If you’re looking for a wonderful short Christmas getaway, look no further than Toronto, Canada. Known for the chilly, wintery weather Canadian city Toronto is the perfect snow-filled getaway for the Christmas season. Although milder than other Canadian cities, snow is usually expected around December for Toronto, adding to the perfect festive backdrop we always see in the movies.
Toronto has much to offer, with seasonal events as well as beautiful lights and epic Christmas markets.
With festive lights galore, and ice-rinks being constructed, Toronto takes its Christmas festivities seriously kicking off the beginning of December with a Santa Claus parade. With locals filling the streets, the parade has been a tradition for over 100 years and has floats, marching bands and St. Nicholas making their way through the street.
This is followed closely by tree lighting ceremonies and the opening of a handful of Christmas markets, as eateries and coffee shops fill the air with baked goods, spiced lattes and other festive scents.
Over at The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, you may be able to catch a live Christmas show with music and the choir singing along with the film. Enjoying a classic in this way will leave lasting memories for all who can attend, back in 2019 the film was Home Alone.
Casa Loma, while somewhere to experience all year round, brings festive cheer to those who visit with scavenger hunts and magic shows, entertaining the young to the old. This isn’t all, with many Toronto tourist spots, such as museums, all add their own cheer, allowing you to even experience a Victorian Christmas over at Black Creek.
Toronto has ensured there is something for all, allowing each hour spent with them, you’ll be wearing a cheery smile and filled with as much joy as you can muster.
A tradition for over 50 years, and many Canadian’s actual arrival of the festive season, this is something not to miss. With the illumination of Toronto’s 30-foot Christmas tree, and performances by some of Canada’s top musical talent, you’ll be in for a fun-packed evening. Not only that but in previous years they’ve also had a firework show accompanied by a DJ.
As mentioned above, Casa Loma takes their festivities seriously, but the lights and decor are not to be missed even if their activities don’t interest you. Each year, they have designer Christmas trees, and the gardens decorated in lights. It is recommended these are enjoyed by adults with mulled wine, not that we need telling twice.
Set in the Victorian-era, cobblestone-lined Distillery Historic District, this market takes much of its inspiration from the German markets in the 1400s. Bringing together artisans and craftspeople, with music, food and drink, you'll be able to warm your insides at the same time as picking up that last-minute present for a loved one.
With a huge ice rink in the middle of Nathan Phillips Square for the month of December, as you skate with the backdrop of the giant letters spelling Toronto in festive shades for the time of year. Boasting the magic of a market meeting the warmth of a carnival, The Holiday Fair is something not to miss.
Not to be missed, the downtown window displays are something to capture the true festivity of the season. Not only that, but The Eaton Centre don’t skimp on the decor themselves, decorating the entire shopping centre with a gorgeous 100-foot Christmas tree, extending from floor to ceiling is something to see in person.
Packing up your Christmas to travel somewhere else can be nerve-wracking, even for the most laid back of celebrators, but here are a select few pros and cons to consider before booking.
For families, there is the annual production of The Nutcracker by The National Ballet of Canada. First premiered in 1995, it has been a staple every year since entertaining for over twenty years and counting. Having thought of little ones, you can find the Nutcracker Story Time 45 minutes before each performance at the Four Seasons Centre. Having been created to help familiarise children with the story before seeing the ballet.
In Toronto, there are a handful of places you can book to have Christmas dinner. Sit back and relax without lifting a finger or washing-up at Black Creek, Café Boulud and TOCA, plus many more. It’s advised to book early, but all are boasting a Christmas dinner to remember and include turkey.
If you find yourself unable to find somewhere, there are a handful of restaurants which remain open on Christmas Day, including 24-hour 7 West who serve turkey dinners with their main menu.
Canada has a huge difference in the weather across the country, and while Toronto will have a beautiful chill to the air (and even snow), compared to Montreal, it is far milder. If you’re after a snowy Christmas Day, you may find yourself disappointed, with the likelihood of a dusting of snow arriving before or after the festive season.
Similar to living in the UK, Boxing Day on the 26th of December is a popular government holiday and is one of the biggest shopping days in Canada. For those who want to avoid the crowds, this may prove problematic, so make sure you’re stocked up if you wish to avoid.
Toronto is bursting with charm and festivities. You won’t be disappointed by their Christmas flair and the decor you’ll find everywhere you turn. Their many festive events will have even the most energetic of children sleeping as Santa does his deliveries, and adults wanting to sit back with a warm drink at the end of the day. Whatever your hopes are for a festive break, Toronto has much more to offer than we were able to cover. Each year getting bigger, and better, never skimping on anything, allowing you to make a memorable Christmas away from home.