The holiday season is sneaking up on us, and the city is celebrating in a big way. There are tons of festive things to do in Toronto this November, not to mention all the art, film, and cultural events worth checking out.

There’s never a dull moment in Toronto, but you already knew that.

Now, let’s get those early holiday season plans sorted and dive into this list of the best things to do in Toronto this November.

Tell Santa we say hi.

Holiday Events & Winter Festivals

The Distillery Winter Village

Get your holiday plans in order because the iconic Distillery Winter Village is back.

This iconic festive village welcomes all to experience the joys of the holidays through delicious food, drinks, gift shopping, carols, cozy fires, and all the jolly vibes.

And you’ll want to be there for the grand opening on November 16th as the village unveils its tallest Christmas tree of all time!

When: November 16th to December 31st, 2023
Where: 55 Mill Street, Toronto
Cost: $15 General Admission, $18 Flex Ticket, $30 Express Gate Entry

Cavalcade of Lights

Get excited because the Cavalcade of Lights kicks off this month, initiating the holiday season.

Every year, the Cavalcade of Lights takes over Nathan Phillips Square with a dazzling array of holiday lights and offerings.

The tree lighting ceremony and celebration will take place on November 25th.

If you can’t make the ceremony, you can still stop by for some ice skating, lighting displays, and more until January 7th.

When: November 25th, 2023 to January 7th, 2024
Where: Nathan Phillips Square
Cost: FREE

Holiday Magic 2023

Kick off the holidays with the exciting return of Holiday Magic on November 25th!

The Bloor-Yorkville BIA welcomes all to enjoy the Christmas spirit with its tree lighting ceremony taking place on Cumberland Street and at the Village of Yorkville Park.

This year’s event will be hosted by award-winning Singer and TV Host, Keshia Chante and includes a live performance from five-time JUNO Award-winning Canadian Jazz singer and songwriter Matt Dusk.

When: November 25th, 2023 from 5 PM to 7 PM
Where: Village of Yorkville Park
Cost: FREE

The Thirsty Elf

One of Toronto’s most beloved and magical holiday pop-ups is coming back this month.

Get ready for The Thirsty Elf at the Fairmont Royal York!

Celebrate the holidays this season with over-the-top cocktails in the most festive bar imaginable.

The Thirsty Elf pop-up will be located on the Mezzanine (MM) Level of Fairmont Royal York, at the former York Station Bar.

When: November 22nd to December 22nd, 2023
Where: Fairmont Royal York, 1OO Front Street West
Cost: Varies

Toronto Santa Claus Parade

The original Toronto Santa Claus Parade is returning to give our city a huge dose of holiday cheer this November.

This parade has been a Toronto tradition since 1905 and this year, it will delight the city once again.

All are welcome to gather and witness the amazing floats make their way through the streets — with Mrs. Claus and Santa in tow, of course!

When: Sunday, November 26th at 12:30 PM
Where: Christie Pits Park to St. Lawrence Market – see route map here
Cost: FREE

Christmas Land at Niemi Family Farm

All aboard the Polar Express!

Niemi Family Farm’s Christmas Land returns this November and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported straight to Santa’s hometown.

You’ll get to climb aboard the Polar Express and travel around the magical Scandinavian village, saying hello to the farm animals along the way.

There’s also an on-site Christmas market with over 50 vendors, a whimsical Candyland, and delicious hot food.

When: November 17th to December 23rd, 2023 (Fridays and Saturdays)
Where: Niemi Family Farm, 18463 ON-48, Mount Albert
Cost: FREE

Christmas Glow Toronto

Colder weather is setting in, so why not step out of the icy chill and into a cozy world of enchantment at Christmas Glow Toronto?

Known as Canada’s premier indoor Christmas festival, Christmas Glow is a massive indoor experience with millions of twinkling lights, an artisan market, a whimsical train ride, and delicious treats.

The indoor experience will take visitors on an illuminated journey to six different countries. No passport required!

