Next Stage Theatre Festival
Next Stage is the winter cousin of the Toronto Fringe Festival. But where the Fringe is made up of both established and up-and-coming theatre artists chosen by lottery, Next Stage is a juried affair and consists of both new and remounted plays from past festivals. This year’s highlights include a new work by comedy troupe–puppeteers Sex T-Rex and Fringe vets Martin Dockery and Vanessa Quesnelle.
Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst St.
The Canadian Odyssey of Lord Milton
To Jan. 7
In 1862, English nobleman Viscount Milton and physician Walter Cheadle travelled across Canada, looking for a direct route to the Cariboo goldfield in British Columbia. The story of their trip was detailed in a book, illustrated by Cheadle, called The North-West Passage By Land. Visitors to the Gardiner Museum can view 13 pieces from both public and private collections of a commemorative tea set featuring hand-painted art inspired by the book’s drawings.
Gardiner Museum, 111 Queen’s Park
Jan. 13 and 14
In terms of pure spectacle, a monster truck rally is already the automotive equivalent of professional wrestling. Monster Jam likes to take that combination of raw energy and technical expertise and turn it up a notch. The custom-designed trucks that compete for the Toronto Monster Jam championship at the Rogers Centre are an impressive 12 feet tall and 12 feet wide. They sit on 66-inch tires, weigh 10,000 pounds at minimum, and can drive off a ramp and land up to 130 feet away or bounce 35 feet into the air.
Rogers Centre, 1 Blue Jays Way
Toronto Light Fest
Starts Jan. 19
The Toronto Light Fest aims to combat winter’s dark days by illuminating at least one small pocket of the city. Spanning three months, the festival transforms the historic Distillery District into one of the largest open-air art galleries in the world, thanks to an estimated 750,000 artistically placed lights. The Distillery’s dozens of Victorian-era buildings are surrounded by—and incorporated into—a wide range of sculptures, light canopies and installations created by both local and international light artists.
Distillery District, 55 Mill St.
Arts of the East: Highlights of Islamic Art from the Bruschettini Collection
To Jan. 21
Lavish textiles, patterned carpets, paintings and inlaid metalwork from the 13th to 17th centuries are on display at the Aga Khan Museum in this debut exhibition of one of the most important private collections of Islamic art in the world.
Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Dr.
To Jan. 21
Few people realize beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss was an early supporter of the environmental movement. His 1971 book The Lorax directly addressed threats to nature poised by economic greed. This stage adaptation educates as much as it entertains—courtesy of a set design that will make you feel like you’re living in a Dr. Seuss book.
Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King St. W.
Starts Jan. 26
This citywide celebration of culinary excellence encompasses more than 200 restaurants, each with their own prix-fixe menus for lunch and dinner. This year’s participants include Bar Buca, Canoe, Colette Grand Café, and The Carbon Bar among others. Spots fill up fast at so make sure to make reservations ahead of time.
To March 18
Christian Dior was one of the most influential fashion designers of the 20th century, known for his use of luxury textiles and gorgeous embroideries. To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the House of Dior, the Royal Ontario Museum displays items from its rarely seen collection of haute couture pieces designed by Dior from 1947 to 1957.
Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park