Simcoe Day

Simcoe Day 2009 Preview

Simcoe Day? Yep, that's the name of the upcoming Monday that most of us refer to as the August long weekend. That is, if you're in Toronto. Despite the fact that most of Canada celebrates a civic holiday on this weekend, the name it's given varies by region. And with the weather looking like it'll cooperate (for the most part) and the municipal workers strike in the books, it should be a good one in this city.

Named after John Graves Simcoe, the holiday pays tribute to his founding of Toronto (and our need for another day off in the summer!). The first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, Simcoe's founding of Toronto began with the garrison that is now Historic Fort York. But perhaps his greatest legacy is the abolition of slavery in the colony. Far less importantly, Castle Frank subway station is also named after the summer residence Simcoe built for his son, Francis Gwillim Simcoe.

Unfortunately, despite the strike's end, the annual Simcoe Day celebration at Historic Fort York has been canceled. But here's a rundown of other events and activities happening in the city through the holiday Monday.

Irie Music Festival

Taking place at Queen's park, this festival celebrates Reggae music with a variety of performers and bands. In addition to music and dance, the festival features Taste of the Tropics, a culinary showcase of dishes from tropical regions around the world.

Distillery Arts Festival

Held on three weekends throughout the summer at the Distillery District, local artists and artisans present and sell work in a variety of mediums, including painting, photography, sculpture, and stained glass.

Toronto Island

With ferry service back up and running and the weather looking good, what better way to spend the holiday than a trip to the Island? Those feeling frisky can ever make the trek to Hanlan's Point.

Shopping!

Ok, admittedly there aren't that many events planned for Simcoe Day. But, both the Eaton Center and all the major retailers in the Bloor/Yorkville area are open over the holiday. And shopping isn't that bad, either.

Photo: Fork York by The Green Dwarf, member of the blogTo Flickr pool.


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