Toronto loves winter, and this year’s list of winter- and Christmas-themed events is bigger and better than ever.
Here are some of our top picks for the snowy days to come.
Unquestionably one of the best Christmas markets in Toronto, the Distillery Christmas Market is a hot ticket in November and December that brings thousands of visitors to Toronto’s most charming neighbourhood. Explore the cobblestone streets and 19th-century buildings of this former industrial area centred around the Gooderham and Worts distillery. Thousands of twinkling lights and hundreds of public art displays turn the neighbourhood into a winter paradise while visitors roam the market with cups of mulled wine or hot chocolate in hand. Local handcrafted products make the market the perfect place to shop for stocking stuffers, while live local performers including a caroling group provide non-stop entertainment. Kids will love the Ferris wheel and merry-go-round as well as a range of family-friendly games and activities.
Performed in the stunning Four Seasons Centre in the heart of downtown Toronto, this much-loved Christmas tale is an annual event and one of the biggest shows of the year for the National Ballet of Canada. Each show features 233 performers, including the adorable kindergarten-age mice and lambs who make their big stage debut in this wildly popular production. The Waltz of the Flowers demonstrates some of the most spectacular choreography in the Ballet’s repertoire, and the 57 animals in the production, including a lifelike dancing horse, rollerskating bear, and majestic unicorns, make it a Christmas favourite for all ages.
The Royal is the world’s largest indoor agricultural event, and offers some of the best food and entertainment in Toronto. The Royal Horse Show is a premier equestrian event, attracting athletes and visitors from around the world for a spectacular display of horsemanship from show jumping and dressage to a rodeo and an RCMP musical ride. Interactive cooking displays and food sampling, a craft beer and cider competition, music and dance performances and an artisans’ pavilion round out the offerings of this exciting early November event at historic Exhibition Place and make it one of the best places to visit in Toronto in the winter. The Strathcona Hotel offers easy transit access to this top-rated event.
This annual foodie celebration has been going strong since 2003, with increased participation from top Toronto restaurants every year. The two-week event allows guests to explore the diverse international cuisine Toronto is famous for without breaking the bank. Over 200 restaurants participate (past editions have included Toronto institutions like Auberge du Pommier and Canoe), with prix fixe lunches and dinners as well as interactive events like culinary tours and themed meals. Not just any restaurant can participate: hopefuls must be evaluated by a special commission based on pricing, quality and reviews. It’s a great way to experience high-end cuisine and visit new and notable locales, and it will give you a delicious way to spend a winter day in Toronto.
Canadian International Auto Show (Feb. 14 to 23)
The Canadian International Auto Show, an annual event at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, draws in over 300,000 visitors every February, making it the biggest consumer show in the country. In addition to the latest models, and exotic and classic cars, you can look forward to the WGN Forza 7 Championship, the Road Rock Raffle (the winner will drive away with two 2020 Toyota GR Supras with a combined value of $152,000) and the Oblivion Exhibit — a celebration of iconic cars from the ’80s and ’90s, including a replica of the DeLorean from the 1985 blockbuster Back to the Future.
Bundle up and go enjoy the most wonderful time of the year!