Nathan Philips Square
by Owen Byrne
Are you still stuck in the decision-making process about what to do on the New Year’s Eve 2012? If you don’t feel like escaping into the wild and hiding away from all the lights and noise of the city, staying in the Big Smoke is a wonderful choice. Actually, many say that New Year’s Eve is probably the most exciting night of the year in Toronto, as it offers innumerable fabulous events and festivities all around the city. Check out our list full of tips and get inspired on the best places to welcome the New Year.
Nathan Philips Square
This is an absolutely free of charge highlight of New Year’s Eve in Toronto. This 27th annual show, hosted by celebrities from CityTV and joined by musicians, ending with dazzling midnight fireworks, is a classic. Organizers decided to make the whole event alcohol-free, so families are kindly invited. If you can’t attend the show in person, a live broadcast from Nathan Philips Square starts at 10:00 P.M. on CityTV.
Queen Victoria Park overlooking Niagara Falls will host a nationally televised free show, which includes musical performances and two amazing fireworks shows planned for 8:45 P.M. and midnight, of course. The list of invited artists includes The Sheepdogs, Keshia Chante, and Simple Plan. For the hungry ones, many food and beverage vendors will be present to take care of visitors’ nutrition. The show begins at 7:30 P.M.
For the ninth time in a row, the Toronto Zoo invites families for New Year’s Eve Family Countdown. The event features visiting the animals at the Tundra Trek and Indo-Malaya Pavilion and the Majinx Magic Show with a true magician. Your children will certainly love Kid’s New Year’s Eve Countdown at 8:00 P.M. at the front entrance. This is a ticketed event, so make sure you book your place in advance. Adults and Seniors $20, Children (4-12) $12, and Children three and under Free.
If you want to celebrate the last night of the year with laughter, the New Year’s Eve Comedy Extravaganza starting at 7:30 at Massey Hall is the place for you. The comedy night is hosted by Second City alumni Andrea Martin, and the show features Steve Patterson of CBC’s The Debaters, Ryan Belleville, Claire Brosseau, Frankie “TRIXX” Agyemang, Graham Chittenden, finalist of CTV’s Great Canadian Laugh Off, and Bonzai Suzuki taking care of music. The tickets range from $29.50 to $49.50.
Massey Hall, 178 Victoria Street Toronto
Looking for something unusual? Try spending your New Year’s Eve Party on the Boat. The Jubilee Queen at 539 Queen’s Quay West organizes a Boat Cruise Party, including a buffet dinner full of exquisite meals as well as a champagne toast for midnight. The downturn of this event is its relatively high price — tickets are $119.95 plus tax and gratuities. The cruise starts at 8:00 P.M. and return is planned for 1:00 A.M.