30 Toronto events worth checking out in October

Sep 27 2018, 6:45 pm

Fall has officially arrived in Toronto.

And just because the leaves are changing colours, the air is getting colder, and nights are getting longer, it doesn’t mean events in the city are going to cool down.

From concerts and cultural events to terrifying Halloween surprises, here are the top October events in the city.

 Halloween Haunt

halloween haunt

Canada’s Wonderland

What: Canada’s Wonderland is transforming from theme park to scream park during its annual Halloween Haunt, which kicks off for its 14th season this Saturday. Experience the thrilling park rides, and then the chills of 20 terrifying haunted attractions and shows.

When: Select nights from now until October 31
Time: From 7 pm to midnight on select nights
Where: Canada’s Wonderland
Price: Tickets start at $32.99

Spiders: Fear & Fascination

What: This summer, the ROM welcomed a new exhibit, Spiders: Fear & Fascination and trust us, it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. The exhibit explores the hunting, burrowing, and weaving world of these eight-legged creatures and will feature more than 400 live and preserved spiders, cutting-edge interactive experiences, and new scientific discoveries.

When: Now until January 2019
Time: 10 am to 5:30 pm
Where: The Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park
Price: $32 for adults

Tribe Five Dinner – October

What: Tribe Five Dinner features five female chefs that represent their own culture’s distinct cuisine with a unique dish. This month’s event will see proceeds going to the Stop Community Food Centre, specifically their Healthy Beginnings Program. The five-course vegan meal features flavours from Ireland, Mexico, China, and Pakistan.

When: October 1
Time: 7 pm
Where: Rickshaw Bar, 685 Queen Street West
Price: Admission is $55

Fall for Dance North

What: FFDN is Toronto’s premier international dance festival, showcasing 12 works form 11 companies across three distinct programmes.

When: October 2 to 6
Time: Varies by day
Where: Various venues
Price: $15

Cinesphere Fall Film Series

What:  Toronto’s Cinesphere theatre at Ontario Place will be screening several iconic films over the next few months as part of its fall and winter programming. Starting on October 5, Cinesphere will screen a number of iconic films including Top Gun in IMAX 3D, followed by Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, Alien, Aliens, Blade Runner: The Final Cut, Blade Runner 2049 in IMAX, The Fifth Element and Die Hard. 

When: Screenings running from October 5 to December 23
Time: Showtimes vary by day
Where: Cinesphere at Ontario Place, 955 Lake Shore Blvd West
Price: $15 for adults

Thanksgiving Day Brunch Cruise

Mariposa Cruises

What: If you don’t have Thanksgiving plans at your parent’s place, you should definitely check out Mariposa Cruises Thanksgiving Day brunch cruise. The cruise will feature a mouth-watering buffet freshly prepared by Mariposa Chefs, a full cash bar, reserved seating and spectacular views of the autumn scenery along the Toronto city skyline.

When: October 7
Time: The cruise will board at 11:30 am and will run from 12 pm to 2 pm
Where: Pier 6, 207 Queens Quay West
Price: $59.95

Empty Bowls

What: Empty Bowls is an event to help the homeless, with all proceeds going to Anishnawbe Health Toronto. Potters and other artists donate over 400 bowls to be filled with soups made by some of Ontario’s best chefs. At the end of the event, attendees can even take the bowls home. The event last year raised over $15,000 and this year’s event will be a blast.

When: October 11
Time: 5 pm to 7 pm
Where: Gardiner Museum
Price: Admission is $55

Love me out of it: Citadel + Compagnie

What: Citadel + Compagnie proudly opens their 2018/2019 series Bright Nights with Love me out of it, running select dates at The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance. Choreographed and performed by the company’s Artistic Director Laurence Lemieux, Love me out of it is set to the iconic sounds of Canadian punk band Teenage Head’s album “Frantic City.”

When: October 11 to 13 and 17 to 20
Time: Varies by day
Where: The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance, 304 Parliament Street
Price: From $20

Toronto After Dark Film Festival 

What: Come and enjoy nine nights of all things horror, sci-fi, action, and cult at the 13th annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival. This year’s festival will feature new independent pieces from across North America, Europe and Asia, and big box office feature films.

