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toronto music garden

You Are Here: Harbourfront

The downtown stretch of Toronto’s lakeshore is a hotbed for cultural events and in-water activities. (more…)

Weekend Roundup: July 20 to 22

Friday: Speed-the-Plow satirizes the movie industry (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

Friday, July 20
Expect cracking dialogue and fierce satire this evening as Soulpepper Theatre Company performs David Mamet’s Speed-The-Plow. The play examines the lives of two American film producers while dissecting the relationship between art and commerce.

The Toronto Summer Music Festival returned earlier in the week and brought with it a full slate of concerts, master classes and lectures for classical music lovers. Tonight, the acclaimed Borodin Quartet presents Music of Russia, a program of string quartets by Russian composers, including Borodin, Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky.

Once again the Harbourfront Centre becomes of a cultural smorgasbord of music, dance, international fare and more as the Hot & Spicy Food Festival occupies the downtown waterfront. The festival kicks it up a notch with exciting competitions like tonight’s Taco Takedown—where you decide which taco reigns supreme—and the annual Iron Chef competition, held over the weekend and concluding Sunday afternoon. (more…)

Weekend Roundup, September 17 to 19

Though fall is approaching, the fun doesn’t stop! Toronto still hosts plenty of events both indoors and out to ensure a memorable weekend!

Be amused and amazed by Banana Shpeel this weekend.

Friday, September 17
Step into the Art Gallery of Ontario to see the just-opened exhibition Shary Boyle: Flesh and Blood. Almost 30 of the award-winning artist’s playful yet unsettling works are on display.

Get an artist’s perspective on one of the worst environmental disasters of our time—Nicholas Metivier Gallery presents Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky’s latest series of images, this time of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Also on display are Polaroid photos taken by Burtynsky in the ship-breaking yards of Bangladesh.

Immerse yourself in South American culture at Harbourfront Centre as the Vibrant Colombia Dispora Festival kicks off a weekend of family fun. Activities tonight include exhibitions of Colombian art plus performances by marimba player Louis Bianco and the Ballet Raices de Colombia.

Saturday, September 18
Prog rock fans, take note: Former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters takes to the Air Canada Centre stage tonight to commemorate the 30th anniversary of his band’s classic album, The Wall.

An even heavier rock experience awaits at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, thanks to ’90s grunge band Alice in Chains. The Grammy-nominated trio is sure to riff on its back catalogue and perform tracks from their latest album, Black Gives Way to Blue.

Step back in time at Black Creek Pioneer Village’s annual Pioneer Festival. This historic site celebrates the autumn harvest numerous old-timey events and activities, including horse-drawn wagon rides, cider-making demonstrations, a spelling bee, a popular quilt auction and international music and dance performances.

Sunday, September 19
Prepare to laugh, smile and gasp with Cirque du Soleil’s Banana Shpeel at the Canon Theatre! At this unique spectacle, death-defying acrobatic acts are paired with vaudeville-style slapstick comedy from quirky characters.

Help some talented local musicians bring the Summer Music in the Garden series of classical concerts to a close. Beneath the boughs of the Toronto Music Garden, Shauna and Friends perform a variety of chamber music compositions for strings.

Take in the ever-popular Queen West Art Crawl, featuring numerous local galleries and artists—more than 500 of whom will be displaying their colourful works at Trinity Bellwoods Park.

Weekend Roundup, September 10 to 12

The city is a-buzz with the Toronto International Film Festival this weekend! Get out there and enjoy it!

Friday: The King's Speech, starring Colin Firth, premieres tonight at TIFF

Friday, September 10
It’s the opening weekend of the Toronto International Film Festival and there are tons of great movies to choose from! Catch the highly anticipated films and be sure to get out and do some star-gazing—Jon Hamm, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen, Clint Eastwood, and many more celebrities will be in town. Don’t forget to check out our daily TIFF blog, for a movie pick with post-show destinations to match.

Slash, the top hat-sporting former lead guitarist of Guns N’ Roses, performs tonight at Kool Haus. Expect the rock legend to perform tracks from his first, eponymously titled solo album, released earlier this year.

The Junction Arts Festival has something for everyone, from theatre to comedy, visual arts to music. On Dundas West, stretching from Indian Grove to St. John’s Road, this annual arts event is jam-packed with things to see and do.

Saturday: See William Kentridge's Journey to the Moon at Gallery TPW

Saturday, September 11
Here’s another local fete to fill the weekend—the annual Cabbagetown Festival! Complete with a grand parade, live entertainment and numerous vendors, there are many activities to choose from. Come out to support this historic Toronto community.

