Embrace the Holiday Spirit: Festive Places to Spend Christmas in Canada!

Komal
Komal Places to Visit
16 Min Read

Canada has much to offer if you are planning a Christmas holiday. It has many snowy landscapes and a festive atmosphere to get you into the holiday spirit, and throughout Canada, different cities transform into magical winter wonderlands. 

Christmas-time vacations in Canada have world-class ski resorts, European-themed markets, amazing displays of lights, and Christmas decor. The wide array of festive places to spend Christmas in Canada is perfect for visitors and locals. 

Whether you want a traditional celebration in a pleasant ambiance or a wintry wonderland surrounded by stunning snow-covered mountains, go through the recommendations of festive places to visit and prepare for your holiday trip.

1. Quebec City, Quebec

Quebec City is one of the top Christmas destinations in the country. It is one of the places you must visit during the holiday season. It is rich in culture and has many festive attractions to celebrate your Christmas holidays.

The beautiful snow-covered seventeenth-century buildings and cobbled streets resemble a festive paradise embellished with sparkling lights and Christmas decorations.

1.1. German Christmas Market

The German Christmas Market is one of Quebec’s main attractions. It is spread across five locations in the historic UNESCO City of Old Quebec.

It offers an experience of a European-themed market with numerous wooden kiosks and Christmas decorations. The market is designed like a small Christmas village and hosts exhibitors from Quebec, Europe, and Germany. 

The market also provides entertainment for the whole family with Christmas choirs and other entertainment programs. You can also shop for creative holiday gifts for the entire family.

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To add to the experience, you can also enjoy mulled wine and gingerbread cookies. Taste local treats and European and German delicacies the market offers.

1.2. Walking City Tour

You can also take walking tours through the city to learn about its history and Christmas traditions. You can either go by yourself or take part in special guided tours, and on the tour, you can absorb the beauty of the city, creating a memorable experience.

2. Toronto, Ontario

Toronto, the largest city in Canada, is filled with fun things to do during the Christmas season. It is known for its multicultural character, which fuses different traditions seamlessly. This makes Toronto a very special place to spend your Christmas. 

2.1. Distillery Winter Village

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Source: Unsplash

Toronto’s Christmas Market is one of the main features of the city, and is set in the historic Distillery District.

The market captures the festive spirit with its twinkling lights and Christmas decorations adorning the cobblestone streets, and you can explore a wide range of artisanal crafts, and enjoy festive treats along with live music and entertainment.

2.2. Nathan Phillips Square

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Nathan Phillips Square in downtown Toronto is a central point for all the Christmas festivities. It has a huge outdoor skating rink. There is a mall nearby, which is a great place to do some Christmas shopping. The square also has the famous Toronto Sign, which allows you to click pictures.

2.3. Cavalcade of Lights

The annual event of Cavalcade of Lights in Nathan Phillips Square marks the beginning of the holiday season.

It showcases the lighting of Toronto’s official Christmas tree, live entertainment, and fireworks, and you can also witness cultural celebrations, ice skating performances, and beautiful art installations.

3. Mont-Tremblant, Québec

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Mont Tremblant is situated northwest of Montreal in the Laurentian Mountains, and iyou love skiing, you must visit Mont-Tremblant. It is ranked as one of the top ski resorts on the east side of the Canadian Rockies. 

It is a pedestrian-only village with charming European-style architecture, and during the holiday season, it features a festive atmosphere with music, entertainment, and family activities. 

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There are plenty of outdoor activities, including skiing, ice skating, dog sledding, snowshoeing, and ice fishing. Enjoy ice skating on the popular Lake Mercier with your family. Your Christmas holidays here will become more special with Christmas carols and horse sleigh rides in a beautiful red carriage.

You can also be part of the Christmas parade with Santa Claus, elves, and Rudolph on Christmas Eve. Visitors can also attend daily services at Chapel St. Bernard on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Enjoy a traditional Canadian and French dinner with your loved ones while in the town.

