When Edward Pola and George Wyle wrote the jolliest Christmas hit “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year”, I’m pretty sure they were staying in Canada! The Land of The Maple transforms into a winter wonderland during the holiday season, and what better way to get into the festive spirit than by visiting some of the best Christmas markets in Canada? Ever since 2016, me and my family have never skipped out on visiting a market because not only do we buy tons of ornaments to decorate our house, but to stuff our faces with delicious treats! After all, all we want for Christmas is food! I promise I’ll stop with the holiday-song puns now!
Because the magic of Canadian Christmas markets never ceases to impress me, it would be un-jolly of me not to share it with you. For that reason, I have created a guide to some of the best Christmas markets in Canada, stretching from coast to coast! As always, I’m going to be sharing some of the must-try treats when you’re visiting, ensuring that you get in the holiday spirit directly from the belly!
- Vancouver Christmas Market, Vancouver
Starting things off with my favourite Christmas market in Canada, the always beautiful Vancouver Christmas market! While the market features countless stalls that feature amazing craftworks from Canadian artisans, like fine-painted beer steins, lace decorations, and all kinds of glass & wooden ornaments, what you’ll love most about this Canadian Christmas market is the Bavarian vibe and a wide array of delicious food and drinks. Trying the traditional pork schnitzel and Mr. Hot Cakes is a must, but if you want a savoury treat, you should be on the lookout for a Swiss raclette. As for the drinks, feuerzangenbowle (German for fire-tong punch) will keep you warm and cosy while you’re admiring the gorgeous views of the Vancouver Harbour and Stanley Park! It’s safe to say this market will always hold a special place in my heart – I can’t wait to see what it brings this year!
Dates: Nov 12 – Dec 24
Ticket Prices: 18$ – Adults (18-64) / Kids – Free
The Downtown Kelowna Winter Market is a favourite among locals. One of the few outdoor Christmas markets, Water St shuts down for the day into the evening with the anticipation of the tree light up. Local vendors sell unique items all made locally. The Kelowna Yacht Club on the Okanagan Lake is your backdrop along with festive live music and photo opportunities with Santa. While Kelowna isn’t the most food truck friendly city out there, at this event a few come out to participate. This event is so successful because it coincides with the Craft Culture Market held within walking distance just down the street at Prospera Place. Two markets in one day makes for the best holiday shopping while making it easy to support local.
Another huge bonus is that Jack’s Kelowna is transformed into a winter wonderland pop up bar. The entire restaurant is made extra festive and even the menu is holiday themed. You can’t miss this added stop!
Dates: Downtown Kelowna Winter Market takes places the first Saturday of December while the Craft Culture Holiday Prospera Market takes place on the first weekend in December (Friday to Sunday).
Price: Downtown Kelowna Winter Market is free. Craft Culture entrance fee is $7
- Distillery Winter Village, Toronto
Formerly known as the Toronto Christmas Market, the Distillery Winter Village in Toronto is commonly referred to as the top Christmas Market in Canada. Set in the historic Distillery District of the city, this market is enriched with buzzing cobblestone streets, twinkling fairy lights and the Dior Christmas tree, making you feel like you’ve stepped into a magical storybook. Upon entering, you’re greeted with numerous beer gardens and festive bars serving the tastiest mulled wines, cocktails, and the finest craft beers. At this Christmas market in Toronto, Canada, you can try local sake, Atlantic Lobster, famous baked goods from Toronto’s own Aunt Beth’s Bakery, but what will surely blow you away is the Canadian classic – poutine! This dish is a combination of dark gravy, powered with french fries and soft cheeses, invented in Quebec back in the 1950s. Finally, apart from the many unique toys you’ll find throughout the Distillery Winter Village, make sure to stop and smell the sweet scent of Canadian beeswax candles.
Dates: Nov 17 – Dec 31
Ticket Prices: 11$ – Adults (18-64) / Kids under 9 – Free
Given that Kitchener is the oldest German community in the country, it’s no wonder they annually host the best German Christmas market in Canada! Christkindl In fact, this was the first annual Canada Christmas market! The festivities start with the philharmonic choir singing Hallelujah Chorus, followed by a dazzling tree lighting. While you’re here, keep an ear out for Klaus, a local German organ grinder, and an eye on the local blacksmiths showcasing all kinds of glass-blown decorations. As for the food and drinks, the market features Germany’s finest delicacies, but the schnitzel and the sticky fruit-studded stollen absolutely shouldn’t be missed!
Dates: Each weekend in December
Ticket Prices: Free
Set in the heart of the Art Deco-adorned Atwater Market, the Village dë Noel is one of the most popular Montreal Christmas Markets. Right from the start, this market is a paradise for the little ones as it offers several fun escape rooms, as well as the ‘Elves Kingdom’ interactive adventure! As for us older kids, the market has various kinds of delicious treats, from smoked meats and poutine to the sweetest maple syrup. While visiting this Christmas market in Canada, make sure you check out the epic raclette party, where huge blocks of cheese are melted under a large yet cosy bonfire. After you have a belly full of cheesy goodness, head to the outdoor cinema to watch some of the holiday classics!
Dates: Nov 24 – Dec 18
Ticket Prices: Free
Even though it’s located in the heart of Quebec City, this Canadian Christmas market will make you feel like you’ve stepped right into Germany! I mean, the name alone gives it all away! For one, the market has the merriest atmosphere thanks to the gorgeous Christmas decorations, lights, and wooden stalls. Then, you have many entertainment options such as carol singing and even a dog parade where fluffy furballs prance around in their best festive outfits. But do you know why this market is named one of the best Christmas markets in Canada? Well, it’s the food, of course! Since the market is heavily focused on Bavaria, you can sample an array of fondue, pretzels, waffles, gingerbread cookies, and the most delicious bratwurst. As for the drinks, attend the mulled wine ceremony, but be careful. While it may come as a surprise, Germans are mean wine-makers, meaning that the selection you’ll find at this German Christmas market in Canada will make you a bit woozy, and although it may be super difficult, try not to sip too much!
Dates: Nov 23 – Dec 24
Ticket Prices: Free
These were some of my favourite Christmas markets in Canada – you’ll surely find me in one (if not all) of them, sampling all the best treats of the season! Make sure not to miss out on them, as their atmosphere will not only put you in the jolliest mood but also allow you to taste all kinds of festive delicacies!
You can check out my experience at last year’s Vancouver Christmas market here.
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