With December 25th quickly approaching, ‘tis (almost) the season to start working on your way down your Christmas shopping list. This winter, why not make the process more enjoyable by hunting for gifts at one of Canada’s many outdoor markets? Over the next weeks, markets across the country will give visitors the chance to browse artisanal crafts, home baked goods, and to enjoy the season’s festivities. We’ve rounded up some of the most unique and exciting Christmas markets from East to West, whether your Christmas shopping adventures will take place in Toronto or Vancouver.
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Toronto Christmas Market
As one of Canada’s most prestigious markets, the Toronto Christmas Market is consistently ranked as one of the best in the world by publications such as USA Today and Mashable. Located in the historic Distillery District, the market features live musical performances, rides such as a ferris wheel and a carousel, and even a life-sized gingerbread house. Canopies of lights adorn the cobblestone roads, alongside antique cabins and carolers in Victorian costumes, all of which add to the old-fashioned feel of the market. The Toronto Christmas Market brings together a wide variety of vendors, from craftspeople, artists, and of course, food and drink proprietors.
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Montreal Puces Pop Winter Fair
This unique Montreal fair is a one-stop shop for all of your Christmas giving needs. Featuring all Montreal-made gifts and clothing, Puces Pops aims to showcase some of the most promising designers, crafters, and artists of Montreal’s creative community. Peruse the aisles of local vendors selling gifts from home made jewelry, ceramics, art, clothing, and more. The market experience is complete with the Puces Lounge, a designated relaxation area that conveniently offers a full bar. Live music by local DJs only heightens the urban ambiance.
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Kitchener Christkindl Market
Kitchener’s take on the Christmas market aims to pay tribute to the tradition’s historic roots. The Kitchener Christkindl Market draws its inspiration from the centuries-old German custom called Christkindl, in which farmers would come into major German towns to display their goods. Considering that Kitchener is home to the largest German population in Canada, it is only fitting that this city prides itself on this authentic German experience. Complete with German baked goods, dancing troupes and a skating rink, the Christkindl Market allows visitors to enjoy a German Christmas experience without having to board a plane.
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Vancouver Christmas Market
Much like Kitchener’s take, the Vancouver Christmas Market also pays homage to the age-old German tradition. In fact, the majority of the food and drink available at the market is German fare, such as home made marzipan, schnitzels, and a wide assortment of German beer. The Vancouver Christmas Market is also known to boast an impressive selection of authentic wood carvings, knitted goods, nutcrackers, and other unique seasonal gifts. A huge bonus for families is that the market is particularly kid-friendly, with a number of activities such as scavenger hunts and ornament building perfect for little ones.