Christmas in Toronto, Canada closely follows the traditions of the UK and the USA with an emphasis on shopping, gift exchanges and a traditional family Christmas Day dinner of turkey with all the trimmings.
There are plenty of events to be enjoyed in the period leading up to Christmas in Toronto. In late November the Santa Claus Parade starts at Bloor and Christie Streets and winds its way through the city to Front and Church Streets. This lively parade has floats, costumes, carolers, entertainers and Santa Claus himself leading the colorful procession. Christmas Craft Fairs are hosted in busy malls and for children the Soulpepper Theater will present the Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol”. Another popular event for children is the gingerbread house decorating workshop held at Casa Loma on Austin Terrace in the heart of the city.
The Cavalcade of Lights is one of the loveliest events heralding Christmas in Toronto. The event begins on the last Saturday in November with a one-night spectacular of fireworks and musical concerts in Nathan Phillips Square by some of Canada’s top performers. 2010 is the 44th Annual Cavalcade and will include performances by Shawn Desman, Divine Brown and Sarah Slean. After the fireworks at 8pm there is an outdoor skating party celebrating 40 years of the JUNO Awards.
The Cavalcade of Lights is a month-long event as the city is lit up with thousands of festive Christmas lights including the beautiful Christmas tree at Nathan Phillips Square. Kensington Market also comes alive with illuminations and celebrates the annual celebrations of both Christmas and Hanukkah.
December 26 is known as Boxing Day in both Canada and the UK and its roots go back to when many staff were in service at the “big house”. On Boxing Day the Victorian gentry gave their servants the day off to return home to their families. It is also traditional to give gifts and money to the poor on St Stephen’s Day, as it is also known.
Modern day Boxing Day in Toronto is more closely akin to “Black Friday” in the USA, when the day after Thanksgiving the shops reopen with some of the best sales bargains of the year. In similar style, Boxing Day sales in Toronto heavily discount unsold Christmas stock making it a great day to spend Christmas gift cards and cash!
Those who prefer to avoid the manic scramble can stay home and watch the traditional sports matches on TV.
If you’re traveling to Toronto this winter, we can help you save more on car rental in Toronto. We are conveniently located at the main Toronto airport, Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ).