By: Carli Ashley
Cue the Holiday scented candles, Christmas decor and Christmas Carols on a continuous loop throughout shopping malls near you! Summer may feel like it just barely escaped our grasp, but I do love some good Christmas cheer. Anything Christmas themed is a happy place for me, except every year around Christmas all anyone in Toronto seems to mention is the Toronto Christmas Market. While the Christmas Market deserves its popularity and its giant 50-foot tree is iconic, there are so many other sights done in Toronto every year for the Holidays. I’m here to shine some light on some less popular but still festive Holiday events happening this Holiday season that’ll be sure to spread some Holiday cheer. I’ve done all the hard work for you and now you can just sit back, drink your hot cocoa and decide which activity you’re going to be occupying your time with this season.
I’ve lived in Toronto for years and I have never heard anyone talk about the fact that Casa Loma does a massive Christmas themed event every year. In December Casa Loma will be launching their Nutcracker Christmas at the Castle which will include activities and performances, not to mention amazing decorations that will make you feel like you stepped right into the Nutcracker itself. PS. they also have a 40-foot tree in the Great Hall and eight other signature trees decorated by Canadian designers, so you won’t be missing out on the giant tree experience here!
The Aurora Winter Festival is held at Ontario Place from November 22, 2019 to January 5, 2020. It’s great for anyone who loves Christmas so much that they celebrate long before and long after it’s over! Ontario Place gets transformed into a “magical winter wonderland” with skating rinks, a tube park, huge light displays, and tons of other fun activities. Personally, I’m all about that tube park experience and feeling like I did when I went tobogganing as a kid!
If you are a fan of the cheesy romantic holiday movies then I’m sure you’re familiar with the infamous Love Actually starring Keira Knightley, Hugh Grant, and several other big names. On December 26 and 27 at 7:30 PM, the Cinesphere at Ontario Place will be doing a Holiday screening of the movie. If Boxing Day madness at the mall isn’t you cup of tea, I’d definitely recommend packing up some of those left over holiday treats and heading down to see this for a last little dose of Christmas.
You may have heard about the Allan Gardens Conservatory being talked about during the warmer months as a must-see for Toronto. Well, it turns out that it’s actually also a must-see for the Winter months as well! Every year the entire conservatory gets decorated with flowering plants, including 30 varieties of poinsettias for the Winter Flower Show. The big Christmas by Candlelight event happens throughout December, leading up until Christmas Eve. If you’re into feeling like a holiday fairy wandering through a magical wintery forest, I think this is just the place for you!
The Evergreen Winter Village is an indoor Holiday market with an outdoor skating rink and the Evergreen Garden Market where you can pick up a Christmas tree just like in the movies! The market features unique vendors every weekend from November 30 until December 22. If you’re looking for a festive and fun way to shop for all those people on your list, this might be the place for you! Entry is also free, which means that you can enjoy this event without necessarily dipping into your wallet.
Now this involves two of my personal favourite things: Christmas and liquor. The bar is run by the same people behind the bar Civil Liberties, and will be located on Ossington (146 Ossington Avenue). You can drink and be merry with signature cocktails, holiday songs and enough holiday decor to warm even the Grinch-iest of us from November 25 to December 26.