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Halloween

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for October 28 to 31

Tour spooky locals with Haunted Walks. Photo credit: OTCA.

Friday, Oct. 28
What better way to celebrate Halloween than by scaring yourself silly with true tales of ghostly happenings? Sign up for a tour with Haunted Walks that will take you through some of the city’s creepiest locales. The Ottawa Jail Hostel? Check. The site of the last working gallows? Check. Haunted buildings? Check. Our pick is the adults-only tour of the Canadian Museum of Nature on Friday night. Once the doors close to the public you can enjoy wine and cheese and see for yourself where ghostly encounters have taken place. If you dare… Halloween edition tours are offered nightly until Oct. 31, see website for full schedule.

Local chamber ensemble Seventeen Voyces hosts one heck of a performance. They’ll be screening the 1925 silent film classic The Phantom of the Opera on a giant screen and accompanying the film with  live choral and pipe organ music. Don’t expect traditional songs from the musical though — instead, the choir will perform works by Gounod (Faust), Schubert, Beethoven, Berlioz, Kodaly, Puccini (Madama Butterfly), Ravel, and Langlais. The concert runs Oct. 27 and 28.

It’s a world premiere! Whispering Pines, on at the GCTC, takes place in the divided city of Berlin in 1987, where artists Renate and Bruno want to make a new world. When Thomas, a Canadian academic, arrives on their doorstep bearing gifts from the West and dreams of life beyond the Wall, their lives are turned upside down. Years later, in a peaceful cabin on the shores of Lake Superior, the three come together one last time to confront the betrayal that tore them apart. Politics, intrigue, and the cold war — sounds like the makings for a great play. And, bonus!, on the opening night (Friday, Oct. 28), the German Embassy has partnered with GCTC for Whispering Pints (geddit?). Stop by after the show (10pm to 1am) for German beer, food, and music.  The play runs Oct. 28 to Nov. 13.

Saturday, Oct. 29
The final movie has come and gone, but it’s still possible to get your Harry Potter fix. While they won’t be flying around on Nimbus 2000s, Carleton University plays host to more than 100 muggles for the first-ever Canadian Quidditch Cup this weekend. The non-flight version of Quidditch, which does still involve broomsticks, is a modified version of the sport that mixes rugby, dodge ball, and tag and is described as “super intense” by those who play. Eight teams will battle it out to decide who gets to go to the Quidditch World Cup tournament in New York City in November. Come cheer for Carleton, ranked second behind McGill, on Saturday. (more…)

Weekend Roundup, October 29 to 31

It’s Halloween! Grab your costume and make it a wicked weekend with some of these hair-raising events.

Have a Wicked weekend (photo by Joan Marcus)

Friday, October 29
Start your Halloween weekend with a bow to the past at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. See the classic film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari while award-winning composer Andrew Downing performs its original score. The tale of a mad carnival showman and his sleepwalking slave, this 1920s masterpiece is considered by many to be the first horror film. It will give you chills!

Toronto can’t get enough of the hit Broadway musical Wicked! Return to Oz to hear the story of Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West—long before Dorothy dropped in. Enjoying it’s third engagement at the Canon Theatre, grab your tickets before they sell out—again!

Head to Second City for an evening of hilarious comedy. The troupe’s latest show, Something Wicked Awesome This Way Comes, has garnered rave reviews thanks to its smart comedy sketches and songs. This performance delivers non-stop laughs!

Saturday, October 30
Crime and mystery fiction get their due at the International Festival of Authors, which celebrates the timeless genre at the IFOA Noir Round Table. Join authors and critics as they discuss the mystery novel!

Get your pulse racing at the Creepy Classics concert at Roy Thomson Hall. Pianist Todd Yaniw plays some of the most well-known “spooky” pieces, including The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Bach’s Toccata in D Minor.

Head to the Drake Hotel for its Halloween party! Come dressed as your favourite music-video star and dance the night away to DJ duo Flosstradamus. The best costume wins $500. This just begs for an extravagant Lady Gaga outfit!

Sunday, October 31
Bring the kids to the Toronto Zoo this weekend for Boo at the Zoo. There are tons of kid-friendly attractions like the hay maze, the animal meet and greet and live performances all day long. Kids in costume get in free!

