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


Halloween Events Calgary


Ghouls Night Out at Heritage Park. Photo Courtesy of Heritage Park

October is full of Halloween events for all ages here in Calgary. Whether you’re in it for the spooks, the costumes, or the candies, there is sure to be something for everyone. (more…)

7 Fall Festivals in Calgary


Serpent Mother by San Francisco artists the Flaming Lotus Girls. Photo by Tristan Savatier.

As the days get shorter and the trees lose their leaves, there is no reason we should run inside quite yet. There is still plenty to see out and about around the city this fall. (more…)

Scared in the City: Spooktacular Halloween Events in Toronto

Toronto Zombie Walk 2013. Photo by Mike Kocza.

Revellers at the 2013 Toronto Zombie Walk and Halloween Parade. Photo by Mike Kocza.

Close Encounters

Whistling in the hallway or the sound of clinking glasses late at night. A child’s laughter in a building that’s not publicly accessible. A vanishing police officer and his horse. Two soldiers from the War of 1812 floating through a chain link fence. You’ll hear about these and other unexplained experiences of past and present Exhibition Place employees during a Ghost Walks tour, which explores the venue’s archives, horticulture building and more on October 17, 24 and 31. Tours start at 7 p.m., $20 per person; call 416-263-3658 to register.

Scary Movies

A few frightening flicks infiltrate TV and cinema schedules around Halloween, but genre fans know there’s an entire series of spine tingling, goose bump–inducing flicks at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival. The nine-day event, from October 16 to 24, screens new short and feature-length horror, cult, science fiction and action movies from around the world. Zombie Appreciation Night (October 18) sees two new undead-themed screenings back to back. Scotiabank Theatre, 259 Richmond St. W., tickets $13; see torontoafterdark.com for a schedule.

Dawn of the Dead

It may seem like the apocalypse is coming on October 25, when thousands of bloody and ghoulish beings can be seen traipsing through the downtown core. But don’t be frightened (well, not too frightened, anyway): It’s just the annual Toronto Zombie Walk and Halloween Parade, which starts at 3 p.m. at Nathan Phillips Square (100 Queen St. W.). Don your scariest poltergeist, mummy, monster, vampire or demon costume and join in the fun, or watch along the route; see torontozombiewalk.ca for details. —Linda Luong

Halloween Roundup: Best Best for October 31

Haunted Walks will have eight tours on Halloween. Be prepared to witness the unexpected!

What better time to take in one of Ottawa’s many haunted walking tours than on the spookiest day of the year? Haunted Walks Inc. will be offering eight tours on the 31st, stopping off at the city’s most haunted sites and sharing creepy ghost stories along the way.

It’s not every day you get to brush shoulders with Canada’s Governor General, but you and your family can do just that this Halloween. The Right Honourable David Johnston will open his doors to trick-or-treaters from 5 p.m to 8 p.m. on Wednesday night for the annual Halloween at Rideau Hall’s Haunted House. Johnston will hand out goodies to the little ones, and guests are invited to wander through the haunted visitor centre — if they dare.

The annual Chills for CHEO fundraiser has found a new, permanent home at Fun Haven! This event, which has traditionally been held in residential areas throughout the city, will feature a 3,000 square foot haunted house experience. Tickets range from $5 to $20, with all net proceeds going directly toward the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

This Wednesday is your last chance to experience the one and only Haunting Season at Saunders Farm! Hop on the renowned Haunted Hayride; save the world from a zombie apocalypse at the zombie paintball shooting gallery; or wander through the spooktacular Barn of Terror. But be warned: the evening haunt is not recommended for kids under the age of 10.

The Phoenix Players are bringing Warren Graves’ The Death of Dracula to life this Halloween season at The Gladstone. Directed by Jo-Ann McCabe, this Gothic romance centres on Count Dracula in an epic battle between good and evil. Tickets start at just $15.

Hot Shopping: Halloween Costumes for Dogs

Bulldog photo copyright Willee Cole/fotolia.com

On Oct. 31, kids and adults get decked out as witches, goblins and Harry Potter characters before hitting the streets for an eve of trick-or-treating. Joining in on the fun are trusty canine sidekicks dressed as spooky jack-o’-lanterns, scrumptious hot dogs, terrifying T. rex and too-cute bumblebees. Purchase these hilarious pet costumes at Woofles & Meowz, Barking Babies and Michaels.—Jennifer Patterson

Hot Date: Paper Lions getting all dressed up for Ottawa


Paper Lions play Zaphod’s on Saturday, Oct. 27

PEI’s Paper Lions have a lot to be proud of. In the last year, the band wrote and produced two albums (a six-song acoustic EP and an as-yet-unreleased LP); hosted a successful Indiegogo campaign to help fund a trip out west; and performed a string of shows throughout Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes. On top of all that, they gained international notoriety back in May when the years-old music video for their hit song “Travelling” went viral, reaching over 2 million hits on YouTube.

