Toronto’s Distillery District is a year-round destination, but this December, it was particularly enticing; the entire District was transformed into a European-style Christmas Market, complete with a massive Christmas tree (they literally call it “Massive Christmas Tree” on the website!), old-fashioned carolers, and little stalls selling German treats like gingerbread and bratwurst.
If you didn’t get to partake in the holiday cheer this year, live the magic through these photos.
Just because the holidays are over, doesn’t mean you should skip the Distillery District. Its restaurants, shops are galleries are open year round, and the authentic Victorian buildings and cool art installations are more than enough reason for a visit.
Toronto is incredible at any time of year, but it brings a special kind of magic come winter. Here are 9 fun ways to spend the season:
1. Taste gingerbread, gourmet chocolate and other holiday treats. Check out this list!
2. A Roaring 20s Christmas at Spadina Museum. It’s educational, entertaining and under $10 per person. Runs until 3 January.
3. Visit the Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery Historic District. Bonus: the European-style market is free of admission on weekdays and only $5 on weekends. More info here.
4. Go out for cocktails.
5. The TOCA Cheese Cave event series sounds delicious!
6. See The Phantom of the Opera at the Princess of Wales Theatre. I saw the show last time it was here, and it was incredible! It runs until 23 January.
7. Gaze at some holiday lights at Yonge-Dundas Square, in downtown shop windows or at Cavalcade of Lights.
8. Go ice skating at Mel Lastman Square or Harbourfront Centre.
9. Black Creek Pioneer Village’s Christmas By Candlelight is beautiful and interactive. Get tickets and information here.
There’s just something special about digging in to a dish you know you can’t get anywhere else.
These are 5 of my favourite regional foods. Share yours in the comment below!
1. Tarte au sucre. Also known as sugar pie (pictured), this Quebecois dessert is a single crust pie with a filling of maple syrup, butter and cream. It is very sweet and unbelievably rich!
2. Garlic fingers. Atlantic Canada’s ultimate comfort food. Garlic fingers start out pizza-shaped and are sliced into ‘fingers’; rectangles of garlicky, cheese-covered goodness. Apparently these are also popular in Wisconsin!
3. New York cheesecake. Sure, you can get New York-style cheesecake is “pure, unadulterated cheesecake with no fancy ingredients added either to the cheesecake or placed on top of it”. But who needs fancy when pure tastes this good?! The cake practically melts in your mouth. Bet you’ll ask for seconds!
4. Butter tarts. You can’t visit Ontario, Canada without tasting a butter tart (or two, or three…). Similar to pecan pie, but with a runnier consistency and a hint of maple, butter tarts sometimes contain pecans, walnuts or raisins, but they’re amazing au naturel, too. This dessert was common in pioneer cooking and has definitely stood the test of time. Now you can find butter tarts in packs of 6 at national grocery chains like Metro, but the best ones are found at local bakeries in Ontario.
5. Fried chicken. The American deep south’s gift to the world. No description needed!
What’s your favourite regional dish?
I’m proud to be from Toronto, ON, Canada. There are more reasons than I could possibly count (the food, the multiculturalism, the arts…). But here’s one more:
Vogue Magazine ranked Toronto’s West Queen West the second coolest neighbourhood in the world.
On days when I was too anxious (thanks, Panic Disorder!) to get to high school, I’d often take the Bathurst bus and streetcar all the way down to Queen (I lived and went to school in North York) and then the Queen Streetcar across to West Queen West, where I’d people watch, drink lots of coffee and work on my writing or schoolwork.
So I’ve known the neighbourhood’s charm for years, and so have many locals. It’s about time it’s getting worldwide recognition, and from Vogue, no less.
I have to agree with Post City Toronto: “Ultimately, Vogue’s call is another feather in the cap for a city that, for all the incredible things we pump into the world ranging from art to music to fashion to commerce, tends to underestimate itself. Yes, Toronto, we’re the world’s barometer of everything from big ideas to high-end fashion, and now Vogue knows it, too”.
What’s your favourite Toronto neighbourhood?