Get a terrifying tour of Casa Loma! Professional ghost trackers show videos and tell their stories about nights spent in the historic castle. Visitors are then left to explore the grounds to do some ghost tracking of their own!

For the biggest Halloween bash in the city, head to Church Street for their annual Halloween Block Party! Costumed revelers take over the Gay Village, with an expected turnout of 50,000 people. The streets are closed and clubs open their doors, from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. You’ve never been to a Halloween party like this!

Spooky City: Calgary’s Most Haunted Houses

By DAN LEAHUL

Hose & Hound (Photo: Bill Longstaff)

Whether you’re a believer or a skeptic, there’s no denying the allure of a particularly gruesome ghost story, especially as autumn’s eerie chill creeps through the air in anticipation of Halloween.

For a city little more than 100 years old, persistently sordid tales of murder, suicide and bad blood has marked Calgary as a veritable hotspot for paranormal activity. (more…)

The WHERE List: The Best Places to (Possibly!) See a Ghost in Canada

In the spirit of Halloween, we’ve asked our editors across the country to tell us the places in their cities that are rumoured to be haunted. From a municipal building that used to be a hanging locale to a mischievous monkey spirit, many cities also offer organized ghost walks that highlight some of the spookiest spots around their towns. (more…)

Halloween Weekend Bonus: Fright at the Museums

This weekend, ghosts, mummies and monsters of all sorts scare up frightful fun at this city’s biggest museums.

Halloween at the Royal Ontario Museum<br>photo illustration

Historically relevant ghosts haunt the ROM this weekend.

Gab with ghosts at the
Royal Ontario Museum

Spirits come to life this Saturday to share their spooky stories with ROM visitors. Don’t be surprised if you bump into some familiar faces haunting the halls, including Dr. Charles Trick Currelly, the museum’s founder and friendly resident ghost. Brave little goblins can get up close and personal with some real-life creepy crawlies and make clip-on spider crafts to take home.

October 31. Adults $22, kids (under 14) $15, infants (under 3) free; call 416-586-5797 or click here for more information.


Run away to the circus at the Art Gallery of Ontario

To coincide with its ongoing Alexander Calder exhibit, the AGO hosts trapeze artists, jugglers, fortune tellers and many more dazzling performers from local circus troupe Lookup Theatre. Step right up and marvel at astounding acrobats and uncanny contortionists as they perform under a big top tent in the gallery’s spectacular Walker Court. Kids can make their own trapeze wire sculptures in the Off The Wall! creative space while adults sip on a festive Halloweeni Bellini cocktails at the museum’s restaurant, Frank.

October 31 and November 1.  Adults $18, youth (under 17) $10, kids (under 5) free; call 416-979-6648 or visit here for tickets.


Spot spooky shoes at the Bata Shoe Museum

Play dress up at the Bata Shoe Museum’s Costume Bonanza. There’s plenty of hands-on fun for kids—try on one-of-a-kind costumes, create scary shoe art and decorate ghost-shaped cookies with tasty icing. Afterward, take a tour around the museum to admire the frighteningly comprehensive collection of footwear.

October 31 and November 1. Adults $12, kids (under 12) $6; call 416-979-7799 ext. 242 or click here for further details and ticket information.


Celebrate the Day of the Dead at the Gardiner Museum

Don’t be scared to enjoy yourself at this morbid-sounding (but actually celebratory) traditional Mexican festival. Listen to musical performances by Jorge Lopez and his mariachi band while feasting on Mexican chocolate and pan demuerto (literally, bread of the dead). Admire remembrance altars made by local artists and let creative kids get their hands dirty sculpting clay skeletons.

November 1. Adult $12, kids (under 12) free; call 416 408 5063 or visit here for more details.


Unravel the secrets of mummies at the Textile Museum

The Textile Museum of Canada hosts Dr. Elizabeth Barber, an expert on prehistoric textiles, for a special lecture about her recent archeological expedition to Western China. Learn about the mysterious process of mummification and see photos of recently discovered ancient bodies which, although more than 3,000 years old, are astonishingly well-preserved.

