26 must-attend Toronto events this May

Apr 25 2017, 2:25 am

Spring is (finally) in full swing in Toronto, which means there’s no shortage of outstanding events taking place in the city this May.

Take in the city by checking out the various festivals and concerts, celebrate the most important women in your life at the various Mother’s Day events, or get out of your comfort zone and try a yoga class next to a swarm of stingrays at Ripleys Aquarium.

But seriously, after checking out this list you won’t have a minute to spare!

Assemblée Internationale

What: Every four years Canada’s National Ballet School hosts the Assemblée Internationale, an international dance festival inviting professional ballet schools from around the world to participate. This year, the festival will welcome 21 professional ballet schools and will celebrate Canada’s 150th year.

When: May 2 to 6
Where: Canada’s National Ballet School, 400 Jarvis Street

Yoga at the Aquarium

What: Transport yourself to the tropical islands as you Mountain Pose in front of Rainbow Reef or watch the graceful stingrays as you perfect your Warrior Pose. Come and experience yoga at the Aquarium for six continuous weeks of classes.

When: May 2, 9, 16, 23, 7:30 am to 8:30 am
Where: Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, 288 Bremner Blvd

We’re Funny That Way

What: The legendary LGBTQ+ comedy festival and fundraiser, We’re Funny That Way, returns by popular demand! Come and enjoy a variety of comedy, music, and burlesque performances to benefit the We’re Funny That Way Foundation.

When: May 3 to 6
Where: Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley Street

Raging Dreams: Into The Visceral

What: Raging Dreams: into the visceral will transport audience members into a dream-like world of haunting melodies and striking images created by a cast of airborne performers.

When: May 4 to 6
Where: Harbourfront Centre Theatre, 231 Queens Quay West

The May First Thursday: GENDER TROUBLE

What: Come and celebrate the city’s biggest monthly art party at the iconic AGO. This month’s party pays tribute to the legacy and influence of Georgia O’Keeffe with Maylee Todd, Catherine MacTavish, Madelyne Beckles and many more.

When: May 4, 7 to 11:30 pm
Where: Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West


What: Come and experience the 6th annual Veggielicious, where you can share enjoy a prix-fixe menu or plant-based offering with the growing veg community during this two-week celebration of delicious and compassionate cuisine.

When: May 5 to 21
Where: Various restaurants throughout the city

Body of Colour

What: Body of Colour is an exhibit that features a collaboration between abstract painter, Callen Schaub and fashion photographer, Stef Eleoff.  The exhibit focuses on the mixing and pouring of paint over the human form. Paint covered models are spun and photographed, captured in moments of elegance and wonder.

When: May 5 to 28, 6 pm to 9 pm
Where: Project Studios, 184 Munro Street (back entrance)

Derby Day

What: Hosted by Woodbine Racetrack in the Northern Dancer Room, this race-day event promises food and drink including a whiskey bar, live entertainment, a nail bar, and a contest for the best dressed. Whether you care for horse races or not, Derby Day is the perfect excuse to get dressed up and drink a mint julep.

When: May 6, 1 pm to 7 pm
Woodbine Racetrack, 555 Rexdale Boulevard

Leslieville Food & Drink Festival

What: Come and taste what the Eastside has to offer at this one-day food fest. In addition to eating and drinking, look forward to dancing, live music, and DJs along with local artists, food and wine pairing seminars, and an artisanal food market taking over the 9,000 square foot venue.

When: May 6, 3 pm to 11 pm
Where: District 28, 28 Logan Avenue


What: Singer-songwriter JoJo, who sang the hit breakup track “Leave” will be hitting up Toronto with her Mad Love Tour. She released her debut album with Atlantic Records, Mad Love in 2016, which also happened to be her first LP in ten years.

When: May 6, 8 pm to 11 pm
Where: Phoenix Concert Hall, 410 Sherbourne Street

See also

Ricarda’s Cook For Mom

What: Ricarda’s invites families to come and cook for mom at this fun Monther’s Day event. Attendees will get to assemble and decorate their dishes, make an appetizer, main, and a dessert that can then be served to mom.

When: May 13, sessions start at 10 am and run until 6 pm
Where: Ricarda’s, 134 Peter Street

Goodlife Marathon

What: If you have yet to start working on your beach bod, use the Goodlife Marathon as your excuse to get in shape. Regardless of your skill level, there are multiple race options available including the marathon, marathon relay, half marathon, 10k, and 5k.

When: May 7, first race starts at 7:30 am
Where: Downtown Toronto

Toronto KPop Con

What: Now in its third year, Toronto Kpop Con provides a fun and fan-friendly musical experience through shows and meet-and-greets with top-level Korean artists, expert panelists, and an exciting array of vendors.

When: May 12 to 14
Where: Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Foodora Night Market

What: This 10,000 sqft outdoor Food Market, includes food vendors, musical entertainment, and so much more! While entry into the market is free, vouchers for food can be purchased online or on site, each purchaser receives a $10 Foodora coupon, plus, if you visit four or more food vendors you could win a $200 Gift Card to any Parkdale Restaurant, a $30 Foodora credit or a Toronto’s Finest designed cell phone case.

