Christmas in Canada – Why Canada is the Place to be This Festive Season


Around this fun festive time of year, there is so much to do and see throughout Canada. As a country that is accustom to a great deal of snowfall, Canada does look and feel special at this time of year. But what is going on that you can take part in? What are some things to do in Canada this Christmas? Let’s find out…

Santa Claus Parade in Toronto

In Canada’s biggest city, Toronto, there is an annual Santa Claus Parade that has been running for 113 years now! This parade draws in thousands of people from all over the world to get a taste of the festive magic. Christmas in Canada isn’t done right without this Santa Claus Parade. It features dressing-up, music, food, a fun run, and of course a parade! If you aren’t yet in the Christmas spirit, then you will be soon enough if you visit the Santa Claus Parade in Toronto.


For seven weeks, the Calgary Zoo lights itself up and hosts loads of festive fun. We all love visiting the zoo, and it’s double fun when you visit it at this time of year. Children are able to learn about the animals’ hibernation and migration due to the cold season. Special guests visit the zoo, and it is lit up with lights beyond imagination!

You can sip hot chocolate, eat your fill of candy and the children can even find Santa in the North Pole!

Skiing, Skating and Tobogganing

Christmas in Canada just isn’t Christmas without going skiing, skating or Tobogganing. Due to the heavy snowfall in Canada, it isn’t uncommon to enjoy the snow with things like skiing and tobogganing, and many places open up ice skating rinks.

The best places to ski at Christmas in Canada are: Whistler, Banff, Lake Louise, Mont Tremblant, Fernie, Jasper and Kimberley – depending on what you want from your ski holiday experience.

You can ice skate in Canada this Christmas in places like Lake Louise, The Rideau Canal, and even the Fallsview Casino (Niagara Falls).

And lastly, you can buy or rent a toboggan and go tobogganing for yourself in parts of Canada, making use of the amazing snow. You can also visit a park or mountain to do it in style! You can go tubing in Vancouver, Tobogganing in Vancouver and even visit Mount Seymour Toboggan Park or Cypress Mountain Sliding and Tobogganing.

Winter Festival of Lights

The Winter Festival of Lights in Canada is held in Niagara Falls, Ontario. It is Canada’s largest festival of lights and runs throughout the whole of the festive season (November to January). For 35 years, Niagara Falls has been home to the Winter Festival of Lights, where over a million people visit to see the parkway, fireworks and the sound and light show. What makes it even better is the fact that it is free! Donations are encouraged and welcomed, but there is not set price for entry.


Throughout Quebec City you can enjoy the amazing QUEBECADABRA for a short period of the Christmas holidays. Choir singers lift the spirits of all present, whilst lights brighten up the city. There is a Christmas market for you to visit, filled with illuminations and as much mulled wine as you can drink. One of the must-see shows is the Fantasmagorie architectural projection. There are performances to watch, exhibits and animations. There’s so much to see and do that it is brilliant for your Christmas celebrations in Canada.

Vancouver’s Carol Ships Parade of Lights

For something a little different in terms of lights, there is the Vancouver Carol Ships Parade of Lights. They take to the water and around 80 boats will light up the darkness as they go. You can watch from the side-lines, seeing the lights pass by in a wave of colour. The harbour will have bonfires and carollers will sing. Gather together to see something spectacular and unique whilst engaging in festive cheer this Christmas in Canada.


If you like lights, which we all do this festive season, then there are plenty of light shows to entertain you. Including contests, buildings and festivals all illuminated by lights. Some not to miss are:

  • The Christmas Light-up contest in Labrador City in Newfoundland
  • The Cavalcade of Lights in Toronto, a festival featuring the lighting of a Christmas tree
  • The Ottawa parliament buildings lights, with hot chocolates, carolling, and beaver trails
  • The Alberta Airdrie’s Nose Creek park lights, Christmas movies, crafts, and bonfire

Family/Neighbourhood Traditions

This time of year is definitely to be celebrated with family and friends. In Canada, whole neighbourhoods will often join in the festive spirit together. Everyone will partake in singing, dressing up, baking, eating, visiting other people and generally sharing the joy. Things to do are:

  • Christmas cookie baking parties
  • Christmas Eve Mass in church
  • French Canadians often have a huge feast and party after Mass
  • After January 6th in Quebec they bake a cake with a bean inside, and whoever gets it is the king or queen
  • The “Sinck Tuck” festival, featuring dancing and gift exchanges
  • “Mummering” / “Jannying”, where people dress up and knock on doors in disguise before singing and dancing and eating Christmas cake

Whether you decide to celebrate with adventurous snow sports, or with your family at home, or if you see the lights and join in the festivities in the streets, there’s something for everyone this jolly season in Canada. Christmas in Canada is never dull and always filled with great elation. It is definitely the place to be for things to do this Christmas.



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