• eat
  • shop
  • see
  • go
  • stay
  • daytrip
  • map
  • calendar
  • transport
  • weather
  • currency
  • tofrom

Downsview Park

Hot Date: Flamboyant Caribbean Fun

JULY 17 TO AUGUST 5 Don your most colourful costume and limber up to dance to the infectious calypso and soca rhythms of the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto. The countdown to the famous parade (taking place August 4) begins on July 17 when Nathan Phillips Square hosts the festival’s official launch party, featuring island-inspired food, art displays, and live music and dance. July 21 has two events to enjoy—the junior carnival at Downsview Park and a Canada-versus-Jamaica rugby match at Lamport Stadium—while July 31 brings a calypso all-stars showcase to Harbourfront Centre. Various venues; call 416-391-5608 or click here for more information.

Weekend Roundup: February 3 to 5

Friday: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre performs Revelations and more (photo by Christopher Duggan)

Friday, February 3
Witness the legacy of one of the world’s finest choreographers in action when Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater visits the Sony Centre to perform some of Ailey’s best-loved modern dance pieces, including Revelations.

Explore the movement, folklore and theatrical traditions of Africa with COBA, the Collective of Black Artists, when the group brings traditional dances from Guinea and Senegal to Harbourfront Centre this weekend.

Embrace African culture even more broadly at Harbourfront Centre’s Kuumba festival, which celebrates Black History Month. All manner of family-friendly activities are on offer—from film screenings and dance performances to a fashion workshop and drum exhibit. (more…)

Weekend Roundup, September 30 to October 2

Friday: Get tips from the experts (like the Cupcake Girls) at the Baking and Sweets Show

Friday, September 30
Learn how to bake like a boss at Canada’s Baking and Sweets Show, opening today at the International Centre. See the latest equipment in the demo kitchen and watch rivalries heat up (pun intended) on the competition stage. Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro, “Cupcake Girls” Heather White and Lori Joyce, and The Happy Baker, Erin Bolger, will be at this weekend-long event, too.

Hear two of Canada’s star singers—who just happen to be married to each other—perform live at Massey Hall, as part of this weekend’s Canada’s Walk of Fame Festival. Chantal Kreviazuk performs with a symphony orchestra and a special guest – Our Lady Peace frontman Raine Maida. (more…)

Weekend Roundup: Canada Day Edition

Our national pride soars on Canada Day (photo by Will Spaetzle)

We’re all-Canadian for this edition of the roundup, as Canada’s 144th birthday is celebrated throughout the city (and nation-wide). On Friday, July 1, check out these fun-for-the-whole-family events and activities.

> Get up early and head north to Downsview Park for a special Canada Day breakfast from 8 to 10 a.m. If you’re lucky enough to have tickets, you’ll be certain to return in the afternoon for a much-anticipated concert by the Tragically Hip, with special guests Broken Social Scene, Buck 65 and others.

> Harbourfront Centre is always busy on summer weekends, and this one is no exception, with Canada Day festivities—everything from a strawberry “culinary marathon” to a performance by Esthero—happening all day long.

> A favourite long weekend event, the annual Toronto Ribfest takes over Centennial Park. Live music and kid-friendly attractions keep the whole family entertained, but the real draw, of course, are the meaty barbecue offerings from some of North America’s best “ribbers.”

> Head to Yonge-Dundas Square for something a little different—the downtown venue hosts the fifth annual Multicultural Canada Day Celebration, presented by the Community Folk Art Council of Toronto. Starting at noon, this spirited party features music, dancing and more from a variety of cultures. Be sure to be hanging around at 7 p.m., when the special Bollywood dance party kicks off.

> And, of course, Canada Day wouldn’t be complete without a colourful fireworks display. The city’s biggest show takes place over Lake Ontario’s shore at Ontario Place, where free grounds admission makes finding an ideal viewing spot even easier this year. There are also crowd-pleasing fireworks displays occurring to the east (at Ashbridges Bay), the west (at Centennial Park), the north (at Mel Lastman Square) and even further north (at Canada’s Wonderland).

If you have any energy remaining, the rest of the weekend provides ample opportunity for entertainment, too!

