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Santa Claus Parade

17 Things To Do in Toronto This November

Grease: The Musical

Grease: The Musical
Nov. 1–Dec. 10
Fans of the John Travolta–Olivia Newton-John film know the subtitle of this production is redundant. What’s Grease without its signature songs like “You’re the One That I Want” and “Greased Lightning”? This new performance takes its characters back to the Chicago setting of the original 1971 musical, but otherwise it’s the same story you grew up with. Grease is still the word.
Winter Garden Theatre, 189 Yonge St.

Joachim Bandau
Nov. 2–25
German artist Bandau has exhibited work in more than 45 museum collections throughout his half-century career. His works in wood, metal and watercolour have had an uninterrupted run during that time, always on display in at least one major showing. The Nicholas Metivier Gallery brings a selection of his paintings and sculptures to Toronto this fall.
Nicholas Metivier Gallery, 451 King St. W.

Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
Nov. 3-12
The largest indoor agricultural fair in the world visits Toronto every November, bringing with it giant vegetables, pet-able farm animals, performing dogs and one of the most renowned international equestrian competitions anywhere. While you’re there, don’t forget to take in the butter sculptures, relax with a session of goat yoga or enjoy an evening of wine tasting.
Exhibition Place

Taste of Iceland
Nov. 9 to 12
Experience Icelandic food and culture at the seventh annual Taste of Iceland Festival. Try traditional Icelandic favourites like langoustine, arctic char, fried lamb fillet and skyr with a special tasting menu at Leña, and attend a concert, literary event and concert, all in celebration of the island’s vibrant cultural scene.
Various venues

Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Weekend
Nov. 10–13
Dave Andreychuk, Clare Drake, Jeremy Jacobs, Danielle Goyette, Paul Kariya, Mark Recchi and Teemu Selanne will all be welcomed into the Hockey Hall of Fame at this year’s annual weekend of festivities. Along with special guest appearances, Q&A fan forums and autograph signings, Sunday afternoon’s Legends Classic will feature a star-studded lineup. Cheer on your favourite hockey hero at the Air Canada Centre, as teams lead by Mark Messier and Jari Kurri face off against each other.
Various venues

Chris Rock
Nov. 11
It’s hard to believe the Total Blackout Tour is Chris Rock’s first time on the road in nine years. The comedian has received rave reviews to date, with an act focusing on Rock’s strengths: making jokes about race relations, politics, and relationships—in particular the dissolution of his marriage in 2014.
Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St.

Gourmet Food and Wine Expo
Nov. 16–19
Each year, more than 45,000
visitors attend the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo for epicurean
eats and a selection of more than 1,500 wines, beers, and spirits. Among the purveyors at the 23rd edition are exhibitors such as Cannoli Queens, Stonetown Artisan Cheese and Barilla Pasta. Thirsty guests can visit the Spiritology Pavilion for a tipple, or join a Tutored Tasting seminar to learn about fine wines and spirits from the experts. Live programming continues at the Chef Stage, which hosts demonstrations from an all-star line-up, including celebrity chef Emily Richards.
Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St. W.

Santa Claus Parade
Nov. 19
The Santa Claus Parade has been an annual Toronto tradition since 1905. Kids of all ages line the streets along Santa’s route to catch a glimpse of upside-down clowns, marching bands, and, of course, the man in red himself. The parade starts at 12:30 p.m. at Christie Pits Park and works its way along Bloor Street, down Avenue Road, and across Wellington Street to the St. Lawrence Market. Some years are colder than others, so dress warmly, and bring a Thermos of something hot to drink.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
To Nov. 19
Christopher Boone—the lead character in Simon Stephens’s stage adaptation of Mark Hadden’s popular novel—is a highly intelligent 15-year-old boy who’s gifted at math but who has trouble making sense of everyday life. When he becomes a suspect in the death of a neighbour’s dog, he begins an investigation to find the real culprit.
Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King St. W.

