The autumn slowly comes to its end and the festive season is knocking on the door this month, so let’s check out what Toronto has to offer!
November 2nd to November 11th
More than 340,000 visitors, exhibitors and other participants flock to Toronto to visit an extraordinary celebration of everything connected to farming and agriculture at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. What makes this event even more special is that it manages to combine a huge indoor fair and one of the most prestigious international equestrian competition in Canada.
Visitors of the 90th season of this amazing event will have a chance to get to know the work of the top Canadian and international growers, breeders and producers, discover unknown facts about agriculture and participate in one of many fun competitions organized at the fair. Since food and great tastes are an important feature of the event, guests will have get an opportunity to shop for some of the most amazing food and ingredients right from the producers and a few celebrity chefs, including Curtis Stone and Bob Blumer will stop by to prepare some of their recipes and bring some inspiration for our everyday cuisine.
2. Day of the Dead Festival in Harbourfront
November 5th to November 6th
During the first weekend of November, people in Mexico traditionally remember their ancestors by celebrating the Day of the Dead Festival. One of the major celebrations of our southern neighbours found a fertile soil in Canada and the Harbourfront Festival of the Dead is an event not to be missed. Shop up to honour your descendants with offering them their favourite food, partying to their favourite songs and thinking about all the nice things that you used to do together. In addition to all of this, the Harbourfront centre prepared a rich program that brings Mexican culture closer to Torontonians by introducing the best of Mexico through performances, food tastings, numerous workshops (come over to create your own spooky skull decoration) and other festivities.
November 9th to November 11th
The 8th annual fall BabyTime Show is one of the top fairs for all parents and parents-to-be in Toronto. As the organizers’ slogan goes it’s “the ultimate event for pregnancy, birth, baby and toddler.” Visitors can check out and shop for products and services from more than 250 manufacturers, retailers and artisans. Some of the top pregnancy and parenting experts agreed to show up and share their knowledge and the organizers also prepared a popular meet and greet session with some popular characters. Kids will also enjoy the Show, as numerous kid-friendly activities are waiting for them – after all, it’s supposed to be their BabyTime!
Get ready for return of the legends! The Hockey Hall of Fame announced their annual Legends Classic – an exhibition of two all-stars teams captained by Doug Gilmour and Bryan Trottier. Players, who were chosen and agreed to play in 2012 edition of the Legend Classic include this year’s Hall of Fame inductees, Joe Sakic, Adam Oates, Pavel Bure and Mats Sundin and many more. Audience will also have a chance to witness the official induction Blazer and Ring Ceremony before the game. Live musical performance will be delivered by the Spoons. Tickets’ prices range from $25 to $40.
November 9th to November 17th
20th year of the Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival will once again try to explore mental illness and addiction from an artistic point of view and initiate the public discussion about these important issues that often stay out of focus in the society. Experiencing the variety of human experience unfolded via the stories in cinema might help to viewers to reach better understanding of “madness” and enable them to get a glimpse of the complicated world of mentally ill people. The festival organizers do their best to cooperate with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, which is also listed as one of the venues of the festival (the TIFF Bell Lightbox remains as the main screening venue, supplemented by the Workman Arts.)
We can’t imagine the start of the holiday season without Cavalcade of Lights. The 45 years of this spectacular tradition carved the event into hearts of Torontonians. Come to Nathan Phillips Square to kick off the holiday season in the city and witness the first lightning of the Christmas Tree. Just like every year, the beautifully-decorated tree will be glowing with thousands of energy efficient LED diodes in colours of silver, red and white. Besides tree lighting, visitors can look forward to numerous musical performances and a fireworks finale, all the kids are looking for.
November 17th to November 18th
Over the years, Woofstock has become an institution in a dog-lovers’ world. Two times per year, dogs and everything associated with them rules the weekend full of events and activities and incredible atmosphere. Winter indoor edition of the festival takes place in the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place and features numerous shows, animal contests, shopping opportunities with new exclusive lines of toys and treats for your pets and some of the top Canadian and international exhibitors come to boast with their animal friends. Come over to take look at the most famous dogs in Canada or learn about new trends. And the best part is that kids and dogs enter Woofstock free of charge!
The Gourmet Food and Wine Expo
November 15th to November 18th
The Metro Convention Centre will welcome visitors of the annual Gourmet Food and Wine Expo. The festival offers the opportunity to sample over 1,500 excellent wines, spirits and beers both from Canada and numerous foreign countries and learn more about the exquisite tastes during organized tutored tastings with skilled sommeliers. Over 40,000 guests can also taste the mastery of several chef and food celebrities and top writers about food and drinks and get inspired by signature dishes prepared by them. All the best Torontonian restaurants will be there to showcase what they do, so don’t miss the chance to eat and drink like a king! Admission fee for Thursday VIP event is $40, other days $20.
Santa Claus Parade premiered more than hundred years ago, when a single float of the parade carrying Santa Claus reached Toronto Union Station and continued to the Eaton’s department store in the city centre, where Santa shook hands with Timothy Eaton.
Over the time, Santa Clause Parade has grown considerably to what’s believed to be one of the biggest events of a kind in the world– last year, it featured more than 26 boats, 21 marching bands, thousands of cheerful volunteers helping with the organization. To a great joy of whole audience, even Mrs. Claus joined Santa with her own float resembling their home in the North Pole for the first time ever.
Ron Barbaro, co-chair of the parade spoke to CityNews about his feelings about the parade: “It’s been 107 years now and the parade has changed 107 times, getting better each time,” and added that the parade is just like five miles of smiles of everyone involved. In 2011, technology kicked in, as there was a special Santa Cam camera attached to Santa’s float, so that members of the crowd could find themselves partying on the video footage that could be downloaded for free from the Santa Claus Parade webpage after the end of the parade.
This year’s parade starts traditionally at 12:30 pm at Christie Pits and ends at St. Lawrence market. Organizers believe that the route can accommodate even more crowds to enjoy the parade and form some of the best childhood memories. Actually children play a crucial role in organizing the parade – they are a significant portion of its 3,000 volunteers, who help to make this event so special. Most of them would just sit on the float and wave to the audience – an experience many of us would pay for as kids.
November 22nd to December 2nd
More than 800 artisans will show up and present their skills and works at the One of a Kind Christmas Show. This unique event that shouldn’t be missed by anyone, who loves the feeling of upcoming Christmas time features opportunities to shop for beautiful hand-crafted ceramics, jewelery, furniture, designer clothing and accessories or just to browse around all the eye-pleasing art galleries or watch a unique fashion show. Visitors of all ages can also take part in artistic holiday activities and many hands-on workshops, where they can create their own unique gifts for the loved ones. Children under 12 can enter for free, adults’ admission is $14 and students and seniors pay $7.