Where: Toronto Congress Centre, 1020 Martin Grove Road
When:  November 30th, 2023 – December 31st, 2023
Cost: Weekdays $30 & Weekends $32 (General Admission)

CPKC Holiday Train 2023

Choo-choo! The holiday train is rolling through our city this month.

Until December 19th, the CPKC Holiday Train travels through Canada and the U.S., complete with free concerts from the festive train stage by professional musicians like Seaforth and Kiesza.

On the 28th, the decked-out train will make its anticipated stop in Toronto and you bet it’ll be bringing its festive spirit along with it.

When: November 28th, 2023
Where: CPKC Yard Office parking lot, 750 Runnymede Road
Cost: FREE

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

One of Toronto’s most prestigious winter traditions is returning this November.

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has been bringing world-class equestrian entertainment to the city since 1922 and this year promises to be as incredible as ever.

Whether you’re a fan of equestrian sports or simply love the history and tradition of it all, you’ll have no shortage of entertainment and attractions to enjoy at this year’s fair.

When: November 3rd to 12th, 2022
Where: Exhibition Place, Toronto
Cost: $30 per adult

Santa in the Village

Pay a visit to jolly ole’ Saint Nick this November 25th in Bloor West Village!

Complimentary photos with Santa and visits with Mrs. Claus will be available, as well as a festive outdoor holiday marketplace, live entertainment and crafts for kids.

When: November 25th, 2023, 10 AM to 4 PM
Where: Green P Lot at Willard and Armadale Avenue, Bloor West Village
Cost: FREE

Canada’s Wonderland WinterFest

The season of holiday cheer is about to begin at Canada’s Wonderland for its annual WinterFest, a celebration of everything magical about this time of year.

The park is transforming into a cheerful holiday dream world with ice skating on Snow Flake Lake, live entertainment, carolers, a nightly tree-lighting ceremony, an artisan market, festive food offerings, and, of course, millions of twinkling lights.

When: November 17th, 2023 to January 6th, 2024 (select nights)
Where: Canada’s Wonderland
Cost: $29.99+ per adult

Mariah Carey: Merry Christmas One and All

Get ready for the holiday season because THE Queen of Christmas and music icon Mariah Carey’s holiday extravaganza is back.

Merry Christmas One And All will be “a celebration of the global superstar’s timeless collection of holiday classics.”

When: November 27th, 2023
Where: Scotiabank Arena
Cost: See tickets here


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Shopping Events

One Of A Kind Show

The One Of A Kind show is coming back to Toronto and there’s no better place to cross gifts off your list!

From November 24th to December 4th, the OOAK show will take over the Enercare Centre and more than 600 artisans from all over Canada will showcase their extensive selection of goods.

You can expect to find a wide range of craft goods including houseware items, clothing, art pieces, sweet treats, and jewelry.

When: November 23rd to December 3rd, 2023
Where: 100 Princes’ Blvd – Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place
Cost: $18 per adult

Toronto Botanical Garden Holiday Market

If you’ve got some green thumbs on your holiday gift list this year, then you’ll want to pay a visit to the botanically-themed market this November.

Shop for eco-friendly and nature-inspired products including home décor, fine chocolates, fresh seasonal greens, along with amaryllis and paperwhite bulbs.

Plus, the TBG Bloom Cafe will be serving up hot beverages and light bites during the market.

When: November 24th to 26th, 2023
Where: Toronto Botanical Gardens, 777 Lawrence Avenue East
Cost: FREE

Toronto Holiday Market

Shop ’til ya drop at this dog-friendly holiday market!

You’ll be browsing over 20 vintage and craft vendors, munching snacks, sipping drinks, and dancing along to the festive music.

We can’t think of a more fun and exciting way to cross gifts off your list.

When: November 25th, 2023, 11 AM to 4 PM
Where: Society Clubhouse, 967 College Street
Cost: FREE

Toronto Art Crawl Christmas Market

Want a head start on your holiday shopping? You can shop directly from the hands of 180+ amazingly talented Toronto artists and artisans this month at a market under the Gardiner Expressway.

