Things To Do In Toronto At Night

by Aug 26, 2020Canada, Toronto0 comments

As a Torontonian through and through, I have a pretty good grasp of the local scene. I can give you a list of things to do in Toronto at night or give you the ultimate 48 hour Toronto itinerary if you’ve only got a couple of days or a weekend to explore. I can recommend fine food and drink spots from holes in the wall to some great watering holes. Parks, Graffiti spots, lookout spots you name it, I can recommend it. 

As a resident of the Entertainment District, I’m used to the noise; music playing, loud drunken banter, fire trucks, police cars and ambulance sirens, unified roars echoing through the streets from a baseball game being played in the Rogers Centre with the roof open.

Then came the COVID-19 lockdown of 2020 

Everything changed and Toronto got quiet. Apocalyptically quite. Tumbleweed blowing down a deserted street on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday night quiet.  It was eerie. It was scary. And I was not used to this quiet. I swore that when this city came out on the other side, I was going to create the ultimate list of things to do in Toronto at night. 

But this city is Big. Six million and change big. I’m going to need some help with this project. 

Luckily, I’m one of the Administrators of the Toronto Bloggers Collective and have exclusive access to some of the greatest content creators in this city. They cover every niche, from food and drinks, family and health to culture, theatre, sports and fashion. They’ve been kind enough to give me their suggestions which I’ll share with you!

Above Photo Credit: Alora Griffiths

Table Of Contents

Entertainment District
TIFF Bell Light Box (Toronto International Film Festival)
Ripley’s Aquarium Of Canada (Jazz Night)
Escape Manor Toronto
Alo Restaurant
Toronto Harbourfront
Harbour Boat Tour
The Distillery District
Toronto Light Festival
Toronto Christmas Market
Downtown-Yonge
Yonge-Dundas Square
Nathan Phillips Square (Toronto Sign & Toronto City Hall)
Queen West & Kensington Market
The Rex Hotel Jazz & Blues Bar
Kensington Market Night Crawl
Baldwin Village
Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
University of Toronto – St. George Campus
Royal Ontario Museum

Yorkville
Romancing Yorkville
Church & Wellesley
O’Noir Darkness Dining
Hallowe’en On Church Street
Exhibition Place
Enercare Centre – The One Of A Kind Show
Toronto Zoo
Terra Lumina

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Photo Credit: Filip Mroz

Entertainment District

The best and obvious place to start would be the Entertainment District. It’s not just where I live but it’s where things stay poppin’ till the wee hours of the morning. All the trendy restaurants, bars (indoor, patio & rooftop), lounges, night clubs, comedy clubs, gentlemen clubs can be found here and the surrounding areas. 

If you’re a night owl gimmie a “hoot-hoot” – ok that was bad. 

Dad jokes aside here you will find the Royal Alexandra Theatre, the Princess Of Wales Theatre, Roy Thomson Hall and the Cineplex Cinemas Scotiabank Theatre. So if you’re just exiting a late showing of a movie, theatrical play, musical or concert then, wines, cocktails, liquor and a night of inebriation await you on King West. 

Like-wise, two of our major sporting arenas; Scotiabank Arena and the Rogers Centre can also be found in the Entertainment District. From celebrating a Maple Leafs or Blue Jays game victory to celebrating another Toronto Raptors NBA championship, there are a plethora of bars to grab a pint and cheers it up!  

Things to do in Toronto at night can either start or end here but let’s take a trip around the city and discover some other things you can do at night.

TIFF Bell Lightbox (Toronto International Film Festival)

Suggested by Sonya Davidson, Arts & Culture Freelance Writer

Theatre & Film Festivals

Toronto has become a global draw when it comes to Festivals. Most notable, of course, is the annual Toronto International Film Festival where A-list stars and cinephiles take over the city. It’s often where Hollywood heavyweights bring their premieres and where the film industry wheels and deals. The city sets the scene for the ultimate star-gazing in nearly every restaurant, bar, and nightclub but more importantly it’s viewed also as an early indicator for Oscar winners. But TIFF is not the only significant festival here in the city. At any given time of year, Toronto is buzzing with incredibly rich and diverse celebrations in film. Hot Docs International Film Festival features the most compelling, inspiring, and sometimes even quirky titles each year. ImagineNATIVE shines a spotlight on award-winning and emerging Indigenous filmmakers and artists. The Environmental Film Festival focuses on issues affecting our world today.  Here are a few more to check out: Toronto Food Film Festival, Toronto Black Film Festival, Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival, Cinefranco (French film festival), Regent Park Film Festival, Toronto Human Rights Watch Film Festival, Inside Out Film Festival, Reel Abilities (films focused on people with disabilities), and the list goes on. 