November 3. Adults $12, kids (5 to 14) $6; call 416-599-5321 or click here for more information.

Weekend Roundup, October 30th to November 1st

Too old for trick or treating? Try out some of these spooky Halloween-themed activities. . . if you dare!

Friday: enter a pumpkin carving contest (photo by Plutor).

Friday: Enter a pumpkin carving competition (photo by Plutor).

Friday, October 30th
Go on a frighteningly cool auditory treasure hunt at Sounds Scary, a Halloween-themed multimedia installation at the Artscape Wychwood Barns.

Show off your pumpkin carving skills or cheer on your favourite team in the third annual Church Street Jack-O-Lantern competition, part of Halloweek celebrations in the Church-Wellesley Village.

Forget candlelight, try dining in the dark at O’Noir—for daring dinner patrons, the pitch-black surroundings can help to enhance the senses of taste, smell and touch.

Saturday: Kids can be animals at Boo at the Zoo.

Saturday: Kids get to be animals at the annual Boo at the Zoo.

Saturday, October 31
Throw on your favourite pair of animal ears and head to Boo at the Zoo, where critters and costumed humans will be on parade along with lots more spooktacular kid-friendly entertainment.

Listen to the large scale sound of twenty classical pianists simultaneously performing on ten grand pianos at the annual Halloween Monster Concert at Massey Hall.

Dress to impress in Casino Royale–style costume garb at the Distillery District’s Halloween Howl, a devilishly chic Monte Carlo-themed fundraiser to support Canadian Opera Students.

Sunday: Cheer for a mutant superhero in The Toxic Avenger.

Sunday: Cheer for a mutant superhero in The Toxic Avenger (photo by Carol Rosegg).

Sunday, November 1
Snack while you shop at the Drake Hotel’s first urban market, a combination of yard sale and bake sale featuring handmade crafts, vintage clothing and an assortment of Halloween-related goodies.

Get grossed out at new musical The Toxic Avenger. Louise Pitre (of Mamma Mia fame) stars in this hilarious tale of an unlikely mutant superhero from New Jersey.

Take a photographic journey back in time at the Stephen Bulger gallery’s new exhibit, Lieux Mêmes, featuring hauntingly beautiful images by Bertrand Carrier.

Weekend Roundup, October 23rd to 25th

This weekend is packed with plenty of opportunities to celebrate the city!

Friday: Catch a screening at the Planet in Focus Film Festival.

Friday: Catch a Planet in Focus film festival screening.

Friday, October 23rd
At the Planet in Focus film festival, become a Toronto architecture maven by watching Time—a four-minute time-lapse video of the city’s building-design history—and Toronto2020, about the vision of Hogtown 10 years from now.

Indulge in chocolate drinks, fountains, desserts and other chocolate-infused foods at The Chocolate Ball, the gala event of Chocolate Fest.

Gasp in horror as a train of cheery passengers goes off the rails in Runaway, a short in the Animation Feast screening for the National Film Board’s Get Animated!, a series of animation films, workshops and activities that launches today.

Saturday: Relive a revolution through song with Rock 'n' Roll.

Saturday: Relive a revolution through song with Rock 'n' Roll.


Saturday, October 24th

Catch the Canadian Stage Company’s final performance of Tom Stoppard’s Rock ‘n’ Roll to see how the music of Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan and their ilk influenced the crumbling of communism in Czechoslovakia.

Carve a pumpkin, hunt for treasure and collect treats at the family-friendly Halloween Festival in Bloor West Village.

Tie colourful streamers in your hair and join gigantic puppets, fire spinners, stilt walkers and other revelry-makers in Clay & Paper Theatre‘s Day of Dread parade, inspired by traditional death festivals around the world.

Sunday: View this untitled Geoffrey Pugen image at Angell Gallery's TIAF booth, then visit dozens of other participating galleries.

Sunday: View this untitled Geoffrey Pugen image at Angell Gallery's TIAF booth, then visit dozens of other participating galleries.

Sunday, October 25th
Browse through unretouched prints by “anti-Photoshop photographer” ilexi at popular independent fashion and art market Portobello East.

