To market, to market
Get a jump on the holiday spirit by hitting these seasonal markets for crafts, activities and even a taste test or two!
ShopCats Pop-up Winter Show, October through December
Housed in a refurbished shipping container at Scadding Court Community Centre, ShopCats’s intimate show brings together local indie artists and vendors displaying everything from vintage housewares to sculpture, to jewellery and cutting-edge fashion. Come November, little ones and their parents can make paper-craft decorations for ShopCats’s Christmas tree and participate in the raffle to support the Canadian Cancer Society. Tuesday to Saturday, 12 to 5 p.m., plus the occasional late Friday and special Sunday. Scadding Court, 707 Dundas St.W.
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, November 1 to 10
The Royal may be in its 91st year, but new and exciting things are happening. This season, the innovative “aMAZEing Food Journey” is brand new and perfect for tots and families. The hands-on interactive experience guides visitors along the food path from farm to table. Meanwhile, kid-friendly fair favourites – the petting farm, barns (home to 4,000 furry friends) and the Royal Horse Show – are sure to delight. Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, November 3, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, November 10, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets from $16 (or pre-order discounted tickets to skip the lineup); children younger than four get in free. Exhibition Place, 200 Princes’ Blvd. royalfair.org
Gluten Free Garage, November 17
Food fairs can be a nightmare for gluten-sensitive stomachs, but everything is safe – and delicious! – at this pop-up marketplace. Fifty-plus vendors of foods and skincare products allow for one-stop shopping – and free sampling! – of all the best gluten-free goods in town. A portion of proceeds goes straight to the Toronto chapter of the Canadian Celiac Association. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Adults, $10; children younger than 12 get in free. Artscape Wychwood Barns,
601 Christie St. glutenfreegarage.ca
SWEA Annual Swedish Christmas Festival, November 23 and 24
The Swedish Women’s Educational Association is back for another year of Nordic fun! The Lucia pageant, featuring a procession of children singing traditional Swedish carols, runs twice daily as guests shop for clogs, textiles, food, mulled wine and more. Children are welcome to join the popular Christmas workshop to make crafts and dance around the festive tree. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queen’s Quay W. harbourfrontcentre.com
Lowe’s Toronto Christmas Market, November 29 to December 15
Parliament and Front Streets transform into a traditional European Christmas market this holiday season. Expect a massive 45-foot White Spruce tree, Bavarian brass bands and a lifesized gingerbread house. Children can cozy up for storytelling in Santa’s Lane while Mom and Dad enjoy a selection of hot rum and mulled wine. Monday to Friday, 12 to 9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Free. torontochristmasmarket.com
Temperanceville United Church Christmas Bazaar, November 30
Head just North of the city to the corner of King Side and Bathurst in Richmond Hill, where the lovely ladies of Temperanceville Church offer handcrafted knitwear, towels and aprons as well as gift-worthy homemade jams, jellies, pickled beets and more. Stay for a hot soup lunch and leave with a box of homemade freezer meals and pies to keep you warm all winter. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 734 King Rd., Richmond Hill. 905-727-4438.
CBC Employees’ Charity Craft Sale, December 12
Held in the CBC Atrium, right across from the CN tower, the CBC Employees’ Charity Craft Sale – now in its 19th year – has something for everyone, with more than 75 vendors selling pottery, clothing, food and decor items. Lots of kid-friendly tables, not to mention an ample toy selection, make little ones a welcome addition to the event, and keen kids (or those bored while Mom looks at crafts) will love the CBC Museum. Proceeds from rental tables support local food banks and, even cooler, you might spot Don Cherry and George Stroumboulopoulos doing a little shopping beside you. 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Free. 250 Front St. W. www.cbccharitycraftsale.ca
City of Craft, December 14 and 15
Toronto’s biggest indie craft fair, with its urban eye turned toward design, innovation and sustainability, is a hub of crafty activities for the holiday season. Aside from shopping, City of Craft also hosts workshops, installations, interactive booths and demonstrations. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adults, $2; children younger than 12 get in free. The Theatre Centre, 1087 & 1096 Queen St. W. cityofcraft.com
The Bazaar of the Bizarre Frost Bite Christ mas Show, December 15
Fresh off their Halloween Extravaganza, the Bazaar of the Bizarre jumps right into their Frost Bite Christmas Show. But don’t expect the traditional scarves and mittens – there’s only one rule here: All creations must be different, interesting, strange, weird or whimsical! More than 40 arts and clothing designers, craft folk and publishers are on display, while kids can enjoy free candy, balloons, dance acts and stilt walkers. Not your average craft fair, and that’s
why we like it. 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Free. Pia Bouman School for Ballet, 6 Noble St. thebazaarofthebizarre.org