For theatre lovers, we’re fortunate to have Tony Award-winning productions come through the city including Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, Rent, and of course, Les Mis, Phantom of the Opera. If you’re visiting you’ll want to grab your tickets to Come From Away a heartfelt true story about the kindness of strangers as the world watched the tragedy of 9/11 unfold. Not to be overlooked is the city’s more intimate theatre stages where you may discover a few hidden gems. Check out Mirvish Productions, Off Mirvish, Harbourfront Centre, Salt Pepper Theatre, Tarragon Theatre, Outside the March.

Indigenous Arts & Culture and Cuisine:

Interested in learning about Canada’s Indigenous people, culture, food and heritage? Many international visitors are discovering our land’s most cherished stories and experiences. June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada and there are many events happening in the city including the annual Indigenous Arts Festival. The family-friendly free event celebrates traditional and contemporary arts takes place at the Fort York Historic Site. Experience an authentic pow wow, enjoy live music and dance performances, learn traditional arts and crafts, view important historical films and hear the stories that continue to shape our city and country.  If you’re interested in tasting Indigenous cuisine, visit Pow Wow Cafe in Kensington Market — a great stop to fill hungry bellies.

Photos By Sonya Davidson

If you happen to be exploring the Art Gallery of Ontario or the Royal Ontario Museum, there are significant traditional and contemporary works by First Nations, Inuit and Metis artists in the permanent collections. Looking for an outdoor experience with kids visit Crawford Lake just outside the city. Here you’ll learn about First Nations history, go inside a longhouse in the Iroquoian Village, and explore the nature trails.  Want more ideas?
Click HERE 

Jazz Night at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in Toronto

Suggested by Sherri Telenko from Dog Trotting 

Where’s the only place in Toronto you can pop open a can of Lagoon Lager (better than it sounds)?  Jazz Night at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. The second Friday of every month from 7 to 11 pm, the usually family-friendly aquarium transforms into a musical underwater adventure for adults – adults who enjoy sharks, sea horses, a cash bar and the sounds of a live band echoing under a glowing window of fish overhead. Several acts were cancelled this spring, but still scheduled is Lady Be Good September 11 and December 11, 2020.

Jazz Night is included with the regular admission price, so you get the full aquarium experience: Nine galleries feature 16,000 aquatic animals from both fresh and saltwater systems around the world. The tour starts at home, in North America, and you get to see what’s in the Great Lakes outside the aquarium door. It all culminates at North America’s longest underwater viewing tunnel. Stand on a conveyer belt while more than 5.7 million litres of water flow over your head, filled with sea life including rays, sharks and sea turtles. Linger at the perfect accompaniment to a musical evening: luminescent jellyfish pulsing with jazz-like randomness inside a ceiling-to-floor glass tank.

Photo Credit(s) – Sherri Telenko

Escape Manor Toronto

Bri Mitchell from travelingmitch.com 

You can visit an escape room at any time of day, but something about going to an escape room at night makes it feel extra special. Escape rooms are the perfect activity for a small group of friends to hang out and accomplish something together.

While there are a lot of different ways to fill a day in Toronto, there are also a lot of different places with escape rooms across the city. If you’ve visited a few though, then you’ll know they aren’t all created equally. 

From the moment you arrive at Escape Manor Toronto, you know you’re in for a great experience. It has six different escape experiences to choose from, which you can book on their website. They’re perfectly themed for visiting at night because they’re all a little spooky and eerie. 

I’ve tried some escape rooms in the past that feel impossible. This wasn’t my experience doing the “Wine Cellar” escape room here. I thought the clues and the range of different ways to solve the mystery were an equal balance of challenging, but fun. 

