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101 Toronto events you have to check out in 2017

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Lloyd Braun Jan 12, 2017 7:41 am 1,144

We’ve always known Toronto is one of the best cities in the world for having a good time.

But it wasn’t until we completed this list that we realized, damn, there truly is nowhere else on the planet we’d rather be spending the next 12 months.

From celebrations of food to music, art, theatre, history, culture, nature, and everything in between, here are 101 events in Toronto you have to check out in 2017.

January

Winterlicious

What:¬†Toronto’s winter culinary celebration offers the perfect opportunity to discover delicious cuisine at more than 220 restaurants and experience unique culinary events.
When:
 January 27 to February 9
Where: Restaurants throughout the city.

Toronto Offsite Design Festival

What: The Toronto Design Offsite Festival (TO DO) is Canada’s largest cultural celebration of design with over 100 exhibitions and events forming Toronto’s design week.
When: January 16 to 27
Where: 1214 Queen Street West

Chinese New Year

What: Celebrate the biggest day of the Chinese calendar.
When:
January 28
Where: 
Wherever the best dim sum is. 

Toronto Light Fest

What: Discover lighting creations of every size and type. View installations appearing to float in the sky. Experience magical light sculptures, breath taking light canopies, neon artworks & futuristic laser formations.
When: January 27 to March 19
Where: Distillery District

February

#LOVE is in the air! A beautiful day for #Icefest16! Come out and see this years theme #ExpressionsOfLove

A photo posted by Bloor-Yorkville (@blooryorkville) on

Kuumba (Black History Month celebration)

What: For over 20 years, Harbourfront Centre’s Kuumba has sparked discourse and conversation around current and historical debates within the African-Canadian community.
When:
February 3 to 11
Where: 
235 Queens Quay West

Wavelength Music Festival

What: A live curated mixtape of the best NEW independent music coming out of Canada
When:
February 12 to 14
Where:
The Garrison, 1197 Dundas Street West

Contact Photography Festival

What: From enduring practices to new forms of expression, the Festival showcases a diverse range of photo-based works by Canadian and international artists.
When:
February 9
Where:
80 Spadina Avenue

Bloor-Yorkville Icefest

What: Professional ice carvers face off in the 17th Annual Sassafraz Ice Carving Competition.
When:
February 25 and 26
Where:
Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood

Roundhouse Winter Craft Beer Fest

What: Steam Whistle will have a simulated curling rink, fire pits, local food trucks, ice carving, their legendary après ski dance party and surprises around every snow bank.
When:
February 11
Where: 
255 Bremner Blvd

Canadian International Auto Show

What: Experience the Total Automotive Experience with over 600,000 square feet of dazzling displays, big prize giveaways and engaging exhibits.
When: 
February 17 to 26
Where:
Metro Toronto Convention Centre

March

COMING FEBRUARY 2017… @towfw

A photo posted by TOM* Toronto Mens Fashion Week (@tom_fw) on

Toronto’s Birthday

What: Toronto turns 183 years old.
When:
March 5 and 6
Where:
Events throughout the city

Georgia O’Keeffe at AGO

What: A major retrospective of pioneering American painter Georgia O‚ÄôKeeffe (1887‚Äď1986), featuring over 100 works of art by one the 20th century‚Äôs most successful and influential modernists.
When:
April 22 to July 30
Where: 
317 Dundas Street West 

Toronto Women’s Fashion Week

What: Not even a year after being cancelled, fashion week is back in Toronto. 
When:
March 9 to 14
Where:
TBA

Toronto Men’s Fashion Week

What: A celebration of the best in menswear design showcasing established and pioneering Canadian menswear designers and brands.
When:
March 3 to 8
Where:
Maple Leaf Gardens

Food and Drink Market

What: Eat, drink, learn & shop for three delicious days.
When:
March 31 to April 2
Where:
650 Dixon Road

Toronto FC Home Opener

What: Just a few months after a heartbreaking loss at home in the MLS Cup final, Toronto FC kicks off their 2017 season.
When:
March 31
Where:
BMO Field

Yayoi Kusama at the AGO

What: #InfiniteKusama marks the first North American tour in 20 years for the celebrated Japanese artist.
When:
March 3 to May 27
Where:
 317 Dundas Street West

One of a Kind Show

What: A juried marketplace to bring together makers and buyers who share a commitment to handmade excellence.
When:
March 29 to April 2
Where: 
Exhibition Place

ComiCon

What: One of the world’s biggest showcases of everything comics and fantasy.
When:
March 17 to 19
Where:
Metro Toronto Convention Centre

April

The turnaround starts here. #ALCS #OurMoment

A photo posted by Toronto Blue Jays (@bluejays) on

International Pillow Fight Day

What: Join hundreds of fellow compatriots in the world’s largest celebration of pillow fighting.
When:
April 1
Where:
Details to come January 15th.