The one-day market will have a little of everything, including art, photography, sculptures, jewellery, fashion, home decor, and skin care.

It also has food vendors and DJ Kid Artik! So bring your dancing shoes, you’ll be dancing while shopping.

When: November 4th, 2023, 11 AM to 6 PM
Where: The Bentway, 250 Fort York Blvd
Cost: FREE

Old Book and Paper Show

The only old paper and vintage book show in the GTA is back again this month!

This year, the event will have new dealers and lots of great stock, plus great dealers in vintage rare and antiquarian books.

Plus, it’s in the beautiful venue of Wychwood Barns. You can’t go wrong, bookworms.

When: November 12th, 2023, 10 AM to 4 PM
Where: Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street
Cost: $12 per adult


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Arts, Culture & Film

ROM After Dark: On the Wildside

ROM After Dark returns this month! Get ready for a late-night museum party unlike any other, with all kinds of interactive experiences to participate in.

According to The ROM, this monthly 19+ event features a range of “experiential activities, curated music, visual arts, pop-up performances, and distinctive food and drink, designed for adults looking for a fun, art-driven night out.”

When: November 24th, 2023
Where: Royal Ontario Museum
Cost: $40 per adult

Happy Anniversary MOCA: Celebrating Five Years of Contemporary Art

Happy fifth birthday, MOCA!

The Museum of Contemporary Art is celebrating its anniversary with a weekend full of events and free admission.

The fun kicks off with a glamorous birthday party and fundraiser, followed by workshops, tours, and of course, contemporary art galore.

When: November 9th to 12th, 2023
Where: MOCA, 158 Sterling Road #100, Toronto
Cost: FREE

Fashion Art Toronto Fall 2023

If you have a passion for fashion, this event is not one to be missed.

Fashion Art Toronto is back for its fall and winter showcase this November.

The 20,000 square foot venue will have runway shows and presentations, as well as a fashion and beauty boutique.

When: November 16th to 19th, 2023
Where: Black Creek Assembly, 131 McCormack Street
Cost: $120 per Day Pass

Buffer Festival

The most popular digital content creators on the Internet are descending on our city this month for the 10th annual Buffer Fest.

Learn from industry experts as well as your favourite creators as they participate in panel talks and Q&As, enjoy screenings, and even meet up with some of today’s top stars.

When: November 9th to 12th, 2023
Where: Paradise on Bloor and The Drake Hotel
Cost: $25+ per ticket

Architecture + Design Film Festival 

Architecture and design enthusiasts, get ready because ADFF is back.

Described as America’s “largest film festival devoted to the creative spirit of architecture and design,” this event is coming our way in November.

It’s also taking place in New York City, Chicago, and Vancouver.

When: November 1st to 4th, 2023
Where: TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street West
Cost: $16 per person (General Admission)

North York Diwali Fest

Another Diwali festival is coming our way in November, and this time, it’ll be in North York’s Mel Lastman Square.

Celebrate the festival of lights with live music, dance, a rangoli competition, live performances, food, and entertainment of all kinds.

The best part? Admission is free!

When: November 11th, 2023, 11 AM to 9 PM
Where: Mel Lastman Square
Cost: FREE

Reel Asian Film Festival

Canada’s largest Asian film festival is coming to Toronto this month.

The 27th annual Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival is a “unique showcase of contemporary Asian cinema and work from the Asian diaspora,” according to the description.

Festival-goers will get to see films and videos made by Asian-identifying artists in Canada, the U.S., Asia and all over the world.

When: November 8th to 19th, 2023
Where: See all venues
Cost: $15+ per ticket

Outdoor Activities

Outdoor skating at City of Toronto rinks

Get ready to lace up your skates!

There are tons of City-run public rinks opening for the season in November. In past years, that has included Christie Pits, College Park, High Park, Kew Gardens, and Mel Lastman Square, Nathan Phillips Square.

So, grab your favourite people and glide the day away at the rink.

When: November 2023 to March 2024 (select rinks)
Where: See all locations
Cost: FREE