Beautiful Christmas villages don't just exist in Hallmark movies. These towns around Toronto are even more spectacular during the holiday season, and you can enjoy local shops and twinkling streets that are quaint enough to be made of gingerbread.
From mountainside villages filled with endless lights to quaint hamlets boasting old-time Christmas cheer, these spots will warm your heart.
Whether you're looking to do some holiday shopping or escape from the city for a day, these villages are festive destinations to road trip to.
Address: St. Jacobs, ON
Why You Need To Go: This twinkly little town is a heart-warming place to visit during the holidays. You can indulge in sweet treats from local bakeries and window shop from stores decked out in decor.
If you're looking for a magical dining experience, you can make a reservation at one of Village Biergarten's domes. The experience lets you dine outdoors in a snowy wonderland while staying cozy and warm.
You can also head to the St. Jacobs Farmers' Market, which is hosting several festive events throughout the season including a Sip n' Shop and Story Time with Santa.
Address: Erin, ON
Why You Need To Go: This cute town is a short road trip from Toronto and is brimming with holiday charm. You can explore the local shops and find unique gifts and stocking stuffers.
The streets are decked out in decor, creating a magical atmosphere for you to enjoy.
Address: Unionville, ON
Why You Need To Go: You can imagine you're celebrating the holidays in Stars Hollow at this quaint little spot outside Toronto. The glowing streets will put you in the Christmas spirit, and you can take part in a variety of festive activities.
The Old Tyme Christmas event has everything from a parade to carollers and Santa photos. You can even enjoy a holiday train and horse-drawn wagon rides on select dates.
Blue Mountain Village
When: Until January 7, 2024
Address: 156 Jozo Weider Blvd., The Blue Mountains, ON
Why You Need To Go: Each year, this European-style village transforms into a winter wonderland for its Holiday Magic event. You can wander along garland-filled streets and explore an illuminated pathway filled with displays.
The area has over 20 shops and boutiques selling everything from fashion to sporting goods and self-care. You can do some holiday shopping amidst twinkling lights and dazzling decor.
This year, there is a new Snowdome Cocktail Garden where you can "sample seasonal cocktail recipes and take in the enchanting views of Holiday Magic."
Address: Bayfield, ON
Why You Need To Go: You can take a holiday road trip from Toronto to this dreamy town. Bayfield looks like a "Hallmark Christmas story" during the holidays, and you can snap some photos by the photo ops and visit the many charming boutiques for your Christmas shopping needs.
Address: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON
Why You Need To Go: This quaint village belongs on a Christmas postcard, and it's even more magical during the holidays. You can explore the Christmas store and browse other twinkly shops.
There are many festive activities taking place throughout the season. You can shop at the Holiday Market, wandering through glowing streets during the Candlelight Stroll, glide around the ice rink at the Pillar and Post and sip enchanting Candle Light Tea.
You can also enjoy holiday performances at the theatre and go on a twinkling Holiday House Tour.
The Distillery Winter Village
Price: Free to $30 per person
When: Until January 7, 2024
Address: 55 Mill St., Toronto, ON
Why You Need To Go: The Distillery District has once more transformed into a glittering holiday village, and there's so much to do. From the giant sparkling tree to the festive vendors and treats, you'll feel like you're in gingerbread land.
There are endless photo ops and vendors to visit, as well as a new candy cane forest to explore this year. You can listen to carollers as you sip warm boozy drinks and bite into desserts.
The newly-launched tiered ticketing system gives you an option to skip the line so you don't have to wait to experience the magic of this spot.
Address: Elora, ON
Why You Need To Go: This gorgeous town will take you back in time, and it's a dreamy spot for a winter escape. There are tons of local shops to find unique gifts at, and you can warm up with cozy drinks in one of the cute cafes.
Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.
This article has been updated since it was originally published on December 4, 2022.