38 events worth checking out in Toronto this February

Jan 30 2020, 7:24 am

The month might kick off with the Super Bowl, but there’s plenty after that going on as well. It’s the shortest month on the calendar (even if it is a leap year), but there’s no shortage of great things to get up to this February.

Winter Chocolate Show

Winter Chocolate Show

What: For the second February in a row, Toronto will be home to a Winter Chocolate Show, for the sole reason of celebrating and indulging in this universal joy-food. The one-day festival celebrates Canada’s craft chocolate makers. Bean-to-bar creators will be offering samples of their sweet treats and selling bars and bites.

When: Saturday, February 1
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Where: Enoch Turner Schoolhouse — 106 Trinity Street
Admission: $10, available online

Book Ends North Chapter – Clearance Sale

What: Get your read on for pennies on the dollar. Book Ends is putting on a massive books sale at their Young Street location. Shop for fiction pocketbooks at five for $1 or 25¢ each,
hardcovers fiction: three for $1, comics for 25¢ each, and many more at wild prices.

When: Saturday, February 1
Time: 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Book Ends — 5120 Yonge Street

Winter Craft Beer Fest 2020

What: Get your parka, long johns, and all the flannel you can find, it’s Winter Craft Beer Fest time. The massive celebration of small-batch brews wants you to keep warm while having a few cold ones this Saturday. Enjoy live music and DJs, retro ski gear, campfires, roasted marshmallows, and more.

When: Saturday, February 1
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Where: Roundhouse Park — 255 Bremner Boulevard
Admission: $28.81, available online

Toronto Tea Festival

Toronto Tea Festival

Toronto Tea Festival/Facebook

What: The Toronto Tea Festival is returning to the city, which means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to stock up on new flavours of brews. Held at the Toronto Reference Library, tea-sippers and chuggers alike will be able to enjoy hundreds of tea tastings, as well as opportunities to chat with industry experts at one of the many complimentary presentations.

When: February 1 and 2
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Where: Toronto Reference Library, Appel Salon on Floor 2 — 789 Yonge Street
Price: $13 for daily pass, $20 for the weekend, available online

Phantom of the Opera

What: Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom Of The Opera returns to Toronto as part of its North American Tour. The beloved story is backed by an Orchestra of 52, making it one of the largest productions now on tour.

When: Now until February 2
Where: Princess of Wales Theatre — 300 King Street West
Admission: Tickets available online starting at $59

Superbowl LIV

What: Super Bowl Sunday is fast approaching and Toronto sports bars are reserving seats to watch the big game. The festivities include tailgate parties, buffets, chicken wings galore, and other game day essentials. Whether you’re cheering on the 49ers or the Cheifs, you’re guaranteed to have a memorable night.

When: Sunday, February 2
Where: Check out these restaurants and bars hosting Super Bowl events

Toronto Human Rights Watch Film Festival

What: See some of the most powerful documentary films of some of the most serious issues happening in the world today. The annual Toronto Human Rights Watch Film Festival brings human stories to life in a manner that empowers the audience to demand justice for all.

When: On until February 4
Time: Times vary
Where: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema — 506 Bloor Street West
Admission: Free

Secret Life of a Mother

What: A playwright writes her exposé of modern motherhood in a confessional piece about her own darkly funny and taboo-breaking truths. These mothers are not the butts of jokes, or the villains, or the perfect angels of the house.

When: February 5 to 23
Time: Times vary
Where: Crow’s Theatre — 345 Carlaw Avenue
Admission: $39.55, available online

Women In Horror Month- Short Film Showcase 2020

What: It’s a showcase of some of the best female-driven horror and genre movies in the space right now. This showcase will feature films from across the world, including one from right here in Canada.

When: Thursday, February 6
Time: 8 pm
Where: Eyesore Cinema — 1176 Bloor Street West
Admission: $8, available online

2020 Motionball Toronto Gala

What: Motionball 2020 will be taking over the Liberty Grand this February for an epic celebration. Hosted by Devo Brown, you don’t want to miss this incredible night of philanthropy and fun all in support of the Special Olympics Canada Foundation.

When: Friday, February 7
Time: 9 pm to 2 am
Where: Liberty Grand — 25 British Columbia Road
Admission: Tickets start at $160, available online

Bloor-Yorkville Icefest Presents: Awesome 80’s

What: Celebrate winter with the 15th annual Bloor-Yorkville Icefest throughout the Village of Yorkville Park and surrounding area. A free public event, expect a wide variety of uniquely designed ice sculptures and rad winter activities for the duration of the weekend.

This year, all things 80’s are retro-cool again with the “Awesome 80’s” theme transforming the neighbourhood into a one-of-a-kind display of over 70,000 pounds of ice sculpted into sculptures.

When: Saturday, February 8
Where: 115 Cumberland Street
Admission: Free

LOOP

loop

@towaterfront/Instagram

What: This art installation is an interactive retro-futuristic machine powered by you. Visitors can hop on two at a time into one of the six illuminated cylinders and pump a lever to activate the lights and glowing images within the loop.

