Canada’s Christmas markets range from one hosted by the German community in Quebec City to an entire variety pack in the Calgary region. We start from the east and work our way west.
Quebec City German Christmas Market
Choose your own version. In French in the heart of Quebec’s walled city it is called Marché de Noël allemand. It is referred to as the German Christmas Market by parishioners at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, where it takes place. The city’s German community, whose fair it really is, calls it Deutscher Weihnachtsmarkt. Artisans present a variety of Christmas wares appropriate for Christmas giving and the aroma of Christmas delicacies to delight the palette escapes from the quaintly decorated outdoor booths. The sights and sounds of Christmas include seven concerts inside the oldest Anglican cathedral outside the British Isles. This Christmas Market inside historic 401-year-old Quebec gets bigger every year. Dates are Dec 3-5 and Dec. 10-12.
Montreal Area Christmas Markets
There are three unique Christmas markets in the Montreal area. The one at the Abbaye d’Oka, north of the city, begins the first week of December and runs until Dec. 23. In addition to Christmas stalls in the barn, there are numerous concerts featuring opera singers and harpists, in the Abbey. Closer to the city is the Dec. 3-20 Longueuil Christmas Market at St. Mark Park, featuring family entertainment and 40 wooden cabins offering traditional Christmas products. This is the one for the foodies. Local chefs hand out recipes so you can make your own Christmas treats; cooking demonstrations are given by celebrity chefs. The highlight of the Joliette Christmas Market, held Dec. 9-23 at Place Bourget, is the giant ginger cake. Visitors can sample it. Also on the agenda are horse-drawn carriage rides for observing the gaily decorated town. And in Montreal itself? It’s a non-stop Quebecois holiday!
Toronto Christmas Market
Toronto’s Dec. 3-12 Christmas Market, held in The Distillery Historic District, brings forth nostalgic Christmas sights, sounds and tastes. In addition to showcasing hundreds of unique handcrafted products, it presents numerous music events, stage presentations, Rudolph’s Reindeer Zoo, and Santa and his roaming elves. Focal point among the gaily lighted streets and squares is the forty foot Christmas tree. Located on Trinity Street, it features 18,000 lights and ornaments. Walk down Santa’s Lane, check out the fairy tale forest maze, visit the gingerbread house or survey this Christmas panorama from atop the Ferris Wheel.
Christkindl Market in Kitchener
Toronto’s Christkindl Market has a distinctly German flavor and is a longstanding tradition. On tap Dec. 2-5 at Kitchener City Hall, this Market has a full calendar of events, including the chance to win a trip to Germany. Expect to mingle among thousands of people as the parade goes by and folk dancers perform to music of a brass um-pah band. This market has been named one of Ontario’s top 10 events.
Christmas Fairs in Calgary Region
Not to be missed is the Dec. 2 – 5 Festival of Crafts at the BMO Centre in Calgary’s Stampede Park. More than three dozens fairs are held each Christmas season in the Calgary region, beginning in mid-November. Many of these are fund raisers for church and community organizations.
Vancouver Christmas Market
Christmas music, holiday decorations and genuine hot spiced gluhwein are among the many attractions at Vancouver’s Christmas Market, running from the first of December until Christmas Eve, with a program chock full of events and plenty of gift items showcased in traditional wooden booths. It all takes place on the Plaza at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, all lit and trimmed in Christmas décor.