You don’t need to travel to Germany to get into the Christmas spirit!
I’m sure you’ve heard about the incredible Christmas markets in Germany. It’s an annual tradition there. Wander around brightly lit wooden stalls on a frosty evening, warming yourself up with mugs of delicious Glühwein. The festive glow, tempting aromas, and Christmas magic aren’t exclusive to Germany’s Christmas markets; the German tradition is alive and well in Canada. Authentic German Christmas markets happen annually in several Canadian cities. Here are the best German Christmas markets in Canada where the sights and sounds of the holiday are a treat to the senses.
Christmas Markets in Canada: Toronto Christmas Market
The Toronto Christmas Market is the one closest to my home and I attend this one every year. It’s celebrated in the most dazzling location for a Christmas market in the city, Toronto’s historic Distillery District. Wander the cobblestone streets, closed off to traffic, and admire the twinkling displays of lights. There are dozens of open air stalls with handmade goods and treats. There’s a massive Christmas tree in the middle of the square, which looks even more magical against the backdrop of old, industrial buildings. If you’re lucky, you might hear some Christmas carolers or live music to put you right in the Christmas spirit.
There are patios with a variety of alcoholic beverages, including the traditional mulled wine. Toronto’s Mill Street Brewery is right in the heart of the Distillery District, so grab a beer if you should feel more inclined. The weather can be chilly; however, a warm glass of Glühwein, spending time with friends, and Christmas festivities will warm your heart! (And don’t worry, the outdoor patios are heated).
The Toronto Christmas market gets very busy on weekends, and they’ve added a small surcharge in attempts to thin the crowds. I recommend visiting on a weeknight if you can (please note that the market does not run on Mondays). It’s less busy and you still capture 100% of the Christmas festivities. The Toronto Christmas market is definitely one of the best Christmas markets in Ontario and one of the greatest Christmas markets in Canada. You must check this one out if you’re in the area during November or December.
Generally speaking, the festivities run from the middle of November right up until Christmas. For more information about dates and hours of operation, please check out the Toronto Christmas Market official website.
Christkindl Market in Kitchener
It’s no wonder that you’ll find an authentic German Christmas market in Kitchener, Ontario. Kitchener has Canada’s highest German population! It only makes sense that one of the best Christmas markets in Canada is located in the city of Kitchener. This one is a little bit smaller than the one in Toronto as it’s held across one extended weekend in December. However, you’ll find an equal amount of Christmas spirit in the form of treats, handmade wares, and naturally, the mulled wine.
What sets Christkindl Market apart from other Christmas markets I’ve visited is that there are indoor and outdoor components. Yes, you can wander by the cute wooden stalls with all kinds of goodies for sale. But, you can also warm up indoors with an entire inside portion with food and locally made products. In total, there are almost 100 vendors so it’s a great opportunity to get some Christmas shopping done. To round out the Christmas and winter celebrations, there’s an outdoor skating rink, live music, and a giant Christmas tree with thousands of twinkling lights.
While Christkindl Market might only run for one weekend, it’s certainly one of the best Christmas markets in Canada. If you’re looking for awesome Christmas markets in Ontario to visit, don’t miss Christkindl Market in Kitchener. It’s free to attend. Check out the official website for hours and event details.
Le Marché de Noel Allemand in Quebec City
What could be better than visiting one of the best Canadian Christmas markets with historic European scenery? Well, it might not be Europe, but it’s almost as close as you can get within Canada – Quebec City! Quebec City has an amazing Christmas Market right in the middle of Old Quebec’s Upper Town called Le Marche de Noel Allemand. Bundle up in your winter coat and brave the elements for this traditional German Christmas market in Quebec City.
The collection of 57 wooden vendor stands, twinkling Christmas lights, crackling fireplaces, and spicy aromas of cinnamon and cloves contribute to a charming and enchanting holiday environment. There are unique handmade gifts created by talented local artisans. The organizers take great care in bringing only the best products to the market. The vendors at the wooden booths sell winter accessories, jewelry, clothing made from recycled materials, Christmas ornaments, wooden trinkets, ceramics, and more. You’ll find local delicacies, such as flavoured vinegars and fruit jams from neighbouring Ile d’Orleans. Of course, there’s always lots of maple syrup!
Out of all the Christmas markets in Canada I’ve visited, this one had the best selection of food. There are typical German foods available, such as bratwurst, gingerbread, and huge pretzels. Justin and I also discovered handmade candy (labeled as vegan right on the packaging!), roasted chestnuts, and maple tea. For those seeking a meal and a pint, head to the Restaurant BMW Alpine Chalet for authentic German specialties. You might also catch live music in there, too. At the Winterbar, taste mulled wine or eau-de-vie (brandy) imported directly from Germany.
The Quebec City Christmas Market is free and it runs for a full month, from the end of November right up until Christmas. For dates and times, please check out the official website.
German Christmas Bazaar in Montreal
This year, you can discover a traditional Germany Christmas market in Montreal. This one is hosted by the Montreal German Society and you’ll find the festivities at the Town of Mont Royal Town Hall. There will be German food and drink, decorations, a gift market, and live entertainment. While admission is completely free, all of the proceeds from everything purchased at the event goes towards charitable organizations, like German cultural organizations, German language schools, and local charities in the Montreal area. So, don’t feel guilty drinking another mug of mulled wine!
The German Christmas Bazaar in Montreal happens for one day only, on November 17th, 2018 from 12:00 – 5:00pm. Check out the Facebook event page for more details.
Vancouver Christmas Market
Are you visiting the west coast of Canada (or are you a Vancouver native)? You get to celebrate with one of the best Christmas markets in Canada, too! The authentic German celebrations continue at the Vancouver Christmas Market for over an entire month, from the end of November right up until Christmas Eve. There are more than 80 wooden huts with goodies, trinkets, and sweets.
There’s a gigantic Christmas tree that you can even walk inside, with over 36,000 sparkling lights. The kids (and the kids at heart) will love the Christmas carousel. Take a romantic stroll under the mistletoe with your partner and add a love lock to the installation. There are tons of yummy treats, German beer, and mulled wine. And Santa might make an appearance while you’re there, so I hope you’re on his good list! For ticket pricing details and hours, check out the Vancouver Christmas Market website.
While you should definitely make that trip to Germany to experience their traditional Christmas markets, you can capture the magic right here in Canada, too. From exploring the best Christmas markets in Ontario to exploring one in Quebec City with truly European vibes, you’ll certainly be feeling festive after attending these Canadian Christmas markets.
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