50 things to do this fall in Toronto
50 things to do this fall in Toronto
Things to do this fall in Toronto include events and activities that provide plenty of adventure before it's time to hibernate for winter.
There's a newcomer to the Christmas-themed event scene with Glow, and the Toronto Biennial of Art is just getting started. Meanwhile, it's Halloween time in the city and old favourites like Cavalcade of Lights and Nuit Blanche add excitement to the season.
Here's are some of the many ways to enjoy Toronto this fall.
New this year
Catch Cirque du Soleil's iconic show at a new location
Telling the story of a kingless monarchy and an imposter who tries to gain power, Montreal's spandex-clad performers are back with Alegria running until November 24 at the big top's new spot at Ontario Place.
Experience Toronto's art scene totally free of charge
Save your pennies for a rainy day because the long-awaited Art Biennial has already kicked off its inaugural year and runs until December 1 with ten weeks of exhibitions and programming at spots all over the city every two years — all totally free to check out.
Dig in at a new fried chicken festival
Crispy, juicy, spicy, savoury and sweet: these are all the things to love about the miracle that is fried chicken. A new festival happening on September 28 and 29 is dedicated to all-things deep fried chicken with bites, burgers, cones and everything else you can stuff fried chicken into.
Take a trip through Refinery29's magical art maze
The work of international artists comes together for this travelling art maze that's making a stop in Toronto from September 26 to October 6 to give patrons a chance to explore through different themed rooms and take photos, and even check out the phone-free spaces.
Cast your vote for the next Prime Minister of Canada
The Federal election is just around the corner and it's all going down on October 21. If you're wondering where to start, there's lots of info online. Hot Docs is also hosting a primer and live coverage on election night, just one of many that'll likely be happening all over.
See the Raptors claim their championship rings
Last spring's NBA Finals saw the Raptors score big and take home the championship title, followed by a huge parade and the exit of Kawhi Leonard. Now it's time to witness the team pick up their rings and kick off a new season on October 22 with a whole new vibe.
Get lost in the magical world of Dr. Seuss
One fish, two fish, red fish, Toronto fish. A new interactive Dr. Seuss exhibit is coming to Square One Mall on October 26 to feature themed rooms filled with truffula trees from The Lorax and a working carousel.
Prance along with Cats the Musical
The legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber play is once again touring and coming to Toronto from November 27 to January 5 for some scrappy alley cat fun as Mirvish launches a ton of exciting classic productions for its new season.
Bask in the warm light of the city's newest indoor Christmas festival
'Tis the season to get festive and new this year is Glow, a huge, indoor Christmas festival coming to the Toronto Congress Centre from November 28 to January 4, featuring over 80,000 sq feet of space, playgrounds, illuminated sculptures and artisan markets.
Outspoken leaders of the media, online and arts community are coming out for three days of talks from September 23 to 25 that centre on the power of conversation. Folks like Ryan Mchahon, Jaafar Adul Karmin and Katty Nivyabandi are dropping by to chat.
Startup Open House
Ever wonder where the magic happens with so many of these startups? Toronto's got plenty, and they're opening their doors on September 26 for anyone to drop by and check out their space, plus a chance to talk with staff, CEOs and founders to see what they're all about.
Guten Tag, dear friends, for Oktoberfest season in Toronto means plenty of schnitzel, Steins and lederhosen. One party in particular is set to keep the beer flowing as Toronto Oktoberfest takes over Ontario Place from September 26 to 28 for a weekend of fun.
Ontario Culture Days
It's not every day you can check out attractions around the city and province for free, but from September 27 to 29, you can do just that at places like the Gardiner and ROM as they open their doors for free and host performances, workshops and activities throughout the day.
Winter is right around the corner, and that means board game season. ProtoTO is on from September 27 to 29 to take your Catan to the next level as gamers from all over drop by to battle it out and new board games are unveiled for everyone to try.
World Press Photo
Some of the world's most impactful photographs taken by photojournalists are being showcased inside during World Press Photo from October 1 to 23, with works that capture the biggest stories of the year using striking visuals and fascinating subjects.
Star Wars in Concert
Literally one of the most famous scores ever is being played live by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra from October 3 to 5 as the ensemble plays the epic music of the Return of the Jedi alongside a screening of the film.
Calling all creators for this festival on from October 4 to 6 that focuses on digital content and looks to showcase the best YouTube vids out there right now. Expect guest appearances, talks, panels and lots more.
Nuit Blanche is one of the year's most anticipated events with hundreds of artists placing their works in public spaces all over the city on October 5. Expect a big ode to the Raptors and a slaughter house turned into an art hangout, just to name a few.
Red Bull Music Festival
International and local artists are linking up to showcase the best of the city's music scene as this festival returns from October 16 to 24 with performances by Jesse Reyez and MorMor, plus parties and talks throughout the week.
ReelWorld Film Festival
Dedicated to highlighting the works of diverse filmmakers from around the city, this festival on from October 17 to 21 focuses on storytelling though film with a selection of works that address pressing social issues and create awareness and understanding of the world around us.
Toronto After Dark
Cult, action, sci-fi and horror flicks from all over the world are on at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival that's happening from October 17 to 25 with special guests dropping by for talks, parties and special events.
Unpasteurized, unfiltered and naturally carbonated beer and cider from brewers all over the province are on tap as Cask Days returns from October 18 to 20, served up alongside food, art and music.
Toronto Watefront Marathon
Lace up and get ready to hit the pavement, because this huge marathon is back that spans nearly the entire city from east to west on October 20, with the option to do a 42k, 21k or 5k run all the way from Bloor West Village to the Beaches and back!
imagineNATIVE Film Festival
Now in its 20th year, the work of Indigenous artists from Canada and around the world are at the centre of this film festival on from October 22 to 27 that includes film, video, audio, digital media, exhibitions and talks.