Walk with river enthusiasts dressed in blue to create a Human River along the route Garrison Creek, a lost waterway that long ago flowed through Toronto and helped define its landscape.

Peruse contemporary works from Stephen Bulger Gallery, Angell Gallery, Ingram Gallery and other renowned showrooms at this city’s annual one-stop art shop—the Toronto International Art Fair.

Frugal Faves: High Park Walking Tour and Devilicious

There’s so much to see and do in this city, but after a while, admission fees, restaurant bills and shopping sprees start to add up. Where Toronto helps you get the most out of your trip without burning a hole in your pocket. Check back each week for our thrifty tips on discounted tickets, exclusive sales, free events and more.

Enjoy the autumn colours while strolling in High Park (photo by bensonkua).

Enjoy the autumn colours while strolling in High Park (photo by bensonkua).

An Autumn Stroll in High Park
Spend a leisurely morning on a free walking tour of High Park, Toronto’s impressive, 398-acre public greenspace. The moderately paced hike traverses the park’s wooded trails and explores its extensive ravines and gardens, giving city-dwellers a chance to reconnect with nature. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the impressive fall foliage, and remember to wear appropriate clothing and footwear.

Tours run every second and forth Sunday of each month, 10:30 a.m. to noon. Meet at the benches just south of the Grenadier Café. For more information call 416-392-1748, ext. 5 or email walkingtours@highpark.org.


Pull up a chair at Fuzion for a scary-good meal deal.

Pull up a chair at Fuzion for a scary-good meal deal.

Trick or Treat Yourself to a Devilishly Good Meal
Hoping for a hell of deal on your next dinner out? Head to the Church Wellesley Village for its Devilicious culinary tour.  As part of the neighbourhood’s annual Halloweek festival, Byzantium, Fuzion and other popular restaurants in the area will be offering wickedly discounted prix fixe menus featuring delectable Halloween-themed dishes. After you’ve finished your meal, wander through the village and check out fabulously frightening decor displays in retailers’ windows.

The Devilicious culinary tour runs October 24 to October 31. For a list of all participating restaurants click here or call 416-393-6363.

Weekend Roundup, October 16th to 18th

Craft, cringe, carve and cheer with our lineup of autumn events taking place this weekend.

Friday: Get acquainted with The Boys in the Photograph.

Friday: Get acquainted with The Boys in the Photograph.

Friday, October 16th
Get crafty at the Creativ Festival, a three-day show dedicated to do-it-yourself creations. Whether you’re a novice knitter or a seasoned scrapbooker you’ll find plenty of crafting supplies and workshops to help you with your next creative project.

Scare yourself silly and fight off ghoulish creatures at Screamers, the annual Halloween-themed park at Exhibition Place.

Applaud a performance of The Boys in the Photograph, a coming-of-age story of love and conflict in Northern Ireland during the civil war, written by Ben Elton and brought to musical life by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s powerful score.

Saturday: Cheer on the Leafs during Hockey Night in Canada.

Saturday: Cheer on the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Saturday, October 17th
Support our beloved hometown hockey team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, as they take to the Air Canada Centre ice in a battle against the New York Rangers.

Join Drake Hotel art concierge Betty Ann Jordan on an exploration of galleries and project spaces along the Queen West strip. After the tour, art aficionados congregate at the Drake’s Corner Cafe for coffee, treats and conversation.

Celebrate the evolution of Indigenous cinema at the 10th annual imagineNATIVE film festival, showcasing more than 125 works by Native filmmakers and media artists.

Sunday: Nosh on brunch at the Boiler House.

Sunday: Brunch at the Boiler House.

Sunday, October 18th
Get into the Halloween spirit early and enjoy a devilish day of family fun at Black Creek Pioneer Village. This year’s Howling Hootenanny features a haunted maze, creepy creatures, pumpkin carving and much more.

Don’t be shy to dig in at the Boiler House’s  lavish brunch buffet—savour award-winning eggs Benedict to the tune of live jazz at this chic, refurbished industrial building in the heart of the Distillery Historic District.

Suit up at Theory’s Get Suited event happening at Holt Renfrew. With in-store sartorial specialists and designer discounts aplenty, you’ll have no problem revamping your work wardrobe this season.