sweaters n snowflakes toronto

Toronto's much-hyped winter pop-up is transforming into an outdoor food market

Toronto's current lockdown may prevent patio dining, but that's not going to stop a magical winter pop-up from opening on Christmas and Boxing Day as planned.

Sweaters n' Snowflakes was supposed to encompass a festive outdoor area with fire pits and distanced seating for enjoying spiked hot chocolate and churros outdoors. Now, they're transforming it into a cheerful outdoor to-go food market.

"The amount of love and support we have experienced in the first 48 hours of launching this project has been overwhelming. We have made great changes to keep it operating as per current rules," says a spokesperson for the market.

"Barriers from exiting the first tunnel direct the way through the trees and second tunnel to move in one direction through the market. Guests place their order, prepared fresh to go, and cash out on their way out. All tables have also been removed."

They'll still offer the same holiday foods like soup, wood-fired pizza and boozy winter drinks, and you'll still be able to experience photo ops like a retired ski lift and a giant present. Only 10 people are allowed through at a time and there's lots of room to navigate the space, and a mask is required for entry.

"This situation is terrible but we are creating solutions within the rules and fun ways to bring people joy instead of simply recognizing and accepting all the negativity around us. Everyone needs something to look forward to," the spokesperson says.

All events planned for the pop-up are currently cancelled, including wine tastings, ugly sweater cookie painting and holiday dinners. Should lockdown be lifted, reservations following Dec. 21 will still be honoured and all activities and events will resume. If not, the to-go market will continue and reservations will be refunded. 

The changes for the market also mean there are some adjustments to the dates and times it's running, so it's now on from Dec. 10 to Dec. 27, weekdays 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends noon to 9 p.m.

Let's admit it, this holiday season is looking a little bleak, but you can always drink and eat your way through it with spiked cider and lots of carbs, and it never hurts to get out and get a little fresh air in a distanced way.

Lead photo by

Sweaters n' Snowflakes

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