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Things to See and Do in Toronto

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

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Kids can play, build, and discover at the interactive Lego Imagine Nation Tour.

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!

OCTOBER 1  Nuit Blanche, the all-night contemporary art event that transforms Toronto streets into a public gallery, returns for its 11th edition on October 1 featuring more than 80 projects. For 12 hours from sunset to sunrise, see the likes of sculptural works, dance, films, photography, interactive displays, and more at various locations including Nathan Phillips Square and along the Waterfront. Among the exhibits is Asalto Toronto by Daniel Canogar which is part of a broader display that examines metamorphosis and transformation, while Oblivion, including the piece Pneuma by Floria Sigismondi, explores the cosmic universe as both a state of being and a state of nothingness.

OCTOBER 1 AND 2  Head to Heritage Court at Exhibition Place for the Toronto Vintage Show, which is the largest event of its kind in the city. Find vintage apparel for both men and women, as well as handbags, footwear, jewellery, and accessories.

OCTOBER 3, 4, 6 AND 7  Hello, can you hear her? It’s Adele. And she’s here for four shows at the Air Canada Centre, performing hits for her chart–topping album 25.

OCTOBER 6 TO NOVEMBER 5  The Canadian Opera Company opens its 2016/17 season with two of the genre’s greatest works: a new production of Bellini’s Norma, which sees Sondra Radvanovsky and Elza van den Heever sharing the titular role of the Druid high priestess who breaks her vow of chastity for a Roman lover only to have him forsake her for another woman. Meanwhile, Handel’s Ariodante is a tragic love triangle fraught with jealousy and dishonesty between Prince Ariodante, his betrothed Ginevra, and the Duke of Polinesso, who wants to break them up.

OCTOBER 8 AND 9  Toronto’s very own Aubrey Drake Graham, better known as Drake, headlines two hometown shows at the Air Canada Centre as part of his Summer Sixteen tour, with special guests Future, Roy Woods, DVSN, and others.

OCTOBER 9  Eighties pop star Rick Astley, best known for the 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up,” tours in support of his latest album 50.

OCTOBER 14 TO 16  Fans of the classic building toy can’t miss the first-ever Lego Imagine Nation Tour, a hands-on experience for the family that is the largest event of its kind to ever come to Canada. With more than a dozen pavilions, there’s something to keep young minds—and hands—occupied, including a bridge building competition, a master builder lab, and a brick pit with a mountain of pieces in an assortment of sizes and colours. Life-sized models, such as an eight-foot-tall Marvel Super Heroes Avenger, as well as Star Wars and Minecraft model displays are also part of the exhibit.

OCTOBER 15 AND 16  Scottish stand-up comic Danny Bhoy has audiences in stitches as part of his Commonwealth Comedian tour.

TO OCTOBER 16  Don’t miss closing night on Cirque du Soleil’s latest touring show, Luzia. The company’s 38th production transports audiences to a vibrant land inspired by Mexico, rich in colour, lush landscapes and exotic creatures. The title of the show fuses the Spanish sounds for light (luz) and rain (lluvia), an apt name as both elements play a role in this spectacle, whether it’s cyr wheel or aerial artists spinning and swinging through a drizzle, or birds jumping through a series of hoops.

OCTOBER 20 TO 30  Wordsmiths from the Emerald Isle are the focus of this year’s International Festival of Authors, which brings contemporary writers, poets, and more from around the world for 11 days of readings, interviews, lectures, discussions, and book signings. This year’s lineup includes such CanLit luminaries as Margaret Atwood, Emma Donoghue, Yann Martel, and Maureen Hynes, as well as Takashi Hiraide, Lola Lafon, and Robert Kanigel. Running until December 22, a special exhibit on graphic novels complements the event, featuring the works of Chris Oliveros, Nick Drnaso, Jon McNaught, and Nina Bunjevac.

OCTOBER 20 TO 29  Henry Purcell’s first opera, Dido and Aeneas, brings the desolate life of the widowed Queen of Carthage to the stage. Canadian mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta and tenor Christopher Enns star as the ill-fated couple who embark on a racy affair that ends abruptly when the Trojan prince disappears. The Toronto Children’s Chorus provides musical backup for the show in a nod to the 17th-century performance at which students from the Josias Priest’s school in London also sang.

