31 Toronto events worth checking out this May

Apr 4 2018, 8:38 am

It finally feels like spring is in full swing in Toronto.

This means there’s no shortage of awesome events taking place throughout the city this month.

Seriously, after checking out this list you won’t have a minute to spare this May.

May events

Movie theatre/Shutterstock


What: North America’s largest documentary festival returns to Toronto this month bringing an outstanding selection of over 200 films from Canada and around the world to Toronto audiences.

When: Now until May 6
Time: Various screenings each day
Where: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, 506 Bloor Street West
Price: Tickets start at $21.24

Picnic in the Cemetery

What: At Picnic in the Cemetery, which happens to be inspired by Toronto’s Mount Pleasant Cemetery, guests will enjoy a combination of classical music written by contemporary composer and artist Njo Kong Kie. Kong Ki’s music has since been interwoven with performance and visual arts elements, creating a distinctive chamber concert meets performance art hybrid.

When: Now until May 6
Time: Performance times vary by day
Where: Canadian Stage (Berkeley), 26 Berkeley Street
Price: Tickets range from $35 to $69

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

What: Infinity Mirrors, the dazzling world of Yayoi Kusama is now open at the AGO. During this exhibit, visitors have the opportunity to experience six of Kusama’s most iconic kaleidoscopic environments at once.

When: Now until May 27
Time: 10:30 am to 9 pm
The Art Gallery of Ontario, 317, Dundas Street West
Price: Tickets available online only through the AGO for $30 per person

Yoko Ono: The Riverbed

What: This weekend, you’re invited to experience Yoko Ono’s latest art installation, The Riverbed, at the Gardiner Museum. The Riverbed invites visitors to collaborate with the artist, the museum, and each other, through everyday action and contemplation.

When: Now until June 3
Time: All day
Where: The Gardiner Museum, 111 Queens Park
Price: Starts at $15 for adults

The Authentic Italian Table

What: The Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario (ICCO), is bringing a taste of “The Authentic Italian Table” to Ontario this summer including an event in Toronto this May. The touring food fest will “feature opportunities to experience authentic regional gastronomic delights created by Italian heavyweight Chef Ugo Mura and prominent locals including Chef Roberto Fracchioni, Chef Matthew DeMille, Chef Michael Wilson, and Chef Ross Midgley.”

When: May 2
Time: 6 pm
Where: Luma Restaurant, 350 King Street West
Price: $100 for a five-course dinner with wine

The Authentic Italian Table

Photo courtesy of The Authentic Italian Table

Elvis & The Man in Black

What: This performance explores the life and times of two American music legends – Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash through song and dance.

When: May 2 to 5; 9 to 12
8 pm to 9:30 pm
Where: The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance, 304 Parliament Street
Price: $25 to $30

Stars on Ice featuring Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir

What: Canadian gold medal sweethearts Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir will be lacing up and hitting the ice at the Air Canada Centre this Thursday as part of the cross-country skating tour Stars on Ice. 

When: May 4
Time: 7:30 pm
Where: Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay Street
Price: Tickets are available online for as low as $12

May the 4th Cosplay Bash

What: This Friday, transport yourself to a galaxy far, far away, to Ripley’s Aquarium’s first-ever cosplay bash. Guests are invited to celebrate the world of cosplay and dress up as their favourite pop culture characters, enjoy signature cocktails and dance the night away to the sounds of out-of-this-world DJ beats.

When: May 4
Time: 8 pm to 12 am
Where: Ripley’s Aquarium, 288 Bremner Blvd.
Price: Available online for $30 plus HST

Toronto Together: Hurricane Maria Disaster Relief for Dominica

What: The first weekend in May, you can enjoy a fun night out for a good cause. Featuring music by The Famly, Luna Li, Mauve Grove, and Hannah Frances & friends with DJ Bianca Lee closing out the night with a SoCa set, this benefit concert will support disaster relief and rebuilding in Dominica.

