September is the month to be in Toronto.You won’t mind the summer’s end, as the events throughout the month will keep you busy. Try some vegetarian goodies at the Vegetarian Food Festival, savour the best craft beers during the annual Toronto Beer Week, watch the top films of 2013 at the Toronto International Film Festival, and laugh away a full week at the Just for Laughs festival. And there’s much more — just check out our list of top September events in Toronto!
1. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (August 30 – September 1)
Now something that will excite every family. NASCAR’s pickup truck racing series comes to Toronto for the first time for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Labour Day Weekend. This will mark the first ever Canadian stop for the truck series, as NASCAR aims at expanding the audience for truck competitions. You can look forward to seeing exciting races by the world’s top truck racers, stunt shows, and much more over the three days of the event. The race takes place at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) in Bowmanville, and ticket prices range from $50 to $225.
2. Caribbean Tales (September 5 to 15)
The annual Caribbean Tales film festival showcases the best of Caribbean cinema to the Toronto audience. The last days of the festival run alongside the Toronto International Film Festival, as the organizers hope to attract the attention of film industry professionals and audiences. The festival also has an important role as a launching pad and incubator for young talented film makers. It provides emerging artists with grants and educational opportunities to enhance their skills and experience and gives them some off-market time to develop. Some of the festival highlights in 2013 include Adopted ID, PayDay and Abo So (Only You). Some of the screenings are free, but always check the festival website before the screening.
3. Toronto International Film Festival (September 5 to 15)
All film lovers in Toronto can’t wait until September, when the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) takes place. Once again, the festival that’s generally viewed as the second most important festival after Cannes has prepared an exquisite program that will please even the strictest film critics. The 38th annual edition introduces more than 288 feature films and 78 shorts created by filmmakers from over 70 countries. Films at this year’s festival include 12 Years a Slave with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Brad Pitt, Kill Your Darlings starring Daniel Radcliffe, and Dallas Buyers Club with Matthew McConaughey. Prices for single tickets for screenings range from $14.50 to $23.50, and there’s an extensive choice of pass options — but of them are sold out already.
4. National Bridal Show (September 6 – September 8)
The National Bridal Show is the best wedding planning resource in the GTA. Learn about the latest trends in wedding dresses, fashion accessories, flowers, cakes, and all the things that make a wedding day so special. If you’re a bride-to-be, meet the exhibitors at the National Bridal Show that showcase the best of the best. Lucky couples can even enter into a competition for the $5,000 home décor prize package. The event takes place at the International Centre in Mississauga, but it’s certainly worth the ride from the Toronto. Tickets are $12 when bought online and $15 at the door.
5. Tim Horton’s Southside Shuffle (September 6 to 8)
If you like jazz and blues music, you definitely shouldn’t miss Tim Horton’s Southside Shuffle — a major festival with over 150 Canadian and international performers in Memorial Park. The rich line-up features such names as Mitch Ryder and His Detroit Wheels, Dexter Allen, David Vest, Jack De Keyzer, and Susie Vinnick. Besides the official schedule, there are many jam sessions that will be going on in the streets, so if you feel like joining in, don’t forget to bring your instrument. Thanks to extensive sponsorship funding, the daily ticket costs as little as $5 and children under 12 get in for free.
6. Vegeterian Food Festival (September 6 to 8)
The Harbourfront Centre hosts yet another year of the Vegetarian Food Festival, the biggest vegetarian event in North America. Festival-goers can shop for products, enjoy cooking demonstrations by top vegetarian and vegan chefs, and attend free talks to learn more about the movement and why being conscious of what you eat matters. The great thing about this kind of festival is that there’s always so much delicious food to taste — and you’ll love it whether you’re a vegetarian or not, since the top venues from Toronto will sell and give out some of their best food creations. The event is free and everyone is welcome.
7. Queens of the Stone Age Concert (September 10)
Heroes of the rock and indie scene Queens of the Stone Age are back on tour to support their newest album, Like Clockwork. The release is their first full-length album since 2007, when they recorded the critically-acclaimed Era Vulgaris. Josh Homme, the lead singer and main songwriter, is the only remaining member of the original band — but he has teamed up with great musicians, including Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl to help him out with drums on the album. Ticket prices range from $50.50 to $75.50. The event takes place at the Air Canada Centre and the door opens at 7:00 P.M.
Toronto Beer Week
8. Toronto Beer Week (September 13 to 20)
Toronto Beer Week returns to Toronto to celebrate the amber brew and everything connected with it. Beer Week is not really a festival — it’s a loose collective series of events that showcase the best craft beer and its producers. If you’re fed up with mass-produced beer brands, this is the time to try new tastes and discover quality brands from all around the world. Supporting venues include Beer Bistro, Mill Street Brew Pub, Monarch Tavern, and several local breweries offer tours. All keen producers of home-made beer can also compete in a traditional Homebrew Competition.
9. Just for Laughs (September 19 to 28)
Comedy will rule the city over the last week of September, as Just for Laughs (JFL42) storms Toronto. The festival introduces a brand new 21st century concept of handling the schedule. The organizers simply let the audience decide what they want to see at what time by using the special festival smartphone app — they are even free to add an extra date if more people agree. The festival just chose 42 events that will take place over the Just for Laughs duration across Toronto. The headliners of the festival are Aziz Ansari, Sarah Silverman, and a special edition of Family Guy live. Some of the other 42 acts include Yuk Yuk’s, Hannibal Buress, and the Mark Little and Kyle Dooley duo. Festival pass prices range from $69 to $299.
10. Queen West Art Crawl (September 21 to 22)
Queen West Art Crawl is a cool community event that celebrates the neighbourhood and the community spirit by discovering the art scene in the area. Since its first year in 2003, the Queen West Art Crawl has been growing, and it now spans a whole weekend filled with activities. You can look for unique pieces of arts, crafts, jewellery, and more at the outdoor art show and sale space or explore the neighbourhood at one of the commented walks. Choose the Parkdale Nightcrawl to feel a special evening atmosphere, a community partner crawl to learn about all the initiatives going on in the area, or simply go for walks and talks at the festival. The event takes place at Trinity Bellwoods Park, and it’s free.
Are there any must-see events we forgot to mention in our list? Let us know in the comments!