Check out Journey to the Moon, a recently opened exhibition at Gallery TPW. In collaboration with TIFF, artist William Kentridge pays homage to the classic 1902 film Voyage dans la lune. It’s the perfect accompaniment to your film-going weekend!

Head down hungry to Harbourfront Centre for the Vegetarian Food Fair. One of the largest vegetarian events in North America, it’s a great place to get tips and products for herbivores and omnivores alike.

Sunday: The Rosetta Trio performs Mozart

Sunday, September 12
This year’s Summer Music in the Garden series comes to a close with Mozart Unlocked. The Rosetta Trio performs Mozart’s Divertimento for String Trio in this outdoor concert at the picturesque Toronto Music Garden.

The Winner’s Walk of Hope has been raising money and awareness to battle ovarian cancer for nine years. The goal this year is to break $2.5 million. It’s not too late to donate or join the walk, happening on Olympic Island.

Wrap up your weekend at the Taste of the Kingsway! On Bloor Street West, from Prince Edward Drive to Montgomery Road, more than 30 area restaurants offer samples of food from around the world.

Weekend Roundup, August 21 to 23

Friday: Be a thrill-seeker at the CNE.

Friday: Be a thrill-seeker at the CNE.

Friday, August 21
It’s opening day of the Canadian National Exhibition, and in celebration of Toronto’s 175th anniversary, CNE admission today is just $1.75! Ride a roller coaster, play some midway games, then catch Canadian figure skating star Elvis Stojko and his comrades in a movie-themed ice show at Ricoh Coliseum.

Take in a traditional Tibetan dance amidst the vibrant hues of saris and the aroma of cooking curries at the Festival of South Asia in Little India.

Follow the rise of the stereobike crew—a group of Trinidadians in Queens, New York who rig full-size stereo systems onto BMX bikes—in Made in Queens, screening at the Bicycle Film Festival at The Royal cinema.

Saturday: Head to Chinatown for some East Asian revelry (photo by John Vetterli).

Saturday: Head to Chinatown for some East Asian revelry (photo by John Vetterli).

Saturday, August 22
Discover hidden vintage in the city by participating in the Textile Museum of Canada’s day-long thrift store bus tour, hosted by local artist Andrew Harwood and curator Allyson Mitchell.

Savour the Thai curry–braised lamb on the affordable Susurlicious prix fixe menu at Lee, one of the Toronto restaurants of globally renowed chef Susur Lee.

Bite into a Hong Kong–style egg puff while watching the Lion Dance troupe open the Toronto Chinatown Festival, an East Asian extravaganza featuring cuisine, crafts, music, dancing, games, kung-fu demonstrations and more.

Sunday: The curtain falls on The Harder They Come (photo by Robert Day).

Sunday: The curtain falls on The Harder They Come (photo by Robert Day).

Sunday August 23
Spread out in the Toronto Music Garden for an afternoon session of Summer Music in the Garden.
Today, four virtuoso accordionists play a wide-range of music, including tunes accompanied by singers and dancers.

Sit on the edge of your seat at the Rexall Centre to witness the world’s best female tennis players compete for the singles and doubles championships of the Rogers Cup.

Sing along to “Many Rivers to Cross” and other reggae favourites at the last Toronto performance of the hit musical The Harder They Come. Based on the 1972 film of the same name, the stage show follows a poor country boy trying to make it in Jamaica’s music industry.

Luminato Preview—Theatre, Dance, Music and Wonder

These highly anticipated events are to keep you entertained during Toronto’s illuminating festival arts festival.

The Children's Crusade finds hope in conflict (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann).

The Children's Crusade finds hope in conflict (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann).

JUNE 5 & 6, 8 TO 11 Over its previous two editions some of Luminato’s most ambitious and awe-inspiring performances have been those commissioned specifically for the festival. Among this year’s slate of world premieres is The Children’s Crusade, a highly anticipated new opera by Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer. Featuring more than 100 diverse performers and a battery of medieval instruments, the 90-minute work is based on the tragic story of a 13th-century expedition involving thousands of young people who set out for the Holy Land to spread hope in a time of conflict. Something of a hybrid piece, The Children’s Crusade also incorporates contemporary sonic and visual elements: notably, innovative director Tim Albery stages the opera in a strikingly derelict warehouse; the standing audience moves through the space, following the company on its inspiring, yet ultimately doomed campaign. 153 Dufferin St., 8 p.m., $40.