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Things to Do in Toronto: Shows & Events in September 2016


Look up in the sky for the Canadian International Air Show’s aerial spectacles.

SEPTEMBER 2 TO 4  When Scrat the squirrel hides his acorn in a volcano that threatens to erupt, he and his friends—Sid the sloth, Diego the sabre-tooth tiger, and Manny and Ellie the mammoths—must embark on a journey to find the mystical Frostberry to save civilization. Ice Age on Ice brings the popular film franchise to the Air Canada Centre rink for a skating spectacle with puppetry, aerial feats, and special effects.

SEPTEMBER 2 TO 5  One of the largest street performer festivals in the world returns for another year of spellbinding and gravity-defying acts as the Toronto International Buskerfest marks its 17th edition. Moving away from the downtown core, the event, which is in support of Epilepsy Toronto, is now at its new home at Woodbine Park in The Beach neighbourhood. Catch more than 100 talented international performers including hula hoop tricks by Bex in Motion, flame-juggling from Fireguy, illusions courtesy of magician Max T. Oz, and aerial acrobatics from The Silver Starlets.

TO SEPTEMBER 4  Don’t miss out on the last few days of Shakespeare in High Park. This year marks the 400th anniversary of The Bard’s death, and as such Canadian Stage is mounting two of the playwright’s most popular works, Hamlet and All’s Well That Ends Well, showing on alternating nights in the scenic environs of High Park’s outdoor amphitheatre.

SEPTEMBER 3 TO 5  Look up in the sky for the annual Canadian International Air Show, which features spectacular aerial shows by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, and the Breitling Jet Team, among other acts. The best spot to catch the aerial acrobatics is from the grounds of Exhibition Place, while the Canadian National Exhibition is simultaneously on.

SEPTEMBER 3 TO 5  Head to Harbourfront Centre for the largest celebration of Jewish music, art and culture. The Ashkenaz Festival sees more than 200 artists and 80 events showcasing the diversity of Jewish artistic traditions, including performances by Jinta La-Mvta, Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra, Baladino, and Abraham Inc., among others.

SEPTEMBER 6  Puff Daddy is joined by a who’s who of the hip hop and R&B world, including Mase, Lil’ Kim, and Faith Evans among others for his Bad Boy Reunion Tour.


The Toronto International Film Festival brings Xavier Dolan’s “It’s Only the End of the World” to the city. (Image courtesy of TIFF.)

SEPTEMBER 8 to 18  Hollywood’s A-listers are in town for the annual Toronto International Film Festival. The Magnificent Seven starring an ensemble that includes Chris Pratt, Denzel Washington, and Ethan Hawke kicks off the gala presentations. Other must-see flicks include Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi thriller Arrival starring Amy Adams, Xavier Dolan’s Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix–winning It’s Only the End of the World, Oliver Stone’s biopic Snowden with Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing the former CIA employee, and the musical comedy La La Land with Canada’s own darling Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

SEPTEMBER 9  Dolly Parton, the most honoured country performer of all time, known for such songs as “I Will Always Love You” and “9 to 5,” embarks on her first North American tour in 25 years.

SEPTEMBER 10  American singer and songwriter Jenny Lewis marks the 10th anniversary of her successful solo album Rabbit Fur Coat with a special tour with The Watson Twins, and special guests The Weather Station.

SEPTEMBER 11  Mexican-American singer and songwriter Rodriguez hits the Massey Hall stage for an intimate concert.

SEPTEMBER 11  From their popular podcast, Kevin T. Porter and Demi Adejuyigbe gab about all things Lorelai and Rory in Gilmore Guys Live: A Stars Hollow Town Meeting, dissecting every episode, with both praise and mockery.

SEPTEMBER 13  Catch Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Steven Tyler on his solo Out on a Limb tour without his Aerosmith bandmates.

SEPTEMBER 14  British indie rock band, The Heavy, known for such songs as “How You Like Me Now?” and “What Makes a Good Man,” perform for one night at Phoenix Concert Theatre.

SEPTEMBER 15 AND 16  American singer Lauryn Hill, a member of the Fugees, who is best known for her solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, performs for two nights at Massey Hall.

SEPTEMBER 15  Singer and songwriter KT Tunstall, who rose to fame in 2004 with her breakout hit “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” takes to the stage at the Danforth Music Hall.

SEPTEMBER 17 TO OCTOBER 1  Twelve years after the second World Cup of Hockey was played, the third edition of the National Hockey League–sanctioned event is back. Inaugurated in 1996, the international competition takes place before the NHL’s regular season games, allowing some of the league’s top players to take part. Eight teams face off for the coveted trophy, including Canada (who won in 2004), U.S.A., Finland, Russia, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Europe, and North America (featuring players ages 23 and under). Among those on the roster are Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, and Carey Price representing Canada; James van Riemsdyk and Ryan Kesler representing the U.S.A.; and Rasmus Ristolainen and Sami Vataner for Finland.

