CULTURE

9 Christmas Markets in Canada to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

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Christmas Markets were originally a German tradition called Christkindlmarkts, where farmers would buy and sell goods. Over the years, Christmas Markets spread throughout Europe, marking the holiday season and then eventually to North America. This includes Canada, where European ancestors brought this tradition along with them.

No matter where you are in Canada, you will be able to enjoy the food and festivities that Christmas Markets offer. Despite it being called a Christmas Market, they are usually only up until before Christmas. So, don’t make the mistake of waiting until Christmas Day to visit a Christmas Market because they’ll all be gone by then. Below is our list of the ones that may be right by your area.

Toronto Christmas Market, ON

When one of Canada’s Christmas Markets is ranked as one of the best Christmas Markets in the world, that’s saying something. Fodor’s gave it this honour in 2016 and it’s no wonder why. The Toronto Christmas Market is held in the historic Distillery District, it is decorated with lights all around the brick architecture. It features food, local art, and warm tents where you can enjoy your warm drinks. You can also enjoy watching the musical performances of their local talent. Entrance tickets are $6 during the weekend, but during the weekday it’s free of charge. It will run from Nov. 14 – Dec. 22, 2019. Click here for the official site.

Kitchener Christmas Market, ON

The Christkindl Market is the original Christmas Market in Canada and with that, it has the most traditional feel among the others. Stepping inside feels like one of the Christmas Markets across Germany. It features over 90 vendors and is visited by over 35,000 people every year. You can also enjoy choir performances as well as group dances. You can also go ice skating or watch a blacksmith demonstration. Just like traditional Christmas Markets, there is no entrance fee and it runs from Dec. 5-8, 2019. Click here for the official site.

Montreal Christmas Market, QC

The Marché de Noël et des traditions de Montreal is in Place Jacques-Cartier in Old Montreal and offers German goods as well as local foods from sweet to savoury. One thing not to miss is all the maple treats from the maple taffy to the maple donuts. As the only outdoor market during the winter, it is one of those things that gets people in the Christmas spirit. It runs from Friday to Sunday starting from Nov. 29 – Dec. 22. Click here for the official site.

Alderney Christmas Market, NS

The Alderney Landing Christkindle Market is located in downtown Dartmouth. A not-for-profit organizes this and runs for one weekend in December but is jam-packed with food, vendors and entertainment. Enjoy the telling of the nativity story as well as carolers singing traditional Christmas songs. It runs from Dec. 6-8, 2019. Click here for the official site.

Quebec Christmas Market, QC

The Marché de Noël Allemand de Québec was started by the German community in Quebec and features products from Germany as well as local artisanal products. Located in Old Quebec, this transports you to what you would think is an old European city. Enjoy listening to the choral singers as you enjoy your warm drinks. Be sure to try the gingerbread that came straight from Germany! It runs from Nov. 22 – Dec. 23, 2019. Click here for the official site.

Granary Road Christmas Market, AB

Granary Road is one of the younger ones of the bunch, with it being only in its second year. Enjoy more than 50 vendors where you can buy your Christmas gifts and eat while you shop. Go ice skating with your friends and keep warm by the fire pits after. You can even visit Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Perhaps the highlight of many is the alpaca, who will be ready to smile for a picture with you. It has no admission fee and it runs from Dec. 6-22.

Vancouver Christmas Market, BC

You’ll find the Vancouver Christmas Market at Jack Poole Plaza and is a highlight for many during the Christmas season. The market surrounds the Olympic cauldron from the winter Olympics back in 2010. Enjoy treats such as your staple German food, melted raclette cheese, as well as local hurricane potatoes. Kids of all ages can meet Santa Claus and even catch a ride on the carousel. In the middle is a tower of decorations and a stage, where guests like to watch as they enjoy their warm drinks. Tickets are typically $12.99, but if you’re early on a weekday, you can get them as low as $8. It will run from Nov. 20 – Dec. 24, 2019. Click here for the official site and if you want to buy tickets in advance. 

Ottawa Christmas Market, ON

The Ottawa Christmas Market is going to be the first European-style Christmas Market in the city. Not only will you enjoy local crafts, decorations, entertainment, and warm drinks, but the farmer’s markets will be in attendance as well. Enjoy the warmth of the fire pits while munching on the seasonal baked goods. As you explore the market, who knows? You may find a unique gift for your loved ones in one of the many vendors selling their handmade items. Also, you can witness the lighting of the Christmas tree to mark the opening of the market on Nov. 29. It will run from Nov. 29 – Dec. 22 on Fridays until Sundays at Aberdeen Square in Lansdowne. Admission is free. Click here for the official site.

Banff Christmas Market, AB

The Banff Christmas Market offers something a bit different compared to all the others. This Christmas Market is located in the outdoors so you can enjoy the Christmas festivities with nature all around you. It also offers a heated lounge if you ever feel too cold outside. Enjoy traditional European foods as well as some BBQ while you shop for local artisanal products for yourself or your loved ones this season. Tickets are $7.50 per day or $15 for a weekend. It runs from Nov. 15-17 and Nov. 22-24, 2019. Click here for the official site.

Feeling a bit hungry? Hope you saw one near your area because they won’t be there for long! Enjoy your fill of pretzels, schnitzels, and Christmas trees while the season is here. May your holidays be filled with Christmas cheer, carolling, and food to last you until the New Year.

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