As you may know, two of the nuts (myself and Kaylee) became Torontonians in the early portion of 2012 – dividing our blog-writing unit between the nation’s capital and the big smoke. With each new month, we fall increasingly more in love with the culturally diverse, vibrant and never-boring streets of this gigantic city. It seems as if every day a new restaurant opens (and, despite thinking it’s still a secret, there’s a 45-minute wait on a Tuesday evening), a hidden gem shop appears out of nowhere or a market is asking to be explored – and, all the while, the two of us are very lucky to have each other while we unveil Toronto’s countless seasonal offerings.
A perfect example of something worth investigating? The holiday season in Toronto. As the twinkle lights were strung throughout the shiny downtown, the Eaton Centre underwent a Christmas explosion and Yorkville window displays began to compete in exuberance, we felt – as newbies to Toronto during the December month (from January onwards, we’ll have one lap under our belt!) – it would be wise to sort through the holiday madness and find merry activities that we can revisit for holiday seasons to come. Like everything else in this city, there were an abundance of options – but it came down to what felt meaningful to us.
As the first instalment in a few ‘Holidays in Toronto’ recaps, here’s one of the things that stood out to us as a lovely place to be during the chilly December weekends.
The Distillery District Christmas Market
This place might just be Christmas heaven on earth. Kaylee and I have visited a number of times now, both together and with others, and let me tell you – if you’re in need of that cheerful holiday boost, a warm drink to keep you cozy and the company of hundreds of other happy market goers, this is where you must go. Now. The Distillery District, already one of the most quaint and historic cobblestone urban corridors in the city, has enough retail and restaurant goodness to satisfy on an average Saturday. So, line the postcard paths that wind between the modernized old mills with tiny wooden Christmas huts – filled with sweets, poutine, peppermint, mulled wine, trinkets and more – and the antique district lights up beyond belief. Kaylee and I strolled through on a quiet Sunday with a few tasty treats, and I went last Friday night for a memorable evening spent cuddled up with hot wine and doo-wop Christmas songs. Towering lit trees, families, viney sparkling lights and loudspeaker classic Christmas ditties are only a few of the cheery staples you’ll find at the bottom of Sherbourne and Front – as well as hundreds of special treasures you could have never expected.
What you must try at the Distillery Christmas Market: a hot seasonal coffee blend from Balzac’s, A Christmas Carol at the renowned Soulpepper theatre, a wander through the perfect home furnishing stores, the new Gotstyle or Blackbird Vintage, a nibble on a sugary apple fritter, a travel cup of syrupy mulled wine next to a heat lamp at the Sleeman hut or savoury chocolate creations from Soma Chocolatemaker. And more.
Stay tuned, Toronto!