Kick off the holiday season by taking a trip to Toronto’s Distillery Winter Village

Photo by: Elyse Turton

This year, Toronto’s highly-celebrated Christmas market will be returning once again under its new identity as the Distillery Winter Village

The event is a favourite amongst both Toronto locals and those from outside the city, offering various attractions, shopping and dining opportunities to bring in the Christmas spirit.

After taking a year off in 2020 due to COVID-19, the beloved event rebranded itself in 2021 from The Toronto Christmas Market to the Distillery Winter Village. This year, the market will be returning under the same rebranded name.

The change in name was due to a change in the market’s overall style, moving towards a more intimate event with a larger selection of shopping and dining attractions. This year, the experience will consist of over 65 different local shops, artisans and eating and drinking options.

The Distillery District offers several local shops all year long, from various clothing stores to jewelry and accessory boutiques to home decor markets. During visits to the Distillery Winter Village, individuals will have the opportunity to explore and discover some of the city’s most notable browsing options.

In addition to the Distillery District’s numerous shops, those visiting the winter village will also have the opportunity to fuel up at one of the many restaurants, bars, bakeries or cafes. Some notable dining options consist of Balzac’s Coffee Roasters, Boku Japanese Eats + Drinks and Mill Street Brew Pub.

The market will also be offering various entertaining attractions, such as festive live music, Christmas caroling and many games and activities. Visitors can partake in the winter village’s gingerbread hunt, where participants will have the opportunity to search for 12 hidden gingerbread people and have a chance to win a $100 gift card to a Distillery District retailer. Individuals can also capture a photo at one of the district’s many holiday themed photo walls.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to catch Santa and his elves, who may be roaming around the village at any given time. 

One notable aspect of the winter village is its 50-foot-tall White Spruce Christmas tree. This year, the tree was designed by the Distillery Winter Village’s 2022 sponsor, DIOR by PARFUMS CHRISTIAN DIOR. The tree will be decorated with 400 custom midnight blue ornaments, 17,000 gold balls and 70,000 twinkling lights. This year, creating the tree took more than 500 hours of labour.

This year, the village will be opening on Thursday, Nov. 17th, kicking the season off with its notable and momentous tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m., a free event that will be open to all individuals.

The Distillery Winter Village will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The winter village will be closed on Mondays, however distillery restaurants, cafes and retailers will remain open from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Tickets for the winter village will be required on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only after 4:00 p.m. Tickets will also be needed for entry after 4:00 p.m. between Dec. 27-31. Tickets are $11 + HST each. Children under the age of nine are free of charge. 

At all other times, access to the winter village will not require a ticket and will be free.

The Distillery Historic District is located on 55 Mill Street in Toronto. Directions towards the area, as well as available parking, can be viewed here.

The Distillery Winter Village is an event like no other in Toronto, with various shopping, food and activities to always keep visitors in the holiday spirit. Whether you’re planning on taking the trip with friends or family, the event is sure to be a fun, festive and momentous event that you will not want to miss. 

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