One of a Kind Show & Sale
Nov. 23–Dec. 3
Find gifts and inspiration at the One of a Kind Show & Sale, a juried event that celebrates all things crafted and handmade. Held twice annually, the winter edition features more than 500 designers and artisans, with a variety of merchandise ranging from jewellery to preserves to ceramics. Visitors can browse vendor tables, hear talks at the main stage and learn about the crafts and techniques from the makers themselves.
Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place

A Christmas Carol: The Family Musical with a Scrooge Loose

A Christmas Carol: The Family Musical with a Scrooge Loose
Nov. 24–Dec. 31
Ross Petty Productions has been staging family friendly Christmas pantomimes (musical comedies loosely based on a traditional fairy tales that employ slapstick, cross-dressing and topically based jokes) for 22 years, and yet this year’s edition is the first to actually have a Christmas theme, taking on the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. Not that it matters: if you’re paying too close attention to the plot of a pantomime, you’re missing all the fun.
Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge St.

Cavalcade of Lights
Nov. 25
Celebrate the start of the holiday season with thousands of other revellers at the 49th annual Cavalcade of Lights. Watch as the city’s official Christmas tree is illuminated with more than 525,000 lights, and enjoy the energetic live performances, skating parties and impressive fireworks. Even if you miss the big event, you can still view the lit-up tree each night throughout the holiday season.
Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St. W.

Christian Dior at the Royal Ontario Museum

Christian Dior
Opens Nov. 25
Christian Dior was one of the most influential fashion designers of the 20th century, known for his use of luxury textiles and gorgeous embroideries.
To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the House of Dior, the Royal Ontario Museum displays items from its rarely seen collection of haute couture pieces designed by Dior from 1947 to 1957.
Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park

The Faraway Nearby: Photographs of Canada from the New York Times Photo Archive
To Dec. 10
To mark the country’s sesquicentennial, the Ryerson Image Centre was gifted a vast trove of 25,000 Canada-centric photographs from the New York Times photo archive. This exhibit displays but a small number of them, highlighting images of major political events, beautiful landscapes, and portraits of notable Canadians.
Ryerson Image Centre, 33 Gould St.

Bat Out of Hell
To Dec. 24
Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman’s operatic 1977 album, Bat Out of Hell, meets its stage musical roots head on in this energetic post-apocalyptic extravaganza. Set in dystopian Manhattan, the show follows a young man named Strat who falls in love with Raven, the daughter of a powerful tyrant. Rock out to Meat Loaf’s greatest hits, like “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” and “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad.”
Ed Mirvish Theatre,244 Victoria St.

The Canadian Odyssey of Lord Milton
To Jan. 7
In 1862, English nobleman Viscount Milton and physician Walter Cheadle travelled across Canada, looking for a direct route to the Cariboo goldfield in British Columbia. The story of their trip was detailed in a book, illustrated by Cheadle, called The North-West Passage By Land. This fall, visitors to the Gardiner Museum can view 13 pieces, from both public and private collections, of a commemorative tea set featuring hand-painted art inspired by the book’s drawings.
Gardiner Museum, 111 Queen’s Park

Arts of the East: Highlights of Islamic Art from the Bruschettini Collection
To Jan. 21
Lavish textiles, patterned carpets, paintings and inlaid metalwork from the 13th to 17th centuries are on display at the Aga Khan in this debut exhibition of one of the most important private collections of Islamic art in the world.
Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Dr.

Weekend Roundup: November 16 to 18

The Gourmet Food and Wine Expo is an epicurean’s dream

Friday, November 16
Nothing warms a cold November day quite like good food and a stiff drink. With more than 1,500 wines, beers and spirits to sample, as well as a selection of gourmet food tastings from Toronto’s top chefs, the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo delivers. The weekend-long event offers access to top winemakers and craft brewers, cooking demos, tasting workshops and much more.

