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Jingle all the way this weekend: Christmas Market opens, Santa in the GTA

Patricia D'Cunha and Amber LeBlanc | posted Friday, Nov 20th, 2015


Sipping mulled wine while relaxing next to a fire. Strolling along cobbled walkways as lights sparkle on the trees. The signs of holiday cheer are abundant at the Toronto Christmas Market, which opens at the Distillery Historic District on Friday.

Santa Claus will be everywhere this weekend, taking part in parades across the GTA.

As you make your weekend plans, take note: here are some road closures and a partial TTC shutdown.


Toronto Christmas Market
The European-Style Christmas market, one of the city’s most popular winter events, takes over the Distillery District for the next month.

Expect holiday cheer, mulled wine and amazing street food to help boost your spirits at the start of the holiday season. Friday’s grand opening will include a tree lighting ceremony to mark the start of what’s considered one of the world’s best holiday markets.

To help spread out the crowds, there will be a $5 charge per person on Saturdays and Sundays, but children under 12 are free before 2 p.m. this weekend. The market will be open until Dec. 20.

The Christmas Market at Toronto's Distillery Market, Dec. 2014. 680 NEWS/Diana Pereira.
The Christmas Market at Toronto’s Distillery Market, Dec. 2014. 680 NEWS/Diana Pereira.

Santa Claus parades

Jolly old St. Nick is a busy elf this weekend as he guides his sleigh through at least six different parades across the GTA. Santa Claus will need all the cookies and milk he can stomach to keep up with the busy schedule.

The Oakville Santa Claus Parade in 2014. Photo via Facebook.com/OakvilleSantaClausParade.
The Oakville Santa Claus Parade in 2014. Photo via Facebook.com/OakvilleSantaClausParade.

On Saturday, St. Nick makes stops at Santa Claus parades in OakvilleNewmarketOshawa andUxbridge. The parade in Oakville starts at 9 a.m., which gives him plenty of time to get to Newmarket and Uxbridge for two parades, both of which start at 11 a.m. How can he appear in two parades at one, you ask? He has a magic sleigh. Then, he heads off to Oshawa for a parade at 6 p.m.

On Sunday, Santa makes his way to the BeachesRichmond Hill and Vaughan for parades at 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.

James Bond at the TSO
Bond, James Bond. It needed to be written.

It promises to be an action-packed two nights of music with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, who will be playing some of the memorable songs and film scores picked from 50 years of James Bond. It includes music from GoldfingerThunderballNobody Does it Better and Skyfall.

The performances run Friday and Saturday, at 7:30 p.m. at Roy Thomson Hall. Available at the bar: the classic Bond martini.

Pets love Christmas too
Your pets can’t talk, but if they could they would say: I have the Christmas spirit too! And they can be a part of the festive season at this weekend’s Toronto Xmas Pet Show.

Held indoors at Downsview Park, the event on Saturday and Sunday has more than 200 exhibitors and the chance for your pet to spend time with Santa. Children under five can attend the pet show for free.

A dog dressed up for the Christmas season. GETTY IMAGES/Kirsty Nichol.
A dog dressed up for the Christmas season. GETTY IMAGES/Kirsty Nichol.

And your dogs will be happy to know what Woofstock is not just a summer event. A winter edition with Christmas merriment is being held this weekend at Queen Elizabeth Exhibit Hall at Exhibition Place.

Your beloved pooches can check out the latest treats, toys, and winter gear to protect them from the cold during their walks. Click here for a list of vendors.

Toronto Comic Book Show
Get ready to check the comic book fan in your life off your shopping list!

Comic books on display at the Toronto Comic Book Show. Photo via Facebook.
Comic books on display at the Toronto Comic Book Show. Photo via Facebook.

The Toronto Comic Book Show features 45 highly specialized vendors carrying works from publishers like DC, Marvel, Valliant, Aspen, Image and Wildstorm. It includes all kinds of genres including the traditional superhero, along with Manga, sci-fi, horror, humour, romance and children’s works.

The show is set for Sunday at the Toronto Plaza Hotel at 1677 Wilson Ave.

TTC closure

Partial Line 2 closure
Yet another subway closure this weekend.

Track work means trains won’t run Saturday and Sunday between Keele and St. George stations on Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth). All trains will turn back westbound at Keele station and eastbound at St. George station.

Shuttle buses will be running and stopping at all stations. Regular train service resumes at 6 a.m. on Monday.

Road closures

Dowling and Dunn bridge removal

Several lane and ramp closures will be effect this weekend as road crews remove the bridges over the Metrolinx rail corridor at Dowling and Dunn avenues.

The Dowling Bridge over the rail corridor in Toronto. CITY OF TORONTO.
The Dowling Bridge over the rail corridor in Toronto. CITY OF TORONTO.

The following closures will take place from 9 p.m. on Friday to 5 a.m. on Monday:

  • Ramps from the westbound Gardiner Expressway to Dunn and Jameson avenues
  • Ramp from Jameson Avenue to the westbound Gardiner
  • Westbound right turn lane on Lake Shore Boulevard between Dunn and Jameson
  • Westbound traffic restricted to two lanes near the Dowling bridge

Motorists, pedestrians and cyclists won’t be able to access the bridges during the road work. As well,GO train service on the Lakeshore West line will be affected.

A temporary bridge at Dowling will open in December for pedestrians and cyclists, while a temporary one will open at Dunn for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists in March.

Santa Claus parade in the Beaches

Santa will be in the Beaches area on Sunday afternoon – the star attraction of a parade held in his honour.

The following road closures will be effect from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.:

  • Westbound Kingston Road from Victoria Park Avenue to Walter Street
  • Eastbound Kingston Road will be open but in a limited capacity
  • Walter Street will be closed from Kingston Road to Swanwick Avenue at around 1:30 p.m.


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