4. Vancouver, British Columbia

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Vancouver is a beautiful city that becomes a magical and festive destination during the holiday season, and is known for its natural beauty and snow-covered mountains.

The Metro Vancouver area is also adorned with sparklight lights and Christmas trees. Thus, celebrating Christmas here can be a memorable experience.

4.1. Vancouver Christmas Market

Vancouver Christmas Market is world-renowned and located on a stunning waterfront. The traditional German-style market has over 90 wooden artisan huts with unique handcrafted gift ideas for your loved ones, and the huts are adorned with twinkling lights and festive decorations.

At the Christmas Pyramid in the market, you can buy Gluhwein, a traditional mulled wine. They also serve Kinderpunsch for the kids. Enjoy festive foods and other delicacies at the market. Visiting the Vancouver Christmas Market can be a complete holiday experience.

4.2. VanDusen Botanical Garden

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The VanDusen Botanical Garden has been transformed completely by the Festival of Lights event. Over one million sparkling lights illuminate the 15 acres of the garden, which features Dancing Lights, themed light areas, and tasty treats.

4.3. Canyon Lights, Capilano Suspension Bridge

Another must-visit attraction in Vancouver is the Canyon Lights in Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. The suspension bridge is illuminated with a multi-colour display, and the Capilano River below is illuminated.

The trees surrounding the bridge are lit up from top to bottom. Together, they create a magical atmosphere that one can’t forget.

5. Niagara-On-the-Lake, Ontario 

Niagara-on-the-Lake is a lovely town near Niagara Falls. It is a picturesque place located on the shores of Lake Ontario. The Victorian-era buildings line the snow-covered streets giving this small town a magical charm. The old buildings, fairy lights, and Christmas decorations make it look like a place from a Christmas storybook or a movie. 

Going to the historic Heritage District, you can find charming boutique shops filled with amazing holiday gifts. It has lovely antique shops, cafes, and restaurants that will create a festive spirit.

You can also ride a horse-drawn carriage through the town and enjoy the beautiful Christmas decorations, and if you like ice skating, visit the Pillar and Post Inn outdoor ice rink. 

Niagara Holidays Shopping and Christmas Store in Niagara-on-the-Lake Ontario Canada 4K

5.1. Eaton Centre

The Eaton Centre, Canada’s largest shopping mall, is transformed with festive decorations and holiday-themed displays. If you are a shopping enthusiast, visit the city’s retail neighbourhoods, Bloor-Yorkville and Queen Street West.

5.2. Prince of Wales Hotel

The Prince of Wales Hotel is a beautiful Victorian-era building where you can enjoy traditional afternoon tea. The hotel also has a winter wonderland with everything festive, making it an amazing place to stay for the holidays.

6. Montreal, Quebec

Spending Christmas in Montreal can be one of your best holiday decisions. It can provide a great festive time for all ages.

The city has many attractive displays during Christmastime. You can attend a performance by the Super Christmas Choir at the Gesu Church on Christmas morning. Visit the downtown area to witness Christmas light decorations.

6.1. Old Montreal

The beautifully decorated historic Old Montreal area is worth a visit. Charming festive lights and seasonal decorations along the cobblestone streets will mesmerize you.

If you want to attend a Christmas Eve or Christmas Day church service, visit the Notre Dame Basilica in Old Montreal.

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The Christmas in the Park Festival in Old Montreal offers a Christmas village with sleigh rides, theatrical performances, warm cabins, and a tree market. You can enjoy a stunning fireworks show accompanied by music in the nearby Old Port area.

6.2. Christmas Markets

There are various popular Christmas Markets to explore all over Montreal. From modern markets to artisan-centric bazaars. You can find exclusive and special gifts for your friends and family. Be sure to check out The Great Montreal Christmas Market, Montreal Christmas Village, and Marche de Noel.

6.3. Mount Royal Park

If you are interested in winter-related activities, you must go to Mount Royal for hiking or outdoor ice skating. You can also participate in other winter sports at nearby ski resorts. It is a perfect place for adventurous people to enjoy their Christmas holidays.

