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Christmas in Canada: 10 festive destinations

Christmas in Canada: 10 festive destinations Author: Style At Home

Hotel Style

Christmas in Canada: 10 festive destinations

Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year. And while there’s nothing like enjoying the holidays at home gathered with family and friends, it’s also the perfect time of year to celebrate the season in a different city. Across Canada, communities come together to take part in the festivities of their city or town, each with their own traditions, from Christmas markets to ice skating to tree-lighting ceremonies.

These ten Canadian destinations come alive at Christmastime and we’ve scouted hotels and inns in each city that will make you feel right at home for the holidays.

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Christmas in Canada

Quebec City

Quebec City becomes a winter wonderland from December onwards, with Old Quebec transformed into a Christmas village straight out of a Dickens novel – markets, decorations and twinkling lights everywhere. Experience the Old World magic of Christmas with a night tour of New France, discovering colonial traditions during their coldest season, or join a food tour and find out where the locals go for Christmas specialties like gourmet cheeses and ice wine.   Stay at: Auberge Saint-Antoine Not only has this super chic property been named one of the top hotels in Canada by Conde Nast Traveler for the past 10 years, but it sits right in the heart of the historic Old Town. Check in on Christmas Eve and enjoy the hotel’s impressive holiday package that includes a two-night stay, breakfast, brunch and dinner at the award-wining Panache restaurant and a number of holiday activities to make you feel at home – mulled wine, a Christmas movie screening, a Santa visit with gifts for the kids and a horse-drawn carriage ride through Old Quebec. Christmas package starts at $1275 for two people.

By: Lauren McPhillips Source: www.saint-antoine.com Credits: Style at Home

Christmas in Canada

Toronto

Even Canada’s economic hub gets into the Christmas spirit once December rolls around. In fact, Toronto fully embraces the holiday season with a bustling Christmas marketin the historic Distillery District, the lighting of the official tree at Nathan Phillips Square and heaps of holiday sales at the massive Eaton Centre mall and along fashion-forward Bloor St. Plus, if you’re around in early December, you can check out the One of a Kind Show and pick up unique artisanal gifts for everyone on your list.   Stay at: Four Seasons As if you needed an excuse to check in to the Four Seasons. The luxe hotel with a chic Yorkville address gets into the festive spirit over the holidays, with a gingerbread-making workshop on Christmas Eve for the kids and a wine tasting with the hotel’s sommelier for adults. Christmas Day is all about the tastes of the season as Chef Tyler Shedden of Café Boulud creates a festive feast like no other. Plus, when you book two nights over the holidays, the third is free – regardless of whether you’re on the naughty or nice list.

By: Lauren McPhillips Source: www.fourseasons.com/toronto Credits: Style at Home

Christmas in Canada

Victoria

Victoria lights up (literally!) at Christmas. From the giant Ferris wheel in Centennial Square to the provincial Christmas tree on the lawn of the Parliament Buildings to the thousands of lights at Butchart Gardens, Victoria is a beautiful getaway for the holidays. Take it all in with free horse-drawn trolley rides through the city on Saturdays and Sundays through December.   Stay at: Magnolia Hotel & Spa Recognized by Conde Nast as one of the top luxury hotels in Canada the Magnolia Hotel & Spa is a boutique home-away-from-home. Their holiday package includes daily mulled apple cider and holiday treats in the lobby, plus a Bailey’s night cap to ease you into dreams of sugarplums.

By: Lauren McPhillips Source: www.magnoliahotel.com Credits: Style at Home

Christmas in Canada

Lake Louise

Known throughout the world as one of Canada’s most beautiful natural spots, Lake Louise turns from a sparkling turquoise swimming pool to a white wonderland in the winter. Just 50 kilometres away from Banff, Lake Louise is a quiet retreat for those looking for a more relaxed atmosphere during the holidays. Make the most of your incredible surroundings with ice skating on the lake, skiing, snowshoeing and wilderness hikes. Who wouldn’t want to spend Christmas here?   Stay at: The Fairmont Lake Louise Based at the foot of the mountains surrounding Lake Louise, this Fairmont property is the ultimate spot for waking up to breathtaking views right from your hotel room. This sprawling 550-room luxury resort goes all out during the holidays with a number of family activities to keep you occupied, from sleigh rides to caroling to gingerbread-house workshops. And to really make it feel like holidays at home, they’ll decorate your guest room with a beautifully lit tree so Santa knows exactly where to put the presents on Christmas Eve.

By: Lauren McPhillips Source: www.fairmont.com/lake-louise Credits: Style at Home

Christmas in Canada

Caledon

Escape the hustle and bustle of Toronto during the holiday season and head to the rural region of Caledon for some downtime. You can take the kids to Downey’s Tree Farm for yummy baked goods and fresh-pressed cider, or head to one of the area’s renowned country markets for seasonal goodies from local farmers and perhaps pick up a piece of antique furniture for yourself.   Stay at: Millcroft Inn & Spa Set on a 100-acre estate, the historic Millcroft Inn and Spa is the perfect country Christmas getaway. Explore the centuries-old property with snowshoeing through the picturesque trails, then unwind with a few drinks and nibbles at the fireside lounge. Every Sunday in December leading up to Christmas, the Inn features a Santa brunch so kids can tell the big man in red their Christmas wishes, and on Christmas Day you can enjoy a family feast with a four-course dinner that includes slow-roasted turkey and gingerbread cake.

