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September 20, 2014

Toronto Festivals & Events

This weekend has a little bit of everything. Canada's Walk of Fame festival offers FREE concerts and comedy entertainment at David Pecaut Sq (beside Roy Thomson Hall). Toronto Beer Week is a celebration of Craft Breweries and if you enjoy tasting new beers, this would be the time to do it! Art lovers, you'll enjoy the KEDD festival and a favourite of homemakers is the Toronto Home Show.

Foodies, you are not left out this weekend because AwesTruck 2014 is on Sunday in Mississauga. Oktoberfest begins at Steamwhistle Brewery (Saturday)...Prost! Garlic Festival is on Sunday and Book lovers... Word on the Street is also on this Sunday!

Step back in time in Fort York at the On Common Ground Festival with the official opening of the visitor centre there on Friday.

Just one more... the Just For Laffs festival is also this weekend.

Details can be found in the September listings where direct links are provided.


Events at a Glance

The following is just some of the events that are going on in Toronto this weekend:

  • TIFF Focus Exhibit
  • Toronto Beer Week
  • Canada's Walk of Fame Festival
  • KEDD 3d parti Contemporary Design Festival
  • The Most RACES Show on Earth! (comedy)
  • Toronto Fall Home Show (consumer show)

You can find all the details in our Events section.


Pan Am Games 2015

As you probably know, the Pan Am Games are coming to Toronto in 2015. Construction appears to be on schedule and as of September 15, the tickets to all the events are on sale (well, not really on sale, but on request).

logo of Pan am Games

The Pan Am Games organisers say, in order to be fair to everyone, requests are made for the tickets (via Ticketmaster)

This way, you will not know, until after the 'request period' is over ie, October 5, if you were lucky enough to get seats. Good sign...If your credit (or debit) card is charged, more than likely you were successful and got your tickets!

The most expensive tickets appear to be for the Opening and Closing ceremonies which will be held in Rogers Centre (SkyDome). Other than these ceremonies, the ticket prices appear to be quite reasonably priced. You can decide whether it's worth it or not.


Live Comedy

FREE live comedy shows - now you can't beat that can you?! The Comedy Cabaret is a monthly show of Stand-Up Comedy held at The Charlotte Room (19 Charlotte St) on the last Monday of every month.

Next performance is on Monday, Sept 29 (8-9:30pm). You can reserve your seat by booking online via Uniiverse (or just show up).


Sports

It's that time of the year - hockey fans - if you don't already know, the tickets are on sale for the Maple Leafs' season that starts with Fan Fests in September.

Also, the Raptors' (basketball) tickets are available too. Our Canadian football team, Argos, have begun their season and tickets are available as well as the Blue Jays who may still have a chance to make it to the playoffs!(We've provided links under the Quick Link section on the left)


Shows of Interest

KURIOS™Ė Cabinet of Curiosities

Cirque de Soleil returns to Toronto with another amazing show at the end of this summer. The show will run until October 26, 2014 under the Grand Chapiteau at The Port Lands [map].

Cirque de Soleil's logo for Kurios With this venue (a large blue/yellow striped tent), there's not a bad seat in it, but the higher up you go the more you will see. The stage is round and open so you don't really need to buy the tickets facing the 'stage entrance' (usually the most expensive) to enjoy a Cirque de Soleil show at this venue. It's relatively small and you will be amazed at how intimate the setting is for such a grand show.

What's the show about? Cirque's website states: "Step into the curio cabinet of an ambitious inventor who defies the laws of time, space and dimension in order to reinvent everything around him. Suddenly, the visible becomes invisible, perspectives are transformed, and the world is literally turned upside down in a place thatís as beautiful as it is mysterious."

As you can see, the video isn't really giving away too much but whatever it promises to be, it's a Cirque de Soleil show and shouldn't be disappointing.
Tickets are on sale now.


Ongoing Theatre

Rose Summer Theatre (Brampton) [Jul-Aug]: This summer, variety is the name of the game. There's comedy, drama and song! Every Wednesday not only offers a splendid production. More Info...

Stratford Festival [Apr-Oct]: Enjoy quality live theatre - only approx. 1hr & 40 mins drive from Toronto.

Shaw Festival [Apr-Oct]: Live theatre covering the works of George Bernard Shaw. If visiting Niagara region, definitely worth checking out.