When: May 13, 11 am to 6 pm
1325 Queen Street West

Mother’s Day Chocolate Tour

What: If your mom loves chocolate, Tasty Tours are offering the perfect gift for Mother’s Day – an amazing Mother’s Day Chocolate Tour! Score some serious brownie points as you and your mom spend the afternoon visiting some of Toronto’s finest eateries, where you can sample delicious chocolates and chocolatey treats.  There will also be a chocolate making demonstration by an award-winning chocolatier.

When: May 13, 1 pm to 4 pm
Where: 443 King Street West

Mother’s Day Jazz Brunch

What: Brunch lovers rejoice, Toronto’s newest hotspot, Ricarda’s, is hosting a Sunday feast fit for the most important women in your life! Brunch is complete with freshly-baked bread, salads, European cheeses, made-to-order pastas, carved meats, pastries and more! There’s also an optional “beverage buffet” featuring house wine, cava, and caesars. Plus, brunchers can enjoy smooth live jazz, and Ricarda’s has a monitored kids zone for families.

When: May 14, 11 am to 3 pm
Where: Ricarda’s, 134 Peter Street

Spring Sessions of Toronto’s Festival of Beer ticket

What: Calling all beer buffs: The fourth annual Spring Sessions of Toronto’s Festival of Beer returns to the historic Fork York: Garrison Common on the May long weekend. New to the festival this year is their Campfire Sessions, which feature live performances by the Juno Award winning trio, Elliott BROOD and Toronto-based rockers The Trews.

When: May 20 to 21
Where: Fort York: Garrison Common, 250 Fort York Boulevard

Lobster Clam Jam Toronto

What: Lobster Clam Jam is a highly acclaimed outdoor food festival, that’s not just for seafood lovers. This affordable, family-oriented culinary showcase offers guests the opportunity to experience the creations of a variety of renowned local chefs and restaurants.

When: May 20 to 21
Where: Cabana Pool Bar, 11 Polson Street

Toronto Foam Festival

What: If this doesn’t give you flashbacks to Frosh Week in university, we don’t know what else will. For one unforgettable evening, you and your friends can get covered in foam with photographers on hand to capture every embarrassing moment.

When: May 21 at 10 pm
Where: Orchid Entertainment Complex, 82 Peter Street

Electric Island

What: Put on your dancing shoes and get ready to get down to the sounds of Toronto’s biggest electronic DJs. Hanlan’s Point is plugged in for the Victoria Day weekend with this massive concert and picnic.

When: May 22, 1 pm to 11 pm
Where: Hanlan’s Point

The xx with Kelela

What: If you didn’t make it up to Muskoka for the long weekend, make sure to check out English band, The xx, as they’re performing for two nights over the long weekend at Echo Beach. This tour promotes the band’s third studio album, I See You.

When: May 22 to 23, 7 pm to 11 pm
Where: Echo Beach, 909 Lake Shore Blvd West

Anime North 2017

What: Toronto’s largest fan-run anime convention is back! This three-day event will celebrate all things anime, manga, and Japanese Culture boasting a multitude of events including costume masquerades, dances, contests, gaming opportunities (including Live Action Role Playing, CCG Games, and video gaming), panels, workshops, and Nominoichi, a fan-run night market.

When: May 26 to May 28
Toronto Congress Centre, 650 Dixon Road, Mississauga; International Plaza Hotel, 655 Dixon Road

Brunch Fest

What: It’s no secret that Torontonians are obsessed with brunch, which is why we’re pleased to share that there will be a festival solely devoted to our favourite foods. Come and enjoy brunch-time staples, such as bagels, pancakes, eggs Benedict, bacon and of course, plenty of booze.

When: May 26 to 28, 10 am to 7 pm
Where: 99 Sudbury

CBC Music Festival

What: Celebrating its fifth year, the CBC Music Festival will proudly showcase an all-Canadian lineup featuring co-headliners Serena Ryder and Walk Off The Earth. CBC Music Festival brings a diverse roster of artists from across Canada to Toronto for a one-day event.

When: May 27
Where: Echo Beach, 909 Lake Shore Blvd West

Gluten Free Garage

What: Toronto’s OG (and only) gluten-free pop-up marketplace returns this month, for an afternoon filled with mouthwatering gluten free snacks. There will be more than 60 vendors in attendance and will feature local favourites like Almond Butterfly, The Basil Box, BGood, Cock-A-Doodle-Do, SteamBox, and more.

When: May 28, 1030 am to 430 pm
Where: Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street

The Chainsmokers

What: The popular New York-based DJ duo, The Chainsmokers are back in Toronto to promote their debut studio album, Memories…Do Not Open, which was released this past April.

When: May 30, 7 pm to 10 pm
Where: Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay Street