If there’s anything we know and love about Toronto, it’s that it never stops buzzing with fun things to do regardless of how cold it gets. In fact, we even embrace our winters with outdoor events and celebrations all year long. One beloved annual event, Kensington Market’s Winter Solstice Festival, is making a comeback this month.

The festival is free to attend and this year, the stores will be open late and the streets filled with performers, music, and good vibes.

The event is held on the longest night of the year, also known as the winter solstice, in celebration of warmth and light. Dress warmly for this winter night celebration and get ready to eat, shop, and enjoy the season.

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In normal years, the festival also hosts a parade down Augusta Ave, with people dressed in costumes and illuminating the night sky with lit torches. This time around, the streets will be closed from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for the neighbourhood-wide celebration.

The festival gives you a chance to experience and appreciate all of the local businesses Kensington has to offer.

Some of the businesses open late for the event this year include Wanda’s Pie in the Sky, Blue Banana, Paradise Bound, Film Cafe, Hot Budz, Retro Head, Kid Icarus, and tons of other neighbourhood staples.

This is the 32nd year of the Winter Solstice fest in Kensington. It was first held back in 1988 and was originally called the Kensington Market Festival of Lights.


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Even December 21st isn’t technically the shortest day of the year in Toronto, it’s considered the astronomical first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

There’s so much to do in Toronto with the holidays around the corner, so now’s definitely the time to get out there and enjoy the city!


When: December 21st, 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Where: Kensington Market