Hot Docs film festival

What: Hot Docs, North America’s largest documentary festival, offers an outstanding selection of over 200 films from Canada and around the world to Toronto audiences of more than 200,000.
When:
April 27 to May 7
Where:
Various locations

National Canada Film Day

What: National Canadian Film Day is REEL CANADA’s annual day-long celebration of Canadian film, through screenings, events, panel discussions, and conversations (both on and offline) across the country.
When:
April 19
Where:
Anywhere. Participate by watching a great Canadian film. 

Images Festival

What: Images Festival is the largest festival in North America for experimental and independent moving image culture, showcasing the innovative edge of international contemporary media art both on and off the screen.
When:
Early April
Where:
Various locations across Toronto

Free entry to Canada’s National Parks and Historic Sites

What: Parks Canada is giving Canadians the gift of FREE admission to its National Parks, National Marine Conservation Areas and National Historic Sites all year long.¬†We’ve done the math so¬†you¬†can¬†see¬†how far they are from Toronto.
When:
All year
Where:
Nationwide

Canadian Music Week

What: One of the premier entertainment events in North America. The festival spans 10 nights of performances, with 1000 showcasing artists.
When:
April 18 to 22
Where:
Various venues

Toronto Raptors Playoffs

What: Canada’s lone NBA franchise will once again set their sights on the NBA finals.
When:
Start mid-April
Where:
Air Canada Centre

Toronto Blue Jays Home Opener

What: The Toronto Blue Jays play their first home game of the 2017 season against the Milwaukee Brewers.
When:
April 12th
Where:
Rogers Centre

May

High Park Cherry Blossoms

What: Take in one of Toronto’s most spectacular natural wonders.
When:
End of April and into May
Where: 
1873 Bloor St West

Electric Island

What: A summer series that celebrates the underground sound by bringing house and techno talent to Canada.
When:
May to September
Where:
Toronto Island 

Cinco de Mayo

What: Celebrate one of the biggest days in Mexico’s calendar.
When:
May 5
Where:
Events throughout the city

My City My Six

What:¬†Each year, Cultural Hotspot shines spotlight on Toronto’s culturally diverse neighbourhoods through Signature and SPARK projects by partnering and collaborating with arts organizations and emerging artists from diverse communities.
When:
May through October
Where:
Throughout the city

OCAD Graduate Exhibit

What: The university will throw open its doors, inviting the community to see works by the creative minds of OCAD U’s graduating class.
When:
 After the school year
Where: 100 McCaul Street

Vintage Crawl

What: Vintage Crawl Toronto happens twice a year, each spring and fall, and helps connect shoppers to the stores and small business.
When:
April and October (usually)
Where:
Vintages stores throughout Toronto

Free Comic Book Day

What: Visit your local comic book shop on this day for FREE COMICS.
When:
May 6
Where:
Comic book shops around the city

Toronto Kpop Con

What: A place to meet new friends and join one of the most exciting communities of music lovers anywhere.
When:
May 12 to 14
Where: 
255 Front Street West

Doors Open

What: Free and rare access to more than 130 architecturally, historically, culturally and socially significant buildings across the city. 
When:
May 27 and 28
Where:
Venues throughout the city

Anime North

What: Anime convention that celebrates anime, manga, music, games and all other forms of Japanese culture.
When:
May 26 to 28
Where: 
655 Dixon Road

Inside Out

What: For more than two decades, Inside Out has brought Toronto’s LGBT community together in celebration of the best queer film from Canada and around the world.
When:
May/June
Where:
TBA

Woofstock

What:¬†North America’s largest festival for dogs
When: TBA
Where: Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen Street East