SEPTEMBER 18  Cheer on the city’s major league soccer team, the Toronto FC as they take on the New York Red Bulls at BMO Field.

SEPTEMBER 19  Songwriter Glen Hansard, who is one half of The Swell Season and a vocalist and guitarist for the Irish group The Frames, performs at Massey Hall.

SEPTEMBER 20  The Art Gallery of Ontario, Massey Hall, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and The Banff Centre join forces to present AGO Creative Minds Art and Social Justice, a semi-annual series that is moderated by CBC Metro Morning host Matt Galloway. In this edition, André Alexis, Deepa Mehta, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Rebecca Belmore, and Measha Brueggergosman discuss the role of the creative community in confronting issues of systemic discrimination and social justice with such movements as #IdleNoMore and #BlackLivesMatter.


Renée Fleming performs with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. (Image by Decca/Timothy White.)

SEPTEMBER 21  After a six year absence, legendary soprano Renée Fleming returns to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for its opening night concert with Peter Oundjian conducting.

SEPTEMBER 21 TO OCTOBER 22  Soulpepper Theatre Company presents Noises Off, Michael Frayn’s 1982 farce about the behind-the-scenes antics and mishaps of a theatre company on opening night.

SEPTEMBER 22 TO OCTOBER 1  With 10 days, eight headliners, and 42 comedy acts, the fifth edition of JFL42 is bigger—and funnier—with Jim Gaffigan, Trevor Noah, Roseanne Barr, Demetri Martin, and Anthony Jeselnik taking to the Sony Centre stage. Making its debut, ComedyCon provides daytime programming with cast panels and podcasts such as The Dork Forest, as well as an “In Conversation” series with the likes of Margaret Cho and Sinbad at The Second City.

SEPTEMBER 23  Author and musician David Bidini hosts and curates the series Torn From the Pages, which brings together the worlds of literature and music. Ian McEwan, whose latest work, Nutshell, is set for release this month is joined by writer Craig Davidson, playwright Michael Healey, novelist and poet Tanis Rideout, singer and songwriter Dan Bern, indie-pop musician and CBC host Casey Mecija, and folk trio Trent Severn.

SEPTEMBER 23 TO 25  Head to the Enercare Centre for inspiration and tips for updating your abode at the Toronto Fall Home Show. Special guests include gardening expert Frank Ferragine, and interior design advice from Kimberley Seldon and Michael Penney.

SEPTEMBER 23 TO OCTOBER 15  In French-Canadian playwright Michel Tremblay’s Hosanna, the friendship between a drag queen and a homosexual biker delves into the issues of gender identity, ageing, and social expressions of homosexuality.

SEPTEMBER 24  Celebrate crafters and artisans across the country at the third annual Etsy: Made in Canada event, a one-day national market that takes place in 36 cities from Whitehorse and Kelowna to Edmonton and Halifax. Etsy, which was founded in 2005 as a global online community to connect creative entrepreneurs with buyers, has more than 1.6 million sellers stocking more than 35 million items in their shops worldwide ranging from fashion, jewellery, and art to stationery, vintage goods and more. In Toronto, peruse watercolour tea towels, mugs and pillow covers from Senay Design Studio, boot toppers and home decor from Nightly Owl Knit, and hand drawn photo booth props by Love Lettering at two locations, MaRS Discovery District (101 College St.) and OCAD University (49 McCaul St. and 100 McCaul St.) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

SEPTEMBER 24  Turn back the clock for 93.5 The Move’s Throw Back Bash with your favourite ’90s bands, TLC, Naughty by Nature, Kardinal Offishall, and more.

SEPTEMBER 27 TO OCTOBER 16  Giovanni Boccaccio’s medieval The Decameron is reimagined for a Canadian setting in the Dora Award–winning play Concord Floral, which sees 10 teenagers trying to flee a plague they brought upon themselves in an abandoned greenhouse.

SEPTEMBER 28  Jamaican musician Ziggy Marley, who is the leader of the band Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, performs at the Danforth Music Hall.

SEPTEMBER 28 AND 29  Join the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as it presents Mahler’s Symphony 3, performed by mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, the Women of the Amadeus Choir, Women of the Elmer Iseler Singers, and the Toronto Children’s Chorus.

SEPTEMBER 30  In the lead up to the November 8 polls south of the border, the Munk Debate on the U.S. Election, sees former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich and nationally-syndicated radio talk show host Laura Ingram teaming up against two-term Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm and Robert Reich, whom The Wall Street Journal hails as one of the top 10 thought leaders, to answer the question if Donald Trump can make America great again.


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