OCTOBER 22  Australian singer Sia, known for such radio-friendly songs as “Elastic Heart” and “The Greatest,” is on a North American tour with special guests Miguel and AlunaGeorge.

OCTOBER 24 Powerhouse singer Mariza brings traditional Portuguese music and new favourites to Roy Thompson Hall.

OCTOBER 24 & 25  Alt rock superstars Our Lady Peace and I Mother Earth (with Edwin once again on lead vocals) team up for a cross-Canada tour, headlined by The Standstills .

OCTOBER 28  The beloved identical twin sister duo Tegan and Sara fill Massey Hall with their catchy pop anthems about love and relationships. 

TO OCTOBER 31 Head to Canada’s Wonderland for a scare at the Halloween Haunt. 20 haunted attractions including mazes, scare zones, and live shows, and the popular ZOMBIES 4D Interactive Dark Ride mean that you’ll have a terrifying time as you dodge the 700 monsters prowling the park. (Not recommended for children under 13.)

SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS IN OCTOBER Kids of all ages will enjoy Camp Spooky at Canada’s Wonderland. Every weekend in October Camp Spooky features daytime activities like mazes, trick-or-treating, a kids’ Halloween costume parade and much more (included with park admission)!

 

Things to Do in Toronto: Shows & Events in September 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 SEPTEMBER!

Look up in the sky for the Canadian International Air Show’s aerial spectacles.

SEPTEMBER 2 TO 4  When Scrat the squirrel hides his acorn in a volcano that threatens to erupt, he and his friends—Sid the sloth, Diego the sabre-tooth tiger, and Manny and Ellie the mammoths—must embark on a journey to find the mystical Frostberry to save civilization. Ice Age on Ice brings the popular film franchise to the Air Canada Centre rink for a skating spectacle with puppetry, aerial feats, and special effects.

SEPTEMBER 2 TO 5  One of the largest street performer festivals in the world returns for another year of spellbinding and gravity-defying acts as the Toronto International Buskerfest marks its 17th edition. Moving away from the downtown core, the event, which is in support of Epilepsy Toronto, is now at its new home at Woodbine Park in The Beach neighbourhood. Catch more than 100 talented international performers including hula hoop tricks by Bex in Motion, flame-juggling from Fireguy, illusions courtesy of magician Max T. Oz, and aerial acrobatics from The Silver Starlets.

TO SEPTEMBER 4  Don’t miss out on the last few days of Shakespeare in High Park. This year marks the 400th anniversary of The Bard’s death, and as such Canadian Stage is mounting two of the playwright’s most popular works, Hamlet and All’s Well That Ends Well, showing on alternating nights in the scenic environs of High Park’s outdoor amphitheatre.

SEPTEMBER 3 TO 5  Look up in the sky for the annual Canadian International Air Show, which features spectacular aerial shows by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, and the Breitling Jet Team, among other acts. The best spot to catch the aerial acrobatics is from the grounds of Exhibition Place, while the Canadian National Exhibition is simultaneously on.

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Things to Do in Toronto: Shows & Events in August 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 AUGUST!

“Waving Is Funny” choreographed by Tina Fushell is part of the SummerWorks festival.

AUGUST 1  Harbourfront Centre celebrates the flavours and sounds of the Caribbean during Island Soul.

AUGUST 3  The winners of the Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize, which selects winning records from the last five decades by public voting, are honoured with a musical tribute. This year, Joni Mitchell’s Blue, the Cowboy Junkies’ The Trinity Session, Sloan’s Twice Removed, and Peaches’ The Teaches of Peaches, are among the 2015 recipients.

AUGUST 4  Catch No Doubt lead singer Gwen Stefani on her This is What the Truth Feels Like Tour.

AUGUST 4 TO 14  Canada’s largest curated performance festival, SummerWorks, is back for 11 days with an eclectic selection of theatre, dance, music, and live art. Representing both established and emerging voices from across the country, SummerWorks features 70 shows, as well as free programming, workshops and a conversation series. Among the highlights is a collaborative dance piece by choreographer Tina Fushell, Waving is Funny, which examines the act of saying hello and goodbye.