Escape Manor also has a trendy bar with seating and board games on the ground floor. This hits the mark where many escape rooms don’t, because you can actually visit with your friends before or after your escape, instead of having to rush out or rush in. They even have axe throwing on the top floor if you’re looking for something else to do as a group when you visit. 

Photo Credit: Zachary Keimig

Alo

Suggested by Raymond Cua from Travelling Foodie

The best culinary experience in Toronto that you can only do at night is the blind multi-course tasting menu at Alo Restaurant, ranked number 1 in Canada’s Best 100 Restaurants list since 2017! Dining at this contemporary French restaurant, Chef Patrick Kriss brings you on a gastronomic journey featuring internationally inspired dishes that change on a regular basis using only seasonal ingredients. I highly recommend doing the kitchen counter tasting where you are dining right at the pass. You get to watch firsthand how the magic happens, plus get the best photo opportunities.

Expect creative dishes that you can only find here along and be sure to opt for the wine pairing program curated by the sommelier. Service is impeccable with the table being cleaned after each course, staff pulling your chair out when you sit, and glasses of water that never goes below half. Even when you leave to go to the washroom, all the staff moves out of the way in a coordinated fashion so you have an unobstructed path.

There’s a reason why it’s been Canada’s best restaurant for years and why you need to book two months ahead. This is the closest to a three Michelin restaurant dining experience you can get in Toronto, and it starts with an unassuming ride in a basic elevator.

Related Link:
Alo Restaurant, A Michelin Restaurant Experience in Toronto.

Photo Credit: Travelling Foodie

Toronto Harbourfront

Harbour Boat Cruise

Suggested by Lora Pope from Explore With Lora

If you’re looking for a fun thing to do in Toronto during the summertime, then check out one of the harbour boat cruises. This is a great way to escape the summer heat and get incredible views of the city skyline.

There are a few options for boat cruises in Toronto, depending on what kind of atmosphere you want. Mariposa Cruises offers 3-hour sunset dinner cruises, which can be a great idea for date night or dinner with friends. There are also boat cruises for those looking for more of a party atmosphere. The River Gambler hosts public cruises, with a huge open floor space to dance, a live DJ, and a cash bar. Look out for industry nights, where you can join the boat cruises for free. These boat parties are so much fun in the summertime and are a great way to meet other people in the city.

Another way to get the Toronto skyline view from a boat is to take the passenger ferry over to Toronto Island. It only takes about 15-minutes to get to the island, which gives you enough time to soak in the views. The island is another fun activity in itself, with beautiful beaches and green space to explore.

Photo Credit: Alex Shutin Uhn

The Distillery District

Toronto Light Festival

Suggested by Arienne Parzei from See You Soon Travel

In the midst of the winter season, there’s one outdoor festival that I always look forward to and that’s the Toronto Light Festival. Running since 2017, the Toronto Light Festival transforms the Historic Distillery District in the city’s east end into a free outdoor art exhibition. Featuring local, national, and international art installations, the festival showcases all kinds of light-based works of art made from a variety of materials. They are meant to be fun and accessible to the general public.

 Every year, over 20 installations are spread out around the cobblestone streets of the Distillery District. They range in size, including a 19-foot high fire-breathing dragon one year, and many of them are interactive, coming to life as visitors step into the installations. The goal of the Toronto Light Festival is to bring a lighter feeling to the city during the winter months, to brighten up those dark winter nights, and the festival has been a hit since it first launched. It usually runs for about 6 weeks starting in mid-January, and is perfect for families, couples and friends.

Photo & Video Credit: Arienne Parzei 

Toronto Christmas Market

Suggested by Erin Elizabeth Hynes from Pina Travels

In the late fall, when Toronto’s days become shorter and the weather begins to turn chilly, the annual Christmas Market kicks off the spreading of warm holiday spirit. The festival features stunning light canopies (best seen at night!), beer gardens, Santa and his elves, family-friendly entertainment and market stalls selling locally handcrafted products. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a glass of heated mulled wine, admire the festive lights, do some holiday shopping, and enjoy listening to Christmas carollers.

