An ad in the Toronto Star promised attendees “the romance of a traditional Christmas. Inspired by the Old World and influenced by the New, this free annual event captures all the heritage and charm of a European Christmas Market, while showcasing hundreds of unique and handcrafted products. Family friendly entertainment includes, musicians, carolers, and children’s choirs.”
I have never been to a European Christmas market, so I will have to take their word for it on that point. However, I would have to say that the rest of the description was 100% accurate. My sometimes cynical thoughts of Christmas becoming, to some people, little more than an exercise in overconsumption and overspending completely vanished from my mind as soon as I had a chance to take in the atmosphere of the place.
The Distillery District’s traditional architecture and cobblestone streets are the perfect setting to emulate an Old World atmosphere. All decorated for Christmas, it became a dazzling spectacle. Thousands of twinkling lights and gas lamps shone overhead. Christmas trees were everywhere, with the biggest and brightest one (decorated to perfection) standing in the middle of it all. Performers all dressed in red and green robes happily sung and played traditional Christmas carols. Shoppers perused traditional, handcrafted, and artisan goods available at the many booths and shops. Groups gathered around fire bowls to talk and enjoy the warmth while sipping hot chocolate, cider, and mulled wine. Families, couples and friends happily took group photos. A general atmosphere of joy pervaded the entire place. The claims of “charm” and “romance” promised to those who visited turned out to be completely true.
I took way too many photos to post here, but I have included a few (ok, it was really hard to whittle it down, so maybe it’s a little more than a few) of my favourite sights and scenes from the Market.
We caught a glimpse of the Christmas Angel…at the shortbread booth. Apparently angels and humans alike think shortbread is heavenly 🙂
This is the awesome interior of one of the coffee shops. I was told that they have the best hot chocolate in town, but the lineup was quite long so we decided to test that claim out another time. Has anyone reading ever been there? And if so, is it true…?
My camera didn’t pick up the actual flame inside the glass….but I assure you, it was a real old-fashioned gas-powered street lamp.
I wonder if they have to be lighted by hand circa 1880?
My friend was a little bit cold, so she purchased this fabulous hat. It is actually a hat, scarf, and mittens all in one. I think it might just be the cutest (and most useful) hat ever.
The mulled wine booth was bathed in a heavenly light. We took this as a sign that we should stop there 🙂
We enjoyed our spiced wine by the warmth of the fire.
The Christmas Market can be found in the Distillery District – 55 Mill Street. Its last day is this Sunday, December 15th…so be sure to visit if you get the chance!
Merry Christmas everyone!
- Experience the Magic of a German-style Christmas Market (theepochtimes.com)
- ‘Tis the season… (randompiks.wordpress.com)