June

Bollywood is lit!ūüĒ•ūüĒ•ūüĒ•#bestivalto

A photo posted by Bestival Toronto (@bestivaltoronto) on

Bestival

What: A two-day wonderland of music & arts.
When:
Dates TBA
Where:
Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen Street East

Taste of Toronto

What:¬†Taste of Toronto showcases the true flavours of the local food scene. Enjoy signature dishes from the city’s finest restaurants, learn tricks of the trade from world-class chefs, and sample gourmet food and drinks, all in one place.
When:
June 15 to 18
Where: 
100 Garrison Road

The Stop Night Market

What: A feast for the eyes, belly, and heart. This annual fundraising event brings together creatives from Toronto’s culinary, design, performance, and graphic arts sectors, celebrating diversity, community, and the power of food.
When:
Date TBA
Where:
158 Sterling Road

Gatsby Garden Party

What:¬†Step back in time at Spadina Museum’s Gatsby Garden Party. Enjoy live music, learn how to dance 1920s-style and try a game of croquet.
When:
Date TBA
Where:
285 Spadina Road

Free Outdoor Movies

What: Grab your blankets, snacks, and bikes (& boats), and get ready for outdoor movie season.
When:
 June through September
Where:
Harbourfront Centre,¬†235 Queen’s Quay West

World Naked Bike Ride

What: Take your clothes off and ride a bike ‚Äď easy.
When:
Date TBA
Where:
Throughout the city

Luminato Festival

What: Luminato is one of the preeminent arts festivals in North America, having commissioned close to 100 new works of art, with more than 3,000 performances featuring 11,000 artists from over 40 countries.
When:
Date TBA
Where:
Throughout the city

Field Trip Music Festival

What: Field Trip is about so much more than just a great, world-class music. Food, art, comedy, family, fashion and technology are among the many inspirations and each year’s edition.
When:
Date TBA
Where:
100 Garrison Road

Mac and Cheese Festival

What: Toronto’s hottest chefs, savvy cooks and food entrepreneurs, competing to win your heart with the city’s best mac and cheese.
When:
Sometime in June
Where:
Ontario Place

Boobyball

What: Rethink Breast Cancer’s annual fundraising event ‚Äď a must-attend.
When:
TBA
Where:
TBA

PRIDE

What: One of the world’s biggest celebrations of the diversity of the LGBT community.
When:
Late June/Early July
Where:
Church-Wellesley Village 

NXNE

What:¬†The festival’s main draw is live music, but it also includes a film festival, a comedy festival, art components, video game activities, and a digital interactive media conference.
When:
June 16 to 25
Where:
Throughout the city

Jazz Fest

What: The TD Toronto Jazz Festival delivers the sounds of the world’s greatest jazz musicians from the quaint and most intimate of venues to the large concert halls.
When: June 23 to July 2
Where: 
Various venues

Sake Festival

What: The largest sake event in Canada, Kampai Toronto will showcase over 150 sakes from Japan & North America this year paired with a myriad of appetizers  from top Toronto restaurants.
When: TBA
Where:
Distillery District

See also

July

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition

What:¬†The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition is Canada’s largest, longest running juried contemporary outdoor art fair.
When:
July 14 to 16
Where:
401 Richmond Street West

Fringe Festival

What: The Toronto Fringe is part of the ‚ÄúFringe movement‚ÄĚ ‚Äď a worldwide network of indie theatre festivals. As the name suggests, the movement is about celebrating under-represented voices and those on the margins of the performing arts world.¬†
When:
July 5 to 16
Where:
More than 30 venues throughout the city

Digital Dreams

What: Set on the shoreline of Toronto with one of North America’s most iconic skylines in the background, Bud Light Digital Dreams Music Festival and the Flats at Ontario Place offer party goers a sophisticated festival experience, unlike any other in the Canadian music landscape.
When:
TBA
Where:
Ontario Place

Canada turns 150

What: You only turn 150 once. Make it count. 
When:
All year long
Where:
Everywhere

Junction Night Market

What: An evening of fabulous local food, craft beer, cider and wine in the Junction.
When:
TBA
Where: 
Pacific Avenue, just north Dundas Street West

Salsa in Toronto

What: One of the largest Latino-themed cultural celebrations in Canada, the TD Salsa in Toronto Festival spans a three-week period and culminates in Salsa on St. Clair, a two-day street fest. 
When:
July 3 to 23
Where:
St. Clair Avenue

