CULTURE

Christmas decorations hanging

7 Christmas Markets You Must Visit Now This Holiday Season in Canada

BY

Due to the pandemic, we have been without festive activities for two years, but many Christmas markets across Canada will finally be open during the holidays. If you don’t know what Christmas markets are, they are centuries-old German traditions in which many German towns host Christkindl markets in December. Each market is unique and features local artisans and regional treats. Locals participate in the festivities by sampling local delicacies, shopping for gifts, and sharing holiday cheer. Public health advisories may apply: capacity may be limited, pre-registration may be required, masks will be required, and social distancing is recommended. Here are the Christmarkets that are open now in Canada and you must check them out before another lockdown occurs!

Christmas Market in Vancouver
Vancouver Christmas Market. Source: Vancouver Christmas Market

Vancouver Christmas Market

November 13 to December 24

The Vancouver Christmas Market brings this festive Old World tradition to Vancouver every year. It is a unique celebration of authentic German food and culture. Experience the crisp winter air while strolling through a European-inspired Christmas village.

Visit one of the over 80 artisan huts to find unique gifts you can stuff into stockings or tuck under the Christmas tree. A variety of sweet and savory festive dishes are available, as are Glühwein (mulled wine) and German and Austrian beer. On the Flying Stage at Vancouver’s only Christmas Pyramid, you’ll find a lively lineup of holiday entertainment. The Vancouver Christmas Market will delight kids (and children at heart!) with a Christmas Carousel ride, a scavenger hunt, and a frolic with mascots, “Holly and Jolly”

Timings

At the Jack Poole Plaza, the Vancouver Christmas Market will be open daily from November 13 to December 24.

  • Open 4pm to 9:30pm, Nov 13 to Nov 18
  • Open 11:30am to 9:30pm, from Nov 19 to Dec 23
  • Open 11:30am to 6pm, on Dec 24.

Located in:

Jack Poole Plaza

1055 Canada Place (the Olympic Cauldron), Vancouver, British Columbia

9 minutes walk from Waterfront Skytrain Station

Kitchener and Toronto Christmas Markets

December 2 to December 5

Christmas Market from Kitchener
Christkindl. Source: Kitchener’s Christ Kindl Market

Kitchener’s Christkindl Market

Kitchener is finally able to celebrate 25 years of Christkindl Market. You can relive the magic of the outdoor festival with its wooden huts and outdoor Bavarian food stands. Experience the magic & splendor of our outdoor village with its 22 wooden huts. Enjoy the sounds of our concert bands and choirs from previous years during the day. Our new video wall features highlights from the past 25 years, including a performance of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus by The Grand Philharmonic Choir after 4 pm. Bring friends and family and make new memories. 

How to get to Gaukel Street (Main Events)

  • Passengers heading southbound to Fairway Mall can use Victoria Park ION station
  • Northbound passengers can use the Kitchener City Hall ION station to reach Conestoga Mall
Distillery District in Toronto
Distillery Historic District. Source: The Distillery District

Toronto Christmas Market (replaced with Winter Village Event Only in 2021)

November 18 at Distillery District

Sadly, the Toronto Christmas Market will not operate in 2021. Distillery District, however, will hold its own event called the Winter Village. 

Tickets are required for the tree lighting event:

  • November 18 after 4pm
  • Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays after 4pm
  • December 20 – December 23rd after 4pm. 

During peak hours, a ticketing system will be used to manage capacity:

  • Tickets are $8 each (age 6 years and up). 
  • Free Tickets for Kids 5 and under, including babies

At all other times, admission is free and no tickets are required.

How to get there by transit

Exit King Subway Station and take bus 504 to King Short Turn to Broadview and Queen and get off at King St East at Parliament St and walk 4 minutes towards Distillery District.

Christmas in Montreal

Montreal is deeply rooted in French-European culture. It is therefore a major attraction for Christmas Markets. The city has even three Christmas markets. During Montreal’s holiday season, take part in their cultural, festive, and culinary events and celebrate, in safety, the Northernness of the city.

The Great Christmas Village
The Great Christmas Village. Source: Instagram Photo from NOETMTL
Montreal Christmas Village

November 25 to December 19

In the past five years, the Atwater Place du marché has been known as the place to celebrate Christmas. A number of local and regional artisans will offer ethical and eco-responsible products, in addition to free programming for families. There is a new sleigh cinema this year for both adults and children!

Location

Atwater Avenue and Saint-Ambroise Street, in the continuity of the Christmas tree merchants, is the location of Atwater Christmas Village.

Take a sustainable route to the Montreal Christmas Village:

  • Lock your bicycle at 200 locations nearby
  • The metro station Lionel-Groulx
  • Take the bus (lines 35, 36, or 108)

Parking is available nearby if you come by car.

Jean-Talon Marche
Jean-Talon Sign. Source: Instagram Photo from NOELMTL
Jean-Talon Christmas Market

November 27 to December 23

Jean-Talon Market in Montreal takes you on a magical journey. Enjoy the city’s delicious northern charm with festive, cultural, and culinary events throughout the holiday season.

Location

  • Bicycle
  • Subway (De Castelnau or Jean-Talon stations)
  • Bus (lines 31, 55, 92 or 93)

Parking is available near the Jean-Talon Market if you are driving.

The Great Christmas Market
The Great Christmas Market. Source: Instagram Photo from NOELMTL
The Great Christmas Market

November 20 to January 2

A magical journey through the Quartier des spectacles Le Grand Marché de No*l de Montréal can be found in the Quartier des spectacles between Balmoral and Clark.

Location

  • Bicycle
  • Subway (Saint-Laurent or Place-des-Arts stations)
  • Bus (lines 15, 55, 80, 125, 480)

Parking is available at the Complexe Desjardins nearby.

Banff Christmas Market
Banff Christmas Market. Source: Banf Lake Louis

Banff Christmas Market at Banff National Park

First Weekend

November 19 to November 21

Second Weekend

November 26 to November 28

Santa’s House & Reindeer Stables, holiday treats & hot drinks are all waiting for the whole family, as well as over 80 vendors showcasing their products! Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the Christmas of your dreams at Warner Stables.

Tickets

  • The entry fee is $7.50 plus 5% GST.
  •  Free admission for children 12 and under.

Location

Banff Christmas Market at Banff National Park, 100 Sundance Road – Warner Stables, Banff, Alberta

By Walking

Downtown is less than a 20-minute walk away. Walk along the river through the recreation grounds by crossing the Bow River bridge and walking south along Banff Avenue. You will eventually see red stables. Don’t worry, you won’t miss them.

By Car

When entering a national park, a National Park Pass is required. Save time at the park gates by purchasing your pass online.   

  • Cross the Bow River bridge and head south on Banff Avenue.
  • Turn right onto Cave Avenue (towards Cave & Basin) after crossing the bridge.
  • Approximately 700 metres later, turn right on Sundance Road and continue toward Warner Stables.
  • At the end of Sundance Road is the Banff Christmas Market.

You can park in front of Warner Stables and at the new Banff skatepark just down Sundance Road. Parking is limited so walk or carpool whenever possible.

If you plan to travel to the Christmas markets, be safe and have fun!

Source: Vancouver Christmas Market Distellery Wine District Christmas in Montreal Banff Christmas Market Banff National Park Pass Saint-Laurent Place-des-Arts Bus De Castelnau Jean-Talon

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