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Things to Do in Toronto

Things to Do in Toronto: Shows & Events in January 2016

THERE ARE ALWAYS SO MANY THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO. GET OUT AND ENJOY SOME OF THE MANY GREAT PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS TAKING PLACE THROUGHOUT THE CITY IN JANUARY!

Things to Do in Toronto January 2016 Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil brings it’s latest show, Toruk: The First Flight to the Air Canada Centre (photo: Youssef Shoufan © 2015 Groupe Cirque du Soleil)

JANUARY 1  A New Year’s Day tradition for more than two decades, Salute to Vienna brings waltzes and operettas to the Roy Thomson Hall stage.

JANUARY 2 & 3  The city’s AHL team, the Toronto Marlies, return for the new year with back-to-back weekend games against the Syracuse Crunch at Ricoh Coliseum.

JANUARY 6 TO 17  Take in the best of Canada’s indie theatre scene during the Next Stage Theatre Festival, which showcases a roster of talented writers, directors and actors in a diverse lineup of plays. Among this year’s offerings are Rachel Blair’s acclaimed A Man Walks into a Bar, a smart social commentary on gender and power, while Take Your Mark Productions’ improv-driven Stuck has players performing a one-act play based on audience suggestions.

JANUARY 6 TO FEBRUARY 14  Two couples meet at a fertility clinic under extenuating circumstances in the world premiere of Within the Glass, which calls into question each of their desires to become a parent.

JANUARY 7 TO 10  Fans of the film Avatar won’t want to miss Cirque du Soleil’s latest touring show, Toruk: The First Flight. Inspired by the Academy Award–winning movie, Toruk delves into the backstory of the Na’vi culture, with large-scale puppets representing a slew of Pandoran animals like the Viperwolf, Direhorse and Turtapede. A narrator guides audiences through the story—set thousands of years before the events of the movie—as three young protagonists embark on a new quest.

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Things to Do in Toronto: Shows & Events in December 2015

THERE ARE ALWAYS SO MANY THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO. GET OUT AND ENJOY SOME OF THE MANY GREAT PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS TAKING PLACE THROUGHOUT THE CITY IN DECEMBER!

Things to Do in Toronto December 2015 Cinderella

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella debuts this month at Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre (photo: Carol Rosegg)

*Also check out our guide to Toronto’s Fall Performance Season, which details more of our favourite theatrical, orchestral, operatic and balletic performances taking place in Toronto through to the end of the year.

DECEMBER 1 Two recipients of the esteemed Polaris Music Prize, which annually honours a Canadian album regardless of its genre, sales or record label, come together for the latest installment of the Live at Massey Hall concert and film showcase. Composer and violinist Owen Pallett—who, as Final Fantasy, earned the first Polaris honours in 2006—and the 2014 winner, Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq, share the stage in celebration of the prestigious award’s 10th anniversary.

DECEMBER 1 Grammy Award–winning singer and songwriter Joseph Arthur brings his poetic lyricism to the Drake Hotel stage.

DECEMBER 1 TO JANUARY 10 A fairy godmother, a pumpkin that transforms into a horse-drawn carriage, a lost glass slipper and a prince in search of his princess. These are the quintessential elements of a beloved fairy tale that became a Broadway hit. Now, Mirvish Productions brings Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella to the Toronto stage. The Tony Award–winning show boasts sparkling sets and an ensemble cast that belts out such songs as “In My Little Corner” and “Impossible/It’s Possible” in this updated version of the romantic musical from the creators of The Sound of Music and South Pacific.

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Things to Do in Toronto: Shows & Events in November 2015

THERE ARE ALWAYS SO MANY THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO. GET OUT AND ENJOY SOME OF THE MANY GREAT PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS TAKING PLACE THROUGHOUT THE CITY IN NOVEMBER! 

Things-to-do-in-Toronto-November-2015-Royal-Agricultural-Winter-Fair

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair returns to Toronto on November 6

NOVEMBER 3 & 5 Can’t feel your face? Perhaps you’re enjoying The Weeknd‘s woozy R&B tunes a little too much? The Toronto-born musician kicks off the month at the Air Canada Centre.

NOVEMBER 3 TO 22 The “in-between” lives and experiences of young Asian-Canadian men are unflinchingly depicted in Banana Boys, an acclaimed stage drama directed by Nina Lee Aquino and written by Leon Aureus (based on the novel by Terry Woo). First performed more than a decade ago, the play is being remounted at Factory Theatre as part of its “Naked Season,” which sees its productions stripped down to their most fundamental and striking elements.

NOVEMBER 6 We all know that human relationships can be proverbial minefields. Fortunately, the mines that inevitably go off can unearth gold—of the comedic variety. This year’s Just For Laughs Comedy Tour stop at Massey Hall features three stand-up comics, plus humorous host Gerry Dee, who’ll dig up some jokey gems about family, love, and the quirky ways in which we interact with each other.

NOVEMBER 6 Love Dusty Springfield? You’d do well not to pass on Natalie Prass. The Virginia-based singer-songwriter carries the banner for northern soul on her eponymous debut album, which she brings to the Horseshoe Tavern tonight.