When: On until February 9
Where: York Street Park — York and Harbour Streets
Admission: Free

2020 Lunar New Year Celebrations

To highlight the fifteen-day celebrations and in welcoming the year of the Rat, Toronto Chinatown BIA will spearhead the celebrations with an opening ceremony in Dragon City Mall followed by a magnificent lantern exhibition, and a lineup of interactive games and performances to showcase the rich heritage of Asian traditions during the 2020 Lunar New Year Celebrations.

When: Now until February 9
Where: Dragon City Mall — 280 Spadina Avenue

Jungle Book

What: A wild ride awaits in this inventive and timely take on the beloved classic. An immersive multi-media adaptation, Jungle Book will transport you from the urban jungle to Mowgli’s childhood in the forests of India – with Baloo the Bear, Bagheera the Panther, and more of your favourites along for the journey.

When: February 10 to March 21
Where: Young People’s Theatre — 165 Front Street East
Admission: Tickets start at $10, available online

Saturday Family Clay

What: Every Saturday is a family art day at LucSculpture. Head down and learn some of the basics of sculpting figures, building hand objects, and creating with your kids. They’ll fire all the pieces after you’re done.

When: Every Saturday
Time: 1:00 to 4:30 pm
Where: LucSculpture Art School — 663 Greenwood Avenue
Admission: $15 to $35, tickets available online

Neil Peart Tribute — Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage

What: With the recent loss of the band’s drummer to cancer. The Hamilton-born  Neil Peart, along with bandmates Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, took the Canadian prog-rock band to international stardom with his explosive, virtuosic drumming and brilliant lyrics. Notoriously private, the legendary stickman opened up to filmmakers Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn in this acclaimed 2010 concert doc.

When: Tuesday, February 11
Time: 9:30 pm
Where: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema — 506 Bloor Street West
Admission: $11.50, available online

Hamilton

Hamilton Vancouver

Hamilton/ Broadway Across Canada

What: Hamilton is the story of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, Hamilton is the story of America then, as told by America now. Resale tickets are available.

When: February 11 to May 17
Where: Ed Mirvish Theatre — 244 Victoria Street
Admission: Available tickets start around $499, available online

Toronto Black Film Festival

What: It there’s one thing that you don’t want to miss this February, it’s Toronto’s Black Film Festival. Throughout the city, participating theatres will be showing a wide variety of films: short films, narrative feature films, docs, and animated films.

When: February 12 to 17
Time: Varies by day
Where: Various locations throughout Toronto
Price: Available online here

The Rhubarb Festival

What: Canada’s longest-running new works festival transforms Buddies into a hotbed of experimentation, with artists exploring new possibilities in theatre, dance, music, and performance art. Rhubarb is the place to see the most adventurous ideas in performance and to catch your favourite artists venturing into uncharted territory.

When: February 12 to 22
Time: Times vary
Where: Buddies in Bad Times — 12 Alexander Street
Admission: $20 per show, available online

Winterlicious

What: It’s a celebration of food in the heart of winter. There will also be more than 200 restaurants offering prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus for the duration of the event, including Bar Buca, East Thirty-Six, Pukka, and Wish. Lunch menus will be priced at $23, $28, and $33 and dinner menus at $33, $43, and $53.

When: On until February 13
Where: Across Toronto
Admission: Prix-fixe menus

Wavelength Winter Festival

What: Wavelength Winter Festival will be taking over the Garrison, Longboat Hall, and more venues this month, giving Toronto an epic lineup of music all weekend long. Celebrate 20 years of the music festival this year.

When: February 13 to 16
Time: Showtimes vary by day
Where: Various venues
Price: Tickets start at $15, available online

Post Malone – Runaway Tour

What: Congratulations, Toronto, Posty is back in the city. See the combination singer and rapper in all his face tattooed glory.

When: Friday, February 14
Time: 8 pm
Where: Scotiabank Arena — 40 Bay Street
Admission: Tickets currently start at $75, available online

Progress Festival

What: Progress is an international festival of performance and ideas, with shows ranging from theatre to dance to music. The festival is co-presented by the SummerWorks Festival and the Theatre Centre and it brings groundbreaking work from around the world to Toronto for three weeks.

When: On until February 15
Time: Varies by day
Where: Theatre Centre — 1115 Queen Street West
Price: Single tickets are $25, available online

DJ Skate Nights

What: Sharpen your skates and skills at Toronto’s number one outdoor winter party. This year you can expect another stellar lineup of DJs that will bring the heat to your Saturday nights.

When: Now until February 15 (Saturday evenings)
Time: 8 pm to 11 pm
Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West
Price: Skating is free

TIESTO

What: There is no lack of increadible music this season. TIESTO, once voted the best DJ in the world, is spinning in Toronto this winter. See the living legend himself live at Rebel.

When: Saturday, February 15
Time: 10 pm
Where: Rebel — 11 Polson Street
Admission: Tickets currently start at $108, available online

2020 Winter Markets in the Distillery

What: The Leslieville Flea is be bringing their awesome mix of vintage and handcrafted vendors to the Fermenting Cellar in the Distillery this month. Shop some one of a kind gifts and goodies created locally.

