Named for the mayor of Toronto from 1955-1962, Nathan Phillips Square is an important cultural hub in the heart of downtown Toronto. Throughout the year, it hosts several festivals and events, from outdoor art shows to North America’s largest Diwali celebrations, to markets featuring loads of talented local vendors and the city’s anniversary festival.
It’s probably most active in the winter, when Christmas markets and winter-themed festivals take over the square almost every weekend, and a large outdoor skating rink opens up to let locals and tourists alike truly appreciate the season.
If you’re lucky, you might even catch the Toronto Maple Leafs hosting an outdoor practice there!
This season, from November 25th to January 7th, the Square will be hosting the Cavalcade of Lights – a winter festival dedicated to the celebration of light, lantern, and fire installations to delight and dazzle folks of any age. The festival kicks off with the illumination of Toronto’s official Christmas tree, which is the largest Christmas tree in Canada! From December 7th to the 15th, the annual lighting of the sacred Menorah will also take place in the square.
If you find yourself here for New Year’s, you’re in luck, as the celebration kicks off early in the evening and concludes with a stunning fireworks display!
If you still need to do some last-minute holiday shopping, the surrounding blocks have a host of boutiques as well as the CF Eaton’s Centre, which hosts several festivals and celebrations on its own.
Nathan Phillips Square is just a 6-minute walk from Pantages Hotel, and it also has reasonably-priced underground parking. It’s worth a visit if you find yourself in downtown Toronto this Winter!
Follow the square on Instagram @nathanphillipssquare for event schedules and announcements.