Attractions

Save on Tourist Attractions

We all look for a deal, especially if you're visiting as a family. The following are just some ways of catching a deal when in Toronto.

  • Mastercard Priceless: MasterCardís Priceless Cities program is an exclusive benefit for cardholders. From private experiences to tickets to the most coveted events in cities around the world, all you need to unlock Priceless Cities is your MasterCard.
    There are currently 42 Priceless Cities around the globe, including our very own Priceless Toronto. To celebrate summer and help Torontonians experience more in their cities, MasterCardís Priceless Toronto is offering cardholders exclusive offers and experiences to top attractions. Featured offers include:
  • City Passports offers booklet of discounts and usually sells out quickly, so keep in mind for future visits to the city.
  • City Pass (not to be confused with the City Passports) offers discounted admission to five of Toronto's main tourist attractions including CN Tower. Cost is US$60.89+tax
  • Fun Pass will get 1 free child's general admission to 19 different Ontario attractions when you purchase an adult or senior admission! Valid June 28-October 31, but the attractions may have different dates of operation.
  • Ticketmaster's 2 for 1 ticket deals as well as discounts on other events! Again, worth checking out regularly.

Ripleys Aquarium of Canada

The newest addition to Toronto's tourist attractions is open for business! The aquarium finally opened its doors to the public on Oct 16 and already has been experiencing an overwhelming demand for its tickets online. It's open 365 days of the year and the times vary during the week.

picture of the aquarium building

The 135,000 sq. foot (12,500 sq. metre) interactive attraction will showcase more than 16,000 marine animals and over 450 species. Features:

  • Jelly Fish Exhibit
  • Planet Jellies
  • Dangerous Lagoonís underwater tunnel showcasing Sharks, Green Sea Turtles, and Sawfish
  • Touch pools with Horseshoe Crabs, Stingrays, and Bamboo Sharks
  • Rare and unique lobsters, daily live dive shows and more!

It's situated right at the bottom of the CN Tower at 288 Bremner Boulevard, Toronto. You can purchase your tickets online or at the door. They also offer passes but these aren't available online. Prices are as follows:
Adult: $29.98
Youth (ages 6- 13): $19.98
Child (ages 3-5): $9.98
Senior (+ 65): $19.98
*Kids under 2 yrs: complimentary with adult guardian.


LEGOLAND® - Adult Nights

LEGOLAND® is, of course, a fantastic place to take your kids! But, you gotta know that if you're an adult, you MUST be accompanied by a child otherwise you will NOT be allowed to enter. For this reason, they hold "Adult Nights" - always on a Wednesday. More information


Yonge/Dundas Square

picture of Yonge and Dundas SquareYonge & Dundas Square is a place where you can experience Free live music, Free movies (during the summer), many FREE events. Or you can just hang out in one of the central spots for people to gather as there is outdoor seating available.

Better still, if you're from out of town, need quick access to online info, especially to help you find your way quickly around Toronto, you will appreciate the FREE Wi-Fi offered by Yonge & Dundas Square, compliments of Wireless Toronto. You can also pick up your concert or show tickets from the "TO Tix" booth which is partly covered from the 'elements'.


Other Interests

Country 'n' Western Bars in Toronto

Picture of cowboy boots and hatYep, you read that right.. Toronto is now home to not just one, but TWO 'saloons'. They not only serve up excellent eats but are bringing some good up-and-coming Country artists to Toronto.

If you want to pull out and dust off your boots, just head on down to either the Rock íní Horse Saloon (250 Adelaide St. W., above Adelaide Hall) in the Entertainment District Downtown OR over to the Boots & Bourbon Saloon (725 Queen St E) in Riverside (East Toronto).

Both have those infamous Mechanical Bulls and will not disappoint even the hardcore country guy or gal... Yeee Hawww!!


PATH Information

PDF map of Toronto's underground Pathway through the downtown coreI am keeping this information on the front page as I believe it's definitely worth checking out, especially when weather's not so good. Now in the Guiness World Record book, this underground heaven is busy throughout the year.

During the summer, using the PATH is a great way to keep cool whilst checking out the numerous stores hidden under the downtown core of Toronto and during the winter, you stay warm and dry. And if you're in the downtown core (financial district at King/Bay area) and it appears to be kinda quiet on the streets during the week, just head underground and you'll find everyone there.

Remember, if you feel lost (and it's so easy to do on the PATH! - just ask, hopefully you'll ask a local!!


Updated: Sept 15