NOVEMBER 6 TO 15 Rural charm comes to the city courtesy of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. For 10 days, the family-friendly event showcases the richness of farm life, with everything from livestock displays and sheep herding demonstrations to an array of contests featuring giant vegetables, butter tarts, butter sculptures and more. The Royal Horse Show sees skilled riders competing in high-stakes dressage and horse jumping events, including the Longines FEI World Cup Grand Prix, the Weston Canadian Open and the Royal Six Horse Hitch Championship.

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What’s On Stage: Toronto’s Fall Performance Season

EXPECT A SWEEPING SELECTION OF SHOWS—FROM LAVISH MUSICALS TO FAMILY DRAMAS TO OPERATIC MASTERPIECES AND MORE—DURING TORONTO’S FALL PERFORMANCE SEASON.

BROADWAY NORTH

A mix of Tony-winning musicals and Canadian premieres comprises the fall playbill for six of the city’s top theatrical producers

Toronto Fall Performance Season 2015 Cinderella Mirvish

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella opens December 1 at the Ed Mirvish Theatre (photo: Carol Rosegg)

With multiple productions on several stages, there’s no doubt that Canada’s largest theatre promoter, Mirvish Productions, is the king of King Street. Don’t miss a chance to see Kinky Boots before it closes on November 8. The inspiring tale follows mild-mannered Charlie and an outgoing drag queen named Lola as they work together to save Charlie’s family’s shoe factory, and boasts catchy songs by Cyndi Lauper and a standout performance by Alan Mingo Jr. as Lola. Motown the Musical is based on the life of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, the man who discovered artists like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, the Supremes and the Jackson 5. As such, its soundtrack boasts more than 60 timeless classics, including “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” and “Stop! In the Name of Love.” Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella and a new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Mackintosh round out the Broadway-approved hits.

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Things to Do in Toronto: October 2015 Shows & Events

THERE ARE ALWAYS SO MANY THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO. GET OUT AND ENJOY SOME OF THE MANY GREAT PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS TAKING PLACE THROUGHOUT THE CITY IN OCTOBER!

Things to do in Toronto Armide Chris Hadfield Paul McCartney

Opera Atelier’s Armide, plus appearances by Commander Chris Hadfield and Sir Paul McCartney, are just a few of the things to see and do this month in Toronto

*Also check out our guide to Toronto’s Fall Performance Season, which details more of our favourite theatrical, orchestral, operatic and balletic performances taking place in Toronto through to the end of the year.

OCTOBER 1 TO 4 Nesters seeking inspiration for their abodes can find it at the Toronto Fall Home Show. The biggest public event of its kind in the city presents tips and trends from television personalities like Bryan and Sarah Baeumler, as well as Cityline expert Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault, decorator Michael Penney and renovator Michael Upshall. Find small-space ideas and solutions as well as eco-friendly products, and shop for new items from more than 300 retailers.

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Things to Do in Toronto: Top Shows & Events for September 2015

THERE ARE ALWAYS SO MANY THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO. GET OUT AND ENJOY SOME OF THE MANY GREAT PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS TAKING PLACE THROUGHOUT THE CITY IN SEPTEMBER!

Things to do in toronto empire

Empire opens this month in Toronto (photo: Danielle Covin)

SEPTEMBER 1 TO 27 Some shows defy categorization. Such is the case with Empire, a travelling production that comes with its own theatre, a mammoth, 700-seat tent with upholstered booths, beveled mirrors and a speakeasy style bar. Part circus, part cabaret and part burlesque—parents be forewarned, some exposed skin and scantily clad performers are featured—the provocative, daring, seductive and graceful performance includes the likes of a Japanese wheelmaster named the Half Naked Asian Dude Wearing Pigtails, a contortionist trapped in an aerial sphere and gymnasts who form pyramids with their bodies.

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Parapan Am Games: Panamania Brings in Janelle Monae, Tanya Tagaq and More!

THE TORONTO 2015 PARAPAN AM GAMES HAVE BROUGHT MORE THAN JUST SKILLED ATHLETES TO THE CITY. BIG-NAME MUSICIANS AND ARTISTS ARE IN TOWN FOR PANAMANIA FESTIVITIES, TOO!

Parapan-Am-Games-Toronto-Panamania-Janelle-Monae-Tanya-Tagaq

Tanya Tagaq (left) and Janelle Monáe are among the musicians slated to perform during Panamania at Nathan Phillips Square

AUGUST 7 TO 12  As more than 1,600 para-athletes demonstrate the amazing strength, resilience and grace of the human body through the 15 sports of the Parapan Am Games, a slate of performances and exhibitions adds a cultural component to the festivities. In conjunction with July’s Pan Am Games and this month’s Parapan Am competition, Panamania continues to feature daily free concerts plus nightly victory celebrations and fireworks at Nathan Phillips Square (100 Queen St. W.).

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Things to Do in Toronto: Shows & Events in August 2015

THERE ARE ALWAYS SO MANY THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO. GET OUT AND ENJOY SOME OF THE MANY GREAT PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS TAKING PLACE THROUGHOUT THE CITY IN AUGUST!