AUGUST 5, 12, 19 AND 26  From 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Friday during the summer, enjoy discounted admission to the Royal Canadian Museum, which features 40 galleries on an assortment of subjects, including dinosaurs, minerals, African art, Canadian and European history.

Taste of the Danforth

Head to Greektown for the annual Taste of the Danforth.

AUGUST 5 TO 7  Canada’s largest street festival, Krinos Taste of the Danforth, returns for another year of Hellenic culture and flavours. More than 1.6 million people attend the annual event to feast on the likes of souvlaki, moussaka and gyros. Beyond the food, there’s a sports zone featuring challenges by the Raptors, Maple Leafs, Argos and Toronto FC, as well as three stages with live entertainment.

AUGUST 5 TO 7  Beats, Breaks & Culture: The Bridge celebrates hip hop and electronic music with DJs spinning and dancing down at the Harbourfront. Special guests include Sinkane, Jungle Brothers and Prince Innocence, as well as Afterparty: Hip-Hop vs. House.

AUGUST 7, 14, 21 AND 28  Kids of all ages—and their parents—can partake in Family Sundays at the Gardiner Museum, which features clay workshops and tile painting among other activities.

AUGUST 9  American rock band Goo Goo Dolls best known for such songs as “Slide” and “Iris” are on a North American tour with special guests Collective Soul and Tribe Society.

AUGUST 10  The Bad Man Tour hits the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre stage with American rapper Pitbull and Prince Royce.

AUGUST 12  Head to Yonge-Dundas Square for Lunchtime Live, a free concert series, featuring The Heavyweights Brass Band with special guest Minotaurs.

AUGUST 12 TO 14  Through fashion, literature, film, music and dance, Africa’s rich culture is explored in the Habari Africa Festival.

AUGUST 13  As the Toronto Blue Jays take on the Houston Astros, kids ages 14 and under can take part in Jr. Jays Saturdays by running the bases after the game. (The Jays play the Astros on Friday, August 12 as well as Sunday, August 14.)

AUGUST 16  They got the beat: Don’t miss The Go-Go’s on their Farewell Tour with special guests Best Coast.

AUGUST 17  YouTube comedy duo Roman Atwood and Yousef Saleh Erakat—better known as FouseyTUBE—perform sketches, pranks and stand-up as part of their first international tour in Roman vs. Fousey.

AUGUST 19 to 21  The always-popular Hot & Spicy Food Festival brings the flavours of the south—from the Lower Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico—to Toronto with a sizzling barbecue and live performances by Yuka and Treme Brass Band among others.

The Ex is a beloved summer tradition with midway games and rides.

AUGUST 19 TO SEPTEMBER 5  An annual summer tradition, the Canadian National Exhibition, returns for another year of rides, midway games, live entertainment and over-the-top food (expect a lot of it to be deep fried). Last year, a record number of 1.6 million people attended The Ex, as it’s commonly referred to. This year’s highlights include an art tribute to sci-fi favourite, Star Trek, which marks 50 years of going boldly where no man has gone before. The event’s main live stage, the Bandshell, celebrates its 80th anniversary with a star-studded lineup that includes Randy Bachman, Alan Frew, Jefferson Starship and The Trews.

AUGUST 20  Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductees Blue Rodeo, led by frontman Jim Cuddy, hit the stage with special guest Terra Lightfoot.

AUGUST 21  There are no small things when Blink-182 tour in support of their new album California with special guests A Day to Remember and All Time Low.

AUGUST 23  Academy Award–winning singer and actress Barbra Streisand performs at the Air Canada Centre in support of her latest album, ENCORE: Movie Partners Sing Broadway.

AUGUST 23  Two metal bands, Korn and Rob Zombie, join forces for a co-headlining summer tour with special guests In This Moment.

AUGUST 26  For the first time, Counting Crows and Rob Thomas, share the stage in a co-headlining tour with special guests K Phillips.

AUGUST 26, SEPTEMBER 2 AND 3  Albert Schultz hosts a musical history of Harlem in Taking the Stage Uptown Manhattan as part of Soulpepper Theatre’s concert series.

AUGUST 27  The Toronto FC take on the Montreal Alouettes at BMO Field.

