21 things to do in Toronto today: Saturday, February 1

Jan 31 2020, 8:11 pm

February is here whether you’re ready or not. Embrace the change this Saturday and find something fun to do. There’s a lot of things going on today so you won’t have any problem.

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


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

Toronto Tea Festival

What: The Toronto Tea Festival is returning to the city this week, 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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Boulavard
Admission: $28.81, available online

Kuumba 2020

What: Kuumba, one of Toronto’s longest-running celebrations of Black History Month, marks its 25th anniversary this year. In 2020, Kuumba25 examines the past through cultural expression, ritual and memorabilia, while re-envisioning identities through art, culture and education.

When: February 1 to 29
Where: 235 Queens Quay West
Admission: Some events are ticketed, others free, check online

Chinese New Year GRAND Celebration

What: At this annual event, celebrate the Year of the Rat in the form of a traditional temple market. Market stands are set up and festively decorated, where you can purchase homemade Chinese food, get face painting, and try out Chinese caligraphy and crafts. There will be signature lion dance, prize draw and more.

When: Saturday, February 1
Time: 10 am to 1:30 pm
Where: 211 Steeles Avenue East
Admission: Free, register online

Colin Kaepernick – Know Your Rights Camp Photo Exhibit

What: See the exclusive Canadian debut of the public art installation, courtesy of Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp. Featuring images of freedom fighters from athletes to activists to lawyers, scholars and actors.

When: February 1 to 29
Where: Harbourfront Centre —  235 Queens Quay West
Admission: Free

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

Coldest Day of the Year Ride

What: This annual mid-winter group ride is back. Bundle up and join dozens of riders enjoying the outdoors in the winter. This relaxed, family-friendly ride will be about an hour, followed by a social where you can warm up, chat with other riders, and enjoy some food and drink.

When: Saturday, February 1
Time: 11:30 am
Where: Neil McLellan Park — 263 Beresford Avenue
Admission: Free

February Frost Curling Bonspiel

What: Curious about curling? Do dreams of bonspiels flying down fresh ice dance in your head? Well, head out to the February Frost and make your fantasy a reality. It’s time, just be sure to register ahead of time.

When: Saturday, February 1
Time: 8 am to 3:30 pm
Where: East York Curling Club — 901 Cosburn Avenue
Admission: $40 per person, $160 for a team, register online


What: This documentary has been buzzing since it debuted at Sundance, and now has the distinction of being the first film nominated for both a Best Documentary and Best International Feature Oscar. Honeyland is a stirring and profound portrait of a Macedonian female beekeeper, Hatidze, whose life and work drive the story.

When: February 1 and 2
Time: Saturday, 11:30 pm; Sunday, 4 pm
Where: Paradise — 1006 Bloor Street West
Admission: $14, available online

The Erotic Arts and Crafts Fair

What: The Toronto Erotic Arts and Crafts Fair is a free, one-of-a-kind sexy fair that brings together artists and crafters just in time for Valentine’s Day. Knitters, crafters, zinesters, card makers, and artists of all types will be creating erotic objects for this one day celebration of DIY sex and romantic culture.

When: Saturday, February 1
Time: 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Gladstone Hotel — 1214 Queen Street West
Admission: Free

Sneaky Dee’s 80s Dance Party

What: Break out the Aquanet and the leopard-print leotards: Sneaky Dee’s is bringing you all the 80s you can handle at the Sneaky Dee’s 80s Dance Party. Bringing you the best of the most extra decade the world has ever seen, if you want to rock, pop, or anything in between this is your stop.

When: Saturday, February 1
Time: 10 pm
Where: Sneaky Dee’s — 431 College Street West
Admission: $5, available online

Peter SmithPeter Smith

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