It’s almost December, and that means Christmas markets are busting out all across Canada. In fact, Toronto's iconic Distillery Winter Village opens today (Nov. 17), so we're celebrating by taking a look at some of the best markets to look forward to from coast to coast.
To get your fill of twinkling lights, adorable wooden chalets and mulled wine, have a look at some of the holiday markets across the country that you don't want to miss. Just be sure to note that some markets charge an entry fee, so do your homework before you head out.
The 12 Days of Christmas Fireweed Community Market is an annual favourite in Whitehorse that features high-quality, Yukon-made arts and crafts from 50 vendors. You'll also find farmstead wares and homespun body care products, plus tasty goodies like home-baked pies and preserves. The market includes daily live music throughout its run between Dec. 7 to Dec. 20.
The Vancouver Christmas Market brings festive Old World German traditions to the city's waterfront. Visitors can stroll the twinkling pathways of a European-inspired Christmas village and enjoy treats such as bratwurst, pretzels and pancakes. It's on now and runs until Dec. 24.
There's also the sixth annual Weirdos Holiday Market that returns to Vancouver over two weekends, December 9 to 11 and December 16 to 18. Shop for a variety of weird items, including witchy wares, quirky clothing and eccentric art.
The Spruce Meadows International Christmas Market takes place over three weekends: Nov. 18 to 20, Nov. 25 to 27 and Dec. 2 to 4. The market features more than 200 independent local businesses, food vendors and artisans. New this year is a family-friendly area called Winter Wonderland, with everything from a petting zoo to movies and Santa's elves.
The Authentically Indigenous Holiday Craft Market in Calgary features vendors who are Indigenous artists, creators and makers from Calgary and Treaty areas 7, 6 and 8. Visitors will find handcrafted art, jewelry, beadwork, food and other artisan delights to enjoy on Dec. 10 and 11.
The Banff Christmas Market takes place at Warner Stables and features more than 100 vendors, live music, Christmas treats, reindeer and jolly old St. Nick. The event takes place over three weekends: Nov. 18 to 20, Nov. 25 to 27 and Dec. 2 to 4.
Winnipeg's "Christkindlmarkt" (German Christmas Market), the oldest running German Christmas Market in Canada, has been running since 1985. Look for favourites such as German chocolates, mulled wine, cake and other German treats.
There's entertainment all weekend long, and more than 60 tables of Manitoba crafts people and vendors. The market will be held at the Mall of Fort Garry Place on Nov. 25, 26 and 27.
The cobblestone streets of the city's Distillery District make it a great spot for the annual Distillery District Winter Village. In addition to the regular stores, restaurants and cafes, visitors will find eight new vendor cabins offering uniquely curated seasonal items and gifts, plus more than a dozen food cabins running from Nov. 17 to Dec. 31.
The Kingston Holiday Market will take place in-person at the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning. You can find more than 40 local artisans each weekend, from pottery to paintings, to candles, delicious food and so much more. The market will be in-person and run during the first three weekends of December (Dec. 3 to 4, 10 to 11 and 17 to 18).
The European-style Ottawa Christmas Market — featuring local crafts, delicious baked goods, and other treats — returns to Lansdowne Park Fridays to Sundays between Nov. 25 and Dec. 18, as well as Tuesday through Friday, Dec. 20 to 23.
The old Kellogg Factory in London, Ont. from Dec. 1 to. 18 will host the Merry Market, featuring a winter village with a 35-foot Christmas tree, outdoor vendors in wooden huts and thousands of twinkling lights.
Charlea's Riverside Gardens features Christmas workshops, Christmas trees for sale, a makers market, food trucks and beverages, live music and more. The event runs Thursday to Sunday from now until Dec. 11.
The Great Montreal Christmas Market takes place on Saint-Catherine Street from Nov. 19 to Dec. 31, with some 30 chalets featuring local and regional artisans, mulled wine and entertainment, while the Marché de Noël de Jean Talon runs Nov. 26 to Dec. 18 at Jean Talon Market in the city's north end. Montreal also has a Vegan Christmas Market slated for Dec. 10 and 11.
This distinctly French-Canadian city puts on a great German Christmas Market, featuring artisans selling everything from jewelry to Christmas ornaments. There's also German food, choirs and other entertainment. This year's event runs from Nov. 24 to Dec. 23, where they'll have vendors on the Dufferin Terrace next to the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac Hotel.
The city's Evergreen Festival is a four-week-long, outdoor winter celebration of Nova Scotian culture, food, spirits, crafts and art. Local retailers, restaurants, hotels, attractions and public spaces throughout the region offer holiday light displays and festive programming to celebrate the season. This year's event takes place Nov 25. to Dec. 18.
Christmas by the Sea in Lunenburg, N.S. takes place in this UNESCO world heritage city on Nov. 26. There's an outdoor Christmas market along with booths with local crafts and food. There's also a Christmas parade in the afternoon and a tree lighting ceremony at night.
Prince Edward Island
The annual Victorian Christmas Market takes place Nov. 25 to 27 in Charlottetown. It's an open-air market and brings together artisans, food vendors and crafters from across Prince Edward Island. The market is part of the Charlottetown Christmas Festival, which runs from Nov. 18 to Jan. 2, and features a Christmas parade, a Whoville-inspired village and more.