Hotel X Marks The Spot For Toronto’s Holiday Events And Shopping


Hotel X Toronto by Library Hotel Collection, the City’s First Resort Hotel

Have you ever considered a winter shopping trip to Toronto? I know our first thoughts are often to fly south to warmer climates but you may want to think twice and choose Canada’s largest city instead. With the opening of the city’s first resort hotel property and a huge list of holiday celebrations and activations happening throughout November and December, Toronto may just be the hottest place to visit this winter. Plus the shopping in Toronto is off the charts. There is Yorkdale Shopping Centre,  the Toronto Eaton Centre and plenty of boutique shopping along streets like Queen West. What I am saying is there is A LOT of things to do in Toronto this winter.

Falcon SkyBar at the Hotel X Toronto

Falcon SkyBar at the Hotel X Toronto

Where to Stay in Toronto

The Hotel X Toronto by Library Hotel Collection opened quietly in the late spring early summer. Its location is amazing as it is THE host hotel for the Enercare Centre and Beanfield Centre. Toronto’s hub for conferences and exhibitions. It is also a five-minute drive to Billy Bishop airport and 20 minutes away from Union Station by streetcar.

As I mentioned the Hotel X Toronto only opened a few months ago. It is actually still in the process of completing some of its amenity offerings like a massive restaurant and an outdoor pool on the fitness level. However, it is open for business and even though it is not 100% completed it is AMAZING.

Inside the lobby of the Hotel X Toronto

Inside the lobby of the Hotel X Toronto

All 400+ rooms are finished. There is a fitness club that is off the chain and includes indoor tennis courts, spin class studio, yoga studio, pilates studio and a state of the art gym a professional athlete would drool over. There is even a rooftop indoor/outdoor pool for lounging and relaxing. I can’t wait to swim outside in the heated pool when it snows.

As for the rooms can you say luxurious? I stayed in a 1-bedroom suite that comes with 3rd floor Club Lounge access (complimentary continental breakfast and happy hour hors-d’oeuvres and drinks) and photography by Canadian artist Neil Dankoff. Oh, and it has a Nespresso station for those moments when I don’t feel like heading down to the 2nd floor Nespresso Cafe. Here’s a video tour of my suite.

I loved my view of both Ontario Place and Billy Bishop Airport. So close. If you love plane spotting you can enjoy it from the comfort of your room.

View of Billy Bishop airport from the Hotel X Toronto

View of Billy Bishop airport from the Hotel X Toronto

A few other perks/amenities that make the Hotel X Toronto an outstanding Toronto accommodation choice are the complimentary car shuttle service available on request, plenty of semi-public/private nooks for impromptu meetings and conversations, a departure lounge so that you don’t have to wander the streets of Toronto with your luggage if you have a later day flight and a cinema and screening room where you can watch movies on a BIG screen.

Library nook for casual meetings and chillin at the Hotel X Toronto

Library nook for casual meetings and chillin at the Hotel X Toronto

My favourite amenity has to be the falcon Sky Bar with amazing views of the city day or night. I may have enjoyed a few cocktails up here during my stay.

The view from the Falcon Skybar at the Hotel X Toronto

The view from the Falcon Skybar at the Hotel X Toronto

For some, the Hotel X Toronto may be enough of a reason to visit Toronto this winter but if you need more reasons how about these awesome holiday and winter events and activities.

Holiday and Winter Activities in Toronto

Toronto Christmas Market - photo used by permission of Tourism Toronto

Toronto Christmas Market – photo used by permission of Tourism Toronto

Toronto Christmas Market – Inspired by the European Christkindlmarkt that originated in Germany in the 1400s, the Toronto Christmas Market is a five-week-long event celebrating the sounds, sights and scents of Christmas. Set in the Victorian-era, cobblestone-lined Distillery Historic District, the Market brings together local craftspeople, musicians and artisanal food-makers for a truly festive experience. Free admission Tuesday to Friday and $6.00 admission Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday. November 15–December 23, 2018

