fall toronto

50 things to do this fall in Toronto

50 things to do this fall in Toronto

Events and activities in Toronto this fall usher in the sweater weather and changing leaves with lots of stuff to do. Events are stacked with old favourites and newcomers while concert season promises to keep the good music coming and Oktoberfest is on tap all over the city.

There's also lots of free events worth checking out and food festivals to keep your tummy full of all kinds of festive goodies. 

Here's a taste of the many ways to enjoy Toronto this fall.

NEW THIS YEAR

Go see the MOCA in its new space

After a number of hold ups, this year marks the long anticipated grand opening of the Museum of Contemporary Art at its huge space inside the newly reclaimed Tower Automotive Building on Sterling Road.

Experience an epic light display under the Gardiner

Meant to reflect the ebbs and flow of water and waves, Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde brings his travelling light display, WATERLICHT, to The Bentway for three nights in an effort to call attention to Toronto's rising shoreline.

Be amazed at Ed Burtynsky's stunning photography of our planet

Looking at the planet through multiple geological ages, a new photography exhibit at the AGO starring Toronto's Ed Burtynsky, Jennifer Baichawl and Nicholas de Pencier takes a big picture, global approach to how humans have shaped the planet over time.

Vote in the election

It's been a whirlwind of changes to this year's municipal election and we're ready to roll with 25 wards and a tense campaign marked by new and old world values. Find out where and how to vote on October 22 and let your voice be heard.

Bust a gut with Hasan Minhaj

Ever since hosting the White House Correspondence Dinner last year, Hasan Minhaj has been gaining notoriety for his politically-charged comedy that he's bringing to Toronto on October 7 as part of his Before the Storm tour.

Check out the zipper structure on King West

Along King West lies a giant structure made out of what looks to be cubes that resembles a zipper. The Serpentine Pavilion is an interactive art installation meant to be explored by the public until it moves elsewhere at the end of November.

Trip out at the Museum of Illusions

A new museum of weird shapes, wild designs and trippy optics is opening a new, permanent, location in Toronto this October just steps from St. Lawrence Market.

Dine at a new restaurant

The city is bustling with a vibrant and ever-changing restaurant scene and this fall's most anticipated openings include a new food hall in the Annex and the latest from the Chase Hospitality Group. You can also catch up on everything you missed from the summer.

Don't shower before the Justin Timberlake show

Now a man of the woods, mega star Justin Timberlake is returning to Toronto this fall with his new, rugged attitude, folksy sound and probably some of the SexyBack classics as well on October 9.

Cheer on Kawhi Leonard and the new-look Raptors

It's a new dawn for both the Raps and the Scotiabank Arena. After a big switch up at the end of last season, the team will have Nick Nurse at the helm and be joined by Kawhi Leonard draped in black and gold OVO uniforms courtesy of mega fan Drake.

See Rob Stewart's final film

While diving in Florida, Toronto filmmaker Rob Stewart passed away. His final film, Sharkwater: Extinction, premiered during TIFF and looks to carry on Rob's vision of ocean conservation throughout the world. It comes to theatres this fall.

legends of horror

Legends of Horror is back again this year at Casa Loma. Photo by Jesse Milns.

FALL FAVOURITES

Get spooked at a haunted house

Something eerie is afoot as Halloween in Toronto approaches. There's a haunted market and a haunted house behind an Italian restaurant. Elsewhere, Casa Loma is getting spooked out once again as Legends of Horror returns to the castle for another year of haunted fun.

Cure your Halloween hangover at a pumpkin parade

Jack-O-Lanterns get a new life, post-Halloween, as pieces of homemade art during many of the pumpkin parades that happening around the city. Check them out in Sorauren Park or one of the many other parks in the city.

Soak up the fall colours

Fall is all about the changing leaves and there's lots of great ways to take in Ontario's multicoloured canopy. If moving through them is what you crave, there's lots of hidden spots that will carry you into the foliage, while ravines, parks and bluffs offer an unreal vantage.

pumpkin parade toronto

Pumpkin parades are a great way to admire your neighbours' creativity. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

MARQUEE EVENTS

Startup Open House

If you've ever wanted to see what all those Toronto tech startups are getting up to, the chance will come on September 27 when Startup Open House will allow curious folk to find out which startup have the best nap pods or ping-pong table.

