10 Places to See Santa in Toronto

It’s an annual tradition for countless Toronto families: Taking photos with Santa Claus. And while the classic, wait-in-line at a mall experience is still available, there are increasingly different ways to get that memorable snap with Jolly Old Saint Nicholas. Here are 10 Toronto locations that offer old-school and new-school spins on photos with Santa.

Everyone’s favourite elf will also be appearing at various local holiday markets and festivals over the next few weeks. Watch for a round-up of those events next week.

Bayview Village Shops

bayviewvillageshops.com

Parents love this mall’s Santa set-up for its luxe-feeling backdrop (check out the blinged-out chandeliers) and its interactive experiences. Professional photos are available for $20, which will get you two 5 x 7 photographs and a photo CD that will let you make as many prints as you want. After your family has taken their pics, check out the Nutcracker Suite, where your children can decorate a wooden nutcracker, get their face printed on a macaron and take in a Sugar Plum Fairy-inspired dance class (note that this last experience must be pre-booked and requires a $10 donation).

Dates: Saturday, November 23 until Tuesday, December 24
Address: 2901 Bayview Ave

Black Creek Pioneer Village

blackcreek.ca

Toronto’s historic re-enactment village lets your family make a day out of photos with Santa. Its Storytime with Santa, which runs at 11 am and 1 pm, includes full access to the site as well as cookie decorating, Christmas craft making and of course a story with Ol’ St. Nick. During the storytime experience, your kids will have the opportunity to meet Santa and you can grab a quick photo of them together. Tickets run $22-$25 per person and for the November 30 and December dates, also includes a wagon ride.

Dates: Weekends starting Saturday, November 23 until Sunday, December 15
Address: 1000 Murray Ross Pkwy

CN Tower

cntower.ca/breakfast-with-santa

Want to do something a little different this year when it comes to Santa photos? Then consider participating in the CN Tower’s Breakfast with Santa event. Each ticket, which ranges from $12-$65 depending on age, includes access to the Tower’s LookOut and Glass Floors, a full hot buffet breakfast and for kids, a special gift and a photo with the Big Guy.

Dates: Sunday mornings, December 8 & 15
Address: 290 Bremner Blvd

Dufferin Mall

dufferinmall.ca

This one isn’t Toronto’s slickest mall but it does offer a solid, if no-frills, Santa experience. Perfect for parents with packed schedules, this photo op aims to get your kid on Santa’s couch and then off within minutes, letting you get back to shopping. Photos are professionally taken, and a range of packages are available.

Dates: Tuesday, November 12 until Tuesday, December 24
Address: By the Walmart, 900 Dufferin St

Eaton Centre

cfshops.com

North America’s busiest mall is offering three different ways for your kids to take a snap with Santa. Storytime with Santa features Santa reading a special holiday tale (which attendees receive a copy of) before posing with each child for photos. Tickets cost $15 a kid. The free Meet and Greet with Santa skips the story and focuses just on meeting the Big Guy. Finally, the free Sensitive Santa experience is designed for kids with ASD and features fewer people, less waiting and a specially trained Santa. All of these experiences encourage parents to take pictures with their own cameras, letting you skip having to buy a pricey package. However, all tickets must be reserved in advance—no walk-ins are accepted— and popular times do fill up so be sure to book ASAP if you’re interested.

Dates: Saturday, November 16 until Tuesday, December 24
Address: Trinity Square, 220 Yonge St

Fairview Mall

cfshops.com/fairview-mall

Like its sister mall the Eaton Centre, this one offers three different ways for your kids to meet Santa. There’s the Storytime experience, which runs $17 and includes a group story with Santa and a copy of the book. Kids then get to take an individual photo with him and you get to take home three professional prints. Have a child with ADS? Take advantage of the Sensitive Santa experience, which costs $17 and features less noise, fewer people and a specially trained Santa. Finally, there’s the free Meet and Greet, where you get to use your own camera to take as many pics as you can snap in five minutes. All experiences should be pre-booked in advance.

Dates: Saturday, November 16 until Tuesday, December 24
Address: Level 2, 1800 Sheppard Ave E

Ripley’s Aquarium 

ripleyaquariums.com

Have breakfast with the fishes — and Santa Claus! Enjoy a delicious hot meal, complete with eggs and French toast, alongside the world’s most famous elf. Then gather your family together for a professional Santa photo that you’ll get to take home. Ticket prices range from $10 to $50 and also includes admission to the aquarium and coat check. Want to take things up a level? Consider the Breakfast with Santa sleepover experience, which involves spending the night under the shark-infested Dangerous Lagoon tunnel.

Dates: Saturday, December 7; Saturday & Sunday, December 21 & 22 (breakfast only); December 14-15 (sleepover and breakfast)
Address: 288 Bremner Blvd

Scarborough Town Centre

scarboroughtowncentre.com

This east-end mall promises a “traditional Santa photo-op experience” that will offer a variety of photo packages for purchase. Your family can stop by Planet Santa and meet the Big Guy at your convenience or you can head over here and pre-book a time slot, allowing your kids to skip the line. Want to step up your Christmas magic game? Consider the Santa’s Secret Workshop package, which for $60 a family, lets your kids have a private visit with Santa and his elves inside his workshop and includes unlimited personal and professional photos. Planet Santa will also be running a Sensitive Santa session the morning of Sunday, November 24 for neuro-diverse children.

Dates: Tuesday, November 12 until Tuesday, December 24
Address: Centre Court, 300 Borough Dr

Sherway Gardens

cfshops.com/sherway-gardens

Unlike its sister malls, the Eaton Centre and Fairview, this location only offers two ways to meet Santa. The Storytime with Santa experience features the Big Guy reading a story and then posing with each child for professional photos. Admittance costs $22 and includes three professional photos and a copy of the book Santa read. Sherway is also offering a Sensitive Santa experience for kids with ADS, for $22. Both experiences require pre-booking.

Dates: Thursday, November 14 until Tuesday, December 24
Address: Centre Court, 25 The West Mall

Yorkdale

yorkdale.com

Santa’s Chalet is your spot for gorgeous Christmas photos, with or without Santa! Drop in at your family’s convenience and have professional pics taken with Santa. Then pose the kids at different spots throughout the festively decorated chalet and snap a few images on your own camera.

Dates: Tuesday, November 12 until Tuesday, December 24
Address: Near Sporting Life, 3401 Dufferin St

 

Related Reading:

Best Santa Claus Parades in Toronto & the GTA 2019

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