My First Experience at Toronto's Christmas Market

It is that time of year, the Christmas Market is finally here. Marking its 10th annual appearance in Toronto’s Distillery District this year, the Christmas Market has become a memorable place for many locals and tourists, offering everything from shopping, entertainment, and ample food options sure to give you that holiday nostalgia. Being a Christmas lover myself and having now lived in Toronto for about 5 years, I decided it was finally time to see what the market was all about, considering all the hype I have heard. If you are still contemplating whether or not to go as a first-timer, here are a few things you can expect:

Kiosks, kiosks, and more kiosks

One thing you will definitely see at the market is the endless vendors lined along the sidewalks of the Distillery District. With over 30 different kiosks, be ready to shop a unique selection of handcrafted items, food, and classic Christmas treats. One of my favourite vendors in the market was the Wafel Bar. The Wafel Bar is one of the markets most raved about dessert spots for their warm Belgium waffle bites, decorated with your choice topping and sauce. ​

Photo of my waffle treat from the Wafel Bar. (Kiarra Swaby/Her Campus Ryerson).

Restaurants 

Not only is the market filled with vendors, but the Distillery District also has many unique restaurants located throughout the buildings of the market. I happened to dine in a place called Boku, a pan-Asian style restaurant with a variety of Asian-style dishes and Japanese crafted drinks. However, the distillery has many other alternatives such as Mexican, Italian, bistros, and steakhouses, giving a mixture of options to choose from.  

Boku’s Braised Beef Udon Ramen meal. (Kiarra Swaby/HerCampus Ryerson).

The gigantic Christmas tree

The tree, donated by Forests Ontario and the Canadian Christmas Tree Growers Association, is covered in over 40,000 blue and white lights and 800 ornaments. Located in the centre of the market, the iconic 54 foot Christmas tree is a definite photo opportunity to mark your experience at the Christmas Market.

Photo of the 54 foot tree lit up at the Toronto Christmas Market. (Kiarra Swaby/Her Campus Ryerson).

Ferris wheel 

The Ferris wheel has become one of the market’s favourite attractions, and I can now see why. For only six dollars, the ride gets a clear view of the entire Christmas Market, in addition to the city’s skyline and CN Tower. I highly recommend the Ferris wheel ride in the evening as you will see the market in its true beauty.

Boutiques 

Inside the Heritage Buildings is where you will find a wide range of small boutiques full of clothes, souvenirs, and hand-crafted items. Despite some places being more on the pricey-side, the boutiques offer a wide variety of unique gifts and presents for your loved ones you would not typically find in the city.   

A fun Christmas card offered in one of the boutiques at the Christmas Market. (Kiarra Swaby/Her Campus Ryerson).

A photo with Santa

A Christmas Market would not be complete without Mr. Jolly Saint Nick himself! Free photos of you and your loved ones can be taken on your device any day alongside Santa with professional photographers in attendance on the weekends. So instead of your typical mall photography, I recommend visiting Santa at the Christmas Market for a more authentic holiday picture.