Wondering what to do in Toronto this month? Maybe our list will provide you with a bit of inspiration. You can be sure that spring in our city has lots to offer everyone — from film and literature lovers to foodies to green living enthusiasts. The choice is yours, so we hope to see you around at some of the featured events!
1. Toronto Wine & Cheese Show (5th to 7th of April)
Get your taste buds ready and set off to the Toronto Wine & Cheese Show to sample the best wine, beer, and spirits from all around the globe supplemented by the finest cheeses. The three-day event promises a program full of wine tastings, expert seminars, exhibits with products, culinary shows, and much more. Some of the highlights include the Gourmet Grilled Cheese Contest and an appearance by James Cunningham, host of the Eat St. series. The event is held in the Direct Energy Centre, and general admission is $11 online and $14 at the door. Sampling tickets can be purchased for $20 for 20 tickets.
2. Cinefranco (5th to 14th of April)
The TIFF Lightbox hosts Cinefranco, a showcase of French-language cinema aimed at celebrating and promoting the diversity and richness of French language. Film lovers can look forward to innovative programming that features a colourful mix of shorts, documentaries, and feature films. Some of the most anticipated films include the opening film Esimesac by Luc Picard, Les Invisibles, a stunning documentary about homosexuals in the second half of the 20th century, and Tango Libre in its North American Premiere. Many of the screenings will be attended by film creators and actors. Don’t worry about your not-so-amazing French skills — all films include English subtitles.
3. Muse Concert (9th and 10th of April)
Muse by Wikimedia Commons
The Air Canada Centre welcomes Muse, who are touring the world in support of their latest album, The 2nd Law. The album also features the song “Survival” that was used as an official theme song of the London 2012 Summer Olympics. Some of the other hits that will probably be played at the show include “Supermassive Black Hole,” “Starlight,” and “Time is Running Out.” The English band is well known for their progressive blending of rock music, space rock, and electronica, as well as the front man’s former extravagant hairstyle. Ticket prices vary from $55.50 to $81.
4. Images Festival (11th to 20th of April)
The 26th annual Images Festival showcases the best of local and international contemporary media art and innovative pieces of moving image culture. The festival focuses on independent and experimental pieces and hopes to act as a professional forum to exchange ideas and support emerging talents. The organizers pride themselves on the festival serving as a launch pad for several successful media artists in Canada. Besides the film and video screenings, the festival features an extensive section dedicated to live performances and media art installations. The diverse events of the festival are scattered around several venues in the city, and prices also vary by event.
5. Green Living Show (12th to 14th of April)
Canadians are more and more passionate about environmentally conscious lifestyles, so if you’re a part of the movement, the Green Living Show is the right place to visit in April. The event is a comprehensive showcase of everything connected to green and healthy living. Visitors can learn about the hottest tips and tricks for healthy eating, check out green home and garden improvements, explore the exhibitors’ area and shop for thousands of ecological products and services, join a meditation workshop, and much more. Celebrities and several eco-movement icons will also join the show and hold seminars and live onstage presentations. The special EcoKids zone with games and workshops will be prepared for all children attending the show.
6. Trees Across Toronto (27th of April)
The Trees Across Toronto event is a unique opportunity to move your body and engage in an initiative that attempts to make Toronto a greener place. The idea to gather once a year and enhance the city’s native tree and shrub planting program by planting new trees in underdeveloped areas has seen an amazing response from the public. Last year, about 1,500 volunteers showed up to devote their day to greening up the city. The target for this year’s edition has been set recently, and volunteers will work on revitalizing Milliken Park and Windsfield Park. Urban Forestry staff provides all planting materials and tools as well as light refreshments, so all you need to supply is a good mood and a will to help.
7. Toronto Spring Sprint (27th of April)
The Toronto Spring Sprint organized by the Brain Tumour Foundation returns in 2013 to support brain tumour patients and survivors. The event is one of the big fundraisers held in many cities around Canada, and everyone is welcome to join in. Runners can choose a 2.5- or five-kilometre race, and the pace is up to everyone: it doesn’t matter whether you run, walk, or stroll since taking part in the event means more than winning here. If you can’t join the actual run, you might still want to check out a special virtual sprint that’s available online.
8. Keep Toronto Reading (1st to 30th of April)
“There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches.” These words by Ray Bradbury are the unofficial motto of Keep Toronto Reading 2013. As you might have guessed, this edition of the popular festival organized by the Toronto Public Library is devoted to the legacy of Bradbury’s masterpiece, Fahrenheit 451. The library invites everyone to immerse themselves into the world of a totalitarian society in which reading is a criminal offence and to join the numerous discussions, public readings, and film screenings organized in library branches all around the city.
9. Hot Docs (25th of April to 5th of May)
The largest North American documentary film festival returns in its 20th year, and it seems to be getting bigger and better with every new season. In 2013, Hot Docs will feature a record number of 205 films from over 43 countries as well as hundreds of industry professionals and filmmakers confirmed to join the festival.
The festival will be opened by Canadian film The Manor. The documentary is shot by the manager of a strip club, who sensitively captures the damaged lives of his family and shows how relationships and people suffer after several decades in the peeler business. Among other films announced in the Hot Docs program are The Crash Reel by Lucy Walker, telling the story of snowboarder Kevin Pearce, and Raoul Peck’s Fatal Assistance, revealing how billions of dollars of aid for Haiti were lost and stolen due to lack of management and corruption. Many of the films will be followed by a discussion with filmmakers or experts on the topics connected to the documentaries. Another important segment of the festival consists of seminars for professionals from the industry, conferences, forums, or parties — connecting people and letting ideas flow easily.
Tickets for screenings cost $15 per film, but there are various ticket packages available. Check the website for more information. The festival venues are scattered around the city centre and include the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, the Scotiabank Theatre, the TIFF Bell Lightbox, and the Royal Cinema.
10. The Book of Mormon (30th of April to 9th of June)
The Book of Mormon, one of the most successful Broadway musicals of all time, hits the Princess of Wales Theatre at the end of the month. Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who are known as South Park’s creators, wrote a hilarious comedy about a naïve Mormon missionary who visits a remote village in Uganda. The play pokes fun at the themes of faith and doubt by letting a missionary interact with the local “non-believers.” The play immediately earned rave reviews and harvested nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical, at the 2011 ceremony.