Holiday Fair Nathan Phillips Square Part Christmas market and part carnival, you can shop for unique gifts, ride a carousel, go for a skate or enjoy a festive cocktail at the ice bar. Admission is free. December 1-23, 2018

NEW – Aurora Winter Festival, Ontario Place, This holiday season, Toronto’s Ontario Place will be transformed into a magical winter wonderland.  Beyond the Mystical Worlds and magical characters within them, the Aurora Winter Festival is also home to a number of exciting attractions and rides.  Climb the stairs to the 180-foot tube park fit for all ages, bring out your inner child on the choo-choo train, or climb the 60-foot Ferris wheel to get the best vantage of the entire festival. November 28 – December 30 

A Nutcracker Christmas at Casa Loma Built by Sir Henry Pellatt over a three-year period from 1911 to 1914, Casa Loma is an homage to the Gothic castles of days gone by, complete with soaring battlements and secret passageways. North America’s only castle Casa Loma is transforming into a winter wonderland just in time for Christmas with a month of signature holiday décor, outdoor light displays, performances, Santa’s Workshop, festive food and drink options, as well as a holiday market.  Holiday décor includes a 40ft tall tree in the Great Hall and 10 other signature trees by talented Canadian designers. Children visit Santa in his castle workshop and, participate in arts and crafts, visit with wintery holiday mascots, decorate tasty treats and much more. Explore the holiday magic of Casa Loma at night as well and wander through the dazzling lighting display in the gardens and enjoy a holiday-themed magic show. Daytime programming:  December 1-January 6 Evening programming:  December 17-23, 5-9pm every night

photo used by permission of Tourism Toronto

Casa Loma holiday lights – photo used by permission of Tourism Toronto

ROM for the Holidays – Discover the wonders of nature when ROM for the Holidays turns the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) into a fun-filled animal kingdom for kids and parents alike. From Wednesday, December 26, 2018 to Sunday, January 6, 2019 (extended hours of operation), ROM for the Holidays presents live entertainment, hands-on activities, and interactive experiences inspired by the feature exhibitions Spiders: Fear & Fascination, Zuul: Life of an Armoured Dinosaur, and Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Winter at Ontario Place – The Winter Light Exhibition at Ontario Place is just one aspect of “Winter at Ontario Place” which includes various winter-themed activities. The festival is free to attend. December 8, 2018 – March 18, 2019. There is also an ice rink for public skating open to all ages and skills. No skates needed you can rent them there.

Ice Skating in Toronto - photo used by permission of Tourism Toronto

Ice Skating in Toronto – photo used by permission of Tourism Toronto

Norden: The Festival of Cool – Toronto is fully embracing a new festival dedicated to all things Nordic.  NORDEN: The Festival of Cool is hitting the Harbourfront Centre from November 24 to December 2, and according to organizers, the event will have you embracing the hygge —a Danish and Norwegian word for a feeling of wellness, cosiness, and contentment. Head over to the waterfront for the pop-up holiday market, panel discussions, art exhibits, and a Finnish wrapping paper workshop. Claus Meyer, co-founder of the world-renowned restaurant Noma will also be giving a lecture, and Chef Anthony Rose of Rose and Sons will be hosting a Nordic Meyer-inspired brunch made from local ingredients. Expect music performances near the Natrel Rink from Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian, and Inuk artists, plus a few dance parties on the ice to the sounds of Swedish superstars ABBA. November 24 – December 2, 2018

And of course a visit to Hudson’s Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue on Queen Street to check out the Holiday window displays.

Why fly south when everything you need for a spectacular holiday and winter season is right in your own backyard in Canada’s largest city.

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Disclosure: General

Thanks to Hotel X Toronto and Tourism Toronto for inviting and hosting me at the Hotel X Toronto. My views and opinions are 100% my own

About Author

Marc Smith is a former event planner turned vagabond adventurer. He loves strong Americano's, great wine, cold beer and zip lining over tree tops. Formerly of Vancouver, most of Marc's time when not travelling is in Canada's largest city, Toronto. Follow along on his nomad adventures and discover places to stay, things to do and where to eat & drink as he explores the world one city and region at a time.

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