Seasons Christmas Show 2015 returned to Toronto from November 20-22, 2015 at the International Centre at 6900 Airport Road, Mississauga.
I always look forward to the Seasons Christmas Show! Now in its 11th year, the popular Toronto Christmas show still offers new and different shows, seminars, workshops and vendors, along with a few of the trusted and true events that have been so successful over the years.
Although it is a bit of a drive for me coming from the Beaches, it is so worth the drive and the show offers plenty of free parking, (yes FREE PARKING!) along with all the free workshops, seminars and tastings that run all day each day, from decorating your outdoors with Owen Reeves’s products to samplings of delicious Purdy’s Chocolates and the Dairy Farmers of Canada Cheese seminar and tasting.
As always, the entrance to Seasons Christmas Show is beautifully decorated as a magical winter wonderland, full of bright colourful decorations, festive sounds and smells of the season. At the entrance you are greeted by holiday music by Melodious Vibes Music Group. The group has been performing since 1995, entertaining listeners of all ages with their beautiful live sounds.
A favourite stop was just to the left of the entrance: the “Acts of Sweetness” team and the Redpath Sugar restored 1947 Divco sugar delivery truck. This year, the team was handing out unique canvas tote bags with their signature cookies and a recipe book, plus presenting all visitors with an opportunity to enter into their draw to win a basket of delicious products or their gingerbread house.
New this year was the Mill Street Brewery booth, which opened for tastings at 11 a.m. and I believe I was their first customer. On the menu was Dr. McGillicuddy’s Apple Pie Liquor, Butterscotch or Peach, as well as their famous Fireball Cinnamon Whisky. Since my friend was driving, I decided to go for the butterscotch liquor and a shot of the Fireball whisky. Both were delicious and will be on my holiday list.
For tasting, we were given a Fireball toque, a Dr. McGillicuddy’s stocking, and a cinnamon lip balm. I’d say that is pretty amazing! They were also giving away recipe cards, key chains, and a variety of other wonderful trinkets.
From Whiskey to Cheese, it was time for the first cheese tasting of the day and fortunately, the area was right beside the Mill Street Brewery booth, especially since a line up had already began and was growing quickly. While waiting in line, we were offered free tea samples to take home by Tetley from their Signature Collection: the first was “Keep Calm and Sip On” (catchy name) made of chamomile, spearmint and orange, and the second was “High Tea,” a black tea with vanilla.
This day was just getting better and better and we had only been at the show for about an hour. To top it off, sharing the booth with Tetley was James Reinink of Teapigs, who was offering cups of hot delicious tea for sampling. I tasted the peppermint leaves, which were divine. Originating in the UK in 2006, Teapigs expanded to the USA and is now here in Canada, lucky for us Canadians.
After a short wait in line while sipping on my free tea sample of peppermint from Teapigs, we were seated to begin the cheese tasting seminar. I love cheese so this was a wonderful treat. Sponsored by the Dairy Farmers of Canada, we were given a 2016 milk calendar, two issues of All You Need Is Cheese magazines full of coupons and recipes and six different types of cheese to feel, smell, and eat!
It was a very informative and tasty 30 minutes.
Next to the seating area of the cheese tasting was a booth full of ladies so we had to check it out next. Enchanted by Katalin, the founder and designer Katalin was on hand to showcase her exclusive one-of-a-kind collection of ladies garments that are handcrafted in Ontario. Each design is prepared in a limited quantity for a truly unique style. They are versatile, lightweight, easy care, and come in a variety of colours and designs. The garments were beautiful and extremely practical especially if you are a traveler.
A few other up-and-coming entrepreneurs included Bellablooms by Helen Palermo, who has created beautiful 7-in-1 leather accessory kits that can easily add that special touch to your footwear, hats, hair, belts, bracelets, clothes and handbags.
Another unique young newcomer was SashaDesigns by Dominique Baldassi, who also creates all her own designs, made right here in Canada. Dominique has created lifestyle garments that are comfortable, practical and fashionable.
Truly there are so many great vendors at this show from home décor, to festive foods and entertainment ideas to gift giving and pampering one’s self. You could spend the entire weekend at the show.
I will definitely be at this show again next year, only more prepared with my holiday shopping list and a buggy to carry all my great buys.
Seasons Christmas Show, International Centre, 6900 Airport Road, Toronto