There’s no doubt, the Distillery District is enchantingly beautiful in the winter. There’s a reason hundreds of Torontonians flock to this part of town once the weather turns cold. Old Victorian architecture, bars set in reconstructed warehouses, boutiques and galleries brimming with one-of-a-kind finds, and some of the best hot chocolate this city has to offer. The Distillery District is fun all year long, but around the holidays there’s a picturesque serenity in the air. So come on down! Here’s what you can get up to this weekend around the Distillery District.
Cruise the Christmas Market
Now there’s a chill on the breeze, what better way to start your weekend than the Distillery District Christmas Market? If you get there early you might just avoid the crowds and enjoy a frolic in this year’s feature, the hot pink Christmas tree forrest, or score a bench right by the wood stove in the beer garden. Check out this sweet foodie tour if you’re looking to get the best of the market without having to navigate it on your own. It runs every Saturday and Sunday at noon and at 2pm. The admission covers entrance to the market, a hot chocolate, beer tastings at the Mill St. Brewpub, and a guided tour of what was once the world’s largest distillery.
Enjoy some gourmet street food at the St. Lawrence Market
When you’ve had enough of the crowds, scoot over to the St. Lawrence Market and warm up while grazing its gourmet offerings. Real foodies might be interested in a guided St. Lawrence Market food tour offered by Toronto Food Tours. The Saturday tour begins at 11am and starts with freshly baked croissants. Over the course of the tours you’ll taste 14 different dishes, including Portuguese specialties, Jewish bagels, local Ontario cheeses, classic butter tarts, Ukrainian perogies, Indian sweets, and the iconic, world-famous peameal bacon sandwich.
Throw some axes in Toronto’s Portlands
Take a break from all the chowing down and trying something completely different by going axe throwing at BATL Toronto East in the Portlands. BATL is one of the largest axe throwing providers in the GTA and their Toronto East location is just around the corner from the Distillery District. You’re in luck because they offer drop-in axe throwing on Saturdays from 11am to 2pm. You don’t need a reservation, you can just show up. If you’ve got a few pals, make a reservation in advance and book a lane. You’ll need at least six people.
Take in dinner and a movie at the Market Square
Why not stay out until the late hours and end the night with dinner and a movie? Head to Rainbow Cinema on Market Square, across the street from the St. Lawrence Market. Don’t miss out on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them or the new Marvel movie, Doctor Strange.
Spicy food and cold weather are a match made in heaven, so if you’re in a mood for Indian food go to Bindia, tucked away on Market Street right next to the St. Lawrence Market. Don’t forget to try the homemade ice cream, if there’s still room for it at the end of night. For date options check out Le Papillon, a French restaurant on Front Street with a gorgeous interior and truly stupendous food. Try to find a table by the window, and do not miss out on the French Onion Soup. For cozy endings and homey ambiance, head to C’est What, a classic pub with great food and wide selections of beer. Try shepherd’s pie or ribs, paired with some Canadian craft beer.
Whether you are getting into the holiday season or trying something brand new take some time to enjoy all the wonderful things this season brings. There’s always shopping to do, but don’t miss the little things: artisanal trinkets, gourmet street food, and beer by the open fire.
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Feature image by Negeuv via Wikimedia Commons