> The TD Toronto Jazz Festival continues through to the end of the weekend, with headline performances by the likes of The Roots (on Friday night), Bootsy Collins (Saturday) and vocal powerhouse Nikki Yanofsky (Sunday)

> A distinctive culinary event comes to the Distillery Historic District on Saturday—Food Truck Eats gathers mobile fare purveyors from Toronto and elsewhere in southern Ontario, all offering samples of street fare such as tacos, poutine, smoked meat and more.

> One of Toronto’s biggest parties, the world-famous Pride Parade, marches down Church Street on Sunday afternoon, in a vibrant celebration of diversity and acceptance.

Weekend Roundup, May 27th to 29th

Friday: See designs by Lux and Luster (and 300 other designers) at the Clothing Show

Friday, May 27
Find a unique treasure amongst the offerings of 300 independent designers and artisans at The Clothing Show. Whether you’re looking for vintage accessories or eco-friendly clothing, you can find it all at this annual event at Exhibition Place’s Queen Elizabeth Building.

Shoot down to the Niagara region for a culinary adventure at the Niagara Food and Wine show. Local chefs and vintners gather all weekend long at the Scotiabank Convention Centre to show off the fruits of their labours. Stop by and pair local wine with delectable gourmet food.

Delighting audiences since the mid-sixties with his soulful voice and authentic lyrics, Gordon Lightfoot returns tonight to Massey Hall for the second of four Toronto shows. Hear the celebrated Canadian singer and songwriter’s favourite hits, including “If You Could Read My Mind” and “Sundown.”

Saturday: the Spadina Museum is one of many Toronto buildings participating in Doors Open

Saturday, May 28
Ever wonder what some of the city’s favourite landscapes look like behind the scenes? This weekend you can get an inside look at 150 buildings across Toronto during Doors Open. The free, annual event allows you to see many of the city’s most interesting and historic spaces—from Spadina Museum: Historic House and Gardens to City Hall’s green roof.

Check out the vintage, classic and modern aircraft and vehicles on display at Downsview Park during the Wings and Wheels Festival. Flight enthusiasts of all ages are sure to be delighted by planes such as the C-130J Super Hercules, plus a variety of other exhibits, vendors and more

Known as the “Pied Piper of Manila,” Carlos Celdran performs If These Walls Could Talk, his world famous “walking tour” of Intramurous, the oldest district of Manila. This entertaining re-telling of the city’s colourful history takes the stage at Harbourfront Centre.

Sunday: Tan Dun appears at Roy Thomson Hall (photo by Chris Lee)

Sunday, May 29
Renowned Chinese composer Tan Dun picks up the conductors baton at Roy Thomson Hall to lead a performance of his personal Water and Paper concertos. The pieces call for unique solo instruments, including some that interact with water and that are constructed from paper.

The CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival kicks off with a free party at Yonge-Dundas Square tonight. In addition to live performances by local bands, a selection of videos will be projected onto a giant cube.

This year’s first Pedestrian Sunday occurs today at Kensington Market. In addition to browsing the neighbourhood’s eclectic boutiques and grabbing a bite at one of many internationally flavoured restaurants, local studios and galleries are also opening their doors to the public.

Weekend Roundup, February 4th to 6th

Friday: Partake in a tour and tasting inside Casa Loma

Friday, February 4
Tour Toronto’s castle on the hill to get a true taste of times past. This evening, Casa Loma offers a Winterlicious dining event that allows guests to sample seasonal fare in its many rooms. Enjoy infused oils and artisanal breads in the great hall; a rotisserie station spins in the library and rustic chocolate bread pudding awaits in the conservatory. End the evening in the Cellar with cheeses and local wines.

