Weekend need to know: Union Winter, Etobicoke-Lakeshore Santa Claus Parade; road closures

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More winter festivities are in store for another weekend in the GTA, from free ice skating outside Union Station to the Etobicoke-Lakeshore Santa Claus Parade.

There are no scheduled subway closures for this weekend, but TTC route diversions are in place to accommodate the parade, alongside other ongoing road closures in the city.

Here’s what’s happening this weekend:

Top events

Union Winter

Union Winter has returned to Union Station with local musical performances, holiday shopping and free ice skating.

The ice rink has free skate rentals all season long, plus free skating lessons once a week.

The rink will be open daily Sunday to Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Thursday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The rink will be closed on Christmas and Boxing Day.

The program also includes Union Beats Skate Nights with DJs performing live rink-side on Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as live music inside Union Station.

Festivities run through to January 29, 2023.

Photo credit: Twitter | @Torontounion

Holiday Fair in Nathan Phillips Square

Holiday Fair in Nathan Phillips Square is returning this weekend.

The fair will have a Christmas market which will coincide with the city’s Cavalcade of Lights.

The event includes skating, dining, shopping, rides, live performances and games.

A portion of the proceeds from the event will support the local charity Epilepsy Toronto.

The event runs from Friday to December 23.

Holiday Fair in Nathan Phillips Square
Photo credit: Twitter | @HolidayFairTO

Etobicoke-Lakeshore Santa Claus Parade

The Etobicoke-Lakeshore Santa Claus Parade is back and takes place along Lake Shore Boulevard West starting at First Street and proceeding along to Thirty Fifth Street.

The parade kicks off at 10 a.m. on Saturday and goes until noon.

TTC bus stops on Lake Shore Boulevard West between Royal York Road and Brown’s Line will not be served during the parade.

The 501L Queen will divert both ways via Lake Shore Boulevard West, Royal York Road, Evans Avenue, Horner Avenue, Brown’s Line, Lake Shore Boulevard West and Long Branch Loop.

Etobicoke-Lakeshore Santa Claus Parade
Photo credit: Etobicoke Lakeshore Santa Claus Parade

Art exhibit at TIFF Bell Lightbox

TIFF Bell Lightbox is transforming their building into a runway for fashion and film from December 2, 2022 to January 8, 2023.

Art lovers can check out a free multisensory exhibition of runway shows, fashion presentations, performances, and art in the TIFF Bell Lightbox Atrium during regular box office hours.

Free public art exhibiition at TIFF Bell Lightbox
L’Uomo Strano 2021, Union Station, FAT 2021 SS by Chris Cheung

Yorkdale Pet Photo Studio

Yorkdale Shopping Centre is opening their one-of-a-kind Pet Photo Studio this winter.

The studio has a Scandinavian winter theme, welcoming pets and their human family members for one-on-one time and photos with Santa.

The Yorkdale Pet Studio is partnered with Team Dog Rescue, a foster-based, registered Canadian charity dedicated to helping homeless dogs find a home with a focus on rescuing canines from overcrowded and high-kill shelters.

Guests can provide a donation when visiting the pet studio or online at the time of reserving photo.

The studio is open until Christmas Eve.

yorkdale pet photo studio
Photo credit: Yorkdale Shopping Centre

Road closures


  • Richmond Street between Parliament and Sherbourne streets is reduced to two lanes, and the dedicated bike lane is closed.
  • Adelaide Street is down to a single lane in sections between Spadina Avenue and Bay Street. The work, which is expected to be completed in spring 2023, is taking place ahead of the Ontario Line subway construction.
  • College Street is undergoing a major overhaul, with full and partial closures of the road between Bathurst and Bay streets. City of Toronto officials said the project is expected to be done by the end of the year.
  • Bloor Street is impacted by long-term construction, which is behind schedule, between Parliament and Sherbourne streets.

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