Lowe's Christmas Market 2015-2016

I don't know about everyone, but I think that most of us are really glad 2016 is over with.  I don't regret one minute of worry or disappointment because I've learned sometimes challenges and obstacles that are for the greater good can make a person stronger.  It isn't so much what you experience that defines you, it's how you deal with that experience.

Thankfully with the help of good people, justice prevailed and never ever believe everything the media reports.  So there, I've said my piece.  On to Christmas and the spirit from which it was intended.  What better way to get into the mood that to enjoy the Christmas Market in it's 7th year in the Distillery district.  Officially christened the Lowe's Christmas Market, it's a great time for all ages, especially for the kids (which is what I think Christmas is really for anyways).  

The market is bigger and better than ever before for the most part.  More vendors, more treats, less authentic and more commercialism :)  There is one more thing, for the first time they are charging entrance fee.  It's not a lot ($6/head) and that is for their busiest time of the week, Friday - Sunday.  Which for most of us career folks that is pretty much the only time we can get away from the office and relax.  The crowds are over the top leaving little for wiggle room.

As in every year before the Market opens with the traditional Christmas tree lighting ceremony on the 22nd of November, there is Christmas carolers and dance performances, ferris wheel and a horse carousel and lots of lots of foodies.  Because the Christmas Market had originated in Switzerland. 

Take in sparkling Christmas light canopies, traditional music and carols, dance performances and family-friendly activities like Santa’s House, a ferris wheel, carousel and life-sized gingerbread house. Foodies can taste traditional European street-style food as well as Canadian holiday treats and sip on cold and warm brews in the beer gardens.  

A Christmas market, as known as Christkindlmarkt originated in Germany and although they are held all over the world now, the basic feel to the market still remains in the Germanic theme with the street market associated with the celebration of Christmas during ht first four weeks of Advent. This also will explain why Santa Claus has the appearance of wearing long robes rather than a red suit as they are keeping his attire akin to the Germanic Christmas traditions.

Overall, as I recall it was a good experience, but unless I have grand kids in the future, most likely won't be attending next year :P 

P A T H - Toronto's Underground

 When the snow piles high and the wind blows cold, you can get yourself around in the underground of Toronto without ever coming up for air.

There's a whole world down here and its called the PATH.

The PATH led me to my first job downtown, my first attendance to a Convention and Trade show and to my first husband, but not necessarily in that order and not all in the same day!

The P A T H starts from Dundas Street from the north at the Eatons Centre (future plans are to continue north to College Street) to Queens Quay in the south (south of the Gardiner Expressway) and from Simcoe Street in the west to Yonge Street in the east.

You can check out any map of Toronto yourself to see that that is a pretty impressive underground trek, don't you think?

In order to follow the P A T H, each color represents a direction (Red-South; Orange-West; Blue-North; Yellow-East).

During the week, this underground world is saturated with hundreds of thousands of people commuting from the local transit systems (TTC) to the GO Stations (Metrolinx) at Union and to the VIA trains or the Toronto Coach Bus Terminal  at Bay Street, which can take them out of the city's core altogether.

Workers, shoppers, and tourists pack the P A T H more so during the week days.  On weekends, you may have a little more elbow room especially if you plan on taking pictures as the Office Towers close down except for the odd bored security person.

The P A T H links to some of the most visited tourist attractions in Toronto, like the Eaton's Centre, which brings in millions of holiday shoppers; Air Canada Centre, Ripley's Aquarium, Skydome (I still refuse to call it the Rogers Centre :) and of course the CN Tower.

Some of the major performing arts centre, like the Four Seasons Centre and Roy Thompson Hall are accessed on the path as well.  Although I do enjoy most movie soundtracks which apparently were inspired by classical composers, I don't enjoy most classical music unfortunately so don't go to Roy Thompson or others like it very much.

When I worked downtown, I loved the convenience of the  
P A T H as it took me to many hotels, some for business, others for pleasure.  I was in the Convention and Trade Show industry that hosted Toronto for international exhibitors.  This was of course before Free Trade, when Trade shows and Conventions were a very busy industry not only for for tourism (still are) but for the Custom House businesses.

Conventions are awesome for local economies obviously because when exhibitors come to your city, they often put money into hotels, spend lots in shops and restaurants and list goes on.

Today, the Metro Convention Centre hosts most of the Conventions in the city and has a hotel built directly beside called the InterContinental Toronto Centre Hotel.   Hotels like the Sheraton or the Royal York or Hilton, which once were the only game in town have lost out to that income on a private corporate level.

Sometimes in bigger shows though, there is always the much needed extra capacity for rooms for which they are necessary.

The bigger shows kept us up sometimes over 24 hours straight working on booth setups, and coordinating with Customs to bring shipments in for the show.  It was great fun.

Back to present day, the holidays dress up the main lobbies of many of these Corporate Towers, like the Royal Bank Plaza, The Toronto-Dominion Centre, First Canadian Place and the beautiful Exchange Tower.  It was a treat looking at them again.

Historical value? I didn't want to research too much on this underground world, but rather give credit to those who have by linking you to this site.

We came here just for fun for me to take pictures and share them as I love to do.  So here are some of what we saw today.