The Design Exchange relaunches as “Canada’s Design Museum” while celebrating the work of cultural “game changer” Douglas Coupland tonight at DX Intersection, its annual fundraiser. Multiple DJs, performers and a silent auction of artist-reimagined Ikea products provide entertainment, while the Food Dudes food truck keeps mouths and stomachs full well into the night.

The Royal Ontario Museum’s Friday Night Live event series brings you good eats, good tunes, and, tonight, a screening of the 1972 Summit Series hockey final in honour of the 40th anniversary of this legendary game. Bite into a sandwich care of Fidel Gastro’s Matt Basile or savour delicious treats by Waffle Bar’s Valerie Bain while you toast the T-Rex skeleton to your left. Don’t miss this chance to enjoy the hockey action you’ve been missing, all while exploring the ROM’s hallowed halls after hours.

The Cavalcade of Lights kicks off the holiday season with music and more

Saturday, November 17
Ring in the holiday season with Toronto’s annual Cavalcade of Lights at Nathan Phillips Square. Dragonette and Suzie McNeil are just two of the performers who will grace the stage as City Hall is illuminated and fireworks mark the lighting of Toronto’s official Christmas tree.

Festivities for the 100th Grey Cup have also taken over Nathan Phillips Square. The event’s Adrenaline Zone dares you to take a leap with North America’s tallest urban zip line while Yonge-Dundas Square’s Nissan Family Zone gives you an opportunity to teach your little one how to throw a ball. Later, gather everyone together and check out a screening of Jerry McGuire at the Rushes Football Film Festival at Scotiabank Theatre. How’s that for a touchdown celebration?

To locals, a trip on the 501 Queen streetcar can sometimes feel unbearably long. But for visitors, a trip on North America’s longest surface public transit route is a great way to see the city. Today it’s also a great way to get some grub. Sign up for Foodies On Foot’s Streetcar Food Tour, a six-neighbourhood restaurant-hopping taste-a-thon that’s will help you travel the path from Toronto-dining neophyte to expert in just one night.

Santa makes his triumphant return to downtown Toronto (photo: Gabriel Perez)

Sunday, November 18
Bundle up the kids and head on down to the Santa Claus Parade for an afternoon of elves, upside-down clowns, marching bands, floats and more. Be on the lookout for a Grey Cup float with a four-metre replica of the trophy and Mike “Pinball” Clemons at the helm, as well as a One Direction float inspired by the popular British Boy Band.

Christmas comes early for the canine in your life with Winter Woofstock at the Direct Energy Centre. Lavish your pooch with fashion, food, furnishings and accessories and get their picture taken with Santa. Dog pageants, races and a dating soirees are just some of the fun events that are sure to keep tails wagging.

Matinee and evening shows today offer one last chance to catch the pre-Broadway run of Jekyll and Hyde. The intriguing and dark story of a man fighting multiple identities stars former American Idol contestant Constantine Maroulis and R&B diva Deborah Cox, who deliver performances that are not to be missed.

Weekend Roundup, November 18 to 20

Friday: The National Ballet of Canada interprets Romeo and Juliet (photo by Bruce Zinger)

Friday, November 18
See one of the greatest dance dramas in a brand new light when the National Ballet of Canada presents Romeo and Juliet. Choreographer Alexi Ratmansky gives the classic tale with a modern edge for a fresh show at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

One of Canada’s best-known musical voices, Steven Page, interprets the tunes of Elvis Costello, Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman and others in Songbook 6. The always innovative Art of Time Ensemble accompanies the singer at Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave Theatre.

Find unique Aboriginal arts, crafts and fashions at the Thunderbird Centre’s presentation, Very Beautiful Things. The exhibition and sale at the Gladstone Hotel will be a trove for discerning gift buyers and Aboriginal art collectors.

The rest of the weekend is just a click away!

Weekend Roundup, November 19 to 21

The holiday season has begun in earnest in Toronto. Start getting into the spirit with a variety of fun (and in some cases, festive) events this weekend.

