Can’t travel to Europe this holiday season? Did you know that there are some pretty awesome Christmas Markets in Canada?
Christmas is just around the corner, and if you’re anything like me, one of the best ways to get into the festive spirit is to visit a Christmas market.
With the twinkling lights, festive decorations and mulled wine, there’s something about the Christmas market experience that just feels magical.
And while European Christmas Markets will always have a special place in my heart, there are plenty of amazing markets to check out right here in Canada.
Whether you’re on the West Coast, the East Coast or somewhere in between, here are eleven of the best Christmas markets in Canada to check out this festive season.
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Best Christmas Markets in Canada
Québec City: Le Marché de Noël Allemand
One of the most popular Christmas markets in Canada, le Marché de Noël Allemand is Québec City’s German Christmas Market. Set amidst beautiful Old Québec, this market makes you feel like you are truly in Europe.
Stroll along the cobblestone streets and soak up the festive atmosphere as you browse through the many stalls under the twinkling lights.
The Quebec City Christmas Market features over 90 wooden chalets selling everything from handmade crafts to traditional Christmas decorations, many of which have been imported from Germany. There are also Canadian favourites such as maple syrup and jam from local farms.
And of course, no German Christmas market would be complete without traditional food and drink. Stop by one of the stalls for some traditional German fare like bratwurst, gingerbread, and of course, a warm cup of mulled wine.
There are also plenty of activities for kids, from crafting workshops to visits with Père Noël himself.
Québec City’s German Christmas Market is free and runs from November 23 – December 22, 2023. More information on hours and location can be found here.
Toronto: The Distillery Winter Village
The Distillery Winter Village is the must-see Christmas Market in Toronto.
Set in the historic Distillery District, the picturesque neighbourhood is the perfect backdrop for a festive outing, and the market definitely does not disappoint.
Stroll under the twinkling canopy of lights, stop by for a photo beside the large Christmas Tree in Trinity Square and browse over 65 unique and local shops, artisans, restaurants and cafés.
Featuring everything from handcrafted goods, jewelry and unique art to delicious food and festive treats, you’re sure to find the perfect gift.
This year, there’s also 12 food cabins offering a range of flavours from the traditional raclette, churros and pretzels to less traditional lobster rolls, empanadas and sushi burritos.
And then sip on a warm (or cold) beverage at one of the many licensed patios.
The Distillery Winter Village is one of the longest Canadian Christmas Markets. It runs from November 16, 2023 to January 7, 2024, but is closed on December 25.
On December 24 and 26, regular Distillery restaurants, cafés and shops are open but outdoor vendors and food cabins are closed.
Tickets are required to visit after 4pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, but it is free during weekdays and before 4pm. More information on hours and rates can be found here.
Vancouver Christmas Market
Set against the stunning backdrop of the North Shore mountains, the Vancouver Christmas Market is a truly magical experience.
Held in the Jack Poole Plaza in Downtown Vancouver, the market features over 80 vendors selling everything from handmade crafts to traditional German food. You’ll find Canadian artisans offering their handicrafts from glass blown creations to handcrafted toys and woodwork.
Stroll through the festive German-themed market and find plenty of inspiration to finish your Christmas shopping, then stop by one of the many food stalls for a festive treat.
From traditional German food like gingerbread and bratwurst as well as other winter treats like baked apples and Swiss raclette, there’s plenty of delicious choices.
There’s also live music and entertainment on evenings and weekends from the large Christmas Pyramid, the only one of its’ kind in Vancouver.
The Vancouver Christmas Market runs from November 16 to December 24, 2023. It is one of the more expensive Christmas Markets in Canada but with plenty to do, it just might be worth the price of admission. More information, including hours and rates, can be found here.
Kitchener: Christkindl Market
As Kitchener has a strong German heritage (the city was formerly named Berlin after all), you know it will have one of the best Christmas markets in Ontario!
Held in the centre of Downtown Kitchener, Christkindl is an outdoor market reminiscent of those found in Germany.
Stalls are set up along the main street, selling everything from handmade goods and unique Christmas gifts to traditional German foods.
You’ll find schnitzel, stollen and fresh gingerbread (unlike the Lebkuchen that you’ll find in Stuttgart, this gingerbread is tasty and edible!), and of course, glasses of glüwhein to warm you up.
After wandering past the vendor huts, head to City Hall and admire the huge Christmas tree, then bring your skates and glide around the rink out front.
Inside City Hall, browse through more shops and stalls as you warm up, or head upstairs, where you can go outside and get a birds eye view of the market stalls and skating rink below.
The Christkindl Market also features a live nativity, blacksmith demonstrations, and a model railway display.
Unfortunately, the Christkindl Market is only held for one weekend, December 7-10, 2023. But even though it’s short, it’s still one of the best Christmas markets in Canada and worth a visit!
The Christkindl Market holds a special place in my heart, as it was the very first Christmas market I’d ever experienced. I was instantly hooked and have made it my mission to visit Christmas Markets every year since. (Although we did have to visit the Christlkindl Market virtually in 2020 and 2021).
