We get it: you’re busy. With so many things happening in Toronto every week, let alone every month, things can get a little overwhelming planning your social calendar. Let’s keep it simple. Each month, Vv Magazine collects the top 10 events in Toronto so that you know what you absolutely must attend. The rest, as they say, is noise.
It hardly seems possible that we’re already writing the last Toronto events post for 2014 but alas, here we are. The year, marked by political uncertainty, media scandal, and transportation woes, has been heavy on Hogtown. All the more reason then to spend this last month focusing on the positives by going out and about to enjoy what makes Toronto such a wonderful place to live.
For December, the top Toronto events include Christmas shopping opportunities, holiday celebrations, tons of tasty food and drink, and some killer New Years eve parties. While we’re always a little sad to see another year pass, we can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store.
With no further ado, here are Toronto’s Top 10 Events for December. Thanks for the memories, 2014. You’ve been alright.
Toronto Christmas Market
November 28 to December 21
Can’t stand the mall at this time of year? We can hardly blame you. It’s like The Walking Dead except with haggard parents and screaming children. We’d take the zombies any day. To avoid that clusterf*ck, we recommend checking out the Toronto Christmas Market in the Distillery District. Inspired by the markets of the Old World, it promises, “all of the tradition, heritage and charm of a European Christmas Market, while showcasing hundreds of unique and local handcrafted products.”
Union Station Holiday Market
December 1 to 7
Admittedly, Union Station’s construction over the past forever has made it one of the last places we want to visit. But with construction winding down and the addition of this fabulous Christmas market, we may be swayed to head down there. Housed in the atrium of the historic train station, shop a variety of unique merchandise from Toronto artisans including some of our favourites like Nadege, kwäf wines, and Yo Sox. Feel like giving back while you shop? There’s a $1,000 raffle prize, with all ticket proceeds going to Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter.
Novella Holiday Pop-Up Shop
December 4 to 7
Art. Shopping. Food. Drinks. Those are the four essential nutritional groups, right? Get all that and more at Novella Magazine’s holiday pop-up at the Abbozzo Gallery. Celebrating the launch of their second issue, they’re teaming up with local artists, designers, boutiques, and retailers including Canon Blanc, The Wild North Apparel, and Baffi Collection Wooden Pocket Squares. There will also be an exhibit by Canadian artist Stan Olthuis titled “Rags to Riches.”
The Nutcracker at the National Ballet of Canada
December 13 to 30
Besides our uncle who gets politically incorrect after four glasses of eggnog, nothing reminds us of the holidays more than the Nutcracker. You can catch no better performance of the Christmas classic in Toronto than at the National Ballet of Canada. Please, bring our uncle!
Bloor Hot Docs Holiday Classics
December 19 to 21
FREE movies? Okay, yeah you could just do that with Netflix or streaming online but this is fun and festive and seasonal and… you get it. If you want to beat the seasonal-affective depression, head out and catch the classics like White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, and Bad Santa. Non-members can pick up tickets beginning December 6, with a limited number of same-day tickets available as well.
Indie Ale House Stout Night
We like our beer like our men: dark and strong! If you agree with that statement, you’ll love Stout Night at the Junction’s favourite microbrewery, Indie Ale House. Held at their Indie Ale House Barrel location (165 Geary Avenue), the evening will feature the best stouts the province has to offer. Tickets are $20.00, and include a free glass and two drink tickets.
Chrismukkah at the Drake Hotel
If celebrities can be combined into portmanteaus like “Kimye” and “Branjelina,” why can’t we do the same with holidays? Chrismukkah unites two of our favourite seasonal events (FYI: we’re talking about Christmas and Chanukah, in case you were dropped as child) for a festive fusion feast! Fatten up on hearty dishes like Yorkshire pudding, prime rib, and latkes. Don’t worry about the diet – Chrismukkah is but once a year.
25th Annual Kensington Market Winter Solstice Parade
Want to re-connect with your pagan roots? Celebrate the winter solstice on December 21 — it’s the longest night of the year and this will be a party to match. Featuring handmade emblematic lanterns, tented-theatrical scenarios of shadow play, rooftop antics, roving giant puppets, and stilted dancers with eclectic musical accompaniment, Kensington Market will be transformed into a festival of lights. The parade will finish with a collective feast and fire finale in Alexandra Park.
Lower West Side NYE at the Gladstone Hotel
With a new speakeasy-themed bar springing up on every street corner west of Bathurst, it seems only appropriate that the area’s cultural mecca, the Gladstone Hotel, would have a roaring twenties-themed New Year’s Eve party. While flappers, tap-dancing, and cigars may be reminiscent of the era, we highly doubt Prohibition will be in effect for the evening. We’ll take our gin and tonic in a teacup any day, thanks.
Toula Presents The Studio 54 New Year’s Eve Gala
A re-invented take on one of disco’s most celebrated nightclubs? Are you even old enough to remember Studio 54? Or disco? Either way, this promises to be one of the key events of New Year’s Eve in Toronto. Held at the top of the Westin Harbour Castle, Toula will unite the Toronto party crowd with some of the best views in the city, Italian cuisine, and DJ Toz — one of Europe’s most renowned music mixers.
What Toronto top 10 events in December will we be seeing you at this month? Let Vv Magazine know your thoughts on “Toronto’s Top 10 Events: December Edition” in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.