2019 Santa Claus Parade is coming to Toronto on November 17th!

by Denise Marie

The Santa Claus Parade takes over the streets of downtown Toronto each year in late November. Launched in 1905 with a single float, this parade has become one of the largest events in the Greater Toronto Area. Visitors coming from outside of Toronto’s downtown core are encouraged to use GO Transit to get to this exciting event and once in the city, take the TTC subway trains to multiple stations near the parade route.

♫ Santa Claus is coming to town! ♫

♫♫ Santa Claus is coming to town! ♫♫

 

Overview and Highlights

Toronto’s Santa Claus Parade began in the early 1900’s. One of the most successful national retail companies at the time, Eaton’s founded this annual event that precedes the holiday season. Throughout the decades, the celebration was heavily impacted by world wars, economic depressions, political turmoil and globalization. The peak attendance for this annual event has exceeded 500,000 in recent years.

Scheduled for November 17th, 2019, the Santa Claus Parade of Toronto will have a new route this year and will start from Parliament St and Bloor St E at 12:30 p.m. The parade route will proceed on University Avenue for several kilometres through downtown Toronto. This major event will be televised by the CTV Network at 4:30 p.m. This year the parade will take a new route, moving westward on Bloor Street and ending as always at the historic St. Lawrence Market.

The 115th edition of the parade will kicks off the holiday season with major domestic and international sponsors including Canadian Tire, Tim Horton’s, TD Bank, Scotiabank and McDonald’s.

The Holly Jolly Fun Run is the 5K race which precedes the Santa Claus Parade and which will follow the same route. Participants are encouraged to dress in holiday-themed apparel as they run through the heart of Toronto. The race is scheduled to kick off approximately 45 minutes before the actual Santa Claus Parade. This fun race will end at the Maple Leaf Square, where families and friends may greet the runners.

You can also join the Celebrity Clowns program if you’d like to participate directly in this major parade. Sign up at https://santaclausparade.akaraisin.com/ui/CC2019. Adults and kids will get the chance to dress up in wacky clown costumes while following the floats and other participants. More than 30 floats and up to 20 bands are expected to appear in the 2019 parade. All Celebrity Clowns will enjoy complimentary food, drinks, face paint and other exclusive amenities.

Click to visit The Santa Claus Parade official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the event in question.

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair | November 1 to 10, 2019!

by Denise Marie

Held every year in autumn, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is one of Toronto’s largest annual events. This fair occupies the historic Exhibition Place for up to 10 days. The next even begins Friday, November 1 and ends on Sunday, November 10. Commuter trains and streetcars serve the fairgrounds, and thousands of on-site parking spaces are readily available. The fair hosts agricultural competitions, a rodeo and other shows with fascinating equestrian themes.

President’s Choice® SuperDogs® at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

President’s Choice® SuperDogs® at The Royal Agricultural
Winter Fair (Photo Credit: John Steadman)

Attractions and Events

Hosted by President’s Choice®, the Animal Theatre is one of the most popular shows at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and is headlined by the fan-favourite SuperDogs®. Some stars of the event include sheep-herding border collies and the city’s horse-mounted police patrol. Charismatic knights from Medieval Times also show off their equestrian skills inside the Animal Theatre.

Some other attractions that feature animals include the Ontario Toyota Dealers Rodeo, Royal K9-Equine Challenge, Sylvia Zerbini and Amber Marshall from CBC’s Heartland. Square dancing and butter sculpting are among the dozens of interactive activities at this family-friendly fair. If you’d like to taste locally sourced food, visit the Spotlight on Local exhibition that’s presented by Metro. Additionally, the Burnbrae Farms Culinary Academy provides detailed lessons on gourmet cuisine. Some of the best local chefs participate in this presentation that appeals to visitors with a craving for unique treats.