Montreal: Le Grand Marché de Noël
Le Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal is one of three Christmas Markets in Montreal.
Held at the Quartier des Shows (or Place des Arts), there are dozens of stalls selling festive ornaments, artisan crafts, and local products.
Stroll under the sparkling holiday lights, listen to choirs singing Christmas songs and sip a mulled wine or hot cocoa to warm up while shopping for gifts.
Le Grand Marché de Noël runs from November 25 – December 24, 2023. It’s open Thursdays to Sundays until the week before Christmas, when it’s open every day, except for Christmas Day, until December 30.
There’s also the Marché de Noël de Jean-Talon and the Village de Noël de Montréal Atwater Market happening in the city.
Banff: Banff Christmas Market
The Banff Christmas Market is an annual event that takes place in one of Canada’s most beautiful towns, nestled in the Rocky Mountains. It captures the traditions and heritage of European Markets while featuring artisanal products from the local region.
There’s also live music and family-friendly entertainment, as well as an outdoor fire lounge, delicious food and festive cocktails.
Roast an apple over a campfire, or visit the fire lounge to sip mulled wine and other warm drinks for the whole family.
Tickets must be purchased online for a specific time slot. Children 10 and under are free.
The Banff Christmas Market is open on weekends leading up to the holidays, including November 17 – 29, 24-26 and December 1-3, 2023. Hours and prices can be found here.
Ottawa: Marché de Noël
Surrounded by heritage buildings and wooden chalets, the Ottawa Christmas Market is held in Aberdeen Square in the heart of Downtown Ottawa.
Thousands of Christmas lights and decorations, including a large wooden advent calendar, create a festive feeling for this outdoor market.
Shop for unique gifts and handmade crafts from local vendors, enjoy the live music or indulge in treats to eat and drink. You’ll find pretzels and other treats, as well as hot chocolate or mulled wine and other warm alcoholic drinks.
There’s also kids’ activities and craft making workshops, as well as plenty of light displays to snap a holiday photo at.
Be sure to bring cash though, as many vendors don’t take debit or credit.
There’s also a free holiday light show on nearby Parliament Hill to add to the festive spirit. The Ottawa Christmas Market runs from November 24 to December 23, 2023. Hours and more information can be found here.
Charlottetown: Victorian Christmas Market
One of the East Coast’s best kept secrets is Charlottetown’s Christmas Festival. Now in its 8th year, this festival is one you won’t want to miss!
The Christmas Festival takes place from November 17, 2023 – January 2, 2024, with Holiday projections, live entertainment and a Whoville-inspired Christmas town on Victoria Row and Confederation Plaza.
There’s also other festive events, including horse & wagon rides, artisan markets, holiday movies and kids’ entertainment.
But the main event is the Victorian Christmas Market held on November 24 – 26, 2023, where you’ll find horse & wagon rides, live music, hot cocoa, fire pits and ice sculpting. There’s also plenty of chances to shop for locally-made gifts and visits from Santa!
More details and a full schedule of events can be found on their website here.
Other Notable Christmas Markets in Canada
The largest Christmas Market in the Niagara Region, there are over 50 vendors selling handmade gifts and ornaments. There are also plenty of light displays. The Niagara Falls Christmas Market runs every weekend from November 11 to December 17, 2023.
While you’re in the area, be sure to check out the Winter Festival of Lights, a huge display of lights throughout the town of Niagara Falls, and one of the best things to do in Southern Ontario in the Winter.
The oldest running Christmas Market in Canada, the Winnipeg Christkindlmarkt is a German tradition that will get you in the festive spirit.
Held at the Fort Garry Place Mall, you can find German favourites, such as stollen and glüwhein, as well as other German specialities and hot foods.
There’s also live entertainment all weekend long.
The Christkindlmarkt runs from December 1 – 3, 2023.
Halifax: Evergreen Festival
One of the best holiday events in Halifax, the Evergreen Festival is a unique market that celebrates all things Nova Scotian.
This four week festival is held on the waterfront and throughout the Downtown area, where you’ll find everything from handmade goods and locally produced food, to live music and other entertainment.
The Evergreen Market is located on the waterfront and features local vendors in wooden huts under a canopy of lights.
Then follow the Evergreen Bright trail, a walkable outdoor trail of twinkling holiday lights and displays along the waterfront and throughout downtown Halifax.
There are also light displays and events across the harbour in Dartmouth.
Here’s a full list of Holiday events in Halifax this season.
The Evergreen Festival runs from November 24 – December 17, 2023.
Final Thoughts: Best Christmas Markets in Canada
While the Christmas markets in Canada aren’t quite the same as experiencing the Christmas markets in Germany or elsewhere in Europe, they do make for a very festive experience!
For those of us in Canada, these markets are a great way to get in the holiday spirit. And whether you‘re on the East Coast, the West Coast, or in the middle of the country, these Canadian Christmas markets will leave you feeling festive and ready for the holiday season!