50 things to do this spring in Toronto
50 things to do this spring in Toronto
Things to do in Toronto for spring 2019 offer a season full of events and activities packed with street, music and food festivals, free events and returning favourites. The High Park cherry blossoms are a staple of the season, while newcomers like the opening of the Infinity Room are cause for excitement.
Here are some of the many ways to enjoy spring in Toronto.
New this year
There's never enough nostalgia, and this spring, a new indoor playground is coming to Toronto that's all about childhood nostlgia, Relive all the Lucky Charms, sleepovers, Slinkies and iron-on patches when HideSeek arrives from March 30 to June 2.
Old shipping containers are about to get put to good use as the much-anticipated Stackt Market arrives down at Front and Bathurst Streets. Promising "an experience of curated discovery" among the food, drinks and shopping, you can look forward to its opening sometime in April.
Standing 75-metres-high and including a 360-degree vertical drop, Toronto is about to be home to another incredibly tall structure to rival the CN Tower as the world's tallest roller coaster opens in late April or early May at Canada's Wonderland.
International Fan Festival
Toronto is getting another reason to break out the cosplay as a new festival dedicated to anime culture arrives from April 19 to 21. Special guests, exhibitions, festivities and more are all part of the fun, and everyone is encouraged to dress up.
Dubbed the "Coachella of tech conferences," this one arrives for the first time in Toronto from May 20 to 23 for a speaker series that features talks from some of the biggest names in the industry chatting about the future of tech, and the challenges it faces.
Infinity Mirror Room
After much nail-biting anticipation, the AGO managed to acquire a piece of Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirror series, with Lets Survive Forever being added to the permanent collection. It opens to the public on May 25, and if the hype is anything like before, expect a few lineups.
High Park Cherry Blossoms
Nothing says spring like the splashes of pink and white across the city as the cherry blossoms begin to bloom. The High Park collection that blooms around mid-April is a most noteworthy spectacle, but there's trees tucked all over just waiting to be admired.
Hot Docs Festival
Films to watch are on as the Hot Docs Festival returns from April 25 to May 5 with new documentaries set to premiere among talks and events. Among them is Knock Down the House, a new film that captures U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's rise to stardom.
CONTACT Photography Festival
Back again is this month-long, city-wide photography festival on May 1 to 31 that allows patrons to check out works by local and international photographers, as galleries and venues open their doors for free for parties, events, talks and exhibitions.
Toronto Flower Market
Nothing says 'spring' like flowers, and the Toronto Flower Market has them in abundance. Local flower producers have picked the best and brightest from their stock and are ready to bring them to the market beginning May 11 and running until fall.
You don't have to be an urban explorer to get your fill of Toronto's most interesting, off-limits spaces as Doors Open returns from May 25 to 26, when some of the city's most historically significant and architecturally important spaces open to the public.
Take a stroll through the car-free streets of Kensington Market during this free street festival happening during the last Sunday of every month, beginning on May 26 and running until October. Food, drinks, activities, music, an art fair and more are all part of the fun.
From parks to parking lots, North by North East is back to fill the city up with music, visuals and parties from June 7 to 16. Musicians from all over the country are flocking in to play their stuff, and Yonge Street is once again turning into a huge street festival.
A giant mirror maze, a room full of teeth and a special Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit are all part of this year's Luminato international arts festival happening from June 7 to 23. Spaces all over the city are set to host the festivities, with works by artists from all over the world.
Taste of Little Italy
One of the biggest street festivals of the season is back from June 14 to 16 for a weekend of all-things Italian, as vendors along College Street splay out with patios and cookouts along a midway, entertainment, shopping and tons more.
The trends of tomorrow are showcasing at this fashion show featuring Ryerson's outgoing design students on April 4. Innovative, daring and nuanced works are set to be shown in front of industry professionals and the public alike to glimpse the future of fashion.
Party it up in the gallery on April 11 as local artists fill the space out further than with what's on the walls. The theme this year is crystal—so wear your best and brightest colours and shimmery sequins and show off the precious gem that you are.
Shining a spotlight on the city's independent artists scene, Images Festival explores works by artists and filmmakers from different backgrounds and using new, innovative techniques to tells stories inside of galleries and spaces all over the city from April 11 to 18.
Record Store Day
Vinyl aficionados and novices alike can get into the groove as record stores across the city party down in celebration of this international holiday on April 13. Tiny Record Shop is hosting a party with live music to make for one rockin' Saturday afternoon.
Fashion Art Toronto
Nowhere is Toronto's most fashionable side on display than during this showcasing of the city's trendiest and most innovative styles. Spanning five nights from April 24 to 28, expect experimental haute couture during this multi-sensory experience.
Toronto's tech scene is thriving, and if you're looking to see what it's all about, Digifest is back from April 25 to 27 with three days of talks, exhibitions, events and activities centering on the latest in tech.
The city's design industry is out in full force for this huge industry event on from April 29 to May 1, with three days and nights of presentations, parties, installations and performances that look to unite and transform the industry.
Spring signals the end of the school year for many university students, and the young artists at OCAD like to go out with a bang as GradEx returns from May 1 to 5 with final year students showing off their various projects throughout the galleries in the school.
Canadian Music Week
The best of Canada's music scene are all making their way to Toronto from May 2 to 12. The week-long festival will showcase over 800 bands at spots all over the city, so if you're looking to catch the next big wave of Canadian talent, this might be the time.
If you're on the hunt for some fresh new looks this spring, Inland returns May 3 and 4 to host over 70 emerging and established Canadian brands with a specific focus on ethical and sustainable manufacturing practices.