When: October 11 to 19
Time: 7 pm to 12 am
Where: Scotiabank Theatre, 259 Richmond Street West
Price: $159 for the entire festival

Boobyball Presents: Wild West

What: The annual Boobyball party returns to Toronto this month, and this year’s charitable party is going country. Partygoers can expect experiential activations, on theme decor, VIP guests, complimentary food and drinks all night, and incredible themed costumes, all with a southern twist and in support of the breast cancer cause.

When: October 12
Time: 8 pm to 1 am
Where: Rebel, 11 Polson Street
Price: From $120, can be purchased online

Sneaker Con Toronto

sneaker convention


What: Calling all Toronto sneakerheads! Sneaker Con will be making a stop in Toronto this month, bringing a full day of buying, selling, and trading with all of your favourite “shoe tubers,” content creators, hype beasts, collectors, and resellers from all over the US and Canada.

When: October 13 and 14
Time: 12 pm to 7 pm
Where: Encare Centre, 100 Princes’ Blvd #1
Price: $31.65 for one day pass

Deepak Chopra

What: Deepak Chopra, who is among the most respected authorities in mindfulness, wellness and personal development, is speaking in Toronto this month to speak about “The Future of Wellbeing.” With wellness – from the food we eat, meditation, anti-stress techniques and personal devices that monitor our health – under a massive transformation, this event promises to enlighten and engage.

When: October 13
Time: 2 pm
Where: Beanfield Centre, Exhibition Place
Price: From $129

Vegan Oktoberfest

What: Oktoberfest isn’t always about the meatiness of a sausage. Vegans can join in the fun too. Try some of Vegan Oktoberfest’s famous vegan schnitzel and black-eyed pea sausages. Products are also served on biodegradable dinnerware to keep it environmentally friendly.

When: October 14
Time: Noon
Where: The Great Hall, 1087 Queen Street West
Price: Admission is $5

Toronto Catering Showcase

What: 12 of Toronto’s top caterers will show their stuff at the Toronto Catering Showcase. Follow that up with drinks, music, and wine and there’s no way people can’t have an amazing time. Dine with catering names such as Oliver & Bonacini, the Food Dudes, Encore, and many more.

When: October 14
Time: 12 pm to 4 pm
Where: The Globe and Mail Centre
Price: Admission is $55 to $80

Brewmaster BBQ Dinner

What: No vegan or vegetarian guests! Brewmaster BBQ feast is all about meat and gluten-filled beer. This event is a collaboration between Lisa Marie and Big Rock Brewery and features beer-infused barbeque masterpieces. Whole smoked chicken, southern-style starters, and much more.

When: October 14
Time: 7 pm
Where: 638 Queen Street West
Price: Admission is $75

The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Cannabis-Infused Edibles and Beverages

pot edibles

Pot brownies/Shutterstock

What: Marijuana is very close to legalization in Canada, and with access to such a unique product, entrepreneurs are lining up to prepare all kinds of businesses. The entrepreneur’s guide to cannabis-infused edibles and beverages is a conference to educate entrepreneurs and other business people on the prospects of marijuana in food and drinks. There will be a ton of speakers from across the industry, with a keynote from the Herb Chef.

When: October 15
Time: 7 am to 6 pm
Where: 215 King Street East
Price: Admission varies

Italian Wine Expo 2018

What: The Italian Wine Expo is here with delicious delicacies from all over Italy. For $25, attendees can enjoy snacks and five wine tokens. The public tasting lasts from 5-8pm, but for those interested in the media tour or walk-around trade tasting, spots are limited and a reservation is a must.

When: October 15
Time: 1:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Where: 251 Queen Street West
Price: Admission is $25

NOSH Hamilton

What: NOSH Hamilton celebrates the restaurants and the culinary culture of Toronto’s neighbouring city. Described as a “week of culinary adventures and events,” food tours, chef battles, and unique food experiences are all part of this week.

When: October 15 to 21
Price: Varies by location
Across Hamilton, Ontario
Price: Varies by location

Sustainable Vino, Por Favor

What: Enjoy delicious Argentinian cuisine at Vos Restaurante Argentino with some sustainably-made wines. Special guest Andrej Razumovsky will speak on Argentina’s wine culture and wine-making environment. Guests can sip and swish over 10 types of wines and eat a whole lot of food.

