Reminiscing the holiday season – Toronto Christmas Market

We are moments away from the burgeon of spring and the blazing sun. The cold will soon be vanquished by bursting clusters of flowers dripping from balconies. The mellow, cloudy mornings and flurried side walks, snow peppered rooftops and tree branches sheathed in ice….the harbingers of winter will  depart for their temporary hiatus. Soon, sunshine will storm through diaphanous curtains and light will flood. It is a good, beautiful thing, I know. That doesn’t mean however that the gray skies aren’t…
It has dawned upon me that I have warily erased the memories of the magical Toronto Christmas Market and since I’m caught in a race against time, we now travel back to the holidays.

It was a calm winter morning, a few gentle flurries here and there, when the husband and me boarded bus 121 to visit the market. The temperatures had just begun to dip and it was a freezing -2 degrees C. The venue, Distillery District, with its usual rustic red bricked charm had undergone an obvious transformation. “Possibly into the North Pole”, I mused!
Winter may seem long but the holiday season tends to vanish in the blink of an eye. Amid quivering chills and bustling winds, they tend to be a much coveted warm hug. The ornamented ferns and conifers, the gleaming shades of crimson and emerald, the cinnamon and peppermint infused lattes and teas, the food, the festivities, the sugar & smiles. It’s best to give in to its thrall and captivity. Best to enjoy the dalliance. So we did!

A colossal Christmas tree stood in the centre of the square, bedecked with ribbons and shimmering festoons. Swarming visitors hogged a portion of the tree whilst they had their pictures taken for the quintessential Christmas photo. I wasn’t one to shy away. The tree, however large, was only a miniscule portion of the magic. The organizers had gone the whole nine yards in enthralling their visitors. Twinkling lights danced along red bricked walls & glimmering decorations hung from every corner while wafts of sweet apple cider, cinnamon & chocolate tickled the olfactory senses. Soaking in the boisterous, festive cheer was mandatory here. The air beckoned an escape, an escape to wonderland, to childhood even.

Little gingerbread houses lined the sidewalks, complete with white rooftops. They were really, makeshift shops that allowed visitors to indulge in food & drink & make merry. The husband & me had deliberately skipped breakfast and after a quick prayer to the calorie Gods, we devoured delicacies  like there was no tomorrow.
Grilled cheese was an essential, of course. Warm, melted cheddar spilling generously from sour dough bread deserves a heaven of it’s own. Hot chocolate was gulped following the cheesy expedition. Fortified by carbohydrates we marched into SOMA. Soma chocolatiers makes them as hot chocolate should be….warm but not hot, mildly sticky and recklessly loaded with dark chocolate. The sugar on the other hand is subtle, leaving one hankering for more. What they also do is go the extra mile and make it intense with the addition of spices like cinnamon and ginger. Almost bearing a mystical quality . As we huddled in a dark, cosy corner of the store and sipped our drinks, I realised, that everything was in fact, perfectly all right with the world! Hot chocolate tends to do that.
A man bundled in a fluffy jacket and two woollen scarves smiled at us as he watched his little mini doughnuts rise up the bubbling oil. It was a welcome. One we wouldn’t deny. Six doughnuts occupied a little cardboard box and they were deluged with a luscious, ruby red strawberry sauce. The cold sauce helped balance the heat from the doughnuts and rendered a tart sweetness. It was Toronto’s smashing answer to the -2degrees.Imaginably we scarfed them down in no time.

