#DiscoverON Festivals & Events


The holiday season brings out two kinds of people – those who have their shopping done early and are ready to start celebrating, and scrambling, last-minute procrastinators (you know who you are).

Ontario’s outdoor holiday markets will please both.

Bring your shopping basket; find one-of-a-kind gifts, crafts and homemade edibles. Get into the merry mood with festive entertainment, holiday carollers, sparkling lights, hot cider and mulled wine. And experience a taste of old world Europe at cultural-themed markets. The jolly man himself may even make an appearance at some of these events.

Photo credit: Terry Manzo

Stratford Victorian Christmas Trail, November 12 – December 17

The town of Stratford oozes Victorian charm, and this festive tour takes you to unique shops with all kinds of seasonal treats and gifts. Go all out and take a carriage ride through the historic downtown.

Fair in the Square, December 1-23

Returning for a second year to Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square, this European-style event is a ‘thriving winter carnival’ complete with a crackling fire, gourmet goodies, an ice skating rink, artisan crafts and a licensed ice bar (thank you, Jackson Triggs).

Photo credit: Christkindl Market

Christkindl Market, December 7-10

This award-winning event at Kitchener City Hall harks back to a bustling medieval German market; sample Glühwein (mulled wine), watch blacksmiths demonstrations and take selfies with the various folklore characters.

Kenora Winter Market, December 16

Pick up cured meats, artisan cheese, home-made preserves, baked goods, crafts, jewellery and artwork at the Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre.

Photo credit: Toronto Christmas Market

Toronto Christmas Market, November 16 – December 23

The combination of heritage buildings, cobblestone laneways and festival lights in Toronto’s Distillery Historic District makes this an Instagrammer’s paradise.

Ottawa Christmas Market, December 2-23 (select days)

Over 120 vendors at the Aberdeen Pavilion in Ottawa’s Lansdowne Park offer a selection of great ideas for stocking stuffers and host gifts as well as a lot to nosh on while you shop.

Visit one of these seasonal markets on a winter weekend getaway.