When: May 4
Time: 8:30 pm to 2 am
 82 Bathurst Street
Price: $10


What: Now in its seventh year, the annual culinary celebration presented by the Toronto Vegetarian Association promotes plant-based eating over a two week period. Participating restaurants, cafes, and bakeries across the GTA will offer multi-course prix-fixe menus and special promotions.

When: May 4 to 21
Time: Varies by location
Where: Restaurants, bakeries, and cafes across Toronto
Price: Price will vary by location


Cinco de Mayo

What: Tacos, tequila, and friends! See our round-up of Toronto restaurants and bars throwing parties and offering drink specials for the occasion.

When: May 5
Time: Varies by location
Where: Restaurants and bars across Toronto
Price: Varies by location

Paddle the Don

What: This Sunday, Toronto’s Paddle the Don is taking place, giving you the chance to paddle through the heart of Canada’s largest urban region to raise awareness about the health of the Don River.

When: May 6 
8 am to 4 pm
Where: The event begins at Ernest Thompson Seton Park and ends at Corktown Common located at 155 Bayview Avenue
Price: $100.00 per boat, whether it’s a canoe or a kayak

Canadian Music Week

What: Now in its 37th year, Canadian Music Week is recognized as one of the premier entertainment events in North America focusing on the business of music.

When: May 7 to 13
Time: Varies by day
Where: Venues throughout the city
Price: Varies by show

Tex Mex + Tequila Happy Hr

What: Tequila tastings, a trio of Hornitos cocktails plus Tex Mex snacks like nachos, tostadas, and churro sundaes are on the menu at this after-work event.

When: May 10
Time: 6 pm
Where: 615 College Street
Price: $35

Buy Good. Feel Good Expo

What: The Buy Good. Feel Good Expo returns this month for its fifth edition. Shop Canada’s largest selection of life-changing products and experiences, from fair trade apparel and accessories to organic foods and artisanal home decor.

When: May 10 to 13
Time: Thursday, 6 pm to 10 pm; Saturday & Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm
Where: Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place, Hall C, 100 Princes’ Blvd.
Price: Tickets start at $10

Harry Potter

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban (Sony Centre)

Harry Potter: The Prisoner of Azkaban concert

What: Calling all Potter fans! This month, you can enjoy the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third film in the Harry Potter Series, accompanied by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as they perform the magical score from the movie all while the film plays in high-definition on a 40 ft. screen.

When: May 16 to 18
Time: 7:30 pm
Where: The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Front Street East
Price: Available online from $49 to $99

Manolo Blahnik: The Art of Shoes

What: This month, Manolo Blahnik and the Bata Shoe Museum will be joining forces, bringing the highly anticipated travelling exhibit Manolo Blahnik: The Art of Shoes to Toronto.

When: May 16 to January 6
Time: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm; Thursday, 10 am to 8 pm; Sunday, 12 pm to 5 pm
Where: Bata Shoe Museum, 327 Bloor Street West
Price: General admission is $14

Baldassarre & Le Dolci

What: The Dons of fresh pasta in Toronto are teaming up with the queens of baked goods for this one-night-only event featuring the how-tos of pasta making, a family-style Italian feast, and an interactive dessert.

When: May 18
Time: 7 pm
Where: 114 Geary Avenue
Price: $85


What: A new touring food fest is rolling into Toronto this month! Presented by IMG and designed by the team behind Taste of Toronto, Tastemaker is a new immersive food festival that will debut at the Evergreen Brickworks this May 18 and 19 before moving on to Chicago later in the summer.

When: May 18 to 19
Time: Friday, 7 pm to 11 pm; Saturday (day), 1 pm to 5 pm; Saturday (evening), 7 pm to 11 pm
Where: Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Avenue
Price: Tickets are $60

Toronto Kpop Con

What: Toronto will be hosting a massive K-pop convention this month, to meet the growing demand for the music in the city. Attendees can look forward to performances from the best and brightest local performers from across the country and also exhibit booths and vendors where fans can stock up on K-pop merchandise.