Live music is played on the OLG Entertainment Stage as well as demonstrations and seminars. If you’re on the hunt for pottery, artwork and decorative items that are made by local craftsmen, explore the Made by Me Artisan Pavilion. The agriculture competition is also one of the main events at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. From dairy cattle and goats to swine and sheep, this competition features nearly 6,000 live animals on display. More than 1,200 agricultural products are promoted at the fair, which culminates with the crowning of Royal Grand Champions.

Ontario Toyota Dealers Rodeo at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

Ontario Toyota Dealers Rodeo at The Royal Agricultural
Winter Fair (Photo Credit: M Clark)

How to Get There

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair takes over the grounds of Exhibition Place, which is conveniently situated just west of downtown Toronto. You can take the GO Transit Lakeshore West train to the Exhibition Station. This commuter rail links the downtown core with other major cities in Ontario, such as Burlington and Hamilton. The TTC 509 streetcar also stops at the fairgrounds. New for this year, children 12 and under ride the TTC and GO for free.

Additionally, more than 4,000 on-site parking spaces are available for visitors at designated outdoor and indoor lots. Considered the city’s secondary hub for commercial aviation services, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is just a short ferry ride away from the event.

Click to visit The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.

Graffiti Alley | A Canvas for Toronto Street Artists

by Denise Marie

Spanning several blocks in Toronto, Graffiti Alley is a narrow street that’s essentially become an outdoor art gallery with an unmistakable character. You’ll see dozens of buildings that are covered in graffiti displays and murals for just more than half a mile. This colorful stretch in the Fashion District is only steps away from multiple streetcar stops. Day or night, the Toronto Transit Commission offers express service to this trendy street.

Graffiti Alley

Graffiti Alley serves as the canvases for street artists in Toronto

Highlights and Experience

Graffiti Alley is a dynamic attraction that’s frequently transformed by Toronto‘s finest street artists. Throughout the years, the modest buildings on this narrow alley have been repainted many times. The colorful murals and other urban masterpieces aren’t expected to last for multiple years.

Visitors should admire the dazzling works that decorate the exterior walls, staircases and other visible fixtures on the commercial and mixed-used properties. Poser, Skam and Uber500 are some notable artists who have added their signature touches to Graffiti Alley. However, plenty of other unidentified or lesser-known artists have left their temporary marks on the alley. Unofficial etiquette encourages the passionate artists to obtain permission from the local building owners or tenants. The City of Toronto promotes artistic graffiti expressions instead of vandalism that creates eye sores.

In the age of mobile phones with high-resolution camera lenses, Graffiti Alley is without a doubt one of the best places to take selfies in the heart of Toronto. The vibrant background that you’ll capture in the photos is unlikely to be found in most metropolitan areas in North America. Musicians, movie producers and other entertainers are also drawn to the unique urban collage on this hip alley.

Toronto's Graffiti Alley

Located in Downtown Toronto on Rush Lane

Location and How to Get There

Graffiti Alley is situated between Queen Street West and Richmond Street West in the Fashion District. Spadina Avenue marks the eastern end of this urban attraction. The 310 and 510 TTC streetcars stop at the corner of this commercialized avenue and the alley. You can also take the 301 and 501 streetcars to various outdoor stops on Queen Street.

Once there, the outdoor urban art is located at western end of the alley is known as Rush Lane, which ends at Portland Street. The lane is wide enough to accommodate one-way traffic, but the best way to explore the street art is by foot or bicycle.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.

Toronto International Film Festival | Sept 5-15, 2019

by Denise Marie

Held annually in September, the Toronto International Film Festival is one of the largest cultural events in the Greater Toronto Area. This 11-day festival attracts nearly half a million visitors from all over the world. From Hollywood celebrities to independent filmmakers, the TIFF draws a diverse global crowd each year.

Toronto International Film Festival

TIFF – One of the most beloved cinematic events in the world

Background and History

Some of Canada’s most prominent film producers launched the Toronto Festival of Festivals in the middle of the 1970’s. In its first year, this event attracted approximately 35,000 visitors at the historic Windsor Arms Hotel. After 18 years of widespread growth, the event was officially renamed the Toronto International Film Festival.

