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Christmas countdown starts with December's arrival this weekend

Last Updated Dec 1, 2017 at 6:50 am EDT

The Holiday Fair in the Square at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto. TWITTER/HolidayFairTO

Christmas Day is three weeks away and people are getting into the festive spirit by putting up decorations and going to holiday events.

While it may be the most wonderful time of the year for many, it can be tough to be cheery with the hustle and bustle of shopping and tackling to-do lists. So, take a break from that noise, and just enjoy the best of the season.


Holiday Fair in the Square
The festive season continues to dazzle with a holiday fair at Nathan Phillips Square. The fair, which starts on Friday and runs until Dec. 23, features snacks and treats from the city’s top-notch food trucks and gourmet vendors. Adults can sip beer and wine at the licensed ice bar, while kids can be merry at the Holly Jolly Midway. Artistic and community performers will entertain fair-goers. And while Santa is super busy right now, he is making time to stop by the fair on the weekend for photos. Anyone who wants to take a photo with Santa is encouraged to make a small donation to Epilepsy Toronto.

Santa parade and skate
Santa is a very busy man — he also has to make an appearance at the Etobicoke Lakeshore Santa Claus Parade on Saturday. The two-hour parade starts at 10 a.m. at Lake Shore Boulevard West and Dwight Avenue. Lake Shore will be closed from Dwight Avenue to Thirty Sixth Street from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. After the parade, Santa heads to Colonel Samuel Smith Park for a skating party at 12:30 p.m.

The Etobicoke Lakeshore Santa Claus Parade in December 2016. Photo credit: Etobicoke Lakeshore Santa Claus Parade/Facebook
The Etobicoke Lakeshore Santa Claus Parade in December 2016. FACEBOOK/Etobicoke Lakeshore Santa Claus Parade


Christmas market in Leslieville
Take the stress out of Christmas shopping by shopping in one of Toronto’s hippest neighbourhoods. The Leslieville Christmas Pop-Up Market takes place Saturday and Sunday between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. at 17 Rhodes Ave., near Queen Street East and Coxwell Avenue. Not only can you shop with a drink, you can listen to Christmas carols and even get a picture with Santa too. Everyone is asked to bring a canned good donation to support Second Harvest.

Winter village
Evergreen’s Winter Village officially opens Saturday. It features fun for the whole family, including food, nature activities for kids, and scavenger hunts. The Village will be open every weekend until the end of December, and weekdays from Boxing Day to Dec. 29. It’s open between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. and admission is free.

Jason Bonham in Toronto
This is not a Christmas event, but it is sure to be high energy. If you love classic rock, you’ll want to check out Jason Bonham, son of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, who’s bringing his Led Zeppelin Experience to Toronto. He and his band will be playing a number of the classics from the seminal rock group. The show is Sunday night at 7 p.m.

TTC closures

There are two closures this weekend. Subways won’t be running on Line 1 (Yonge-University-Spadina) between Sheppard West and Lawrence West stations on Sunday due to signal upgrades. Shuttle buses will be running and Wheel-Trans buses will be available upon request.

If you are taking the subway to the Christmas fair at Nathan Phillips Square on this weekend, you won’t be able to get off at Osgoode Station; you will have to get off at Queen Station instead. Osgoode will be closed and subways will not be servicing the station from 10 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday for fare gate construction.