The vendors you’ll find at the Market are all local artisans. You’ll find giftable items like natural health products, hand-blown glass ornaments, home decor, and clothing. And of course, treating yourself to a tasty snack is a must-do at the Toronto Christmas Market. There’s artisanal grilled cheese, salted or chocolate dipped pretzels, poutine, schnitzel and more to choose from! And the best part is, by shopping at the annual Christmas Market, you’re supporting local Canadian businesses.

Toronto’s Christmas Market is held in the city’s historic Distillery District. The charm of this cobble-stoned neighbourhood combined with the festive sights, holiday music, and artisanal shopping makes for a traditional Christmas Market, reminiscent of Europe’s. This annual market is an experience that draws local Torontonians and tourists alike. 

The Christmas Market is open from mid-November to just before Christmas every year. On weekdays, the Market is free to enjoy, and on Friday evenings and on weekends, there’s a small entry fee. I recommend going to the Market in the early evening so that you can experience its festive colours in the daylight and the beautiful light canopies after nightfall.

Photo Credit: Kelvin-Balingit
Video Credit: Christopher Rudder

Downtown – Yonge

Yonge-Dundas Square

Suggested by Christopher Rudder from Rudderless Travel 

Yonge-Dundas Square is considered to be the heartbeat of Toronto and a unique focal point of the downtown Toronto community. Yonge-Dundas Square is a 1-acre outdoor public and event space at the intersection of Yonge Street and Dundas Street.

The Square is designated for use as a public open space and as an event venue that can accommodate events of various sizes. From community celebrations, theatrical events and concerts to receptions, promotions and diverse – events that appeal to residents and tourists alike.

It’s not quite like Times Square in New York City but the square draws thousands of visitors from across the city and around the world.

Photo Credit: Nikhil Mitra

Nathan Phillips Square (Toronto City Hall & The Toronto Sign)

Suggested by Michelle Gilfoyle from Sustainable Planet 

One of Toronto’s most iconic landmarks to visit at night is Nathan Phillips Square. A concrete pedestrian plaza extending from the south side of Toronto City Hall, Nathan Phillips Square was opened in 1965 to commemorate former Toronto Mayor Nathan Phillips. 

The Square is a popular destination for both tourists and locals. While farmer’s markets, cultural events, and a skating rink are its main attractions during the day, the city square takes on a different persona at night.

Beside the reflective pond is the famous 3D Toronto sign that lights up at night. Built-in 2015 for the Pan American Games, it’s become a permanent fixture that’s perfect for taking pictures. 

Nathan Phillips Square also proudly hosts many concerts and other live performances at night. Its elaborate architecture has served as the perfect backdrop for the annual TD Jazz Festival, hosting notable jazz acts like Trombone Shorty and Boz Scaggs.

Nathan Phillips Square is also a central landmark in Toronto’s famous Nuit Blanche festival, a free, all-night contemporary arts festival with installations scattered throughout the city. While festivalgoers explore the whole city, the square often houses a high profile installation that attracts large crowds.

Every holiday season, Nathan Phillips Square is also home to the Cavalcade of Lights Festival. This annual ritual is the lighting of the official city Christmas tree and typically includes live entertainment as well. 

Queen West & Kensington Market

The Rex Hotel Jazz and Blues Bar

Christopher Rudder from Rudderless Travel

As I mentioned off the top I have a lot of love for jazz music and the way it makes me feel. The Rex Hotel and Jazz Blues bar has been a staple on the Toronto scene since the late 1980s. It has been at the forefront of Toronto’s thriving local jazz scene.

The Rex host the finest musicians from all over the country and around the world and during the annual TD Toronto Jazz Festival, The Rex is one of the central venues with the most programming. 

All year long, it’s not unusual for world-renowned musicians (like Kurt Elling, Randy Brecker, Wynton Marsalis & the Lincoln Center Orchestra, Chris Potter, Roy Hargrove’s RH Factor, Joshua Redman, Russell Malone, Harry Connick Jr., George Garzone, Frank Tiberi, David Binney, Mark Turner, The Bloomdaddies, Ari Hoenig’s Punk Bop, Willem Breuker Kollektiv, Ricardo Del Fra, Derek Trucks Band, Mulgrew Miller, Eric Reed, Stacy Rowles, Ani Difranco, Maceo Parker, Dave Liebman, Seamus Blake, Chris Tarry, Henry Hey, Pete McCann, Chris Cheek, Tim LeFebvre, Keith Carlock, Gary Versace, Dan Weiss, Slide Hampton, Joe & Pat LaBarbera, Christian Scott, Rob McConnell, Donny McCaslin, Ben Monder, Scott Colley, Antonio Sanchez, Don Byron and many more) to show up on our stage.

