14 Toronto events and festivals to check out this October

Sep 27 2016, 7:52 pm

Ah autumn.

The leaves are changing colours, the air is crisp, and it’s almost hockey season. Just because the days are getting cooler, doesn’t mean the events are slowing down in Toronto. Get your calendars out! It’s time for your October event and festival listing.

Have a wonderful month, Toronto!

See also

Nuit Blanche

  • What: Nuit Blanche Toronto is a free, annual, city-wide celebration of contemporary art, produced by the City of Toronto in collaboration with Toronto’s arts community, and takes place over one sleepless night from sunset to sunrise.
  • Where: Various venues
  • When: October 1

7th Annual World Poutine Eating Championship

  • What: The world’s largest Poutine eating competition and the 2nd largest professional eating competition in the world returns. Featuring three individual eating competitions; Amateur, Charity Challenge and Professional. This one day events also offers FREE Poutine, Interactive Games & Prizing and Live Entertainment!
  • Where: Yonge-Dundas Square
  • When: October 1 at 11:30 am to 6 pm

Queen West Art Crawl

  • What: The Queen West Art Crawl features a weekend long festival of creativity and community. It’s designed to celebrate and promote the art, culture and diversity of Queen West in Toronto.
  • Where: Trinity-Bellwoods Park
  • When: October 1-2, from 11 am to 6 pm


  • What: Mindfest is a free event that aims to raise awareness about mental health, highlight the support systems available to those who need them, and strives to erase mental health stigma. Mindfest has fun exhibit booths, mental health community organization representatives, workshops, guest speakers, stand-up comedy, yoga and other interactive activities.
  • Where: Hart House, 7 Hart House Circle
  • When: October 5, from 9 am to 4 pm

Canada’s Walk of Fame

  • What: Check out the Red Carpet action on October 6 as Canada’s Walk of Fame kicks off its celebratory event with a public outdoor Red Carpet Star Unveiling from 4pm-6pm. The Broadcast Gala will follow, and for those without tickets, it will be televised live.
  • Where: Allstream Centre, 105 Princes’ Blvd
  • When: October 6, from 4 to 6 pm

Saudi Arabia Festival Day

  • What: Discover the Saudi Arabian culture at the Saudi Arabia Festival Day. The free event will have music, culture, food, and more.
  • Where: Mel Lastman Square
  • When: October 8, from 1 to 6 pm

The Waterfront Artisan Market

  • What: Bringing together a mix of crafters, artisans, chefs, and bakers, this free event took place over the weekends throughout the summer, and returns for Thanksgiving weekend.
  • Where: HTO Park, 339 Queens Quay West, between Rees Street and Spadina Ave
  • When: October 8 – 10

Pumpkinfest Toronto

  • What: Enjoy all things Autumn! Ride the Pumpkin Express train through the venue to witness everything PumpkinFest Toronto has to offer! From a traditional Farmers Market and Baked Goods sale to our Princess Meet and Greet. Family fun all weekend long!
  • Where: Downsview Park, 35 Carl Hall Road
  • When: October 8 – 10

17th Annual Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival

  • What: Planet in Focus is an environmental media arts organization with year-round programming, using film as a catalyst for public awareness, discussion and engagement on a broad range of environmental issues. The festival features different films and events over the course of five days.
  • Where: Various venues
  • When: October 18 – 23

Regent Park Film Festival Annual Fundraising Screening

  • What: Support Toronto’s only free multi-cultural community film festival! Join the Regent Park Film Festival for a special screening of Hip Hop Evolution where we follow Canadian rapper Shad, as he travels through the South Bronx and Harlem to retrace the roots of hip hop with DJ Kool Herc, Africa Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash and Ice Cube.
  • Where: Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas Street East
  • When: October 19, from 6:30 – 10 pm

International Festival of Authors

  • What: The 37th edition of Toronto’s International Festival of Authors (IFOA) is a celebration of words and ideas, of writers and readers. The Festival brings together the world’s best writers of contemporary literature for 11 days of readings, interviews, artist talks, round table discussions, public book signings and a number of special events.
  • Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West
  • When: October 20 – 30

CN Tower Climb

  • What: Ready to step it up for United Way? Walk past the elevators and straight up Toronto’s most famous landmark! While celebrating all 1,776 steps you’ll be conquering, you will also be helping individuals, families, and communities in our region.
  • Where: Check in will be at Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building, Hall A, 255 Front Street West
  • When: October 22, at 6 am

St. Clair West Zombie Walk

  • What: One of a few Zombie Walks taking place around the 6ix this month is the St. Clair West Zombie Walk. All zombies and horror related creatures are welcome to join in eating the locals on St. Clair West. Free of charge and all ages are welcome.
  • Where: Wells Hill Park, 145 Hilton Avenue
  • When: October 29, from 2 – 4 pm

Danny Elfman’s music from the films of Tim Burton

  • What: Movie (and music) nerds unite! The Toronto Symphony Orchestra will perform selections of Danny Elfman’s celebrated film scores brought to life on stage by orchestra and choir, enhanced by the stunning visuals of Tim Burton’s original sketches, drawings, story boards, and film clips rendered in exquisite detail on the big screen. Films include Batman, Edward Scissorhands, and Nightmare Before Christmas. Best. Halloween. Ever.
  • Where: Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe Street
  • When: October 29, at 7:30 pm