Festival of Beer

What: Toronto’s Festival of Beer celebrates Canada’s rich brewing history by featuring more than 120 brands around the world and many Ontario craft brewers.
When:
July 28 to July 30
Where:
Exhibition Place

Honda Indy

What:¬†A¬†week-long festival-like atmosphere that includes the world’s fastest racing series, celebrity athletes, live entertainment and interactive activities.
When:
July 14 to 16
Where: 
Exhibition Place

August

Feel the breeze! #midway #CNE2016 ~KJ

A photo posted by Canadian National Exhibition (@letsgototheex) on

Crazy Food at the CNE

What: Last year was insane ‚Äď and you know they’ll up their game again.
When:
August 18 to September 7
Where:
210 Princes’ Boulevard

Sail-in Cinema

What: The world’s first two-sided floating movie experience of its kind.
When:
Date TBA
Where:
Sugar Beach, 25 Dockside Drive, Corus Quay Drive

Summerworks Performance Festival

What: SummerWorks is Canada’s largest curated performance festival of theatre, dance, music, and live art.
When:
August 3 to 13
Where:
Various venues

TIFF

What: One of the world’s premier festivals of film and always a top draw for international celebrities.
When:
September 7 to 17
Where:
Various venues

ShakesBeer

What: Productions so interactive and visceral that Mercutio will jump on a patron’s table, take a swig of his beer, and convince Romeo to join the party; moments so intimate that an uproarious audience holds its breath to hear Hamlet whisper a soliloquy. 
When:
Date TBA
Where: 
Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street

Taste of the Danforth

What: Canada’s largest street Festival, welcoming approximately 1.65 million attendees annually.
When:
TBA
Where:
All along Danforth Avenue

Rogers Cup

What: Canada’s premier annual tournament, featuring some of the biggest names in the game.
When:
August 5 to 13
Where: 
1 Shoreham Drive

Veld Music Festival

What: Canada’s largest electronic music festival returns for it’s 6th year.
When:
August 5 and 6
Where: 
35 Carl Hall Road

Caribana

What: An exciting three-week cultural explosion of Caribbean music, cuisine, and revelry.
When:
August 3 to August 7
Where:
Harbourfront 

OVO Fest

What:¬†Drake’s OVO Fest is the biggest event during Caribana weekend.
When:
TBA
Where:
TBA

Fan Expo

What: The largest Comics, Sci-fi, Horror, Anime, and Gaming event in Canada and the 3rd largest Pop Culture event in North America.
When:
August 31 to September 3
Where:
Metro Toronto Convention Centre

September

Hot & Spicy Food Fest

What: The fest explores diverse hot food experiences, with cuisine from around the world. International and local chefs, farmers and artists reflect on how they fit into the global scene.
When:
September 1 to 4
Where:
Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West

Vegetarian Food Fest

What: Inspiring people to choose a healthier, greener, more compassionate lifestyle through plant-based eating.
When:
September 8 to 10
Where:
Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West

Nuit Blanche

What: For one sleepless night, from sunset to sunrise, the familiar is discarded and Toronto is transformed into an artistic playground for a series of exhilarating contemporary art experiences in unexpected public spaces.
When:
September 30
Where:
Throughout the city

Oktoberfest

What:¬†Join 5,000 others dressed¬†in dirndls and lederhosen at Toronto’s largest Oktoberfest, celebrating¬†Bavarian heritage with food, beer, music, and a fun fair modelled after the original Munich event.
When:
End of September
Where: 
955 Lake Shore Boulevard West

Expo for Design, Innovation and Technology

What:¬†Guest-curated by contemporary cultural leaders, these exhibitions will provide an ‚Äúedit‚ÄĚ of the most inspiring design, innovation and technology solutions to real-world problems: adequate housing, nutrition, healthcare, and education for all.
When:
September 28 to October 8
Where:
21 Don Roadway

Invictus Games

What: The Invictus Games will use the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding of and respect for those who serve their country, and their loved ones.
When:
September 23 to 30
Where:
Various venues

Just for Laughs 43

What: The most hilarious, riveting and relevant comedy acts we could find over a 10-day period.
When:
September 21 to 30
Where:
Various venues