Jane Jacobs' philosophy of sustainable urban living that puts nature and humans first has taken on a new significance as Toronto grows. Created in her memory, this free, community-led festival that honours the unique history of each neighbourhood is back from May 3 to 5.
Coffee & Tea Expo
The first edition of this festival proved successful and Toronto is getting a refill on May 4 and 5 with both days filled to the brim with tastings, workshops, talks and shopping with goods from both local and international vendors.
Comic Arts Festival
All-things comic books gets a huge festival this spring as TCAF hosts a weekend of exhibitons featuring local and international artists, a vendor fair, readings, interviews, panels, workshops, gallery shows, art installations and more on May 11 and 12.
Sticky, sweet, messy and delicious. Grab a bib and strap in as Rib Fest returns to Toronto from May 16 to 18. Games, music, entertainment and a beer garden are all part of the fun.
Start planning your festival look now because Electric Island kicks off its five-date music series over on Hanlan's Point beginning on May 19. The official lineup hasn't been released yet, but you can expect some of the freshest electro beats by the best in the business.
The stories and perspectives of Toronto's LGBTQ+ community and beyond take to the big screen during this annual film festival, on from May 23 to June 2 with local and international films screening among talks, panels, events and installations.
Start planning your cosplay now as the biggest anime festival of the year returns from May 24 to 26 for a weekend of festivities dedicated to all-things Japanese culture. Exhibitions, parties, music, games and lots more are part of this annual celebration.
Get your fill of this Canadian delicacy as Poutine Fest returns from May 24 to 26 for three whole days of fries, gravy and cheese curds served up among food trucks, drinks, games, entertainment, music and activities.
Jazz, acapella, choir, pop, folk, gospel, choral, world, barbershop, and classical music are all part of this vocal arts festival on from May 24 to June 2 at places all over the city and including free performances, workshops, parties and lots more.
Food, drinks, art and fashion all come together for this huge art party at the Power Plant on June 6. This is where the who's-who of Toronto's art world come by to help raise money for the facility and its programming with a night of high-fashion fun.
Dundas West Fest
Two days of fun is on at this big neighbourhood festival from June 7 to 8. Spanning Dundas West from Ossington to Lansdowne, the street is set to be filled with music, entertainment, art, activities, food and drinks along the 12-block stretch.
It's a celebration of the finer things with chefs from all backgrounds and specialities taking up residence at this huge food festival dedicated to gourmet goodies on June 9. Best of all, it's all in support of Second Harvest Food Rescue.
Each year, members of Toronto's queer arts community paint West Queen West and the Church-Wellesley Village with all the colours of the rainbow on June 15. Performances, arts and crafts and a parade are all meant to show off the vibrancy of the city's queer arts scene.
Driving up to Downsview Park are over thirty of the city's best food trucks for this massive street food festival on from June 15 to 16. Included in the feasting are a huge midway, kids zone, entertainment and activities for everyone to enjoy.
Stop Night Market
Fill up for a good cause on June 18 and 19 when The Stop hosts a huge, two-night outdoor market featuring local food and drink vendors serving up a variety of goodies among music and activities, all in support of The Stop Community Food Centre.
Activities you can do all spring long
Cheer on your favourite sports team
Between the Raptors and Raptors 905 in the playoffs, Toronto Wolfpack, Leafs, Marlies, TFC and Blue Jays, there's no shortage of sports watching to be done around the city. This baseball season you can even look forward to a sweet surprise for anyone who likes a cold one at the game.
Shop local at a farmers' market
Shopping local for fresh produce is easy in spring when many of the farmers' markets around the city pop up to feature fruits, veggies and goodies made in and around the city. There's one for every day of the week!
Explore the city's ravine system
With so much concrete, Toronto's greenery can sometimes be overshadowed. But in and around the city is an urban oasis just waiting to be discovered through the various ravine systems that take you around the city and beyond.
Visit the Toronto Islands
The Islands are especially harsh during winter, which is what makes rediscovering them so special in spring. Spring ferry service revs up beginning April 12, when you can head over to this urban paradise and spend the day doing all sorts of fun stuff.
Hike the many trails around the city
After a long winter, it's time to get out and enjoy the fresh air. The best way to do this is with a hike, and Toronto is home to many incredible trails that take you on a tour through the city's parks, peaks and points.
Out of town
Zipline next to Niagara Falls
Spring means the thawing of ice in and around Niagra Falls and the return of zipline adventures. Beginning in April, you can have a zippy adventure next to the falls and through the mist when the Mistrider Zipline reopens for the season.
Fill up on butter tarts
Butter tarts are classic Canadian treat and nowhere is this flaky pastry more celebrated than during the Butter Tart Festival in Midland on June 8, where local vendors are serving up more than 200,000 butter tarts in varities you never knew existed.
Camp out in a wildnerness pod
It might still be a bit nippy out there, so if you're looking experience the great outdoors, these eco-friendly wilderness pods in Norfolk County offer the cosy comforts of a structured shelter, while still getting your fill of nature.
Get up close and personal with a waterfall
Just outside of Toronto is the small town of Eugenia Falls, named so after its picturesque waterfall that visitors can explore up-close. The waterfall is part of a trail inside a larger conversation area and makes for great spring day trip.
Go off-the-grid for the weekend
After months of hibernation, a spring escape might be just what you need. At Jecara Farms, you can put the cellphone away and relive some of the fun from childhood, with all kinds of seasonal activities like fishing and cycling, or relaxing with some cute animals.
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