Friday Night at the ROM

#FNL at the ROM returns for a season of parties among the dinosaur bones beginning September 28. Food, music and drinks are all on, and be sure to come early. The lineups get long!

nuit blanche toronto

Toronto's free all-night art party is back for 2018. This year it expands to Scarborough. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

Nuit Blanche

It wouldn't be fall in Toronto without an all-night art extravaganza spread throughout the city on September 29. This year's festival continues its expansion into Scarborough and includes a dumpling festival.

Vintage markets

Fall is a time for renewal, but in the case of vintage stuff, old is new and oftentimes just kind of better. Both the Toronto Vintage Clothing Show and the Antique and Vintage Market are on from September 29 to 30 where you can get old items from the New Look.

World Press Photo Exhibit

Some of the most moving, powerful and challenging images captured over the past year by photojournalists from all over the world will be on display for free in the Brookfield Place from October 2 to 23.

First Thursdays at the AGO

Party it up inside the art gallery this fall as First Thursdays returns every first Thursday of the month, giving guests access to the whole gallery with food, drink and music spread throughout. The next one is set for October 4!

Toronto After Dark

Get your fill of new horror, sci-fi and action flicks just in time for Halloween from October 11 to 19 when filmmakers from all over show their weird, gory and futurist works at this annual festival.

World Poutine Eating Championship

Poutine—Canada's most iconic food—takes on legendary status with an eating contest on October 13. Watch competitors gorge on fries, gravy and cheese curds and, after the champion has been crowned, enjoy a big free party and Yonge and Dundas Square.

world press photo

The free World Press Photo exhibit is always a stunner. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

Startup Fashion Week

Some of the country's most innovative fashion designers are set to debut their work during Startup Fashion Week from October 15 to 19. Here is where you'll catch new and emerging trends, small brands and designs that may find their impetus in Toronto.

imagineNATIVE

Indigenous film takes the spotlight from October 17 to 21 during this film festival that seeks to tell stories that both inspire and challenge, plus events, talks, and a variety of media arts showcases.

Red Bull Music Festival

Something new to look forward to this season is, unusually, a music festival outside of summer festival season by way of the Red Bull Music Festival on from October 17 to 25. See performances from DVSN and Alice Glass, alongside talks and a big ball.

International Festival of Authors

If you've ever wanted to hear from the mind behind the work, this ten-day festival invites writers to discuss their works and the meanings and process behind them October 18 to 28 at Harbourfront Centre.

Cask Days

There's just something about drinking beer that been poured from a cask. Cask Days returns from October 19 to 21 for a weekend of unpasteurized and unfiltered brews from local and regional brewers.

Toronto Soup Festival

What makes fall so special is truly its penchant for comfort food. New this year is a festival dedicate to one of the most warm and comforting foods there is: soup. Get your fill of gourmet soups, yummy goodies, drinks and entertainment on October 20 and 21.

cask days toronto

Try some new beer at Cask Days. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

Art Toronto

The Canadian art world comes together from October 25 to 29. Contemporary fine art depicting both the rugged Canadian landscape and works in all different styles will be displayed alongside lectures, discussions and events. 

TedxToronto

A whole day of inspiring talks from speakers and leaders across a spectrum of industries is happening on October 26. Hear stories from Director X, Masai Ujiri, Mary Walsh and Sarain Fox, to name a few.

Night of Dread

Our collective fears come to haunt us during this outdoor Halloween party in the park on October 27. Performers look to confront the things that scare us head on with pageantry and a parade, music and dance all evening long.

Church St. Halloween

Kanye said that "Halloween is the only day you’re not in a costume." Existentialism aside, this is the time to dawn your favourite superhero cape, cosplay outfit or couples costume and take to the street during this big all-night block party on October 31.

Movember

Grow it that stash long and proud this year in support of prostate cancer as Movember is on for the month of November. Tons of spots all over the city will play host to fundraising events while many individuals and teams can get involved, too. 

church st halloween

Church St. Halloween doesn't cost a dime to attend on Halloween night. Photo by Jesse Milns.

