24 things to do in Toronto this weekend: February 21 to 23

Feb 21 2020, 5:00 am

Sure, this isn’t one of those fancy, highfalutin long weekends, but there’s still plenty of great events going on in Toronto this weekend to keep you happy, this February 21 to 23. Find something to do that’s worthy of your time.

Friday, February 21

Winter Stations 2020

Mirage, by Cristina Vega and Pablo Losa Fontangordo / Winter Stations

What: A massive public art festival, the winning pieces were selected from 100s of submissions. This year’s theme is beyond the five senses and will feature some of the most interesting and imaginative creations from some increadible creative minds.

When: February 17 to March 30
Where: Woodbine Beach — 1675 Lake Shore Boulevard East
Admission: Free

Toronto Light Fest

What: For the fourth year in a row, the historic Distillery District will be home to the Toronto Light Fest this winter. Designed to entertain and inspire, the free to attend light festival will feature curated light installations and illuminated sculptures created by a number of local and international artists.

When: On until March 1
Time: After sunset
Where: Distillery District
Price: Free

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: On until February 29
Where: 235 Queens Quay West
Admission: Some events are ticketed, others free, check 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: On until February 29
Where: Harbourfront Centre —  235 Queens Quay West
Admission: Free

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

Long Winter

What: It’s a curated selection of both musical and visual artists. Taking place over three days, there will be 10 acts providing music for those gathered and 11 artists who have come together for a very special weekend this month.

When: February 21 to 23
Time: 7 pm to 2 am
Where: Workman Arts — 651 Dufferin Street
Admission: $12, available online

Winterfolk Blues and Roots Music Festival

What: It’s an all-ages, mid-winter, weatherproof event, where you’ll find the best of blues, bluegrass, light rock, jazz, country, folk and roots music, emulating a multi-stage rural summer festival. More than 100 artists will be performing on five stages in two venues for three days of music.

When: February 21 to 23
Time: Times vary
Where: Venues vary, check online
Admission: $25, available online

Skyfall in Concert

What: Experience composer Thomas Newman’s BAFTA-winning original score performed live by Motion Pictures Symphony Orchestra in sync to the picture. Directed by Sam Mendes, Skyfall pits 007 against the ruthless cyberterrorist and former British agent Silva (Javier Bardem).

When: February 21 and 22
Time: 7:30 pm
Where: Meridian Hall — 1 Front Street East
Admission: $49 to $99, available online

Artist Project

What: Witness over 300 talented independent artists showcase their work at the Better Living Centre. This long-running exhibition seeks to create a more personal connection between artist and those enjoying it.

When: On until February 23
Where: The Better Living Centre — 195 Princes’ Boulevard
Admission: $35, available online

Goin’ Back to New Orleans Mardi Gras 2020

What: Get ready for some of the very best in authentic New Orleans street music. Jazz trumpeter Patrick Tevlin will be leading the night and joining the master showman at this year’s Mardi Gras will be his band, The Happy Pals, featuring pianist Jordan Klapman.

When: Friday, February 21
Time: 7 pm
Where: St Andrew’s Church — 73 Simcoe Street
Admission: $25, available online

This Film Should Be Played Loud: Stop Making Sense

What: Whether you love or hate the Talking Heads, this movie is one of the most important and quintessential concert films of its time. Head to Hot Docs for their annual screening of the Jonathan Demme masterpiece.

When: Friday, February 21
Time: 9:30 pm
Where: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema — 506 Bloor Street West
Admission: $11.50, available online

Saturday, February 22

The Rhubarb Festival

What: Canada’s longest-running new works festival transforms Buddies into a hotbed of experimentation, with artists exploring new possibilities in theatre, dance, music, and performance art. Rhubarb is the place to see the most adventurous ideas in performance and to catch your favourite artists venturing into uncharted territory.

When: February 12 to 22
Time: Times vary
Where: Buddies in Bad Times — 12 Alexander Street
Admission: $20 per show, available online

Anna of the North

What: Oh my there have been quite a few pop acts from Norway making their way to the city. This week the country has been kind enough to share the soft, soul-baring, electro-pop of Anna of the North.

When: Saturday, February 22
Time: 8 pm
Where: Mod Club — 722 College Street
Admission: $25, available online

Après Ski 2020

What: Skip the slopes and head straight for the Coronas and shot skis. This annual tradition takes over The Porch and Rock ‘N’ Horse for a day and night rager packed with wintertime shenanigans. Get ready for a snow machine, cold Corona’s, shot skis, warm beverages, live DJs and music, chalet eats, giveaways, and more

When: Saturday, February 22
Time: 11 am to 2 am
Where: The Porch — 250 Adelaide Street West
Admission: $24.99 to $38.99, available online

CatVideoFest 2020

What: We’re not going to dress this up at all — it’s cat videos on a big screen. It likely be will be the most popular event in the history of Toronto.