This fall, the guys are embarking on a coast-to-coast Canadian tour and, luckily for us, that includes a stop at Zaphod’s this Saturday night. WHERE Ottawa‘s Erica Eades chats with guitarist Colin Buchanan about his must-see Ottawa attractions, the band’s east coast roots, and their upcoming show in the nation’s capital. 

You all grew up together in Belfast, PEI. What effect did this rural upbringing have on your work?
Oh, it’s the sheer reason we’re making music. We wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t grow up where we did. There wasn’t much else to do, so we all started playing music together when we were in our early teens. We could make a lot of noise because we lived out in the country! Lyrically, all our songs, especially on our new record, are just about growing up in a rural community, and about us growing up together.

What challenges did you face beginning the band in this type of environment?
Belfast is a rural area, and Charlottetown, the capital of PEI, is still very, very small. We had to build a following territory by territory. We went from playing the Belfast Rec Centre, to Charlottetown, and then Halifax and Fredericton, and now into more foreign territories. I guess the biggest obstacle would just be all the driving. [laughs]

A lot of bands, upon reaching your level of success, move on to bigger cities like Halifax or Toronto. Why have you chosen to remain in your home province?
The conversation has definitely come up several times. But, you know, we like PEI. It’s really quiet, and they’re really supportive of what we do. I think a lot of that keeps us coming back. And just the pace in general works for us. I could see us maybe moving at some point, but we just like PEI too much – especially in the summertime.

Earlier this year you traveled to Vancouver to work with legendary music producer Howard Redekopp. What was that like?
Oh, Howard is great! I mean, there’s a reason why he has such a good name. I think he only really works with bands that he truly understands and has a personal kinship with already. So we were lucky to go into it feeling really comfortable with him. I think Howard is just a good pace, too. He’s not a slave-driver by any means; he keeps pretty modest hours, which works for us. We did a lot of the pre-production ourselves, so there weren’t too many changes by the time he came in. Anything that he did to steer us in the right direction seemed obvious in retrospect, but certainly wouldn’t have come about without him.

When will fans get to hear the final product? I’ve read it may be released as early as winter 2012.
It’s looking more like 2013 now, probably around February. That’s the loose date we’ve been throwing around, anyway. We always get ahead of ourselves and say dates and end up sort of backpedaling. There’s all kinds of label things that need to be put in place before you can actually release a record these days.

You’re currently in the middle of a national tour in support of your acoustic EP At Long Creek, which you released for free online earlier this summer. How’s that going so far?
Oh, it’s been great. We’ve been having time to go back home in between dates. We did a Pop Montreal and Ontario run, and then we were home for a couple of days. Then we were over in Newfoundland, and we were home for a few more days. Now we’re looking to get back out on the road. It’s been nice to sort of break it up in that way – we’re not going to run out of steam! [laughs]

You’ll be performing at Zaphod’s this Saturday night, along with Danielle Duval and Ashleys. What can audiences expect from this gig?
It’s going to be a Halloween show, I think! I can’t wait. We’re always on the road during Halloween, and we usually just end up getting something from Value Village at the last minute. But this time we actually got together and were like, ‘OK, we’ve got to get our Halloween ducks in order this time.’ So we’ve decided on costumes and we’re putting them together before we go on tour. It’s a far better idea.

Can you tell us what you’ll be dressing up as?
Oh, it’s going to be a surprise! But it’ll be pretty cool.

You’ve played the nation’s capital a number of times before. What do you guys like to do while you’re in town?
Well, we’ve gone to Parliament Hill and all that jazz before. We’ve taken in the sights, which is really awesome! It’s really cool to walk around and see all the old architecture.

I also have some friends that just moved to PEI who used to own a cafe in Ottawa, right beside Zaphod’s, called Oh So Good. I’ll probably pop in there and see what all the fuss is about.

Paper Lions play Zaphod’s on Saturday, Oct. 27. For ticket information visit Ticketweb.


Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for October 26 to 28

Friday, October 26

Brazilian dance company Grupo Corpo present two Ottawa premieres Friday at the National Arts Centre

Contemporary Brazilian dance company Grupo Corpo return to the National Arts Centre this weekend with a double-bill of Ottawa premieres. First is Sem Mim, an ebbing and flowing ballet set to music inspired by a medieval Galician-Portuguese songbook. Following that is Ímã, a high energy exploration of attraction and repulsion, featuring music by Brazilian trio +2.