Things to do in Toronto August 2015

Among this month’s things to do in Toronto: An Evening in July is on stage at the SummerWorks Performance Festival; Drake brings back OVO Fest; and Buskerfest features Silver Elvis and many other street performers

AUGUST 1 & 2 Outspoken funnyman and film star Kevin Hart is slated to perform three stand-up sets over two nights at the Air Canada Centre.

AUGUST 2 & 3 Toronto-born hip-hop star Drake’s OVO Fest returns to the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre for another year. J. Cole is the announced special guest, but if history is any indication, there will no doubt be many other surprise appearances.

AUGUST 4 The Molson Amphitheatre presents a double-bill of 1990s rock heroes: The Smashing Pumpkins (well, Billy Corgan plus three other non-original band members) riff on their latest record, while Marilyn Manson promotes the new tunes of his The Pale Emperor album.

AUGUST 6 TO 16 What began in 1991 as a means for five friends to help smaller theatre companies mount their works is now a bona fide success story as the SummerWorks Performance Festival marks its 25th anniversary. Although the festival’s initial productions were chosen via lottery, today it’s the largest juried event of its kind in Canada, presenting works in four disciplines: theatre, dance, music and live art, plus a series of special showcases. The silver anniversary lineup includes MacArthur Park Suite: A Disco Ballet, a fusion dance hybrid set to music by Donna Summer; an interactive performance art experiment titled Speed-Dating for the Senses (and the Sensitive), in which blind-folded participants explore what they find attractive through sound, smell, taste and touch; and An Evening in July, which invites audiences to be the guests at a re-creation of Helene de Rothschild’s 1972 Surrealist Ball, based on the Grey Gardens documentary.

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Things to Do in Toronto: Shows & Events in July 2015

ALTHOUGH THE PAN AMERICAN GAMES ARE DEFINITELY THIS MONTH’S BIGGEST EVENT, THERE ARE STILL MANY OTHER THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO. GET OUT AND ENJOY SOME OF THE GREAT PERFORMANCES, FESTIVALS AND MORE TAKING PLACE THROUGHOUT THE CITY IN JULY!

Things to do in Toronto Newsies Mirvish Productions

Newsies (photo: Deen van Meer)

JULY 1 TO 12 The spotlight shines on up-and-coming playwrights and independent theatre companies during the annual Toronto Fringe Festival. Founded in 1999 as a means to give writers and a producers a chance to mount new works or test unconventional productions, the annual event now sees more than 1,000 performers taking part in 150-plus shows. This year’s selection includes a study of death in Evan Brown’s A Tournament of Lies, in which a group of friends competes to see who among them is more grief-stricken, while the ambitions of a waitress/wannabe rockstar are the subject of Served by Graham Isador (pictured). See fringetoronto.com for a complete schedule.

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Things to Do in Toronto: Shows & Events in May 2015

THERE ARE ALWAYS SO MANY THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO. GET OUT AND ENJOY SOME OF THE MANY GREAT PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS TAKING PLACE THROUGHOUT THE CITY IN MAY!

Things to do in Toronto May 2015

Among the things to do in Toronto this month: Check out Second City’s new show; see Ben Heppner in the Titanic musical; sample sake at Kampai Toronto; or peek inside the halls of power during Doors Open

ALL MONTH LONG The Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival has long been defined by its annual theme, an umbrella under which its exhibitions—these days numbering more than 200, on display across Toronto—could assemble, provoking discussion about the medium and its impact on the way we see ourselves. This year, the event is notable for its lack of a theme. It’s anything goes, though Contact’s guiding principle remains in place: the world’s most innovative photo-based art, collected in a single city, and available to be seen by one and all. Drop into venues including MOCCA, the Contact Gallery and the Ryerson Image Centre to view some of Contact’s primary exhibitions, or check out the full list of shows at scotiabankcontactphoto.com.

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10 Amazingly Unconventional Canadian Tours

By BRITTANY HENDRY

(Photo courtesy of Banff Activities and Tourism)

The Grotto Canyon tour in Banff (Photo courtesy of Banff Activities and Tourism)

Canada attracts over 35 million visitors per year thanks to its natural beauty, cosmopolitan cities and amazing attractions scattered throughout the country. With so many options for those visiting the Great White North—and for Canadians just checking out a new part of their own country—it can be hard to pick options that will let you get the most out of your itinerary. Here, we profile 10 of the best unconventional tours that will be sure to leave a long lasting impression.

BIXI Bikes – Toronto, Ontario

By BRITTANY HENDRY

how many BIXI bikes does it take...  Explored, thank you all!!

Bixi Bikes in Toronto (Photo: Shabnam, Morningdew Photography)

WHY WE CHOSE IT
This beautiful image captures Toronto’s bike sharing program in an artistic perspective. The streets are lined with bicyclists enjoying the autumn sun on their daily commute, and images of bikes zipping by are plentiful. What is interesting about this photo is that it captures static bicycles, adding intrigue and new depth to a scene that is easily overlooked.

Submit your photo to our Flickr Group and we will consider including it in our Photo Friday series on Where.ca! We’ll credit you and link to your photo.

Photo: Shabnam- Morningdew Photography