When: February 22 and 23
Time: Saturday, 2 pm; Sunday, noon
Where: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema — 506 Bloor Street West
Admission: $15, available online

Trixie Mattel: Grown Up

What: Trixie Mattel is all grown up. Join the glamorous woman for an evening packed with music, comedy and unnecessary costume changes. Backed by a live band for the first time, this show will leave you jamming with flower power and wondering how the skinniest legend grew into the world’s funniest comedienne.

When: Saturday, February 22
Time: 7 pm
Where: The Danforth Music Hall — 147 Danforth Avenue
Admission: Tickets start at $55, available online

Intrigue at the AGO

free admission

Art Gallery of Ontario

What: Over 100 years ago, Tom Thomson, Canadian outdoorsman and iconic artist, disappeared into the mists. On the anniversary of his death, a journalist is digging into the cold case when she uncovers a startling connection between his suspicious death and a forgotten secret hidden by the Toronto art world. It’s a mystery scavenger hunt in the AGO, can you find the clues and solve the case?

When: Saturday, February 22
Time: 1 pm
Where: Art Gallery of Ontario — 317 Dundas Street West
Admission: $44.99, available online

Saturday Family Clay

What: Every Saturday is a family art day at LucSculpture. Head down and learn some of the basics of sculpting figures, building hand objects, and creating with your kids. They’ll fire all the pieces after you’re done.

When: Every Saturday
Time: 1:00 to 4:30 pm
Where: LucSculpture Art School — 663 Greenwood Avenue
Admission: $15 to $35, tickets available online

Drag Brunch at Pour House

What: Shante or sashay over to Pour House this Saturday and see Heaven Lee Hytes and Katinka Kature slay your brunch. It’s everything you’d expect from brunch served with a healthy dose of shade. Space is limited, reservations are recommended.

When: Saturday, February 22
Time: Noon to 2 pm
Where: The Pour House — 182 Dupont Street
Admission: Reserve online

Sunday, February 23

The Trinity Bellwoods Flea – Winter Market

What: The over 100 vendors at this winter-themed flea should make finding that perfect gift or conversation piece even easier. Shop from local vendors, artisans, and creators at this very special and distinctively Torontonian event.

When: Sunday, February 23
Time: 11 am to 6 pm
Where: The Great Hall — 1087 Queen Street West
Admission: Free

Toronto Pug Grumble

pug meet-up

Toronto Pug Grumble/Facebook

What: Bring your pugs to the Dog Bowl in Trinity Bellwoods Park this Sunday for a Toronto Pug Grumble. Get ready for lots of snorting, rolling, and grumbling. It’s basically the cutest thing going on in the city this weekend.

When: Sunday, February 23
Time: 2 to 4 pm
Where: Dog Bowl in Trinity Bellwoods Park
Admission: Free

Free Jamaican Patties

What: In recognition of Toronto’s annual Patty Day, Patties Express will be giving away 500 free Jamaican patties starting at 11 am. The first 500 customers to visit the shop will get to enjoy a signature Jamaican beef patty, featuring savoury, spiced ground meat wrapped in a flaky crust.

When: Sunday, February 23
Time: 11 am to noon
Where: Patties Express — 4 Elm Street
Admission: Free

Promise 6 Noble Party

What: First built as a mattress factory, 6 Noble went on to become home to a renowned ballet school. And, along the way, lots of great parties. Now stripped down to just walls, wood and brick and ready for demolition. psyLush, Last Planet, and Promise invite you to one last chance in the multi-room warehouse.

When: Sunday, February 23
Time: 3 to 11 pm
Where: 6 Noble Street
Admission: $32.77, available online

Family Black Light Dance Party

What: It’s a fun afternoon of dancing in Kensington market, while raising some money for a great institution, ALPHA Alternative Junior School. There will be face painting, a raffle, fun activities, and a kid-friendly dance floor with groovy music.

When: Sunday, February 23
Time: 2 to 5 pm
Where: Supermarket — 268 Augusta Avenue
Admission: $5 to $20

Sunday Fun Day at Nathan Phillips Square

What: Join in on family-friendly activities on and off the ice. Play games in the snow, follow the leader on the ice, and take part in obstacle courses. Activities are led by City of Toronto staff.

When: On until March 22
Time: Every Sunday, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Where: Nathan Phillips Square — 100 Queen Street West
Admission: Free