Often referred to as Hollywood North, Toronto is recognised for its significant contribution to movie production, playing host to the annual Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). But there’s a lot more to the city’s events diary. Year round, the city vibrates with music, performance and food festivals, as well as world-class sporting events.
January / July: Winterlicious & Summerlicious
Toronto's seasonal culinary celebrations, Summerlicioius and Winterlicious, include the prix fixe program, offering three course menus in more than 200 establishments throughout the city. The festivals feature cooking classes, dinner theatre and intimate chef dinners.
May: CONTACT Photography Festival
Check out CONTACT, the largest photography event in the world, celebrating its 20th birthday in 2016. More than 1500 Canadian and international photographers exhibit extraordinary, thought-provoking images on streets, billboards, subway platforms and on building interiors and facades throughout the greater Toronto area.
May: Canadian Music Week
A magnet for musos across the globe, Canadian Music Week is part music festival, part conference. As the industry folk gather for panel discussions, grab a wristband and take in hundreds of indie bands and big headline acts at venues throughout Toronto all week long.
June: Luminato Festival
Luminato is Toronto’s global multi-arts festival for the open-minded showcases art, music, theatre and dance. Now in its tenth year, the 2016 Luminato Festival will transform one of the city’s industrial landmarks into a public art centre, including a theatre, stage, restaurants and bars.
June: Pride Toronto Festival
The largest Pride festival in North America, Pride Toronto launches ‘Pride Month’ in 2016, culminating with the annual 10-day Pride Toronto festival. The event is set to make Canadian history in 2016, with the sitting Prime Minister participating in the annual Pride Parade for the first time.
July: Toronto Fringe Festival
A summer program for performance and theatre enthusiasts, Toronto Fringe Festival features more than 1100 performances in multiple venues, including theatre, dance, art and busking. Tickets are just $12 for adults and $5 for kids, with lots of free programming thrown in.
July: Canada Day
Toronto celebrates Canada Confederation on 1 July at Mel Lastman Square with a free, fun-filled evening of live music, dance performances, family activities, and a spectacular fireworks show. With 2017 heralding Canada’s 150th anniversary, Canada Day is set to be the party of the year.
September: Toronto International Film Festival
From September 8 -18 2016, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) will screen more than 300 films from 60 countries. The city set for blockbusters like Brokeback Mountain, X-Men and The Time Traveller’s Wife, Toronto is the rightful host for the world’s leading public film festival.
September: World Cup of Hockey
In September 2016, 150 top NHL hockey players will face off in Toronto during the World Cup of Hockey. Eight teams featuring players from more than 15 countries will play at Air Canada in this best-on-best international hockey championship. Worth a look for the atmosphere alone.
November: The Calcave of Lights
Toronto residents welcome the onset of winter with the Cavalcade of Lights at Nathan Phillips Square – an annual holiday tradition featuring the first illumination of Toronto’s official Christmas Tree, live musical performances, fireworks and skating parties on the iconic outdoor rink.