fall events toronto

The top 10 events in Toronto for fall 2014

Fall events in Toronto should keep you busy enough that you lose track of the cold that's going to begin frosting the leaves under your feet like so much wilted, crackly cake. Did you hear about that whole fried maple leaves trend? Hopefully that hits Toronto's food scene asap (we'll happily add it here as a quasi event).

For now, be content with scary film fests, art shows, beer, books, and of course, the fair. Here are the top 10 must-attend events in Toronto this fall - but most importantly, don't forget to vote on October 27.

After Dark Film Festival
Toronto's haunted film fest is back from October 16-24. Featuring the Toronto premieres of the greatest in horror, scifi, action and cult, (let's be honest, the only film genres that matter) this year's After Dark looks to have topped itself in its delivery of vomit-inducing gross-outs, stupidly gratuitous violence and pants-wetting frights. From October 16-24 catch a total of 20 films at the Scotiabank Theatre. Look out for our upcoming preview of the gore-fest. Aaron Broverman

Michelangelo: Quest for Genius
From October 18-January 11, the AGO is showing a sizable collection of Michelangelo drawings. Big deal, right? Some dead guy who didn't even bother to erase the guide lines he made under his sketches. I kid - while the works in this exhibit will be small, the weight of Michelangelo's skill be something you never forget. Committing the human form to paper with sensitivity of this magnitude has been often mimicked, but perhaps never matched. Well, maybe Rembrandt.

X-Avant IX
The Music Gallery's X-Avant Festival is without a doubt what many experimental, pop, jazz, noise, classical, and wtf-ever music fans will call one of the year's most exciting times, and what some other music lovers would hesitatingly call "interesting." Yet the five concerts and three outreach events on the year's (admittedly cliche) theme of "Transculturalism: Moving Beyond Multiculturalism," spanning October 17-19, promise strong enough curation that those even slightly intrigued in expanding their musical horizons will be glad they took the dive. Uma Nota runs this weekend as well.

Buffer Festival
Toronto's first-ever YouTube-centric convention is back for a second year October 17-19. If the words "like, comment, subscribe" mean anything to you, you'll be thrilled to know that the 2014 roster of guest YouTubers, in addition to returning faces like Charlie McConnell, has been beefed up with additions like Epic Meal Time, Shay Carl, Rhett and Link. I'm taking bets to see if Davey Wavey wears a shirt. Tickets to each event are $15, and going fast for some of the bigger names. (If you're not around that weekend, fast rapper and pale kid Watsky plays the Danforth Music Hall on November 10.) Natalia Manzocco

Art Toronto
Autumn's TIAF (Oct 24-27, 2014) is the city's biggest arts fair by a long shot. The international art fair is a great chance to immerse yourself in some of the best contemporary and even traditional artwork Toronto has to offer via both established and young galleries, plus be exposed to art from around the world. It's also one of the year's best events for people watching (and Instagram). Brush shoulders with the art world October 24-27 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, and don't forget newbie fair Feature: Contemporary Art Fair, which is on Oct 23-26.

Cask Days
If you don't have a ticket to one of the season's biggest beer events, it might be time to add "Cask Days tix?" to your Tinder bio (with the pint emoticons if you're on iPhone, naturally). Evergreen Brick Works will house the 10th annual celebration of cask-conditioned craft beer October 24-25. Here are our rules for enjoying the festival (once you find tickets, and a date).

Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition
Can you stomach seeing those blue dresses the scary twins wore in The Shining up close? Opening Halloween night, TIFF's Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition is next in a long line of steller, fan-pleasing installs at the King Street cinema (such as this creep-out Cronenberg tribute). The exhibit, featuring documents, swag, and props like 'Starchild' from 2001: A Space Odyssey, runs until January 25, which might give me time to get over those Shining nightmares I had from age 7-13. Maybe.

Halloween is huge in Toronto and I can't wait to see what your dogs dress up as this year. The Church Street Halloween Block Party, Sorauren Pumpkin Parade, Night of Dread, Zombie Walk, and Death to TO are must-hits, then look out for our upcoming guide of parties, parties, parties. Unacceptable costumes for 2014: Rob Ford, Rob Ford's [anything], Rob Ford as [anything], [anything] as Rob Ford. Leave your political snark where it belongs - in the ballot box (Doug probably won't be swinging by Pride 2015 either).

Royal Winter Fair
Can't escape the city this fall? Let the country come to you. The largest indoor agricultural fair and international equestrian competition in the world takes over Exhibition Place from November 7-16 for 10 days of horse shows, petting zoos, livestock competitions, fudge eating, butter sculpting, sweater-buying fun. The event has become increasingly food-focused over the years, which just makes sense. Get to know your farmer, guys. It makes dinner taste better. Liora Ipsum

Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair
The inaugural Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair will take place November 13-16 at the Metro Convention Centre with over 400 authors on hand, including such heavyweights as Margaret Atwood (but of course), William Gibson, Anne Rice, and Kathy Reichs. Along with the literary highlights, there will be sections and stages devoted to culinary writing (with Elizabeth Baird and Rose Reisman in attendance), children's books, romance novels, and memoirs. The fair will be capped off with Canada's Self-Publishing Awards, which will dole out $50,000 in prizes. Derek Flack

What did I miss? Add more events to the comments.

Photo of the Church Street Halloween Block Party by Jesse Milns

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