What is open and closed on Christmas and Boxing Day?
Thousands of people line all five levels of the Eaton Centre while doing some last-minute Christmas shopping in Toronto. (Darren Calabrese / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Christmas comes just once each year and for some, the solemnity and quietness that accompany the holiday can be a bit too much.
Humans are social animals, after all, so what better way to celebrate than to hit the town?
Sure, Toronto will slow its sprint to a jog this weekend, but it could never shut down entirely.
Here is a list of what is open and closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Most shopping centres will be closed on Christmas Day.
The Toronto Eaton Centre will close at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 24 and will remain closed on Christmas Day. The mall will provide extended shopping hours on Boxing Day, staying open from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m.
The Pacific Mall, located on Steeles Avenue near Kennedy Road in Markham, is the largest indoor Asian mall in North America and takes pride in being open 365 days a year.
Most of Toronto's movie theatres are open on Christmas Day but give yourself plenty of time if you are heading to an evening show. Theatres are a popular destination for those unwinding after a long day with family.
These stores will remain closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, so make your way down there ahead of time if you care to share a bottle of wine with your holiday feast.
Libraries, museums and attractions
Stock up on titles from your reading list by Saturday morning because all Toronto library branches close at 1 p.m. on Dec. 24 and remain closed through Dec. 27.
While the Ontario Science Centre is normally open seven days a week, it will be closed on Dec. 25.
Other tourist attractions that will also be closed on Christmas include:
- Casa Loma (closed at 1 p.m. on Dec. 24)
- CN Tower (closed at 8 p.m. on Dec. 24)
- Royal Ontario Museum (closes at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 24)
- Toronto Zoo (last admission on Dec. 24 is 3:30 p.m.; closed at 4:30 p.m.)
- Art Gallery of Ontario
Skating rinks and ski hills
All city-run skating rinks will have adjusted hours on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and skating programs will run at a reduced level. Outdoor rinks at Nathan Phillips Square and Mel Lastman Square will remain open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. through the holiday season.
The city's two ski hills, at Earl Bales Park and Centennial Park, remain closed due to seasonally mild weather conditions and an absolute lack of snow.
Toronto's garbage, recycling and green bin programs will proceed as usual through the holidays, but all transfer stations and household hazardous waste drop-off depots will be closed on Monday, Dec. 26.
Animal Service shelters will accept adoptions until 4 p.m. on Dec. 24 and remain closed on Dec. 25 and 26.
Also closed on Christmas and Boxing Day:
- Most grocery stores
- Post office
- Government offices, services
Holiday Transit Schedule
The elves at the Toronto Transit Commission will operate over the Christmas and weekend with the following hours:
- Saturday, Dec. 24 – Subway and most service routes begin at 6 a.m. and run regular Saturday services.
- Sunday, Dec. 25 – Subway and most service routes begin at 9 a.m. and run regular Sunday service.
- Monday, Dec. 26 – Subway and most routes will start at 6 a.m. and run on a holiday service, meaning buses and subways will run less frequently.
- Tuesday, Dec. 27 – Subway and most routes will start at 6 a.m. and run less frequently through peak times.
- The TTC will run fewer subways and buses during peak hours from Wednesday, Dec. 28 to Friday, Dec. 30.
GO Transit will be altering its schedule for Dec. 24, with an earlier afternoon rush hour. On Christmas Day and Boxing Day, it will offer its holiday schedule. On Dec. 27 and 28, it will follow a Saturday schedule. See its website for details.