By: Lauren McPhillips Source: www.vintage-hotels.com/millcroft Credits: Style at Home

Christmas in Canada

Banff National Park

A breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage site, Banff National Park has adopted the slogan ‘Winter starts here’ and it’s not hard to see why. From holiday wagon rides to Christmas open houses at historical homes in the area, there’s something happening every day. For the adventurers, Banff is a giant playground of fresh snow, perfect for snowmobiling, dogsled rides and long days on the powdered hills. Prefer to explore the area on two feet? Spend your days strolling the festively decorated boutique-lined streets and savouring the tastes of the season at the farmer’s market or restaurants specializing in heart-warming Canadian cuisine.   Stay at: Fairmont Banff Springs If you’re after the ultimate holiday experience in Canada, look no further than the Fairmont Banff Springs. The picturesque ‘Castle in the Rockies’ is a magical winter wonderland with plenty of holiday fun to keep your kids occupied – cookie decorating, a gingerbread house workshop, daily festive film screenings, and a Christmas scavenger hunt. Adults can enjoy some holiday time away from the kids in the hot springs and with nightly wine tastings, ranging from champagne and shortbread one night and port and pudding the next. And don’t fret if you weren’t able to sneak away to wrap this year’s presents – the hotel offers a gift wrap service on the 24th so you have more time to spend with your loved ones.

By: Lauren McPhillips Source: www.fairmont.com/banff-springs Credits: Style at Home

Christmas in Canada

Whistler

It’s the hub of Canada’s ski community and is visited by slope shredders around the world. Experience what all the fuss is about with a Christmas holiday in the Whistler Village this year, featuring an amazing Fire and Ice Show, ice skating with Santa at the Olympic rink and holiday craft workshops. And of course, you’ll want to strap on your skis and board and hit the world-famous slopes, followed by a little après ski in the chalet.   Stay at: Nita Lake Lodge This luxury lodge is nestled on the shores of a glacier-fed lake, Nita Lake Lodge features over-sized suites just a five-minute shuttle ride from Whistler Village. Known for focusing on the little details that make all the difference, the lodge is no different at Christmas, from the peppermint candy canes at the front desk to a complimentary S’mores station for the kids. You’ll feel right at home with the lodge’s holiday decor as well, with a towering Christmas tree and bespoke wreaths, not to mention a fully-decorated restaurant for your four-course Christmas feast on the 24th and 25th.

By: Lauren McPhillips Source: www.nitalakelodge.com Credits: Style at Home

Christmas in Canada

Cambridge

For a wee town just an hour outside of Toronto, Cambridge packs a punch at Christmastime. Surrounded by strings of holiday lights, the town builds a synthetic ice skating rink in the park so you can have winter fun even if there’s no white Christmas. The market also gets the festive treatment over the holidays, as local vendors offer everything from yummy beaver tails to artisanal gifts and handmade ornaments.   Stay at: Langdon Hall A 19th century estate, Langdon Hall offers a traditional holiday experience in a historic setting. Whether you’re looking to stay overnight or simply experience the festive property for a meal, Langdon Hall is a must for anyone staying in Cambridge over the holiday season. Besides being decorated in traditional boughs and offering a gourmet Christmas lunch, dinner and afternoon tea, the Hall features a number of wintry activities like ice skating on the outdoor rink, sleigh rides and outdoor fire pits to keep warm as you sing carols in between glasses of egg nog. And for the miniature guests, Santa pays a visit on December 20th, plenty of time for them to get last-minute gift wishes in.

By: Lauren McPhillips Source: www.langdonhall.ca Credits: Style at Home

Christmas in Canada

Niagara on the Lake

Niagara on the Lake is beautiful enough in the summertime, but the little town comes to life during the holiday season. Head out with your partner on a romantic candlelit stroll through the town and enjoy the community’s Santa Claus Parade along quaint Queen Street.   Stay at: Queen’s Landing This grand Georgian-style mansion sits right on the waterfront, looking prettiest in the winter months, covered in a light dusting of snow. After a day enjoying the Niagara region, cozy up fireside with a seasonal drink in the mansion’s lodge. On Christmas Day, you can sit down with family to a five-course dinner, complete with all the traditional trimmings.

By: Lauren McPhillips Source: www.vintage-hotels.com/queenslanding Credits: Style at Home

Christmas in Canada

Mont Tremblant

The most popular ski resort on Canada’s east coast, Mont Tremblant offers a bit of European charm for the ski and snowboard crowd. When you’re not taking to the slopes, there’s a ton of other winter activities to entice you to spend the holiday season at this beautiful resort, from dogsledding to mountainside tubing. The village is beautifully decorated with oversized holiday greens and twinkling white lights, plus daily entertainment from carol singers and the resort’s own family of elves.   Stay at: Fairmont Tremblant Nestled at the foot of the Laurentian Mountains in Quebec, the Fairmont Tremblant is in the middle of all the action in the resort village. When the weather outside gets a bit too chilly, warm up in the hotel with Christmas arts and crafts workshops for the kids, then watch their faces light up as Santa comes to visit on the 24th. Spend Christmas Eve around the table with family, friends and a delicious dinner of traditional turkey and local specialties, like Quebec meat pies.

By: Lauren McPhillips Source: www.fairmont.com/tremblant Credits: Style at Home
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Christmas in Canada: 10 festive destinations