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Toronto will be rockin' around the Christmas tree this weekend

Last Updated Nov 24, 2017 at 6:23 am EDT

The City of Toronto's Cavalcade of Lights event in 2011.

Everyone will be dancing merrily this weekend with Christmas Day a month away. There is an abundance of festivities taking place around the city, including the big tree-lighting party outside Toronto City Hall on Saturday. So let the Christmas spirit ring and let’s be jolly. And yes, we did reference lyrics to that classic holiday tune made famous by Brenda Lee.

Christmas events

Cavalcade of Lights
The festive season will be kicking into high-gear on Saturday with the lighting of Toronto’s official Christmas tree at Nathan Phillips Square. The 51st annual Cavalcade of Lights on Saturday starts at 6 p.m. and features a skating party, musical performances, fireworks, and of course, the tree lighting. The 60-foot tree and surrounding area will be twinkling with more than 525,000 energy-efficient lights. The tree lighting is at 7:30 p.m. Admission to the event is free.

People skating at Nathan Phillips Square during the Cavalcade of Lights. CITY OF TORONTO
People skating at Nathan Phillips Square during the Cavalcade of Lights. CITY OF TORONTO


Christmas markets
If you love these markets, you are in luck – there are several popping up across the GTA this weekend. In Toronto, you can get merry at the Swedish Christmas Market, taking place at the Harbourfront Centre on Saturday and Sunday. Treat your taste buds to Scandinavian sweets and glögg (mulled wine), as you browse for handmade crafts and join in some folk dancing. Admission to the market is free. If you are looking for more arts and crafts, head down to the Gladstone Flea Holiday Market. Around 20 vendors will be on hand featuring handcrafted and unique gifts.

York Durham Heritage Railway's Santa Train in Uxbridge. Photo credit: ydhr.ca
York Durham Heritage Railway’s Santa Train in Uxbridge. Photo credit: ydhr.ca

Santa Train
Santa Claus is rolling into town aboard the Santa train this weekend. Starting this Saturday and every weekend through Dec. 17, Santa will be riding on the York-Durham Heritage Railway. Each round-trip departing from Uxbridge lasts about an hour, with trains departing at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The train will be decorated and there will be on-board entertainment. Santa will visit each child at their seat and all guests will receive a gift bag.


Pet photos with Santa
It’s never too early to get your fur baby’s photo taken with Santa Claus. The Etobicoke Humane Society is hosting Pet Photos with Santa this Saturday at the Pet Valu on The Queensway, near Park Lawn. Owners can bring their pets for the photo-op between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. A minimum $10 donation is required. Pictures will be emailed to participants.

English bulldog lying on Santa's lap. GETTY IMAGES/LWA
English bulldog lying on Santa’s lap. GETTY IMAGES/LWA

Cabbagetown Holiday Kick-Off
Neighbourhoods around the city are hosting their own Christmas gatherings, spreading cheer to everyone in all pockets of Toronto. This Saturday, the corner of Carlton and Parliament in Cabbagetown will be merry and bright for the holiday gathering. There will be wagon rides, music and much more. Admission is free. Food and other donations will be accepted.

Other events

Yonge-Dundas Square will be buzzing with free activities for kids and their families this Saturday. The event includes the hosts of TVOKids, stage performances, face painting, bouncy castles, and meet and greets with Paw Patrol characters and PJ Masks. Donations will be accepted for the Downtown Yonge BIA charity partner, St. Michael’s Hospital. The fun runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Gentleman’s Expo
Calling all Gentlemen! The Gentlemen’s Expo returns to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre this Friday and Saturday. The event features the best in style, tech, music, sports, cars, alcohol, grooming, food and more. There will also be exciting boxing matches on Friday night. Toronto Blue Jays icons Robbie Alomar and Joe Carter will be on hand, along with Maple Leafs legends Curtis Joseph and Darcy Tucker. You must be 19 or older to attend and everyone is welcome.

Road and TTC road closures

If you’re going to be out and about in the city this weekend, keep in mind there is a subway closure on Line 1 (Yonge-University-Spadina). There will be no subway service between St. Clair and Lawrence stations on Saturday and Sunday because of track work. Shuttle buses will be running during the shutdown. Regular service is expected to resume in time for Monday morning’s commute.

Several streets will be closed this weekend for events including the Cavalcade of Lights. Click here for a list.