Friday: Indulge at the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo

Friday, November 19
The Gourmet Food and Wine Expo offers oenophiles, epicureans and bon vivants the opportunity to sample more than 1,500 wines, beers and spirits while enjoying food from Toronto’s top restaurants. The decadence is on all weekend at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

A mix of jazz, classical, pop and world music–inspired melodies fills Massey Hall tonight, as pop orchestra Pink Martini brings a bubbly show to Toronto in support of its latest album, Splendour in the Grass.

In its own unique fashion, the Bata Shoe Museum is currently celebrating 40 years of the Juno Awards! See the footwear sported by to Canadian musicians like Drake, Nelly Furtado, Avril Lavigne, and many other past Juno winners and nominees.

Saturday: Glimpse the lives of India's historical royalty through such artworks as "Procession of Raja Ram Singh II of Kota and His Son at Kota" (© Victoria & Albert Museum, London)

Saturday, November 20
It’s your last chance to see the National Ballet of Canada’s performance of Cinderella! The company’s James Kudelka–choreographed production at the Four Seasons Centre has received universal acclaim from critics and is certain to leave you and your family enchanted.

The posh Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood celebrates the season with its annual Holiday Magic festival. Join in the merriment tonight at the “flick the switch” lighting ceremony, featuring a performance by Juno winner Ivana Santilli, free hot beverages and colourful displays in local shop windows.

More than 200 extravagant artworks, furniture, jewellery and much more—all created for India’s royal court—are now on display at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s much anticipated Maharaja exhibition. You’ll be dazzled by this glimpse of royal life on the subcontinent.

Sunday: Welcome Santa and his reindeer friends to the city

Sunday, November 21
Santa Claus is coming to town! A tradition since 1905, the Santa Claus Parade officially heralds the holiday season in Toronto. Line Bloor Street West, University Avenue and Yonge Street this afternoon to see all the floats, marching bands and the big man himself.

If you’re still craving holiday cheer after the parade, head to the Harbourfront Centre for its annual Swedish Christmas Festival! See live performances, browse handmade crafts, enjoy Swedish sweets, and try a glass of the traditional mulled wine known as glögg!

Get ready to cheer—it’s the Major League Soccer Cup Final today at BMO Field! FC Dallas battles the Colorado Rapids at 8:30 p.m. in what’s sure to be an exciting match!

Hot Date: Santa Heralds the Holidays

NOVEMBER 21 Kris Kringle is once again coming to town! For 106 years Torontonians have delighted at the sight of elves, reindeer, gingerbread people and, of course, the jolly old man himself making their way through town on the Santa Claus Parade. More than 1,500 participants of all ages comprise this year’s procession, and hundreds of thousands more are sure to line the streets to glimpse all the festive floats, marching bands and favourite holiday characters. Ring in the season starting at 12:45 p.m., as the parade commences at Bloor and Christie streets, then travels southeast all the way to Front and Church streets. Call 416-249-7833 or visit here for more information.

Weekend Roundup, November 13th to 15th

A colourful cast of characters  arrives in the city this weekend: a magical princess,  a notorious former president—even Santa Claus makes an appearance!

Friday: Marvel at the National Ballet's classic staging of The Sleeping Beauty.

Friday: The National Ballet presents its classic staging of The Sleeping Beauty.

Friday, November 13th
Be enchanted as the National Ballet of Canada brings to life a beloved children’s fairytale in a sumptuous performance of The Sleeping Beauty.

Giggle and guffaw at the silly antics of She Said What, The Understudies and 46 other North American improv troupes participating in the fifth annual SketchFest comedy festival.

Sing along as country crooner Lyle Lovett performs his Grammy-winning hits at Massey Hall, a storied concert venue in the heart of downtown Toronto.

Saturday: Intrigue is everywhere in Stuff Happens.

Saturday: Political intrigue abounds in David Hare's Stuff Happens.