AUGUST 28 Some of the Family Channel’s biggest stars—Shane Harte, Mckenzie Small, Josh Bogert and Aviva—take part in the Big Ticket Summer Concert Series. Daya headlines the concert at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre.

AUGUST 29  English rock band Black Sabbath bring their “The End” tour to Toronto with special guests Rival Sons.

AUGUST 30  It’s all about the bass when Meghan Trainor headlines at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre with special guests Hailee Steinfeld and Common Kings.

AUGUST 31  The Toronto Argonauts tackle the BC Lions at their new home, BMO Field.

Things to Do in Toronto: Shows & Events in July 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 JULY!

The Draken Harald Harfagre set sail from Norway in April to be part of Toronto’s Redpath Waterfront Festival

JULY 1 TO SEPTEMBER 18  The Group of Seven is well known for its Canadian landscapes, and as one of its founding members, Lawren S. Harris was recognized for his stark depictions of the Arctic and our nation’s northern regions. A new exhibit presented by the Art Gallery of Ontario, curated by actor, comedian, musician and writer Steve Martin, along with Andrew Hunter and Cynthia Burlingham of the AGO, examines Harris’s legacy. The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris, sees more than 30 works by Harris drawn from public and private collections, including his early works of his Toronto neighbourhood.

JULY 1 TO 3  Head to the shores of Lake Ontario to celebrate Canada’s 149th birthday as the Redpath Waterfront Festival sails into the city. Hop aboard a fleet of majestic vessels for tours, including the El Galeón from Spain, the Pride of Baltimore II, four Canadian Brigantines (the STV Fair Jeanne, St. Lawrence II, TS Playfair and STV Pathfinder), and two of the Royal Canadian Navy’s defence vessels (the HMCS Kingston and HMCS Goose Bay). Particularly spectacular is the largest Viking ship in the world, the Draken Harald Hårfagre, which set sail from Norway at the end of April following a route travelled 1,000 years ago. On July 3, catch the Parade of Sail, the grand finale with all of the boats sailing along the harbour.

JULY 2 TO 24  For three weeks this summer, parks and restaurants in Queen East fill with the sweet sounds of blues, Latin, calypso, fusion and more as the Beaches International Jazz Festival takes over the lakeside neighbourhood. The free event boasts extensive programming that includes live mainstage concerts at Woodbine Park, art and photography displays, food trucks, and, for the first time in the event’s 28-year history, a salsa festival.

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Things to Do in Toronto: Shows & Events in June 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 JUNE!

Le Petit Prince is a new work commissioned by The National Ballet of Canada. (credit: Barbara Cole)

JUNE 1 TO JULY 3  Pride Toronto commemorates two monumental firsts this year: a 30-day celebration of diversity with the kick off of Pride Month beginning on June 1, and for the first time in Canadian history, when a sitting prime minister, Justin Trudeau, marches in the Pride Parade on July 3 joined by Ontario Premiere Kathleen Wynne and Toronto mayor John Tory. All month long, some of the city’s leading cultural organizations, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Harbourfront Centre, host a variety of events in conjunction with Pride Month.

JUNE 3  National Doughnut Day means that a visit to Jelly Modern Doughnuts is a must for gourmet goodies in such flavours as maple bacon and s’mores.

JUNE 4 AND 5  Head to Historic Fort York and Garrison Common for Field Trip, a two-day, family-friendly event, featuring live concerts, art displays, comedy acts, a marketplace and lots of food. Among the scheduled performers are The National, Basia Bulat, Jazz Cartier, Robyn, Kalle Mattson and Brave Shores among others.

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Things to Do in Toronto: Shows & Events in May 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 MAY!

Leviathan at Canada’s Wonderland is Canada’s tallest and biggest roller coaster

MAY 1  The country’s largest theme park, Canada’s Wonderland kicks off opening day with even more excitement to its lineup of rides with two new soaring interactive experiences: Skyhawk and Flying Eagles. The former is the first of its kind in North America, letting thrill seekers control their own cockpit by navigating 360 degree turns and inversions from 135 feet in the air, while the latter lets pint-sized pilots—along with a co-pilot—steer their own plane. Of course, the park’s 16 roller coasters, water park, two kids play areas, and midway games are among the other draws that make it the most visited seasonal amusement park in North America.

