On December 2nd, the Distillery District held an official lighting ceremony for the second annual Lowe’s Toronto Christmas Market. I was fortunate enough to attend the opening ceremonies and have found myself humming Christmas carols ever since. The holiday spirit was in full force as thousands of lights were illuminated to display a charming, European-inspired Christmas market filled with vendors and activities for all ages. Running from Friday December 2nd through Sunday December 18th, the Lowe’s Toronto Christmas Market is an event like no other.
An Enchanting Celebration
The opening event was hosted by Frank Ferragine, from CityTV’s Breakfast Television, and featured remarks from organizers and special guests, as well as the spectacular lighting of a 45-foot Christmas tree decorated with 18,000 lights! A highlight of the evening was a special performance by award-winning Canadian musician Steven Page. The atmosphere was festive and fun. Reindeer antler-wearing fans roamed the crowd, while Santa, a Christmas angel and cheerful elves made special appearances throughout the market. I couldn’t help but feel a little holiday happiness as I stood among my fellow Christmas market revelers.
Inspired by similar markets that took place in Germany in the 1400s, the Christmas Market includes a variety of vendors with ample free samples. Everything from handcrafted Christmas ornaments to cake, poutine, hot chocolate, candy and wine are among the more than thirty-five different merchants who have set up shop in the adorable little wooden cottages that line the cobblestone streets of the district. With countless strings of Christmas lights dangling overhead, and wreaths adorning gas-powered street lamps, the historical charm and appeal of the Distillery District Christmas Market is undeniable.
In addition to the amazing decor and various vendors, the market also includes a number of featured areas. For kids big and small, there’s Santa’s Lane, where children can get lost in an evergreen maze on their way to have their photos taken with the man in red himself. This area includes a gingerbread play house that is sure to entertain. Kids can also enjoy amusement park-style rides on a Ferris wheel and traditional carousel.
Adult fun can be found at the outdoor heated beer and mulled wine gardens. This unique outdoor lounge features large chairs and couches next to outdoor fireplaces, as well as a unique outdoor bar decorated with oversized Christmas wreaths and ornaments. A great place to stop for a little cocktail and some warmth while touring the market.
Lowe’s Toronto Christmas Market will also be hosting a number of live musical performances. Free concerts will take place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 7pm. Presented by OLG, some of the headliners include, David Usher, Matt Dusk, Suzie McNeill, David Myles, Mark Masri, Sean Jones, and Amanda Martinez. A number of choirs and carolers will also perform at the market throughout the festival.
If you are having a hard time summoning up some holiday spirit this year, head down to the Distillery District to give your Christmas cheer a kick-start. Last year’s festival was attended by more than 110,000 people and this year’s promises to be just as exciting.
2010 Market photos courtesy of Lowe’s Toronto Christmas Market.
Lowe’s Toronto Christmas Market
55 Mill Street, Toronto, 416-364-1177