When: October 16
Time: 7 pm
Where: 847 College Street
Price: Admission is $110

2nd Annual La Dolce Vita

What: This October, Square One will host the second edition of One Night in La Dolce Vita with special culinary host Bobby Flay. The event will transform the shopping centre’s Grand Rotunda into an Italian Piazza-inspired destination and offer exquisite cuisine, live music, various entertainment and unexpected surprise and delights.

When: October 17
Time: 7 pm to 10 pm
Where: Square One Shopping Centre, Grand Rotunda (Entrance 3)
Price: $75

Red Bull Music Festival Toronto 2018

Red Bull

Red Bull Music Festival

What: While summer is over, festival season continues as Red Bull brings its inaugural Music Festival to Toronto this month. This October, Red Bull Music Festival will take over several venues in Toronto for a week of shows throughout the city.

When: October 17 to 25
Time: Varies by day
Where: Various venues
Price: Varies by the show


What: imagineNATIVE is the world’s largest presenter of Indigenous screen content. The organization is recognized locally, nationally, and internationally for excellence and innovation in programming and as the global centre for Indigenous media arts.

When: October 17 to 21
Time: Varies by day
Where: TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street West
Price: Prices vary

International Festival of Authors

What: The 39th 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, roundtable discussions, public book signings and a number of special events.

When: October 18 to 28
Time: Varies by day
Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West
Price: Varies by event

Cask Days

What: Coming back for their 14th season, Cask Days celebrates the time before metal kegs and refrigerated coolers with beer that has finished its fermenting just days before it arrives on the drinker’s lips. The event will showcase some of North America’s finest beers and ciders.

When: October 19 to 21
Time: Varies by day
Where: Evergreen Brickworks, 550 Bayview Avenue
Price: Admission varies

Toronto Soup Festival

What: Second Harvest is the largest food rescue group in Canada. What better way to support such an amazing organization than with soup? Toronto Soup Festival brings two crazy days filled with decadent soups and artisan exhibitions. Baked goods, live entertainment and cooking demonstrations will all be at this festival too.

When: October 20 to 21
Time: Saturday, 12 pm to 7 pm; Sunday, 12 pm to 5:30 pm
Where: 100 Garrison Road
Price: Admission is $15

Eat to the Beat

Eat to the Beat

What: 60 talented female chefs come together to offers guests a culinary experience of a lifetime — all to raise money to help women facing breast cancer. This event is Eat to the Beat’s 23rd year, and they’re keeping it fresh with a new online auction site and five female chefs from five of Ontario’s culinary schools.

When: October 23
Time:  7 pm to 10 pm
Where: Roy Thomson Hall
Price: Admission varies

Ontario Craft Cider Maker’s Dinner

What: Dine into a ten-course tasting menu with five of Ontario’s best ciders. This event celebrates and explores Ontario’s apple harvest with chefs from Her Father’s Cider and Opus Restaurant. Ciders include Pommies, Spirit Tree, Sulker’s Cider, Coffin Ridge, and Fieldbird Cider.

When: October 24
Time: 7 pm
Where: 119 Harbord Street
Price: Admission is $120

Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2018

What: This is a massive party to celebrate the best new restaurants in Canada and reveals the country’s 10 new favourites. The contenders are chosen by Food Critic Nancy Matsumoto, who travelled across the country under fake names to try all the new Canadian spots. These restaurants are then brought to Toronto to dish it out in front of a panel of industry experts.

When: October 25
Time: 6 pm to 10 pm
Where: Scotiabank Arena, 40 Bay Street
Price: Admission is $90

Art Toronto

What: Now in its 19th year, Art Toronto presents important artwork from leading Canadian and international galleries combined with PLATFORM, an engaging series of lectures and panel discussions from prominent art world figures, curated projects, an extensive VIP Program, and top-tier cultural offerings throughout the city.

When: October 26 to 29
Time: Thursday, 6:30 pm to 10 pm; Friday and Saturday, 12 pm to 8 pm; Sunday, 12 pm to 6 pm
Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front Street West
Price: From $22

2018 Taste Canada Awards Gala

What: Bringing together industry professionals and Canadian food and beverage writers, Taste Canada hosts an annual gala in Toronto to celebrate the achievements of everyone in food. The event hosts an annual student chef battle and has honoured hundreds of Canadian food and drink writers—whether they write for print or for blogs.

When: October 29
Time: 5:30 pm to 10 pm
Where: Fairmont Royal York Hotel, 100 Front Street West
Price: Admission ranges from $20 to $135

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