The end of November always comes way too fast for many of us, and the Black Friday noise certainly doesn’t help with the mounting Christmas shopping panic. However, I am uncharacteristically prepared this year. Why? I have already spent a good two months scoping out the holiday market scene in Toronto! I thought I would share a little “shopping roundup” of the artisan variety for you too. Here are the events and markets I will be visiting this year to buy all of my Christmas gifts and treats (while scoping out future venues for my greeting cards). Each of these events promises great food as well.
When: November 22 to December 2, 2018
Where: The Enercare Centre, 100 Princes’ Blvd.
What you’ll find: With more than 800 vendors, this is a mandatory for the very serious handmade goods shopper. Sellers come from all over the country because they know that they will be met with a dedicated and enthusiastic crowd.
Cost: $15 per person is the standard adult price, but there are many options (including Go Train packages!)
When: November 25, 2018, 10:00 AM- 5:00 PM
Where: The Great Hall, 1087 Queen St. W
What you’ll find: A great selection of goods from some of the best Etsy shops in Toronto and surrounding area, geared up for the holidays. It can be quite confusing to figure out what Etsy is doing at any given time, as there are so many events around the city throughout the year, but this one is likely to be one of the biggest.
Cost: Free (first 50 people get a swag bag)
When: Starts December 1, 2018 (see calendar for other dates)
Where: Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Ave.
What you’ll find: Evergreen Brick Works has been hosting their “Winter Village” for a few years now, with food trucks and stalls over the last few years. However, there’s also a holiday market component to it! All throughout December, a rotating selection of local Ontario artisans will have a chance to show off their handmade gifts and original crafts. I found the food selection to be a bit limited last year, but I still confident this one’s going to be great.
When: November 24 (11:00 AM to 5:00 PM) and November 25, 2018 (11:00 AM to 4:00 PM)
Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West
What you will find: If you have an affinity for all things Scandinavian like me, you should come to this one! Think glögg, kanelbuller, and little Dalecarlian horses galore.
When: November 15 – December 23, 2018, closed on Mondays
Where: The Distillery District
What you’ll find: Some may say it’s getting a bit too commercial and staged, but it is still the only place to go for that “European Christmas market feeling” in this city. You’ll find beer gardens, little trinkets, soft pretzels, mulled wine, and poutine. If you keep an open mind, don’t mind the crowds, and don’t have any specific thing you need to buy, you will enjoy this.
Cost: Free on weekdays; $6 admission starting Friday at 5:00 PM through Saturday and Sunday.
When: December 1 to 23, 2018, closed on Mondays
Where: Nathan Phillips Square
What you’ll find: Consider this the daytime, more kid-friendly, and ice-rink focused alternative to the Toronto Christmas Market, right in the heart of the city. There will be lots of fun vendors, but this one will have a stronger focus on Santa Claus visits and a Christmas carnival. This one would be great to stop into to escape Eaton Centre, or on your way to another downtown event.