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Mel Lastman Square

Weekend Roundup, September 16 to 18

Friday: Paul Gross and Kim Cattrall debut in Noël Coward's Private Lives

Friday, September 16
Kim Cattrall and Paul Gross trade the silver screen for the big stage in the Toronto engagement of Private Lives. This straight-from-London production of Noël Coward’s comedy classic opens tonight at the Royal Alexandra Theatre.

Discover Ukrainian culture at the Toronto Ukrainian Festival. The event kicks off tonight and runs all weekend in Bloor West Village. Watch dancers and musicians, taste authentic Ukrainian food and drinks, and shop the sidewalk sale.

Cheer on slugger Jose Bautista, rising star Brett Lawrie, and the rest of the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre, as they open a three-game  series against the New York Yankees (and look to spoil the Bronx Bombers’ hopes of another division title).

Saturday: Celebrate the season at Black Creek Pioneer Village

Saturday, September 17
Press some cider, bid on handmade quilts, and take a horse-drawn wagon ride at the 55th Pioneer Festival at Black Creek Pioneer Village. This year’s event celebrates local food and the history of the harvest with fresh-baked pies and a team of volunteers producing 1,000 pounds of sausage throughout the day.

Don your red threads and head over to BMO Field for some Major League Soccer action. See if Torsten Frings and Julian de Guzman can lead Toronto FC to victory against the visiting Colorado Rapids.

Listen to the folk-rock melodies of Wilco at Massey Hall. The Chicago-based band is following up on its 2009 Grammy-nominated, self-titled record with the release of its eighth studio album, The Whole Love, due out later this month.

Sunday: Cheer on the thousands of runners keeping Terry Fox's dream alive (photo by Logantech)

Sunday, September 18
Carry on the legacy and spirit of national hero and support cancer research. Running, walking, and cycling paths of various lengths will be set up at Terry Fox Run sites around the city.

Celebrate “Hangawi,” also known as the Korean Thanksgiving at the Korean Harvest Festival. Concerts, a Korean culture show, and a singing competition are all part of the festivities taking place at Mel Lastman Square in North Toronto.

Polka your way over to Roncesvalles Village for the Roncesvalles Polish Festival. Experience the heritage, art, music, and food of Poland, along with a soccer tournament, and film screenings at the Revue cinema.

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, August 20 to 22

The Canadian National Exhibition opens this weekend, but it’s hardly the only game in town. There’s plenty of entertainment for everyone!

Friday: Be touched by the timeless musical, South Pacific

Friday, August 20
Get a major dose of theatre tonight at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, which offers three highly anticipated plays on its various stages. The main event is the debut of Window on Toronto, in which artists from Soulpepper Theatre Company’s academy examine the city from the perspective of a hot-dog vendor. The evening also offers preview performances of Joe Orton’s bold and witty What the Butler Saw, as well as Sharon Pollock’s award-winning drama, Doc.

The play’s the thing at the Four Seasons Centre, too! Take your loved ones to witness a triumphant re-staging of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. The heart-rending musical romance has received glowing reviews from Toronto critics and audiences.

Head to the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre to see a Canadian folk-rock institution, as ebullient East Coast band Great Big Sea is in concert tonight. Get to the venue early for a real treat: emerging all-female country group Ladies of the Canyon opens the show.

Celebrate Cuba with the third annual Havana Cultura festival, which showcases that country’s music, arts and food all weekend long. Tonight, hear popular Cuban musician Julio Cuza, see a cigar-rolling demonstration, and much more. (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…)