Hop on over to the Bata Shoe Museum as it welcomes Chinese New Year with an exhibit dedicated to the Year of the Rabbit. Various hare-inspired artifacts are on display, including ancient bunny slippers with bunny ears. (more…)

Canada Day Bashes

Join all of Toronto in celebrating Canada’s 143rd birthday! The city is bursting with memorable parties, activities and festivals to commemorate the special occasion.

photo by Ian Muttoo

There’s no such thing as too many birthday parties!
>> Sing “Happy Birthday” to this country on Canada Day at Mel Lastman Square. The North Toronto venue offers magicians, fire-breathers, jugglers and musical entertainment, including performances by Digging Roots and God Made Me Funky. There’s also an opportunity to meet 2010 Olympic gold medallists Vicky Sunohara (from Canada’s women’s hockey team), Kristina Groves (long-track speed skating), and Charles and François Hamelin (short-track speed skating). Fill up on barbecue fare before the evening culminates with an explosion of fireworks. (more…)

Holiday Happenings: Outdoor Attractions

It can be tempting to hibernate the holidays away. But if you bundle up and face the wintry winds outdoors, you’ll be rewarded with lights, treats and high spirits this season.

Walk the Trail of Lights at Downsview Park (photo by Bensonkua)

Northern Lights
If you’ve never had a reason to head north to Downsview Park (at Keele Street and Sheppard Avenue), the “Trail of Lights” provides more than 400,000 radiant reasons to do so. Open from 6 to 11:00 p.m. every night until January 3, the three-kilometre trail winds through illuminated arches into 16 themed areas and the park’s Canada Forest, amazing visitors with energy-efficient LED lights in the form of blizzards, reindeer, Santa Claus and the country’s largest walk-through Holiday Tree. Whether you drive or walk the sparkling route, you’re sure to be spellbound. 1–35 Carl Hall Rd., $7 per person on Walk-Through Wednesdays, $20 to $50 per vehicle on other days; call 416-952-2222 or click here for tickets.

Luxe Cruise
Maybe a night aboard one of the heated, beautifully decorated Mariposa Cruise Line ships doesn’t technically count as an outdoor activity, but with its breathtaking views of Toronto’s harbourfront and skyline, the four-hour Holiday Dinner Cruises on December 5, 12, 18 and 19 afford a unique, luxurious way of celebrating with loved ones as you enjoy the city’s beauty from afar. Feast on a sumptuous buffet-style dinner featuring prime rib, roast turkey and other holiday mains while listening to ambient music guests can dance to. Boards at Queen’s Quay Terminal, 207 Queens Quay W., $72.95; call 416-203-0178 or click here for tickets, as reservations are required.

White Nights
Head outside on any night this December and be dazzled by the Cavalcade of Lights in diverse neighbourhoods across the city. See Chinatown’s dragons, Little Italy’s trumpeting angels, Koreatown’s tiger, Yorkville’s sparkly storefront displays and Yonge-Dundas Square’s polar bears. On Saturday nights, end up at Nathan Phillips Square, where Toronto’s official Christmas tree towers over revelers waiting for fireworks and free concerts. Live performances by State of Shock on December 12 and Faber Drive December 19 entertain music-lovers, followed by DJ’s spinning alternative music for the skating fanatics. Call 416-338-0338 or click here for more information.

The Natrel Rink (photo by Jennifer Hart)

The Natrel Rink (photo by Jennifer Hart)

Get Set, Skate!
You won’t wish for a river you can skate away on if you find your way to the Harbourfront Centre’s Natrel Rink. The country’s largest artificially refrigerated outdoor rink boasts a good view of the waterfront and is a great venue for free DJ Skate Saturday Nights, when different DJ’s play house music, blues, jazz and even ambient electronica while skaters glide across the ice every Saturday from December 5 to February 13 (except December 26). For beginners, rink offers several learn-to-skate classes, drop-in clinics and private lessons. Afterwards, you can enjoy warming drinks by one of the controlled fireplaces overlooking Lake Ontario. 235 Queens Quay W., free ($7 for skate rental); call 416-973-4093 or click here for more information on skating classes.

Away in a Manger
Here’s a unique way to spend the morning after an indulgent holiday banquet: join fellow animal-lovers in pampering the creatures that delight Toronto Zoo patrons all year long. From 10 to 11 a.m. on December 26, the 34th annual Christmas Treats Walk lets visitors feed treats and seasonal goodies to the zoo’s resident reindeer, Siberian tigers, polar bears and other beasts. Participants will be treated to free hot chocolate at the new Tundra Trek and entertained by carol singers during the walk. On Meadowvale Rd., north of Hwy. 401, half-price admission all day; call 416-392-5929 or click here for further details.