When: Sunday, February 16
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Where: The Fermenting Cellar — 28 Distillery Lane
Admission: Free

Murder at the ROM

ROM After Dark

What: A curator has been murdered and a trail of clues left behind, all connected to secrets in the collections. Work in teams of two to six people and follow the clues through the museum, collecting pieces of information while piecing together a tale of greed, lust, pride and revenge. There are multiple suspects, one victim and you must crack a cryptic code left in the curator’s appointment book to solve the mystery. After solving the crime, you’re free to explore the museum.

When: February 2 and 16
Time: 1 pm
Where: Royal Ontario Museum — 100 Queens Park
Admission: $44.99, available online

Winter Stations 2020

What: A massive public art festival, the winning pieces were selected from 100s of submissions. This year’s theme is beyond the five senses and will feature some of the most interesting and imaginative creations from some incredible creative minds.

When: February 17 to March 30
Where: Woodbine Beach — 1675 Lake Shore Blvd East
Admission: Free

Midwinter Magic

What: It’s a night of wine, music, and incredible food. This year’s version of Midwinter Magic will feature top Canadian musicians in performance. Julie Nesrallah, acclaimed mezzo soprano, as well as PEI’s baritone, Parker Clements, will delight with their favourite songs and arias, along with multiple other classical acts.

When: Tuesday, February 18
Time: 7 pm
Where: Heliconian Hall — 35 Hazelton Avenue
Admission: $40, available online

Artist Project

What: Witness over 300 talented independent artists showcase their work at the Better Living Centre. This long-running exhibition seeks to create a more personal connection between artist and those enjoying it.

When: February 20 to 23
Where: The Better Living Centre — 195 Princes’ Boulevard
Admission: $35, available online

Long Winter

What: It’s a curated selection of both musical and visual artists. Taking place over three days, there will be 10 acts providing music for those gathered and 11 artists who have come together for a very special weekend this month.

When: February 21 to 23
Time: 7 pm to 2 am
Where: Workman Arts — 651 Dufferin Street
Admission: $12, available online

Winterfolk Blues and Roots Music Festival

What: It’s an all-ages, mid-winter, weatherproof event, where you’ll find the best of blues, bluegrass, light rock, jazz, country, folk and roots music, emulating a multi-stage rural summer festival. More than 100 artists will be performing on five stages in two venues for three days of music.

When: February 21 to 23
Time: Times vary
Where: Venues vary, check online
Admission: $25, available online

Skyfall in Concert

What: Experience composer Thomas Newman’s BAFTA-winning original score performed live by Motion Pictures Symphony Orchestra in sync to the picture. Directed by Sam Mendes, Skyfall pits 007 against the ruthless cyberterrorist and former British agent Silva (Javier Bardem).

When: February 21 and 22
Time: 7:30 pm
Where: Meridian Hall — 1 Front Street East
Admission: $49 to $99, available online

Trixie Mattel: Grown Up

What: Trixie Mattel is all grown up. Join the glamorous woman for an evening packed with music, comedy and unnecessary costume changes. Backed by a live band for the first time, this show will leave you jamming with flower power and wondering how the skinniest legend grew into the world’s funniest comedienne.

When: Saturday, February 22
Time: 7 pm
Where: The Danforth Music Hall — 147 Danforth Avenue
Admission: Tickets start at $55, available online

The Trinity Bellwoods Flea – Winter Market

What: The over 100 vendors at this winter-themed flea should make finding that perfect gift or conversation piece even easier. Shop from local vendors, artisans, and creators at this very special and distinctively Torontonian event.

When: Sunday, February 23
Time: 11 am to 6 pm
Where: The Great Hall — 1087 Queen Street West
Admission: Free

Laugh Sabbath

What: A comedic force in this city, Laugh Sabbath has been showcasing some of the best comedic minds in North America for years. Many alum have gone onto big roles on TV and movies. See the next Canadian comedic superstar here.

When: Thursday, February 27
Time: 9:30 pm
Where: 945 Bloor Street West
Admission: $5

Skating at Harbourfront Centre

What: When the weather starts to drop, it means it’s officially time to go skating. And it just so happens that the city’s most scenic rink has opened its doors for the winter season. The Natrel Rink is complete with heated indoor change rooms and its own rink-side bar and grill for those interested in getting a snack post-skate. The best part? Skating at the Harbourfront rink is totally free. 

When: Now until spring
Time: Monday to Thursday, 9 am to 10 pm; Friday and Saturday, 9 am to 11 pm; Sunday, 9 am to 10 pm
Where: Harbourfront Centre — 235 Queens Quay West
Admission: Skating is free

The Dr. Seuss Experience

The Dr. Seuss Experience

The Dr. Seuss Experience

What: It’s back. After selling out ridiculously fast, organizers have put together another run. Get ready to take a walk down memory lane, as beloved children’s writer, Dr. Seuss’ incredible creations will be appearing in a large interactive exhibit. The 15,000-sq-ft exhibition is a photogenic playground of interesting rooms that recreate the feeling and wonder of walking through a storybook.

When: On until March 22
Where: Square One — 100 City Centre Drive
Admission: $39.99, available online