Throughout the decades, this festival has screened thousands of productions from dozens of countries. Some of the movies that premiered at the TIFF were nominated for or claimed the Academy Awards, the most prestigious honors in the North American film industry.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the organizers of the event established the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Situated in the heart of Toronto, this state-of-the-art facility provides year-round opportunities for producers, actors and other professionals in the film industries worldwide. The TIFF Bell Lightbox is also the official headquarters of the TIFF.

The 2019 Toronto International Film Festival is scheduled to start on September 5th, and the closing night will be on September 15th. The Regular Flex package can be purchased in increments of 10 tickets. If you buy the Premium Flex, you can view six red-carpet screenings.

Some of the most affordable ticket options are the Weekday Daytime and Back Half. The Curated Experiences include the Opening Night Film, Buzz List and Cloning Night Film plans. Individual tickets are also available depending on the screening venue in downtown Toronto. The Festival Programme Book is another popular item that’s available for sale during the 2019 TIFF.

Tickets for members begin in August while individual tickets go on sale to the public on Sept 2, 2019 at 10am.

Location and Getting Around

The festival is centered in the heart of the Entertainment District. Some of the city’s top performing arts venues host the film screenings for this popular event. For example, assigned seating is available for the Roy Thomson Hall and Princess of Wales Theatre. Unassigned seats are available for the Ryerson Theatre and Jackman Hall (AGO). TTC subway trains and streetcars stop within walking distance of nearly all screening venues in downtown Toronto.

Click to visit the TIFF official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.

CN Tower | Toronto’s Iconic Landmark Standing Over 1,800 Feet Tall

by Denise Marie

Standing more than 1,800 feet tall in the heart of Toronto, the CN Tower is an engineering marvel that has become a top tourist destination. This famous structure has several signature observation decks and an upscale restaurant with a revolving platform. Commuter trains, streetcars and buses stop near this iconic landmark that’s visible from nearly every point in Toronto.

History

Built in 1976, the CN Tower has been one of Canada’s most notable architectural landmarks. It was the world’s tallest free-standing structure for more than three decades. Having one of the most powerful and largest antennas in Canada, the tower was initially designed for telecommunication purposes. Today, this commercialized structure is one of the most visited tourist sites in the nation.

CN Tower

Click for more on Canada’s architectural landmark – the CN Tower

Highlights

The 360 Restaurant at the CN Tower offers a gourmet dining experience with breathtaking urban views. Seafood, steak, salads and other modern dishes are served at this revolving restaurant that truly offers a 360-degree panoramic perspective of Toronto and Lake Ontario. More than 9,000 wine bottles are also stored at the on-site cellar that’s kept at optimum temperatures. Patrons can choose from more than 500 wine varieties that are imported from all over the world, including Canada’s top vineyards. VUE Bistros is a European-inspired eatery that also serves light fare for visitors on the observation levels.

If you’re just after great views of Toronto, get tickets to the LookOut area, which has floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Having a thickness of 2.5 inches, the Glass Floor offers unique downward views of the city’s streets. Located hundreds of feet above the LookOut, the SkyPod offers even better views of Toronto and the surrounding area. On a clear day, you might be able to see the Niagara Falls and Buffalo from this signature observation deck.

If you’d like to test your nerves, go to the EdgeWalk, which is consistently voted as one of the most extreme urban attractions in Canada. It takes approximately 30 minutes to navigate this outdoor catwalk-type platform that’s situated more than 1,100 feet above ground. All participants must take the basic safety session before getting on the EdgeWalk.

Location

The CN Tower stands a few blocks away from Toronto’s Union Station, which is served by commuter and long-distance trains. Several Toronto Transit Commission streetcars also stop near this iconic landmark that overlooks the city’s waterfront district. Additionally, the Gardiner Expressway has several exits that lead to the attraction. Car parking is available near the Rogers Centre and Roundhouse Park.

Click to visit the CN Tower official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.