Toronto International Festival of Authors
Now in its 40th year, hundreds of authors from Canada and all over the world are dropping for the the Toronto International Festival of Authors from October 24 to November 3 to chat about their work and process, alongside many events and special programming.
Three days of art are on as Art Toronto returns from October 25 to 27 to showcase contemporary works from the country's leading artists alongside workshops, talks, programming, shopping, competitions, parties and lots more.
Night of Dread
Dress in your best black and white for this outdoor community theatre festival in Dufferin Grove Park on October 26 with an evening of fearful pageantry, revels and mockery put on by local performers and followed by a parade.
It's a day of inspiring, enlightening talks from local innovators, creatives and thinkers as TEDxToronto returns on October 26 to feature activist Shireen Ahmed, environmental journalist Andrew Reeves and choreographer Esie Mensah.
It's a party at the gallery as the AGO hosts an all-day art party on October 26 from open until close, with performances by local artists throughout the museum, activities and workshops for the whole family, and later on, some late night adult fun with food and drinks.
Halloween on Church
Halloween on Church is arguably one of the biggest celebrations in the city with thousands of people strutting their Halloween stuff along Church Street with the block closed off for a night of music and food from nearby local spots.
The Royal Winter Fair
An annual staple of winter comes with the Royal Winter Fair on from November 1 to 10 to highlight agriculture in all its forms, with livestock showcases, competitions, food and lifestyle attractions, entertainment and a beer festival.
Hot Docs Podcast Festival
The lineup for this podcast festival on from November 6 to 11 has yet to be announced, but in the past it's hosted some of the biggest names in podcasting and audio storytelling alongside special programming, live shows and a creators' forum.
A stellar lineup of musicians are dropping by places all over the city from November 13 to 17, when this annual music festival returns to showcase the best of Toronto's local indie scene and artists from all over the world.
Evening at the Market
St. Lawrence Market is always an amazing place to visit, and, even more exciting, the old space is once again hosting a huge all-you-can-eat night market on November 14 to raise money for Second Harvest with a night of great eats, music and performances.
Toronto Christmas Market
It's the most wonderful time of year and the Distillery District is once again decking the halls in time for Christmas when it returns from November 14 to December 22 with shopping, music, food, drinks and that big giant Christmas tree.
Gourmet Food and Wine Expo
For those of us that like a good bite, hundreds of gourmet vendors are dropping by for this big show that features exquisite, restaurant-grade food, drinks and products to discover from November 21 to 24.
One of a Kind Show
As the name suggests, everything at this big show is made by artisans from around the country that specialize in their craft. It's here that you'll find home, beauty, clothing, food, furniture and gadgets all under one roof from November 21 to December 1.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Capturing the animals of the world is no easy task, but these photographers — both amateur and professional — pull it off in this photography series that showcases the best shots from nature at the ROM from November 23 to March 29.
Miracle on Ossington
Cheers to the holidays as this Christmas-themed pop-up bar returns from November 25 to December 26 to serve up yuletide treats like eggnog, mulled wine and other holiday-inspired drinks inside of a decked-out space with Christmas sweater-clad servers.
Everything to Do With Sex Show
Fall means cuddle season and cuddling leads to... well, you know. And for everything needed for that, there's the big show on from November 29 to December 1 featuring the newest in sex products and industry experts in to talk about all things sex.
Cavalcade of Lights
Bright and beautiful fireworks are set to light up the winter sky as Cavalcade of Lights returns to City Hall on November 30 with a dazzling light show and festival that includes performances, music and skating all evening long.
Holiday Fair in the Square
Nathan Phillips Square will once again be turned into a huge holiday wonderland from December 7 to 23 with rides, skating, food, drinks and a marketplace. Best of all, this year you can catch the Leafs and Raptors games on the big screen as well.
Check out the fall colours
Toronto's foliage in fall is like nothing else with vibrant reds, oranges and yellows lighting the city up with colour. There's plenty of excellent vantage points to see it or you can get up close on any of the many trails and ravines all over.
Venture through a pumpkin parade
Pumpkin parades are an annual traditional for many neighbourhoods throughout the city where, after Halloween, carved Jack-o'-lanterns are placed in rows in local parks and lit up at night. It marks the chance to see all the amazing pumpkins before they're tossed out.
Go on a fall hike
There's something about fall — it's not too hot and not too cold, the air is fresh and it's still nice enough to get out and enjoy the weather before winter sets it — that makes it the best time to go hiking, and thankfully Toronto has lots of places to do just that.
Visit a haunted house
It's that time of year again when things get a little spooky, and there's lots of places around the city ripe with scares. Casa Loma is once again transforming into a giant haunted house and Screemers is back. There's lots of other haunted attractions in and outside Toronto, too.
Outside the city
Pick up a pumpkin at a pumpkin patch
There's lots of spots just outside of the city that let you pick your own pumpkin. Best of all, these patches also offer fun daytime activities like wagon rides, pig races, corn mazes and lots more festive fun.
Take a train through the fall foliage
Toronto's gorgeous fall colours are but a small sample of the incredible landscape around the province and there's no better way to see it than by taking a trip on the Agawa Canyon Train Tour that takes you through Ontario's changing colours.
Spend the day apple picking
Nothing says 'fall' like apples. Apple cider, apple pies, apple everything. At orchards situated all around the city, you can snag a bushel of fresh, ripe apples with some even having bakeries and cider mills on site where you can pick up apple-infused treats.
Wade through a pond full of cranberries
Just two hours north of the city lies Johnson's Cranberry Farm where what may seem unconventional is actually the perfect fall day trip. There, you can dive into a sea of bright red cranberries during the annual Cranberry Plunge while being surrounded by bright fall foliage.
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