The Ottawa Shakespeare Company stages Julius Caesar, the epic tale of power and politics, at Centrepointe Theatre from October 24 to November 3. Actor Eugene Clark (of Toronto’s The Lion King) makes his Ottawa debut in the leading role, while Stratford Festival alumni Mac Fyfe and Ottawa’s Sarah McVie add to the strong cast.

CTV’s Lloyd Robertson will present The Kind of Life It’s Been as part of the Ottawa International Writers Festival. The longest serving TV news anchor in Canadian history, Robertson has covered everything from royal weddings, to the moon landing, and the Montreal Massacre. Stop by Knox Presbyterian Church for a night of storytelling with one of our nation’s finest.

Saturday, October 27

Rose Cousins plays the NAC on Saturday evening.

PEI native Rose Cousins will grace the stage of the National Arts Centre this evening in support of her latest album, We Have Made a Spark. Since debuting in 2006, the multi-award-winning singer/songwriter has captivated audiences with her piano-driven folk-pop sound.

Looking for something completely different (and totally spooky) this Halloween weekend? Watson’s Mill in Manotick is hosting its very own Paranormal Investigation on Saturday night. Join Daniel Touchette, president of the Ottawa Haunting and Paranormal Group, as he reveals the secrets of this creepy craft. Tickets are $25, with proceeds going toward general upkeep of the Mill.

Canadian-music fans will feel right at home this Saturday night at Zaphod’s. The Indie Rock Halloween Party features an exciting lineup of Canadian up-and-comers, including PEI’s Paper Lions, Montreal’s Danielle Duval and local boys Ashleys. Costumes are encouraged, so don’t forget to dress up!

Sunday, October 28

Jonathan Goldstein, host of CBC’s Wiretap, speaks at the Ottawa International Writers Festival on Sunday

Jonathan Goldstein — host of CBC’s Wiretap and contributor to GQ, The Walrus, The New York Times and The National Post — will take part in a special one on one chat as part of the Ottawa International Writers Festival. Join the bestselling author as he humourously recounts his last year in his 30s.

Today is your last chance to experience Maya: Secrets of their Ancient World at the Museum of Civilization! Learn all about the Mayan’s writing and counting systems; explore the roles of their divine rulers; and, most importantly, discover the truth behind that pesky end-of-days legend.

The Canada Agriculture Museum will host its family-friendly Barnyard Halloween event this Sunday. From 10 am to 2 pm, the general public is invited to explore the grounds and try their hand at a variety of fall-themed activities. Choose from pumpkin decorating, a costume parade, a scavenger hunt, wagon rides, and a variety of animal-care demonstrations. 

Long Weekend Roundup October 5 to October 8

Patricia Piccinini. Still Life with Stem Cells, 2002. Courtesy of the Artist.

Friday, October 5  If you’re looking for activities the whole family can enjoy this weekend, check out Fairytales, Monsters and the Genetic Imagination at the Glenbow Museum. The exhibition is comprised of works by contemporary artists who are inspired by the fantastic stories and characters of myths, fairytales and science fiction in which the boundaries between human and animal are blurred. The exhibition includes approximately 60 paintings, photographs, sculptures and video works by contemporary artists from Canada and around the world. The exhibition will run until January 2nd. Tickets are $14 adults, $10 senior, $9 student and youth $9. 

Scared yet? Screamfest 2012 starts this weekend. Photo: Courtesy Screamfest.

Friday, October 5 and Saturday, October 6 This Friday and Saturday, check out the first weekend of Screamfest. During the month of October, Stampede Park transforms into a carnival of carnage. This Halloween festival includes six terrifying haunted houses, a renovated Bates Motel, indoor maze, rides, musical entertainment, food vendors and contortionists. Tickets are available at Ticketbud and range from $20 to $40. The event runs from 7 pm to midnight.

On Friday and Saturday, check out Soulocentric Festival 2012 at Vertigo Theatre. The festival showcases independent performing artists that are creating new and original solo works in dance, theatre, music and multi-media. Start times vary. To purchase tickets, call 403-221-3708 or visit the festival’s website. (more…)

Feature: Ghost Town

From the kinda creepy to the downright scary, read on for some of the best ways to spend the spooky season in the capital.

Haunted Walks of Ottawa

Have you heard that the fifth floor of the Fairmont Château Laurier is supposedly haunted by a spooky spectre? Same with the old buildings on Ottawa City Hall grounds. Take a tour of O-Town’s darker side with Haunted Walks of Ottawa, and you’ll see local landmarks in a whole new light. Various tours run year-round, and Halloween season, which offers an array of extended (and even eerier) tours, runs from Oct. 12 to 31. Tickets are available at the kiosk at the corner of Sparks and Elgin Streets, and tours depart from the same spot.