Photos courtesy of Rex

Kensington Market Night Crawl

Suggested by Yashy Murphy from Parenting To Go

Toronto’s Kensington Market is one of the most eclectic and multi-cultural strips in the city. Locals and tourists are attracted to the indie shops, vintage clothing stores and unique culinary offerings.  The fabulous spice and cheese shops alone warrant a visit but there are many other reasons you should visit one of Toronto’s hidden gems in the night time. Keep an eye out for pedestrian Sundays in the summertime when the entire market becomes an energetic pedestrian-only zone and the party continues late into the night with musicians and artists creating pop up events.

I love the nighttime vibes at Kensington Market because I can still spot the colourful murals adorning the heritage buildings and buy some Jumbo Empanadas to take home before hitting up the bars and restaurants.

Start your night at Kensington Brewery or Handle Bar (the perfect local dive bar) before exploring your dinner choices. Grab a bite at family-run El Trompo, one of the first taquerias in Canada or swing by El Rey Mezcal for craft cocktails and tapas. To end your night with cocktails try to find Cold Tea bar which is hidden behind a few shops. If live music is what you’re after, Super Market (it’s a restaurant) is where you’ll want to end up.

There’s plenty to explore in Kensington Market as you roam through the two main streets lined with one of a kind stores. 

Photo Credit: Parenting To Go

Baldwin Village

AGO First Thursdays

Suggested by Sharon Mendelaoui from Daily Dream 360

On the first Thursday of the month, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) transforms itself into an exclusive nightclub. DJs and live bands perform, while many of the open spaces inside the gallery are converted to food stations, bars and entertainment stages.

On the ground floor towards the back of the gallery, look for the five-dollar food stations. Here you will have a chance to sample the unique plates of food prepared for the event. 

Check the program for scheduled performances by dance troupes or singing choirs and plan your walk through the gallery accordingly. It is an excellent opportunity to see some of the AGO’s current exhibits while enjoying some live music.

Throughout the gallery are several areas designated as bars where you can grab a glass of wine and mingle. Food and drink are not permitted in the galleries and exhibits themselves just in these designated areas.

Be sure to double up your First Thursday ticket for exclusive presentations like the previous run of the Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors Exhibit. We were able to get at timeslot to view the mirror displays and then walk the remainder of the AGO galleries afterward.

A few things to keep in mind about AGO First Thursdays: it is a popular event in Toronto, so be sure to get your tickets in advance as they often sell out. Get there earlier in the evening as, during winter months, there is a long line for coat check, and I noticed that by 10 PM, many of the food stations had run out of offerings.

Photo Credit: Sean-Driscoll

University of Toronto – St. George Campus

Royal Ontario Museum

Suggested by Makaela Anne from Voyageur Tripper

Located at Bloor and St. George, the ROM is easily accessible by public transport and is in close proximity to dozens of excellent restaurants and bars. While a trip to the museum at any time of the week is great, on Friday nights the ROM really comes to life.

The aim is to connect young adults with history, so the Royal Ontario Museum opens its doors every Friday night for a 19+ event. Scattered throughout the museum, you will find food stands featuring hand-held fare from local restaurants. Grab a drink at one of the many pop-up bars which host a selection of artisanal wines, beers and cocktails. Then, go explore the exhibits.

There is a DJ on the main floor playing music to the weekly theme. You’ll find people dancing and mingling around the grand hall. This is the perfect evening activity for tourists and locals alike, especially if you wouldn’t consider yourself much of a museum-lover. There’s a fun and vibrant atmosphere, you can read about history while sipping on rose, and since the 19+ you won’t find any children running about. This is enough to make even the reluctant museum-goers have a good time!