Hot Docs Podcast Festival

Podcasting has never been more popular and this year's festival is a testament to that. Gear up for talks and panels from many noteworthy names in the podcasting world from November 1 to 5, plus a live read from Reading Rainbow's LeVar Burton.

Everything to do with Sex Show

We all have questions and this show has answers when it comes on November 2 to 4. Catch talks, demos, shopping, seminars and entertainment of the adult-persuasion and see what's new in the world of sex.

Royal Winter Fair

A staple of fall in Toronto is the The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair on from November 2 to 11. Horses, cows, chickens and other barnyard cuties will be on hand, plus shopping, entrainment and a horticultural competition.

Indie Week

Innovative, different and nuanced tunes arrive as Indie Week takes over venues all over the city with over 300 musicians coming in to play from November 6 to 11. You never know who might become the next big indie thing.

ARTATTACK!

Win double at this big art auction on November 8 by picking yourself up some original works by local artists while supporting the local theatre scene. Not to mention there's a big after party as well. Triple win!

christmas market toronto

This Christmas Market returns to the Distillery this November. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

Christmas Market

The sights and sounds of the holiday season hit Toronto during this big market on from November 15 to December 23 in the Distillery District. Hot chocolate, chimney stacks, festive goodies, performances and plenty of Insta moments are all part of the fun.

Gourmet Food & Wine Expo

For all the foodies out there, you can take your taste buds on a tour at this big food show on from November 22 to 25 with tons of wine and drinks to try, plus demos, tastings, showcases and local and international brews on hand for the sampling.

One of a Kind Show

Back again is this huge market full of artisans from all over showing off their unique wears. Hanging plants, zines, buttons, clothing, art, food, decor and gifts are all on from November 22 to December 2.

Holiday Fair in the Square

The holiday season kicks off with a month of free festivities in the heart of downtown from December 1 to 23. A huge marketplace, food, drinks, entertainment and of course skating make up this big annual winter carnival.

Winter at Ontario Place

It's sure nice having Ontario Place back, and for the second year it will be running its winter programming. Dates and programming specifics have yet to be announced, but you can expect the Winter Light Exhibition ignite the waterfront once again.

Cirque Du Soleil

Inspired by the dream of a clown, Corteo is Cirque Du Soleil's newest show that features high-flying trapeze, mind-bending contortion and more colourful tights than you can handle on from December 12 to 16.

winter at ontario place

Fire pits don't get much better than the one at Winter at Ontario Place. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

OUTSIDE THE CITY

Take the plunge at a cranberry farm

If you've ever wanted to be engulfed in a lake of cranberries, Johnston's Cranberry Farm, located in Bala, Ontario, is set to kick off its annual cranberry plunge where you can do just that from September 22 to the end of October.

Ride the Simcoe train through the fall colours

It's one thing to look out over the changing fall foliage, and it's another to ride through it. But the South Simcoe Steam Train allows you to travel from Tottenham to Beeton on an old 1920's steam locomotive until the end of October, taking in the foliage along the way.

Ride a giant pumpkin at a pumpkin patch

Nothing says fall like pumpkins. Take a tour through a pumpkin patch at any one of the many just outside of Toronto. Some of them are accompanied by apple orchards, harvest festivals and more, depending on where you go.

Experience a breathtaking fall lookout

Leaf peepers can look forward to an especially gorgeous season of fall colours this year and one of the best places to take it all in might be Dundas Peak, located inside the Spencer Gorge Conservation Area in Dundas, Ontario.

Say hi to Esther the Wonder Pig

Esther the Insta-famous pig has amassed quite a following over the years, so much so that an entire animal sanctuary has been built around her, located in Camplebellville where you can hang out with her and her fellow animal buddies.

See the newly re-opened Cheltenham Badlands

After a three-year closure, these surreal dunes are set to reopen to the public to explore. The rare soft rock formations are like something from another planet and make for an interesting day trip when they reopen on September 22.

Climb some cliffs

It's best to get your nature fix in before winter arrives and the Cliff Top Trail inside the Mono Cliffs Provincial Park is just the place to have one last adventure, see the changing leaves and breath in that crisp fall air.


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