When: May 18 to 20
Varies by day depending on performance schedule
Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 225 Front Street West
Price: Varies by day and what you want to check out 

Spring Beerfest TO


Spring Beerfest TO

What: Spring Beerfest TO, the festival formerly known as Spring Sessions of Toronto’s Festival of Beer, is set to serve up cold beers, delicious eats, and cottage vibes in Toronto for the May long weekend!

When: May 19 and 20
Time: 1 pm to 7 pm
Where: Fort York: Garrison Common, 100 Garrison Road
Price: Tickets start at $20

Electric Island

What: Electric Island returns for its sixth annual year with a fresh lineup of local and international DJs. This year, the fun returns to Toronto Island and will be kicking off the new season over May Long weekend.

When: May 20
Time: 2 pm to 11 pm
Where: Hanlan’s Point
Price: $39.99

Toronto LGBT Film Festival

What: Each year, the Toronto LGBT Film Festival celebrates the best queer film from Canada and around the world. The 28th Annual Toronto LGBT Film Festival will take place from May 24 to June 3.

When: May 24 to June 3
Time: Screenings vary by day
Where: TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street West
Price: TBA

Lift Cannabis Expo

What: Featuring hundreds of exhibitors from around the world, renowned speakers, and the movers and shakers in the global industry, the Lift & Co. Expo is Canada’s biggest and premiere event for cannabis consumers, industry professionals, investors and media.

When: May 25 to 27
Time: 10 am to 6 pm
Where: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front Street West
Price: Tickets start at $17.70

Anime North

What: Anime North will be celebrating all things anime, manga, music, games and all other forms of Japanese Culture this May.

When: May 25 to 27
Time: Friday, 5 pm to 1 am; Saturday, 10 am to 1 am; Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm
Toronto Congress Center, 650 Dixon Road
Price: $60 for the full weekend

Beanstock Coffee Festival

Beanstock Coffee Festival/Facebook

Beanstock Coffee Festival

What: Hands-on latte art, cupping, and roasting classes, panel discussions, local food, libations, music, vendors, and more are all on the itinerary at this coffee-centric food fest.

When: May 26 & 27
Time: Various time slots each day
Where: Harbourfront Centre, 245 Queens Quay West
Price: From $25 online


What: This paw-sitively adorable festival dubs itself as “the largest outdoor festival for dogs in all of North America,” and boasts that it attracts tens of thousands of dogs and their faithful owners from across the country and the US.

When: May 26 & 27
Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm; Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm
Where: Woodbine Park, Toronto
Price: TBD

Gluten-Free Garage

What: Now in its seventh year and happening during Celiac Awareness Month, Gluten Free Garage bills itself as a playground for gluten-free people and offers the chance to discover new brands, try new dishes, and meet fellow foodies.

When: May 27
Time: 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street
Price: Admission is $10

Kampai Toronto Festival of Sake

What: The 2018 Kampai Toronto Festival of Sake promises to showcase more than 150 sakes from 50+ sake breweries along with nibbles from top chefs and restaurants, music, crafts, and an outdoor market stretched along Gristmill Lane.

When: May 31
Time: 12:45 pm to 11 pm
Where: The Fermenting Cellar, 28 Distillery Lane
Price: Tickets start at $65 online

Power Ball XX: Carousal

What: Power Ball XX: Carousal will see the gallery transform into a big top fit for the annual major fundraiser’s big, birthday bash.

When: May 31
Time: 7 pm to 11 pm
Where: Power Plant, 231 Queens Quay West
Price: $175

Indigenous Fashion Week


Indigenous Fashion Week

What: For the first time ever, Toronto will be the place to see the most progressive and distinct Indigenous artists in fashion, craft, and textiles, as part of Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto (IFWTO).

When: May 31 to June 3
Time: Varies by day
Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West
Price: $25

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