People walk under an arch of christmas lights Photo Courtesy of Tourism Windsor Essex

Gifting in a Winter Wonderland

December 6, 2022
People walk under an arch of christmas lights
Photo Courtesy of Tourism Windsor Essex

December 7, 2022

Baby, it’s crafty inside! From Indigenous makers and Northern artisans, to female-owned businesses and traditional craftsmanship, we’ve scouted the best spots to shop for everyone on your list in the coming weeks. These holiday markets will have you singing on the way home, with your one-of-a-kind gifts in tow.

Want to explore these wintery towns more? Pair your holiday shopping with a creative, cultural, or culinary experience around town with our ON Culture Guides. Each of these cities – Belleville, Ottawa, Owen Sound, Scugog, Toronto, Whitby, and Windsor – have untold stories to tell, histories to discover, and creative communities bursting at the seams.

Indoor Christmas Market
Scugog, Nov 19 to Dec 31

The Scugog Council for the Arts is the home to dozens of regional artists, with gallery shows, sales and workshops year-round. And this holiday season at the Scugog Arts space, browse a variety of gorgeous and original handmade gifts – paintings, fibre, pottery, wood pieces, prints, ornaments, handmade cards, and more!

Steps from your shopping experience, enjoy a cozy horse-drawn carriage ride around historic Downtown Port Perry this holiday season. Rides are free and don’t need to be booked in advance – they are first-come-first-serve.

The carriage is the perfect vantage point to scope out the cafes, restaurants and arts businesses along the main strip of Port Perry, all laid out in our ON Culture Guide for Durham Region North.

Indigenous Maker’s Market
Owen Sound, Saturday Dec 10

Co-Hosted by M’Wikwedong NCRC and SOAHAC (Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre), this market offers artistry and fare from local Indigenous creators and artisans.

Later, take in the sounds, beauty and history of nature. In Owen Sound, you’ll find a trio of waterfalls to delight your outdoorsy itch and a public memorial, the Black History Cairn, recognizing the region’s history as the last stop (and farthest north) on the Underground Railroad.

Christmas market cabin with two people inside and one outside with jewelry for sale

Bright Lights Windsor and WE Made Holiday Market
Windsor, Dec 2 to Jan 8

For five weeks, Bright Lights Windsor will once again light up Jackson Park with thousands of lights and stunning displays. A holiday train runs in the evening with a sensory-friendly ‘Silent Night’ run on Tuesdays. On Fridays and Saturdays, the full holiday market opens with handmade gifts for purchase.

Windsor is wonderfully stocked with stories and artistic adventures. Here you’ll find international cuisine, a world-class art gallery, and so many Black historical sites dating back to the Underground Railroad. Our ON Culture Guide, Windsor, Border City, has it all.

Two children smiling while riding on indoor childrens train

Enchanted Holiday Market
Belleville, Nov 17 to Dec 18

Ice skating, carriage rides, dining and local shopping – find it all in the downtown district of Belleville. The Enchanted Holiday Market runs Thursday and Friday evenings and Saturday and Sunday during the daytime. Come back again and again as new vendors are featured each week.

For a wintery adventure around town, see a show at Empire, explore the Indiegnous history and culture on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, or get scientific at the Quinte Museum of Natural History, all planned out in our ON Culture Guide.

People at christmas market look at items for sale on tables

Evergreen’s Winter Market
Toronto, Sunday Dec 18

Evergreen Brickworks is the headquarters of a national non-profit, situated on a beautiful – and walkable – natural park space. Evergreen’s Winter Market features a rotation of locally crafted, sustainably produced, handmade, and vintage vendors.

Stay longer for skating or warm up by the fire pits in Koerner Gardens afterwards. Grab a bite to eat of local street fare from food trucks and food stalls. From dumplings to samosas, hot chocolate to gluten free treats, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Evergreen is a unique hub situated in Toronto. The city also has an extensive and exciting culture of public artwork. Our ON Culture Guide to Toronto Public Art takes you to where these stories are told.

Beadwork on table

Adàwàning: Indigenous Women’s Art Market
Ottawa, Dec 17 & 18

The Indigenous Women’s Art Market features the diverse and amazing work of Métis, Inuit and First Nations makers. Browse jewelry, beadwork, paintings, sculptures, mittens, moccasins, coffee, crafts, and much more. The market returns again to the National Arts Centre’s Gail & David O’Brien Atrium.

And with your bags in tow, our ON Culture Guide for Ottawa can extend your shopping day into a winter wonderland of gallery tours, farmers markets, and culinary delights.

Large and small lit stars with lit trees in background

Whitby Lights the Night and Holiday Festival
Whitby, Dec 10 to Jan 5

This festival celebrates the start of the holiday season and lasts six weeks. Over 100,000 magical lights and illuminated ground displays transform Whitby Civic Park, Grass Park, and Celebration Square. Cultural events also take place, including a Dec 13 pop-up in
Whitby Civic Park and a Dec 19 Chanukah Celebration and Public Menorah Lighting at Whitby Public Library where all are welcome to attend.

Whitby is a part of the larger Durham Region South, which also spans Oshawa, Ajax and Pickering. Amidst your wintery wonderland adventure, our ON Culture Guide takes you to the theatres, museums, and lesser-known restaurants of these cities-outside-the-big-city.