Image courtesy Ajax

Durham getting ready with events during holiday season

Some of Durham municipalities have announced a jost of events for the fast-approaching Christmas holiday season.

Downtown Whitby Christmas Market today

The Downtown Whitby BIA (DWBIA) is hosting its Downtown Whitby Christmas Market for the fifth successful year on Saturday, November 18, from 11 am to 6 pm, and would like to invite residents of Whitby and beyond to Celebrate Community and Shop Local at Celebration Square in front of the Central Whitby Public Library (405 Dundas St W, Whitby).

Each year, the Christmas Market allows friends and families to come together to celebrate the spirit of Christmas and enjoy a magical outdoor market, fun and festive activities, live performances, delicious local food, and the best holiday shopping in Durham Region. The event is free and attendees of all ages are welcome.

Here’s what guests can look forward to this year:

  • Visit vendors from across Durham Region including local Downtown Whitby shops for festive local shopping
  • Enjoy food from Gangster Cheese and Express Fusion
  • Performance of Act One from Christmas Goose by Beech Street Theatre Company beginning at 12:30 pm and again at 2:30 pm.
  • Musical performance by Zac Honey from 4 pm to 6 pm.
  • Christmas Crafts with Crock A Doodle Whitby
  • Photo ops with Santa and his elves
  • Free rides throughout the downtown on the Town Trolley
  • Face Painting stations

The fun doesn’t stop at the Square! Downtown Whitby streets will be filled with holiday cheer! As you ride the Town Trolley, be sure to stop by the many downtown shops kicking off the holiday season with special activities, sales, and treats.

Alongside the festivities at Celebration Square, residents can also look forward to the third-annual Whitby’s Winter Wonderland at the Promenade, brought by Unique Town Boutique. Just hop on the Town Trolley and head over to Mary Street where you’ll find another beautiful outdoor market complete with food vendors, a local art station, warm drinks, cozy fires, live music and more.

A Storybook Christmas – returns to Pickering Museum Village

Pickering announced that the 2022 bestselling program – A Storybook Christmas – returns to Pickering Museum Village. Using a brand-new signature storybook as a guide, visitors will have the opportunity to help teddy find his way to a new family, just in time for Christmas.

Teddy’s journey will take visitors through a variety of celebrations, where they can enjoy wintertime activities and learn about holiday origins. Guests of all ages will find themselves immersed in the holiday season as they enjoy treats, crafts, trivia, music, and more. And don’t forget – no visit would be complete without the man in red himself, said a statement.

A Storybook Christmas runs on weekends from November 25 to December 10. The program will also run on weekdays as ‘Teddy’s Holiday Adventure’ for education bookings, from November 24 to December 21. Tickets for museum events are on sale now at: or by phone at 905.683.8401.

A scene from Teddy’s newest adventure
Make spirits bright with Ajax

Ajax Council is inviting residents, businesses and community groups to participate in this year’s festivities beginning November 20. The 2023 events offer something for everyone.

How to participate:

  • Mayor and Council Toy & Food Drive: The annual Mayor and Council Toy & Food Drive is accepting donations from November 20 – December 6 and is an opportunity for residents, businesses and community groups to give back. All donations will support local Ajax charities and families in need. For more details, visit
  • Santa’s Spectacle of Lights – TOA Santa Claus Parade: On Saturday, November 25 starting at 6 pm. The parade will begin at the intersection of Bayly Street and Mackenzie Avenue, proceed east along Bayly Street and continue north on Harwood Avenue South in the southbound lanes, concluding at Ajax Town Hall. Enjoy a family-friendly evening of fun and entertainment with music, festive floats, and immediately following the parade, gather around for a special tree lighting ceremony and after party at Town Hall (65 Harwood Ave. S.) and the Ajax Public Library – Main Branch! It’s a perfect way to kick off the holiday season! No registration is required. Visit for more details.
  • The Mantini Sisters’ Christmas: On December 9 at 7 pm, the St. Francis Centre is proud to host The Mantini Sisters, who will perform the best of the holiday season with their signature sisterly harmonies and incredible showmanship. Tickets are $38 each (HST included; service charge may apply for online ticket sales), available at or at any of the town’s community centres.
  • Silver Screen Sing Along – The Nightmare Before Christmas: Celebrate the season with Jack and Sally at the St. Francis Centre on December 15 at 7 pm for a cozy movie night with a twist. Sing along during this cute, creepy holiday favourite dressed as one of the characters (or even in PJs) and enjoy signature beverages and treats. Tickets are $5 each (HST included; service charge may apply for online ticket sales), available at or at any of the town’s community centres.
  • Family New Year’s Eve Party: Ajax will ring in the New Year on December 31 from 6 – 9 pm at the Ajax Community Centre, for a free event for the whole family. This event features children’s activities, games, live entertainment, interactive experiences, ice skating with a DJ and more. This year, Lexy the Rap Dad will be performing two shows in the HMS Room at 6:30 and 8 pm. Doors will open 15 minutes before each performance with a maximum capacity of 180 people per show, so make sure to get your seat! Party favours are included as participants gather on the ice rink for a special countdown and balloon drop at 9 pm. Helmets are highly recommended on the ice. Visit for more details.

“Celebrate, support those in need and come together this holiday season – this year’s TOA festivities have something for everyone to enjoy. Our Santa’s Spectacle of Lights tradition is back again with a route-style parade and the in-person tree lighting ceremony at Ajax Town Hall. I also encourage you to participate in the annual Mayor and Council Toy & Food Drive to help local Ajax charities and families in need! On behalf of Ajax Council, I wish you a happy holiday season and all the best for 2024,” said Mayor Shaun Collier.

Oshawa’s Bright and Merry Market opens on Thursday

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