Saturday, November 14th
Spend the afternoon in the Market Kitchen of the historic St. Lawrence Market, where you can taste exclusive wines from local vintners and nosh on delicious nibbles supplied by the building’s vendors—all while listening to live jazz.

Speculate about the behind-the-scenes decision-making of the George W. Bush administration, following the opening-night performance of Stuff Happens, a riveting political drama by David Hare.

Spend an illuminating evening at Yonge-Dundas Square’s holiday lighting event, complete with a pyrotechnic performance by Circus Orange.

Sunday: Santa sleds down University Avenue.

Sunday: Santa and leads his team of reindeer down University Avenue.

Sunday, November 15th
Bundle up and wave to elves, snowmen, reindeer and the big man himself as the 105th annual Santa Claus Parade makes its way through the city.

Take a cue from Toronto’s trendsetters by hunting for vintage treasures and stylish one-of-a-kind pieces along the West Queen West strip. Pick up whimsical fashions from a variety of eras at Vintage 69, Cabaret and other colourful boutiques in this hip ‘hood.

Don’t miss your final chance to see a dazzling array of gems and jewels at the Royal Ontario Museum’s Light and Stone exhibition.

What’s Hot in November Across Canada


It may be November, but it’s starting to look a lot like Christmas. Local stages offer Irving Berlin’s White Christmas: The Musical and It’s a Wonderful Life, both based on popular seasonal movies. Bright Nights in Stanley Park and Lights of Hope each make spirits bright, with thousands of twinkling lights—and money raised going to local charities. Crafts and gifts abound at Circle Craft Christmas Market (held in the Vancouver Convention Centre) and Christmas at Hycroft (held in a stately Edwardian mansion). Old-fashioned traditions are revived during the Burnaby Village Museum Heritage Christmas. And Stuart McLean shares his gently humorous stories in A Vinyl Cafe Christmas.


Savour the best in wine and food from over 200 exhibitors at the Ottawa Wine and Food Show where you can expect to see kitchen demos, tips on presentation and pairings, and more, Nov 6 – 8. Casino du Lac Leamy has recently renovated its theatre and now offers dinner shows, courtesy of a brand new kitchen. This month, check out Eclipse: The Pink Floyd Story (Nov 6 and 7) and Stayin’ Alive: One Night of the Bee Gees (Nov 14).


Legendary hard rockers KISS come to the Pengrowth Saddledome on Nov 12. The Demon (Gene Simmons), Starchild (Paul Stanley), Spaceman (Tommy Thayler) and Catman (Eric Singer) present a selection of greatest hits, as well as pyrotechnics and maybe even a guitar bashing. On Nov 29, McMahon Stadium hosts the Canadian Football League’s championship game, the Grey Cup. This showdown between the CFL’s East Division and West Division is always a lively battle.


November 21 marks the unofficial kickoff of the Christmas season in Halifax, as the Holiday Parade of Lights wends its way through the downtown. Lasting over an hour, the parade features dozens of festive floats, live music and, of course, a visit from St. Nick himself.


Hockey season is heating up in Victoria as the ECHL’s Salmon Kings take aim at this year’s Kelly Cup but hockey fans are also excited about the November 25 appearance of some of the world’s best up-and-comers. The 2009 Subway Super Series brings together some of the finest junior talent from Russia and Canada for a series of games across the country. Here in Victoria, the Russian Junior National Team will take on top skaters from the Western Hockey League. For ticket details call the save-on-Foods Memorial Centre at 250-220-7777 or visit www.selectyourtickets.com.


City meets country when the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair rides into Exhibition Place from Nov 6 – 15. This annual tradition features animal attractions, culinary events, musical performances, and, of course, the Royal Horse Show. In addition, two dazzling holiday classics come to the stage. From Nov 13 – 29, the National Ballet of Canada presents their interpretation of fairytale favourite The Sleeping Beauty, and audiences kick up their heels in celebration when the world-famous Rockettes perform in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Nov 16 – 18, at the Air Canada Centre.