” We need souvenirs”, we thought as we ambled along the streets of the old distillery, now an outdoor mall for gourmet foods, couture clothing and art galleries. Little cookies dressed vibrantly in royal icing was an ideal take- home token that could soon be coupled & enjoyed with the afternoon tea session.
Distillery District houses an antique store and is studded with old typewriters, weathered albeit pretty cupcake pans , teacups stained with vintage rose patterns and more. It was a safe haven from the chiding weather outdoors & people gave in to the warmth & coziness as they rummaged through shelves & shelves of used homeware. Nestled among these ancient treasures are BOOKS.
Tattered pages and battered leather bindings but brimming with life and stories from the past. I wondered about the past owners of this antique book and if I may possibly stumble upon notes or letters hidden in the crevices. I gently parted book after book with my fingers, ensuring they were handled with care and picked up Joy Street by Frances Parkinson Keyes. As we boarded bus 121 to head back home, I was smiling ear to ear as a  little secret wish had materialized itself, that of adorning my bookshelf with an antique book. All in all, a magical day.

Do take a tour of this beautiful market through the husband’s pictures…


32 thoughts on “Reminiscing the holiday season – Toronto Christmas Market

  1. What a pleasure to read your post after a long winter hiatus Divya. Am glad the winter is slowly bidding farewell and you can soon welcome spring.
    You took me along on a virtual trip to the market and the delicious aroma of the yummy delicious food made me hungry 😀 Enjoyed every bit of it.
    Keep posting more often dear. Have a wonderful weekend 💖😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for reading Radhika! Means a lot:)
      I know, it’s been so long since I published the previous blogpost…it’s like I was in hibernation;)
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and this time I’m going to listen to you and be regular:)
      Have a great Sunday 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh! What a magnificent day you two had! The market looks wonderful, I love the red bricks enormously! That Christmas tree is just amazing – would have loved to take it home 😉 And all the delicious smells and tastes – you´ve taken me on a wonderful winter wonderland trip, Divya, thank you! And now I need to get out and burn some of the calories off you´ve just endeared me with 😉 Have a beautiful weekend and a stunning spring! XOXO 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sarah I just want to thank you for reading! Means so much! I’m glad I could transport you to another world:-)
      Haha holidays are meant to binge so don’t worry about the calories;)
      Thanks again & have a lovely weekend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am yet to visit a Christmas market, but your pictures and way with words enticed me to go at one right now. Guess, I will have to wait till Dec.

    And, you are so vocal about your love for deserts…😍
    nothing short of a love story, you can even write letters to macaroons. Love your imagination and the write-up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thank you so much Anu! You made my day with this lovely compliment 😘 We didn’t know about this market until I heard it from one of my students.
      Haha me & my romance with sugar is a secret no more😉 Thank you so much for reading & you have no idea how much it means to me❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s always a pleasure to read your posts, Divya, for I like how you choose your words producing an image instantly in the mind of the reader 🙂 It was a virtual tour for me down the streets of the market, through the thoroughfare… 🙂

    the pictures taken by your husband have added a lot of pizzazz to your post.

    P.S. I like your Instagram posts a lot… 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Maniparna, I’m so grateful you took the time😘 Means a lot that you liked the article & the pictures ❤ I’m glad to be connect with you on instagram as well, I’m awe of your photography of the winged creatures😍

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Divya, your writing possess a magical quality of gently taking the reader through your beautiful journey. I must say that I enjoyed my trip to the Christmas market. You have so beautifully romanticized the winter and as for the food, my taste buds are desperately craving warm hot chocolate!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Pranitha , thank you so so much for these lovely, kind words. You have no idea how much it means to me. I’m grateful 🙏🏻 Glad you enjoyed the little trip & I hope you treated yourself to a nice mug of hot chocolate ❤😍

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I really love the way you write, very descriptive. After reading this, I now understand why my English boss misses Christmas in the winter. During his first year in Malaysia, he wasn’t in the mood to put up the Christmas tree at home but his wife forced him to do it for the sake of their kids, lol! Your hubby’s photos are amazing – I love the red brick colour and the snowman! Great post…so will there be a post on Spring? 🙂


  7. How amazing and colorful Divya that makes it a shiny affair. Of course, your unqiue writing style makes readers dreams of a gentle flow on the carpet of aesthetic imagination. The style of observation is uniquely expressed ink on paper:)

    Liked by 1 person

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