Tips: Purchase a ticket in advance and ensure you arrive by the time specified on your ticket. Don’t forget your ID. And remember that coats, large bags and backpacks need to be checked.

Photo Credit: Lotus Raphael

Yorkville

ROMANCING IN YORKVILLE 

Suggested by Sonya Kerr from House Of Kerrs

Toronto’s Yorkville area is quaint, chic and bustling, best known for some of the City’s most sought after dining spots and home to the famous Toronto Film Festival. If you’re in the mood for a little romance in the six, here’s a suggested 24-hour itinerary:

STAY
Book yourselves at The Park Hyatt  – one of the city’s most sophisticated hotels, conveniently located a stone’s throw from many shops, trendy restaurants and The ROM, Canada’s largest natural history museum.  It’s also a popular spot for star-gazing during the City’s world-renowned Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)!

EAT & ENJOY
Begin your romantic whirl with lunch and bevies at Sassafraz, followed by window shopping (or a healthy splurge) in one of the swanky boutique shops or along Bloor Street – known as the “Mink Mile” for its prestigious array of high-end designer shops.

Make dinner reservations at the casual and non-pretentious Trattoria Nervosa for some authentic Southern Italian Cuisine. Suggested main – the Risotto Nervosa – delizioso!  Book a couple’s massage at The Stillwater Spa (*currently undergoing renos, set to re-open late 2020*) for some much-needed rejuvenation and head for breakfast at Flo’s Diner – a friendly, 50’s-style diner just a short trek from the hotel.  Don’t forget to stop for a smooch at The Kissing Corner (outside Knar Jewellery beside The Park Hyatt), which reminds you to “Enjoy the one you’re with.”

Photo Credits: Christopher Rudder & Gordana Grubor  

Church and Wellesley

O’Noir Darkness Dining – “Dinner is Better in the Dark”

Suggested by Kate and Erin from Little Miss Kate & Co.

Looking for a unique dinner experience like no other? Enjoy a dining experience like no other as it is a full sensory experience with O’Noir.

O’Noir is the only restaurant in Ontario that has you eating your entire meal in the dark, as there are no flashlights, cellphones, or candles – but instead complete darkness to let you experience what it is like to be visually impaired just like the restaurant’s entire wait staff. Eating in complete darkness without distractions really allows you to connect with each other and have an intimate dinner and conversation as your focus is only on your partner.

While you can hear others around you, they are out of sight as the whole experience is guided by your waiter from the moment you enter the dining room.

When you arrive at O’Noir you read the menu outside and order before entering the dining room – we choose to order the surprise appetizer, main, and dessert to truly experience the culinary experience. When you can’t see your food and don’t know what it is, your culinary experience is heightened as you must rely on the taste and smell of food to not only enjoy the food but figure out what you’re eating if you choose the mystery dishes as we did.

Once you have ordered you then place one hand on your waiter’s shoulder and they guide you to your seat and explain the rules of the experience as you are not allowed to leave your seat without waiter assistance – in order for all customers to have a safe and enjoyable experience.

O’Noir offers a delicious three-course meal for only $45 and a dining experience like no other!

Related Post: The Ultimate Guide to the Taste of Brampton 2020: Top Restaurants in Brampton

Photo Credit: Christopher Rudder 

Storm Crow Manor

Suggested by Christopher Rudder from Rudderless Travel

Welcome to Toronto’s geekiest bar!
Storm Crow Manor opened in 
2018 in a beautiful Church St mansion. If outside is haunted-looking enough inside is absolutely nuts. 

Each individually themed room is complete with secret doors, catacombs, freaky displays etc.
It’s like Harry Potter meets Star Trek, meets, Star Wars, meets Scooby-Doo meets, Twilight Zone etc.

The drinks and cocktails are like potions complete with steam and bubbling in wild colours and flavours. Since COVID-19 they have moved everything outside in the front of the property to accommodate social distancing. In addition, they have started the delivery of some of their food items like their MotherCluckers fried chicken brand. 

Photo Credits: Christopher Rudder 

Halloween on Church St

Suggested by Abigail Costa

Halloween is a big deal in this city. 

