Market and Open House. Enjoy a relaxing shopping experience with FREE admission. Local artisans will showcase their nature-inspired, eco-friendly, and botanically themed products.
Holiday Street Market in Scarborough
The Holiday Street Market is returning to the Scarborough Town Centre on December 3 for three festive weeks. Run by the popular Street Eats Market, the holiday event will feature a marshmallow fire pit lounge, sweet and savoury food trucks, a hot cocoa bar, and a maple syrup sugar shack.
Barenaked Ladies Hits for the Holidays
Evening performances featuring some of BNL’s biggest hits, holiday fan favourites from Barenaked for the Holidays album, as well as a few other chestnuts. On stage this December at the CAA Theatre.
A Tafelmusik Christmas
Curated by Ivars Taurins, this festive program spanning two centuries reunites members of the choir and orchestra for the first time in 2021 — a perfect way to launch the 40th anniversary season of Tafelmusik Chamber Choir.
A Very Ripley’s Christmas Concert
Get into the fish-mas spirit with “A Very Ripley’s Christmas Concert!” The Vince Guaraldi Trio-bute band will be live in the Discovery Centre playing all your favourite Christmas classics. Make it a December to remember and join the winter waterland for this magical holiday show on December 17th & 18th. This show will be included with your timed general admission ticket.
Toronto Symphony Orchestra
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) has announced new holiday concert options, including the return of audience favourite Home Alone in Concert for three performances, along with an additional Holiday Pops date. Also returning this year is Messiah, a glorious holiday tradition. RBC Resident Conductor Simon Rivard leads four acclaimed soloists, the Orchestra, and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir in exultant arias and joyous refrains, including the iconic "Hallelujah" Chorus. Experience the greatest story ever told in this moving 85-minute special presentation at Roy Thomson Hall.
The Second City Toronto
Live from their temporary home at the Danforth Comedy Bar, join The Second City cast for their latest holiday revue The Fast & Furiously Festive on stage in December.
National Ballet of Canada
Ballet companies the world over perform The Nutcracker during the holiday season, each with a special take on Marius Petipa’s beloved classic. The National Ballet of Canada has one of the finest versions in James Kudelka’s 1995 staging which opens at a Christmas Eve party in rural 19th century Russia. With its non-stop dancing and magnificent sets and costumes designed by Santo Loquasto, with lighting by Jennifer Tipton, The Nutcracker is an unforgettable tribute to the imagination.
Union Holiday—Presented by TD will be bringing the magic back to Front Street with the highly-anticipated return of the outdoor skating rink. Union and TD are looking forward to creating a fun atmosphere for the community to enjoy completely free with skates and helmets rentals donated by Bauer Hockey.
The Evergreen Brick Works outdoor skating rink weaves through snow-covered gardens under exposed beams from the roof of the old brick factory.
The Harbourfront Centre‘s ice skating rink is BACK and looking a bit different this year! The revamped rink will be opening on November 15, 2021 for all to enjoy. It is time to dust off those skates and take in the beautiful city and waterfront views.
The Bentway Skate Trail will be opening Dec. 18 and running until Family Day offering skate rentals/skating lessons and hot drinks. This year always welcomes an exciting exhibition along the Skate Trail by Inuvialuk artist Maureen Gruben. Moving With Joy is a large-scale installation of sculptural sleds featuring photo and video that depict how these transportation vehicles are used by Arctic communities.
Fairmont Royal York Toronto
Fairmont Royal York is Toronto’s home to celebrate the holidays this festive season! The magical traditions commence on November 19th with the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony taking place in the heart of the hotel, after which guests are invited to gather for over-the-top cocktails in a whimsical pop-up, The Thirsty Elf. Throughout the holiday season, join in on the fun for Festive Afternoon Tea in their stunning lobby bar, CLOCKWORK Champagne & Cocktails, decorated in classic festive ornaments.
Ritz Carlton Toronto
Be sure to visit the Ritz Carlton this season as they share their spin on holiday traditions. Enjoy the Christmas Cocktail Countdown at EPOCH with specially curated holiday cocktails by the in house mixologist or head to the Terrace for a seasonal treat with roasted chestnuts, hot chocolate and mulled wine.
Yorkville Royal Sonesta Hotel
Back by popular demand, just steps from the buzz of Bloor Street in Toronto, The Yorkville Royal Sonesta Hotel has designed yet another transformative experience for the third season - the chance to dine in heated, transparent igloos that provide warmth and comfort, while surrounded by Canada's winter elements. Dining Domes are open now.
Hotel X Toronto has proudly partnered with Polar Winter Festival to bring you a magically immersive getaway for all ages. Families, couples, and friends will enjoy being whisked away into a winter wonderland full of larger-than-life holiday décor, starry lights, a real-life santa, and winter wonderland rides.
Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
Enjoy the holiday programming on site this year including a Festive Brunch, three-course prix fixe menu and Afternoon Tea at d|bar by Chef Daniel Boulud.
Check the most up-to-date travel restrictions before making plans to visit and be sure to contact businesses directly to book reservations, confirm availability, and to learn about health and safety guidelines.