Celebrate food and wine in Olympian style at the annual gourmet get-together, Cornucopia Nov 12 – 15, with multi-course winemakers’ dinners, chefs’ foraging adventures to local farms, high-energy after-parties and a wealth of wine tastings. And even though the 2010 Winter Games are almost here, it’s business as usual on the mountains. Whistler and Blackcomb both open Nov 26 for another spectacular season of skiing and snowboarding.


From Nov 4 – 8 the Manito Ahbee: A Festival For All Nations celebrates Canada’s Aboriginal culture. Highlights of the festival include an international powwow competition, indigenous market and trade show and the 4th annual Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards. Santa and a parade of more than 70 floats kick off the holiday season Nov 14 during the Power Smart/Jaycees Santa Claus Parade.


On Nov 22 check out Kevin Smith: Silent Bob Speaks Out, to hear a lecture from award-winning screenwriter/director (Clerks, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back).  Smith has amassed a vast fan base for his irreverent and hilarious rants on the absurdity of just about everything. From Nov 10 – 15, experience the Broadway masterpiece A Chorus Line —  a tale of a group of young dancers toe the line on the stage of their dreams. This Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical first opened on the Great White Way in 1975 and became its longest-running musical, with 6,137 performances through 1990.

Canadian Rockies

Banff’s Norquay is open on weekends through November until its official grand opening Dec 4; Kananaskis’ Nakiska follows suit with weekend skiing from Nov 7 to Nov 29 until the resort’s opening on Dec 5; Lake Louise Mountain Resort officially opens Nov 6; Sunshine Village Ski Resort’s opening day is Nov 11; and Jasper’s Marmot Basin is gearing up for a great opener on Nov 11. So grab your gear and hit the slopes.

November Editor’s Picks: Entertainment

<em>Clara</em> opens the Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival.

Clara opens the Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival.

NOVEMBER 5 TO 14 Too often persons with mental illnesses and addictions are misunderstood and ostracized. The Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival seeks to change this perception through flicks exploring the factual and the false when it comes to afflictions of the mind. This year’s theme is mental health and its affect on family relationships. Appropriately, the festival kicks off with Clara, a biopic about Romantic era musician and composer Clara Schumann. Tensions rise when her renowned yet unstable husband, Robert Schumann, takes under his wing a young Johannes Brahms, who in turn takes a liking to his mentor’s wife. Other notable films include Good Morning Lassa, in which a seven-year-old must care for her depressed mother, and the Oscar-nominated Roads. Various venues, $10 per film; call 416-583-4606 or click here for details.

The Santa Claus Parade

Santa arrives on his super sleigh.

NOVEMBER 15 The man in the jolly red suit is coming to town—and he’s making a grand entrance. A holiday tradition in this city since 1905, the Santa Claus Parade draws more than half a million bright-eyed spectators with its fantastical floats, professional marching bands and cheery elves, clowns and storytime characters. Starting at 12:30 p.m., the procession travels from Christie and Bloor streets and makes its way nearly six kilometres southeast through downtown to Front and Church streets. Call 416-249-7833 or visit here for more information and a detailed route map.

Violinist James Ehnes performs at Koerner Hall.

Violinist James Ehnes performs at Koerner Hall.

ON NOW The Royal Conservatory of Music is so excited about the recent opening of its state-of-art Koerner Hall recital venue in the Telus Centre for Performance and Learning that 20 new shows have been added to its already packed inaugural season. Among them are three November concerts you simply must lend an ear to: on November 8, Canadian pianist Jon Kimura Parker fills your afternoon with the sounds of Stravinsky and Beethoven; singer-guitarist Sara Tavares weaves together reggae and jazz with ease on November 19; and on November 27, six-time Juno Award–winning violinist James Ehnes offers an intimate recital of Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” Sonata plus works by Respighi and Bartók. 273 Bloor St. W. ,$20 to $75; call 416-408-0208 to buy.