Canada’s Best Christmas and Winter Markets

Vancouver Christmas Market Sunset
Vancouver Christmas Market Sunset | Courtesy of Vancouver Christmas Market

Staff Writer

The tradition of German towns hosting Christkindlmarkets around Christmas dates back to the 1400s. Each one is unique and features local craft-makers and festive regional refreshments. Like many countries, Canada has also embraced this tradition and each seasonal market has its own special charm. The delicious smell of food billowing out from adorable timber shacks, steaming mugs of mulled wine and hot chocolate, beautiful crafts, arts, and festive delights makes a trip to any of these famous Canadian markets a real treat.

1. Vancouver Christmas Market


Wednesday, November 22–Sunday, December 24

Experience the seasonal décor and Yuletide celebrations of Vancouver Christmas Market. With over 75 artisan huts, you’ll find gifts galore and trinkets for stockings. One of this year’s highlights is Canada’s first ever Walk-In Christmas Tree: a 30-foot tall tree covered with a spectacular display of 36,000 twinkling lights. Festive foodies won’t be disappointed with the menu either – sample Glühwein (mulled wine), bratwurst, gulasch, spätzle, schnitzel, kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes), and strudels. Vancouver Christmas Market also has a special area for kids where they can ride a Christmas Carousel, take part in a scavenger hunt around the market, and put in some face time with Santa.

Vancouver Christmas Market, Jack Poole Plaza, 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC, Canada, +1 778 200 0167

Vancouver Christmas Market | © LoVero Films

Got Craft?

Saturday, December 9–Sunday, December 10

The holiday edition of Vancouver’s largest indie craft fair spreads handmade love. Got Craft? started in May 2007 with just 20 vendors, but the event has now grown to over 75 handmade designers, along with food carts and hands-on workshops that let visitors create their own take-home craft project. Grab a free swag bag, a tasty treat from one of Vancouver’s food trucks and meet the local makers as you shop for some original Christmas presents.

Got Craft?, 1880 Triumph St, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Handcrafted goods at Got Craft?

2. Toronto Christmas Market


Thursday, November 16–Saturday, December 23

The Distillery District in Toronto is ideal for recreating the magic and romance of a traditional European Christmas market. Ranked as one of the top 10 holiday markets in the world, Toronto’s Christmas Market, now in its eighth year, was created in light of the city’s love for holidays, peace, friendship, and solidarity. This year’s live entertainment and interactive installations focus on spreading joy and coming together. Other highlights include Santa and his elves, one of the city’s largest real Christmas trees, heated outdoor beer and mulled wine gardens, locally handcrafted products, unique gifts from around the world, tasty European delicacies, Canadian food favourites, and festive drinks.

Toronto Christmas Market, 55 Mill St, Toronto, ON, Canada

Toronto Christmas Market | Courtesy of Toronto Christmas Market

3. One of a Kind Christmas Show and Sale

Thursday, November 23–Sunday, December 3

The One of a Kind Christmas Show is one of North America’s largest and best-attended craft shows. Since its creation in 1975, the show has celebrated craftsmanship, creativity, and bringing the community together with a ‘one of a kind’ holiday shopping experience. Over the course of 11 days, this holiday market connects over 800 talented artisans with people who share their commitment and love for unique handmade goods, quality, and buying local. If you get stuck shopping for Christmas presents or want to get someone something extra special, this is one of best places to pick up a great and thoughtful gift.
One of a Kind Christmas Show, Enercare Centre, 100 Princes’ Blvd #1, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 263 3000

Locally made Canadian Crafts | Courtesy of One of a Kind Show

4. City of Craft Toronto

City of Craft 2016

Friday, December 8–Sunday, December 10

Another place to pick up unique and thoughtful Christmas presents is City of Craft. Now in its 11th year, this collective brings together independent artists and craftspeople. It’s Toronto’s largest independently-run show and features installations as well as free workshops. This three-day festival strives to bring together the local DIY/indie-craft community and increase Toronto’s love and access to contemporary craft. For 2017, City of Craft has partnered with The Theatre Centre, a live arts hub and incubator that has two fully-accessible floors, and a green roof patio and café so visitors have a space to eat and relax throughout the show.

City of Craft Toronto, The Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen St W, Toronto, ON, Canada, + 1 416 538 0988

Visitors browsing handmade goods | Courtesy of City of Craft

5. Christkindl


Thursday, December 7–Sunday, December 10

For an authentic German Christmas market experience, join 35,000 others who visit Christkindl. Kitchener, Ontario’s award-winning holiday market, was founded in 1996 and has been evoking the sights, smells, and tastes of German festivities for over 20 years. Downtown Kitchener comes to life with the honoured traditions of a candlelight lantern parade, lighting of the Christmas tree, a live nativity scene, and performances from choirs, bands, and dance groups. If you are just in it for the food then you won’t be disappointed! Prepare to drool over Belgian waffles, stollen, sausages, schnitzel on a bun, and traditional glühwein.

Christkindl, 200 King St W, Kitchener, ON, Canada, +1 519 741 2345

6. German Christmas Market


German Christmas Market - Quebec City | Genevieve Roussel

Thursday, November 23–Saturday, December 23

Another holiday market keeping with tradition is Quebec City’s German Christmas market, Le Marché de noël Allemand. Quebec City’s Town Hall square and gardens are transformed into a small village of European-style wooden kiosks with festive lighting. Once again you can expect delicious German treats like bratwurst, glühwein, and gingerbread, as well as choral singing, shows, and performances. It’s also another great place to buy original Christmas presents that are imported from Germany and crafted in Quebec.

German Christmas Market, Place et Jardins de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, Ville de Québec, QC, Canada

German Christmas Market – Quebec City | © Genevieve Roussel

7. Marché de Noël and des Traditions

Friday, December 1–Saturday, December 23

Enjoy European charm and a festive atmosphereat Marché de Noël et des Traditions in Longueuil, one of Quebec’s most authentic holiday markets. Located on the south side of St. Lawrence River in St. Mark’s Park, Marché de Noël celebrates Christmas traditions. Come for the music, glittering white lights, family fun and an opportunity to see artisans creating their goods in cute little timber cabins.

St. Mark’s Park, 340 Rue Saint-Charles Ouest, Longueuil, QC, Canada

8. Puces Pop Winter Fair

Bar, Market

Friday, December 8–Sunday, December 10; Friday, December 15–Sunday, December 17

This holiday craft fair in Montreal is perfect for all your Christmas gift-giving. With live DJs and local artisans, the holiday edition of Puces Pop is a far cry from traditional craft fairs. Head to this winter market for handmade goods from up and coming designers, craft-makers and artists from Montreal’s creative community. When you need to chill, go to Puces Lounge, a relaxation space with a bar.

Puces Pop, 5075 Rue Rivard, Montréal, QC, Canada, +1 514 842 1919

9. Banff Christmas Market

Bar, Market

Friday, November 24–Sunday, November 26

Located in Canada’s first national park, this is not your average holiday market. Enjoy the rustic delight of this festive European tradition while surrounded by Canadian beauty and nature. Pick up gifts from Inuit carvers and local artisans, munch on BBQ food and homemade chocolate and stay warm by the fires or in the new Christmas Drink Bar from Park Distillery. The best thing about Banff Christmas Market is you can even take a magical sleigh ride through stunning scenery!

Banff Christmas Market, 1 Sundance Rd, Banff, AB, Canada, +1 403 762 4551

Santa at Banff Christmas Market | © Orange Girl/Banff Christmas Market

landscape with balloons floating in the air


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