The holiday season is fast approaching and it’s high-time to start thinking about gifts for those you love most. These Christmas markets have been an increasing tradition over the years across Canada in winter, and they provide an opportunity to check out and support local vendors. Plus, you can taste delicious dishes from around the world and enjoy the holiday vibe!
Please note: This article was last updated on November 6, 2020. While we do our best to provide the most up-to-date information available, it’s possible that the Christmas markets included on this list will be cancelled, postponed, or have dates changed at the last-minute. Please double-check dates and times before you go.
Are Christmas markets happening this year?
Covid-19 has limited our ability to gather, and some local markets from coast to coast are going forward this year either in-person or online.
Big-name events like Quebec City’s German Christmas Market and the Banff Christmas Market have been postponed until next year. But, you can still support local businesses and get goodies at in-person or virtual Christmas markets at other locations across the country.
It’s important that you follow your local Covid regulations when visiting a market in person to ensure the health and safety of yourself and others. Each of the markets has its own health and safety information available on their event websites.
Best Christmas markets in Canada
Whether you’re looking to do some holiday shopping, want to indulge in some winter treats, or are just looking to support local, here are the best Christmas markets in Canada for 2020.
Inglewood Night Market 2020, Calgary
The Inglewood Night Market in downtown Calgary features lots of handmade goodies that you can purchase for yourself or give as a holiday gift to someone you love. You’ll be able to find local vendors selling things like one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry, clothing, and furniture made with upcycled materials. There will also be plenty of delicious Alberta meat products and other edible goodies that you can take home.
You can attend one of the best Christmas markets in Alberta every Friday during the month of November. To help the event adhere to Covid regulations, you will need to purchase a $5 admissions ticket that will give you access to the event for a two-hour window. Attendees are required to wear masks and the event has limited capacity.
- Date: Fridays in November
- Time: 3 to 11 p.m.
- Admission price: $5
Need a place to stay? Check out these top hotels in Calgary might just fit the bill.
Centennial Market—Market Days, Regina
Regina’s Centennial Market is the largest indoor market in the city that features local vendors who sell delicious food and fun gifts. While the market is open year-round, their November and December Market Days have historically been holiday-themed.
Vendors at Centennial Market vary from weekend to weekend, but you should be able to find yourself delicious baked goods, ice cream and sweet treats. For those looking for gifts, pick up a piece of handmade jewelry, a cozy blanket, or a good book.
- Date: Every Saturday and Sunday
- Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Sat), 12 to 4 p.m. (Sun)
- Admission price: Free
Christmas Market Lansdowne, Ottawa
Christmas in Ottawa is a beautiful sight, but one thing that could make it brighter is supporting local vendors at the Ottawa Christmas Market at Lansdowne. While details have yet to be released, the Christmas Market is still planned to go forward starting Friday, November 27, 2020.
The vendor list hasn’t been published yet, but judging by past years you’ll be able to find delicious holiday food, interesting gifts, and probably a cool find for yourself as well!
- Date: Weekends November 27 to December 22
- Time: N/A
- Admission price: N/A
Looking to explore more of Ottawa? Here are some great places to check out!
Christmas at the Forum, Halifax
For those in the Atlantic travel bubble, Christmas at the Forum in Halifax is planned to go forward. You can visit it on weekends in November and December.
The vendor list for every weekend hasn’t been released yet. But so far on the weekend of November 6th, shoppers will be able to get their hands on goodies like handmade soap, locally brewed beer, and cozy holiday clothing!
While you still get the in-person feel for this event, there are additional Covid regulations that have to be adhered to. One of the big ones that you need to know about is you’ll only have a 90-minute window to shop, and you can find out additional requirements on the event website.
- Date: Weekends in November and December
- Time: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Fri & Sat), 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. (Sun)
- Admission price: $5
Take the festivities home with virtual Christmas markets in Canada
This year, Winnipeg’s Christkindlmarkt is headed virtual. The doors to this virtual Christmas market open on November 25th, so mark your calendars.
While you won’t be able to have the full in-person experience this year, you can still support local artists and creators by purchasing your favourite German treats, Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers online. Vendors haven’t been released yet, but you can stay up-to-date on their website.
Chriskindl Market of Kitchener
Like the Winnipeg Christmas Market, the Chriskindl Market of Kitchener has also moved online in 2020. It won’t be the exact same experience as you’d find in-person, but from December 1st to 24th, they will be featuring an online advent calendar where you can relive memories from past events.
The virtual Christmas market means that you can still connect and support your favourite local vendors. The best part is you don’t have to leave the comfort (or warmth) of your home to get unique holiday gifts. So, get your hands on some scrumptious pumpkin soup, handcrafted enamelware, a decorative gnome or two or some festive, seasonal decor.
Christmas markets in Canada to keep your eye open for in 2021
Many of our favourite Christmas markets are not going ahead this year, but that doesn’t mean they’re going away forever. Here are some of our favourite ones that are supposed to return in 2021:
- Vancouver Christmas Market
- Toronto Christmas Market
- Banff Christmas Market
- Quebec City’s German Christmas Market
Best European Christmas markets to add to your bucket list
While international travel is not recommended in 2020, read up on these wonderful Christmas markets in Europe and add these to your bucket list for the future.
Christkindelsmärik, Strasbourg, France
Christkindelsmärik is a true Christmas market with real history. Dating back to 1570, this event features gorgeous lighting displays on historic French buildings, unique gifts you won’t find elsewhere, and delicious food you can write home about. The details for Christkindelsmärik haven’t been released yet but usually starts at the end of November and goes until Christmas Eve.
Dresdner Striezelmarkt, Dresden, Germany
Dresdner Striezelmarkt is the oldest and best of the German Christmas markets you can attend, dating back some 600 years. This market features delicious eats, handmade gifts, and must-see events like their puppet theatre.
Helsinki Christmas Market, Helsinki, Finland
Another world-famous pick is the Helsinki Christmas Market located on Senate Square. This is the oldest holiday market in the Finnish capital city. Here you’ll find local vendors with unique food (including reindeer meat), traditional ornaments and fun gifts.
Just because this year’s been a little strange doesn’t mean that there’s no reason to celebrate for the holidays. There are plenty of ways to make the upcoming holiday season a magical time of year.
Whether you’re able to check out your local market or buy some gifts from the comfort of your own home, there’s no reason why Christmas can’t remain your favourite time of year!
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