There’s a certain warmth that comes with the holiday season and Toronto is all decked out to welcome everyone across the city. We seek out the glowing lights in the night skies and finding that joy is around every corner. Here are some Christmas places to visit during the holidays.
Nathan Phillips Square: bring your skates and be surrounded by glowing lights of the archways over the rink. The holiday market is in full swing with roasted nuts, poutine and hot chocolate. Carnival rides offer a fun time for kids and kids at heart. The landmark Toronto sign shines proudly with the massive Christmas tree in the backdrop. Free admission.
Union Station: Commuters and visitors will want to stop by the stunning new Christmas tree display decked out with over 2,000 Swarovski Crystals. Located in the West Wing. Free.
Toronto Eaton Centre: Larger than life reindeer can’t be missed as they spot various areas in the three-story mall. The grand Christmas tree is the centre piece all decked out in red lights this year spanning from the lower level and touches the sky-scraping ceiling. Truly a spectacle not to be missed. Free.
TTC Bloor Station Holiday Display: Tucked behind the convenience kiosk inside the station near the public washrooms is the traditional holiday display with moving toy trains in a winter wonderland. It’s sweet and fun to stop and see on your daily commute. Free with TTC fare.
Brookfield Place: Inspired by the architectural motif of the award winning Allen Lambert Galleria, snowflake installations of all shapes and sizes can be found throughout the building. Snowfall: Frost, encourages visitors to interact with the massive singular snowflake by running their hands across the surface and leave a trail as though you’re drawing on a frosted window. Also check out Gust, and Flurry. Stunning to walk through at night without the crowds. Designed by Studio F Minus. Free.
Casa Loma: We often drive past Toronto’s castle and the evening is magical with all it’s holiday decorations and lights. It’s all decked out in the theme of a Nutcracker’s Christmas with daily activities indoors including Santa’s workshop, a 40ft tree in the Great Hall and several other decorated trees throughout the Castle. The public will be able to wander through the outdoor grounds from December 17-23 with additional evening programming. Ticketed activities for special programming.
Distillery District: The cobblestone walkways in this historical part of town are lit with Christmas cheer at the annual display of lights, art installations, and artisan market. Food stalls will keep you fuelled or dip into the many shops and galleries to warm your toes.Check site for hours and admission prices. Side Note: we just learned that UrbanCapers is hosting a free (or donate to a charity of your choice) “Dashing through the Distillery” scavenger hunt on December 20 at 3 pm and 5 pm. Great for friends and family to explore the area with loads of fun and interesting facts. Details at urbancapers.com.
Ontario Place: 18 beautifully lit up exhibits spot the Ontario Place outdoor Winter Light Exhibition created by local artists. Bring your skates and enjoy the rink against the backdrop of the city’s landscape. Roast marshmallows by the bonfire. Free admission. Located on the West Island.
Hudson’s Bay Queen Street West Holiday Windows: Winter and holiday themed windows spot the exterior of Canada’s iconic department store along Queen Street West. Each window has motion blending tradition with the latest technology. Magical Christmas music play overhead as you pass by each window. The Bay windows have been a tradition in our city for decades. Free.
Tunnel of Glam: This small but fun art installation is great to visit if you’re in the neighbourhood. Located just half a block north on Yonge Street just past St. Clair on the east side. Over 14 million glittery sequins make up this interactive display. Visitors are encouraged to touch and move the sequins in different directions to reveal a variety of colours. Created by Studio F Minus. Free.