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Large weekend crowds prompt Toronto Christmas Market to charge $5 fee

Large weekend crowds prompt Toronto Christmas Market to charge $5 fee

Posted by PanamericanWorld on November 12, 2015

The holidays are getting a little more expensive this year, as the ever-popular Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery District is introducing a $5 admission fee on weekends.

Some of the fee will go toward several charities the market supports including the Daily Bread Food Bank, Plan Canada, and the Toronto Star Santa Claus Fund — and the rest will be reinvested in the market, according to the event's executive producer.

"Being able to give back to those in need is an important aim of the Toronto Christmas Market, the Distillery Historic District and other stakeholders involved in the festival," Mathew Rosenblatt said. "It makes all of the hard work that goes into creating this month-long experience so much more fulfilling."

One more week of Christmas

Patrons will be charged only on Saturdays and Sundays. The market will remain free on Tuesdays through Fridays, and be closed, as always, on Mondays.

The market will also run a week longer than previous years: it will open on November 20 and run to December 20.

Organizers say the decision to charge a fee comes with the hope it will thin some of the weekend crowds and boost numbers on the weekdays, instead.

"The Toronto Christmas Market became a victim of its own success in 2014, with close to half a million visitors attending the festival over its 21-day duration," Rosenblatt said in a statement issued last month.

"The mission of the event is to create an unforgettable experience filled with magic and romance, and we cannot deliver on that goal if visitors cannot walk around freely and unencumbered."

Although it's only in its sixth year, the market has become a staple on the city's holiday event calendar. It includes food and gift vendors, holiday music and dance performances, and kids' activities, evoking the traditional European Christmas markets that date back hundreds of years.

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