Guillermo del Toro at the AGO

What: The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) will present the only Canadian appearance of a new exhibition that offers a rare glimpse into the creative process of famed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro.
When:
September 30 to January 7
Where:
 317 Dundas Street West

Food Truck Fest

What:¬†Eat like a Foodstar for one fun filled day as you experience Ontario’s best food truck creations.
When:
TBA
Where:
Downsview Park

Soupalicious

What:¬†‚Ä®With the bounty of Ontario’s fresh harvest and the talents of local chefs, the creation of soups is the perfect opportunity to showcase Ontario’s culinary, agricultural, environmental and social connections in a fun and tasty way.
When:
September 24
Where: 
Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street

Word on the Street Festival

What: Participate in hundreds of author events, presentations and workshops, and to browse a marketplace that boasts the best selection of Canadian books and magazines you’ll find anywhere.
When:
September 24
Where: 
Harbourfront Centre,¬†235 Queen’s Quay West

Buskerfest

What: Toronto‚Äôs wildly successful international street performer festival ‚Äď a showcase for hundreds of the most spectacular street performers on earth.
When:
September 1 to 4
Where: 
Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen Street East

October

A photo posted by Cask Days (@caskdays) on

Reelworld Film Fest

What: Now in its 16th year, the Reelworld Film Festival is dedicated to harnessing the power of film as a force for social good.
When: 
October 11 to 15
Where:
 Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West

TEDxTO

What: TEDxToronto is Canada’s largest TEDx event, a platform for exceptional ideas, and a catalyst for profound change.
When:
TBA
Where:
TBA

Everything to Do With Sex Show

What: North America’s biggest consumer romance show.
When:
TBA
Where: 
100 Princes’ Boulevard

Cask Days

What: A family run cask-conditioned craft beer festival in founded by barVolo in 2005.
When:
Third weekend of October
Where:
Evergreen Brick Works, 50 Bayview Avenue #300

imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival

What: The world’s largest presenter of Indigenous screen content.
When:
TBA
Where:
TBA

Food Truck Fest

What:¬†Eat like a Foodstar for one fun filled day as you experience Ontario’s best food truck creations.
When:
TBA
Where:
Downsview Park

Poutine Eating Championship

What: The world’s largest Poutine eating competition and the second largest professional eating competition in the world.
When: TBA
Where: TBA

Canada’s Walk of Fame Festival

What: The annual Canada’s Walk of Fame Festival features a stellar line-up of celebrated Canadian talent at landmark Toronto venues. 
When:
TBA
Where:
Theatre District

November

#cavalcadeoflights #firework #toronto

A photo posted by Jin (@jins83) on

Movember

What: You know the drill: grow a ‘mo for a great cause.
When:
All month
Where:
Everywhere

Gourmet Food and Wine Expo

What: Each year the Expo offers 45,000 guests an unparalleled opportunity to sample over 1,500 fine wines, spirits and beers from around the globe.
When:
TBA
Where:
222 Bremner Boulevard

Royal Winter Fair

What: Celebrate the best in agriculture, local food, and equestrian competitions from across the country.
When: November 3 to 12
Where: Exhibition Place

Cavalcade of Lights

What: This festive event, a Toronto holiday tradition for nearly 50 years, features the illumination of Toronto’s official Christmas tree, performances by some of Canada’s top musical talent, a brilliant fireworks show and a DJ skating party at Nathan Phillips Square.
When:
TBA
Where:
Nathan Phillips Square

Santa Claus Parada

What: More than 25 animated floats with themes ranging from Harry Potter to Hockey Night in Canada.
When:
TBA
Where:
Downtown

Hockey Hall of Fame Inductions Weekend and Legends Classic

What: The legends of hockey gather for a weekend full of tributes and fan events dedicated to Canada’s game.
When:
TBA
Where: 
30 Yonge Street

December

Solaris Music Festival

What: Some of the biggest names in electronic music perform at Rebel.
When:
End of December
Where:
11 Polson Street

Bit Bazaar

What: A video game arts and crafts market + zine fair that happens a few times a year.
When:
Various dates throughout the year.
Where:
50 Carlton Street

York-University Subway line completion

What: More subway stops!
When:
End of 2017
Where:
From Downsview to Vaughan Corporate Centre


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Lloyd Braun
I used to sell computers, now I write for them.

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