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Celebrate Hanukkah and Christmastime in Toronto this weekend

A household celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah. GETTY IMAGES/Image Ideas

December is the best time of the year, in this writer’s opinion. Once you put aside the commercial element of the holiday, the season is all about positivity and lifting up your spirits. It is also a time when families and friends come together to reminisce and just have fun.

The holiday spirit is all around us in the city. Below are some events to plan your weekend.

And please remember to donate food or clothing to those in need this season. The City of Toronto has a food and toy drive, or you can also donate clothing and other amenities to various charities across the city.


Hanukkah lights the way
Hanukkah ends the evening of December 10, and this year in Toronto, the “Pillars of Light” installation in Yorkville Village is commemorating the religious holiday. The installation has been organized by the Yorkville Jewish Centre in an effort to bring “Torontonians of all faiths together in sharing their messages of peace.”

Christmas village in the city
Did you know there is a hidden village in the city? It is a place where the magic of Christmas intermingles with beauty of the winter season. Once there, you will be surrounded by sparkling lights and greeted by mystical characters. Visitors can board an old-fashioned train or ride the 60-foot Ferris wheel, from where you get a perfect overview of the village. And where is this hidden village, you ask? It is at Ontario Place on the East Island. The village is part of Aurora Winter Festival, which runs until December 30. The village also has a skating rink and a tube park, as well as other amusement rides. After expending all that energy, grab a bite at the food gardens or take grab some treats from the Christmas market. Don’t forget to stop by Santa’s workshop before you leave the village. Click here for ticket information.

Vintage holiday market
Celebrate the season as you browse for antique gifts at the holiday edition of the Ontario Vintage Market, which takes place at Evergreen Brick Works. More than 15 vendors will be on hand this Saturday and at the market’s next date on December 16. While there, stop by Evergreen’s winter village for some skating, snacks, and so much more.

A pioneer Christmas
What was Christmas like in the 1800s? There was no string lights like we have now, so they used candles and lanterns to brighten up the season (which they used all-year long since there was no electricity). Families and friends gathered around the fireplace sharing stories and munching on gingerbread cookies, and sipping mulled cider. The smell of chestnuts roasting on a open fire permeated the air, and then everyone gathered around the table for a traditional Christmas dinner. During the next three Saturday evenings, step back in time at Black Creek Pioneer Village and experience Christmas by Lamplight. The dinner portion is sold out but you can still purchase tickets to explore the village and take part in the Christmas programming.

Christmas art crawl
Are you looking for a unique gift? You can do just that while supporting your local artists and designers at the Toronto Art Crawl Christmas Market. The event is being held at the Great Hall from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Free admission for kids under 10 years old. And while we’re at it, what the city really needs is a cookie crawl — there is still time. The “cookie crawl” reference is from a Christmas movie from the Hallmark Channel.

TTC closure

Partial Line 2 closure
This weekend’s subway closure only involves three stations, so a bit of a breather compared to last weekend. This Saturday, subways won’t be running on Line 2 between Victoria Park and Kennedy stations. The closure is for track work. Shuttle buses will be running.

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