For many, Halloween just isn’t Halloween without a trip to Saunders Farm, which holds its annual Haunting Season from Sept. 29 to Oct. 31 and offers families enough hair-raising entertainment to keep them blissfully spooked for days. Different activities run day and night and range from fun (giant jumping pillows, wagon rides, mazes) to frightening (the Barn of Terror, Stalkers Field, Haunted Hayride).  7893 Bleeks Rd., Munster, 613-838-5440, www.saundersfarm.com

The Ottawa Jail Hostel

Ghostly encounters abound at the HI-Ottawa Jail Hostel. The institution served as Carleton County Goal from 1862 to 1972, and soon after was turned into a youth hostel, which it remains today. Guests sleep in renovated prison cells or in the former offices of the prison staff. Many a haunting account has been told by guests of the hostel — over the years, travellers have told stories of ghostly apparitions appearing at the bottom of their beds, mysterious footsteps, and banging in the walls. Named one of the seven spookiest buildings in the world by Lonely Planet, it’s an experience you won’t soon forget. (Plus, you can tell your friends you went to Ottawa and spent a night in the slammer.) 75 Nicholas St., 613-235-2595; 866-299-1478, www.hihostels.ca

On Oct. 20, the Bytown Museum presents Creepy, Crawly Bytown. Families can join the museum for an afternoon of Halloween fun, including a spooky scavenger hunt, creepy crafts and more. 1 Canal Lane, 613-234-4570, www.bytownmuseum.com

At the Canada Agriculture Museum’s Barnyard Halloween on Oct. 27 and 28, kids can scour the barn for goodies on a trick-or-treat scavenger and take part in a costume parade. Prince of Wales Dr., 613-991-3044 , www.agriculture.technomuses.ca

The Billings Estate National Historic Site

The Billings Estate National Historic Site offers a Cemetery Tour on Oct. 20 and 21, a Historic House Séance on Oct. 26 and 27 ($25), and a Ghost Hunt on Oct. 27 and 28 ($20). 2100 Cabot St., 613-247-4830, ottawa.ca

From Oct. 27 to 31, the Canadian Museum of Nature offers a Halloween scavenger hunt, where visitors can find surprises hidden in the exhibits. 240 McLeod St., 613-566-4700, www.nature.ca

Happy haunting!

Weekend Roundup: September 28 to 30

Fun free events going on at Olympic Plaza on Saturday. Photo: Adele Brunnhofer.

Friday, September 28 TELUS Spark celebrates its first birthday with Monster Mash-up. This family-friendly special event will include a scavenger hunt, pumpkin decorating, face painting and a station for children trick out their Halloween costumes. This celebration is great for the whole family

Check out Alberta Culture Days 2012 Kick Off Tailgate Party from 5 pm to 7:30 pm. The evening will feature live music by Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, The Collective, Calgary Youth Chorus, Kugakai Lion Dance Team as well as b-boys Grim Reminder. The event takes place at the East Tailgate Parking Lot of McMahon Stadium. No football ticket needed to join in the festivities!

Don’t miss the closing weekend of Next to Normal at Max Bell Theatre, at the EPCOR CENTRE for the Performing Arts. The much-talked-about Broadway musical Next to Normal was the winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play follows a family as they deal with the struggles of a mother’s mental illness. Tickets start at $25. (more…)

Hot Shopping: Sweet Stuff

Frankies Candy Bar

Dentists tend to avoid Frankies Candy Bar, but everyone else loves the colourful shop, which is bursting with sugary snacks such as chocolate-covered gummy bears, lollipops, candy rocks, sour gummy worms and gumballs. Anglophiles especially adore the hard-to-find treats from England. Stop by before Halloween to stock up on Pop Rocks, Giant Chewy Nerds, Big League Chew and Tooty Frooties for trick-or-treating ghosts and goblins.—Sheri Radford

More information:

Frankies Candy Bar, 5305 West Blvd. 604-568-3107.


Spooky Pumpkin Patch, Innerkip, Ontario

Every Friday we feature an inspirational travel photo of a Canadian destination taken by one of our readers.

Photo by Paul Gorbould

Why we chose it: In honour of autumn and Halloween, we searched high and low for the best pumpkin-patch capture in the land. The hyper-contrasted overcast sky in this photo is deliciously ominous. The narrowing perspective created by the trees framing either side add to the overall spookiness of the snap. And what focus! If this is what HDR can do, we’re sold.

Want to be featured in our Photo Friday? Join our Flickr Group and upload your favourite travel shots! We’ll credit you and link to your photo.