MAY 1 TO 3  Esteemed paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim speaks about the discovery of fossils belonging to the largest predatory dinosaur ever discovered as part of the National Geographic Live series.

MAY 2 AND 3  Canadian musician Lights, known for such songs as “February Air” and “Drive My Soul,” performs an acoustic show at The Danforth Music Hall with special guests DCF.

MAY 4 AND 5  The Toronto Symphony Orchestra presents Brahms Symphony 4 alongside a new work by John Adams with a violin solo.

MAY 6  A roster of Canadian and world champion figure skaters take part in Stars on Ice, including Patrick Chan, Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, Javier Fernández, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and Joannie Rochette among others.

MAY 7  Catch Canadian singer and songwriter Royal Wood at The Danforth Music Hall.

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Things to Do in Toronto: Shows & Events in April 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 APRIL!

digiPlaySpace at the TIFF Bell Lightbox features 25 interactive installations for kids (photo: courtesy of TIFF)

APRIL 1  There’s no better way to celebrate April Fools’ Day then with the funny folks at Yuk Yuk’s, who are hosting An Evening of Comedy at Massey Hall hosted by Gilbert Gottfried. Nikki Payne headlines the evening, alongside other comics such as Zabrina Chevannes, Jeff Elliott, Darren Frost, Mayce Galoni, Matt O’Brien and Richard Ryder.

APRIL 2  Iranianborn singer Moein, best known for his love ballads, brings his unique voice to the Sony Centre stage.

APRIL 3  The world’s most famous basketball team, the Harlem Globetrotters, tips off its 90th anniversary with a world tour that includes a stop in Toronto. See the likes of Cheese Chisholm, Bull Bullard, Big Easy Lofton and Ant Atkinson display their dribbling showmanship in a family-friendly show.

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16 Things to Do for March Break 2016

A WEEK OFF FROM SCHOOL IS EVERY CHILD’S DREAM, BUT PERHAPS LESS THRILLING FOR PARENTS WHO NEED TO KEEP LITTLE ONES ENTERTAINED AND FROM CRYING OUT “THERE’S NOTHING TO DO” FOR THE UMPTEENTH TIME. HERE ARE 16 KID-APPROVED IDEAS FOR HAVING FUN THIS MARCH BREAK IN TORONTO.

The TIFF Bell Lightbox hosts digiPlaySpace for the fifth year, which engages children through interactive play involving animation, robotics and more. (photo: courtesy of TIFF)

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Things to Do in Toronto: Shows & Events in March 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 MARCH!

National Ballet of Canada's Romeo & Juliet

Guillaume Côté and Elena Lobsanova in the National Ballet of Canada’s production of Romeo and Juliet. (photo: Bruce Zinger)

MARCH 1  Legendary English rockers The Who, led by frontman Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend, hit the Air Canada Centre.

MARCH 2 TO 6  The National Ballet of Canada presents La Sylphide, a romantic production restaged by Johan Kobborg, sees a farmer abandoning his bride-to-be for a forest creature.

MARCH 3  After an internationally-respected TED Talk about “power poses,” American social psychologist, researcher and Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy discusses concepts from her new book, PRESENCE: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges.

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Things to Do in Toronto: Shows & Events in February 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 FEBRUARY!

The Salzburg Festival cast of The Marriage of Figaro starring Genia Kühmeier, Katija Dragojevic and Marlis Petersen. Photo by Monika Rittershaus, courtesy of the Canadian Opera Company.

FEBRUARY 2  “The Boss”—a.k.a. Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band may have been born in the USA but they’re performing in Toronto.

FEBRUARY 2 TO MARCH 13  In Mustard, a world premiere written by Kat Sandler, a recently-divorced mom starts seeing her daughter’s imaginary friend who lives under her bed.

FEBRUARY 3 TO 21  On the heels of a sold-out national tour, Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen makes its Toronto debut. This celebration of the legendary Canadian performer sees six performers playing 17 instruments that highlight Cohen’s career discography.

FEBRUARY 4 TO 27  The Canadian Opera Company presents Mozart’s witty romantic farce, The Marriage of Figaro, in which Figaro and Susanna’s impending matrimony is in jeopardy thanks to the roving eye of the Count.

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