Celebrating the Holidays in Downtown Toronto

Celebrating the Holidays in Downtown Toronto

Christmas spectaculars along Queen Street

Miranda Mirabelli  ARTS EDITOR  

Photo: Miranda Mirabelli / THE MIKE.


It’s known that in the winter season you are limited to certain activities. Everyone would rather be bundled up at home watching Netflix and eating whatever they can get their hands on. One of the only things you could think of doing is to visit the annual Toronto Christmas Market, held in the Distillery District, but the long line-ups are unbearable in the winter conditions and can be out of the way for those who are commuting. Why not consider visiting downtown Toronto for some Christmas festivities instead? 

One of the places I went to this Christmas season was the Eaton Centre Mall. The main attraction there was the giant Christmas tree in the middle of the mall. The holiday spectacular is Canada’s largest Christmas tree, measuring 100 feet tall, covered in lights, and sparkling red and gold decorations. The Christmas tree brings huge crowds of all ages to the Eaton Centre every year, and never fails to disappoint. The largest Christmas tree in Canada unifies the community with its grand reveal. The Eaton Centre also has giant decorative reindeer on the mall floors for display. The mall is surrounded with Christmas cheer, especially when the mall shoppers begin to sing Feliz Naivdad under the newly revealed Christmas tree.   

After you have finished all your shopping and have seen the massive, shimmering Christmas tree, you could exit the Eaton Centre onto Queen Street and see the beautiful display of the iconic holiday windows presented by The Hudson Bay Company and Saks Fifth Avenue. This year was the second year of the reveal, which was presented on November 2. The windows featured scenes from many holiday classics such as Charles Dickens and Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, as well as presented many characters and magical effects. The Hudson Bay Company included five windows with the theme of “Shake Up Your Holidays” that presented snow globes of many beautiful electronic holiday scenes, even two polar bears meeting for a high five and a starry holiday scene set against Toronto’s landmarks. Saks Fifth Avenue decided to honour the 80th anniversary of the timeless Disney classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The five windows incorporated Snow White in her wardrobe in multiple forest backdrops. These window displays are not just for Christmas shoppers but for all pedestrians to view on their way along Queen Street.    

You can’t travel down Queen Street and not visit the giant Toronto sign in Nathan Philips Square — it’s almost impossible. The staple in Toronto was not the only tourist attraction this holiday season, and I’m not just talking about the annual skating rink. This year was the second year Nathan Philips Square hosted the Fair in Nathan Philips Square for everyone who did not want to trek to the Distillery District. The fair included various vendors that sold treats and trinkets as well as sold clothing and Christmas ornaments and decorations. There were carnival games and rides for children such as a carousal, and a section for adults to keep warm by outdoor heaters while they waited for their children. The Fair in Nathan Philips Square is a great addition to the traditional festivities along Queen Street.  

Toronto is a city filled with many tourist attractions and activities for various occasions, and the winter season is no exception. If you are ever looking for something to do, make sure to check out the activities going on in your local neighbourhood or downtown before deciding to stay indoors. The Christmas season could be a cold couple of months, but don’t summon yourself to the indoors without discovering what’s going on in Toronto, especially on Queen Street.