7. Banff, Alberta 

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Banff is a heavenly town in the Canadian Rockies. It is enveloped by amazing scenery and wildlife. The town is illuminated with twinkling lights, ensuring visitors’ festive ambiance. You can ride on the Banff Gondola and enjoy an aerial view of the mountain range. 

7.1. Banff Christmas Market

Banff Christmas Market at Warner Stables is a fusion of old and new. Set against beautiful mountains, it provides an experience rich in tradition and heritage. The gifts are unique and inspired by the landscape it is set in. Your visit will be complete with festive food and entertainment.

7.2. Lake Louise

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You would not want to miss Lake Louise when you are in Banff. It is only half an hour away from Banff. There are three amazing resorts between the two towns, together called SkiBig3.

You can enjoy ice skating on Lake Louise or ski the whole day with your friends and family. Finish your day by soaking in the beauty of Lake Louise at night.

7.3. The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

The Banff Springs Hotel is a luxury and historic hotel. It sits at the base of Rundle Mountain. Surrounded by beautiful views of the Victoria Glacier, an emerald lake, and Canadian Rockies. A stay here would feel as if you are living in a castle. 

Christmas at Banff Springs Hotel Canada

The hotel hosts a special event, Christmas at the Castle, for the holiday season. There are many activities, including decorating gingerbread houses, wilderness walks, and holiday crafts.

You can also enjoy private dining, brunch buffets, and afternoon tea with your family, specially put together by the hotel’s culinary team.

8. Ottawa, Ontario

Ottawa, the capital of Canada, is filled with festive activities that will get you in a holiday mood. You can find cityscapes adorned with colourful festive lights, festive markets, entertainment, and tasty food.

8.1. Alight at Night Festival

The heritage buildings, gardens, and trees are illuminated with more than one million multicoloured lights at this festival in Upper Canada Village.

It is a perfect place to pose for Christmas postcards or social media, where you can visit Santa in his workshop during nights at St. Nick’s Winter Workshop and ride the illuminated toy train or the Pommier Horse Drawn Carriage through the village.

THINGS to KNOW about ONTARIO, Canada 2023 & Upper Canada Village Alight at Night 4K

8.2. Rideau Canal

If the weather permits, you can ice skate on the historic Rideau Canal Skateway. It is the world’s largest skating rink, spanning a total length of 7.8 kilometres.

One of Ottawa’s iconic destinations, the Rideau Canal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and skating on it is a great way to explore the city.

8.3. Ottawa Christmas Market

The Ottawa Christmas Market is in Aberdeen Square, with a backdrop of snow-covered heritage buildings and wooden cabins.

It is a great place to shop for the holidays, with over 45 local vendors. Santa’s workshop, offering free craft activities for kids, will also be part of the market. Cabins, Christmas-themed items, entertainment, and attractions will make your holidays unforgettable.

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8.4. Byward Market

The market is famous for its great shops and restaurants, and during the Christmas season, it is decorated with thousands of lights. You can shop for handmade gifts, Christmas trees, and wreaths. Take free horse-drawn carriage rides from William and York Street on the weekends. 

Exploring Canada’s Festive Destinations to Spend Christmas

If you are in Canada, you will not fall short of festive places to visit. It has so many activities and special events in store for you. Each town and city in Canada has to offer unique experiences with its beautiful landscapes and diverse cultures.

From the stunning display of lights, winter sports, festive decorations, frozen waterfalls, and Christmas markets to horse-drawn carriage rides. 

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Skylon Tower, Source: Unsplash

Other places you must visit are the PNE Winter Fair in Vancouver, Charlotte Town in Prince Edward Island, and Sir George Etienne Cartier National Historic Site in Montreal.

Both the Winter Festival of Lights and Skylon Tower in the Niagara Falls area are also worth a visit during the holiday season. But if you are in the mood for some unconventional Christmas fun, visit the famous Nightmares Fear Factory near Niagara Falls.

Canada is known for its hospitality, inclusiveness, and diversity. So, celebrating Christmas in Canada can be a delightful and memorable experience. 

Last Updated on by Milan

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