Every year, no matter what the weather, October 31st calls for the biggest, liveliest Halloween street party on Church Street. The six blocks between Carlton St and Glocester St are cordoned off to make way for thousands of the biggest, craziest, and most colourful costume goers in town.

It begins at approximately 6:30 pm and unravels through the early morning hours to the reverberating music of guest DJs and participating bars and restaurants lining the street.

Torontonians and tourists alike are welcome to strut their stuff and dance to the music or relax and absorb the performance art, the flame throwers and the juggling acts around.  The best thing about this event is that its made for everyone, young and old, making it a popular Halloween event especially if you want to have a good time but don’t want to go to a club. 

As you walk (or dance your way) down the block, don’t forget to grab some grub at the bars, cafes and restaurants on the street that remain open until the early morning hours. 

Some costumes are loud and extravagant, others are humorous and political. Some costumes are both so authentic and downright terrifying that it makes your heart stop. One thing in common is that all costumes are a labour of love. Many party-goers spend weeks and months waiting to show off their creations for this one night and the ideas that come to life are jaw-dropping. 

My advice – remember is to fully charge your cell phone! There’s a lot you’re going to want to capture.

Photo Credit: Samuel Dixon

Exhibition Place

One of a Kind Show – Enercare Centre

Suggested by Mariam Jangda from Bauble Stories

While most shopping malls close by 9 pm in Toronto, the One of a Kind Show stays open till 11 pm on one very special night so you can keep on shopping. This is one of North America’s largest and highly anticipated biannual craft show featuring over 800 makers from across Canada. The market brings artisans of different specialties together with people who love to shop local.

The Late Night Shopping event starts at 5 pm and offers exclusive perks starting with free parking at the Enercare Centre. Alcoholic beverages are available at the One of a Kind Bar, alongside great music from the DJ. There are door crasher draws every hour including exclusive deals at select vendors. Best of all, you can actually meet the small business genius behind your favourite craft brands.

The show prides itself on building a craft community that promotes Canadian artisans in food, fashion, beauty, home, etc. You can sample tasty and original treats like The Greek Chef’s 12 different kinds of hummus or Alicja Confections ramen flavoured chocolate. Take a trip to the fashion district to discover emerging and established textile creators like OkayOk or catch a little bit of everything at the fashion shows held throughout the day. This shopping event features products you wouldn’t find at your typical retail store which makes it even more special and one you shouldn’t miss. There is literally something for everyone and believe me, you won’t leave empty-handed!

Photo Credit: Bauble Stories

The Toronto Zoo 

Terra Lumina

Suggested by Sarah Smart-Antonio from We Choose Today 

I was given the opportunity to check out the Toronto Zoo’s latest exhibit, and this time it wasn’t a new exotic animal to admire. Terra Lumina is a new immersive art and light experience on a 1.5km trail inside the zoo. The 11th exhibit in Moment Factory’s night walks, the event begins at sundown, the dark forest comes to life with messages of hope and harmony for the upcoming future.

The exhibit is supposed to give us a glimpse into the year 2099, we act as the ‘time travellers’ peeking into a world where animals, the environment and humans co-exist peacefully together. You are one with nature as you watch a pack of wolves run by your path and howl at the moon, beat a colourful, lit up a drum in time with other ‘travellers’ and listen to a mystical bison deliver a speech on how we can change the world.

Many of the themes in the exhibit are based on First Nations traditions and storytelling. You pass by tipi’s glowing in the moonlight, you’ll be greeted with traditional music (from singer Tasheena Sarazin) and drum circles. All were developed with input from First Nation curator Taylor Tabobondung during the creative process.

Video projections, laser lights and ambient wildlife noises are prevalent throughout. There is something new and magical around every corner for children and adults alike to enjoy. It was nice to see the children especially, taking in messages of hope for the world of tomorrow, many of them rushing wide-eyed from one station to another. Glowing signs reading ‘Change is Possible’ and ‘Change the World’ light up the trail, encouraging you to walk into a brighter future.

I had a wonderful time during our night walk and it was interesting to see a familiar space like the zoo, in a new light (quite literally). I’d recommend the event to absolutely anyone. The crowd was made up of every age group and background, there is truly something for everybody.

Photo Credit: We Choose Today

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