Wondering what to do in Toronto this November? There are plenty of options that will suit everyone. The city offers foodie events, theatre and musical premieres, concerts, shopping shows, and traditional staples such as the Santa Claus Parade. Here’s our list of tips and ideas for the top events in Toronto!
Once (November 1 to December 31)
Once, one of the most celebrated Broadway musicals of recent years, is set to make a Toronto debut in November. The Royal Alexandra Theatre decided to introduce the unique production based on a critically acclaimed musical film featuring Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. Once is a story about the relationship of the authors, who met in the streets of Dublin and started working on Hansard’s songs together. The independent musical received much attention in the US, as it has won eight Tony Awards (including Best Musical) and a Grammy. Ticket prices range from $35 to $130.
Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (November 1 to 10)
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is here once again with ten days full of animal shows and competitions, horse shows, and exhibitions. Over its 90-year tradition, the fair has grown to become the biggest event of its kind in the world, with hundreds of thousands of visitors. In 2013, more than 300 vendors and top producers will offer a glimpse into the newest trends in the field. Organizers also didn’t forget about little visitors — kids can enjoy a petting farm and animal theatre and learn about the journey of the food they eat every day.
BabyTime Show (November 8 to 10)
If you’re a parent or expecting a new family member soon, the BabyTime Show is the right place for you. The show is one of the biggest trade events focused on parenthood. It offers a wide selection of children’s brands, representatives, experts, pediatricians, and many more. Some of the VIP speakers scheduled to appear at the show include parenting author Ann Douglas and pediatrician Dr. Mickey Lester. Kids can look forward to meeting their favourite characters, such as Bob the Builder and Barney. The event takes place at the International Centre.
Swan Lake (November 9 to March 16)
The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts introduces the classic ballet Swan Lake by the National Ballet of Canada. Tchaikovsky’s masterful score accompanies the fairy tale story of an enchanted swan queen, Odette, who gets cursed by an evil sorcerer — and the spell can only be overcome by true love. The work originally premiered in 1877 in Moscow, and over time, it’s become one of the most celebrated and recognizable ballets in the world. The choreography was prepared by James Kudelka, OC, and the set and costumes were designed by Santo Loquasto.
Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival (November 11 to 16)
Rendezvous with Madness is a unique film festival that aims to investigate facts and myths surrounding mental illnesses and addiction. Canadian and international filmmakers and visual artists are all welcome to have their say and exhibit independent works that might be too over the top for some film festivals. The festival’s idea is to publicly discuss issues that often stay hidden and to show mental health and addiction topics from several angles. This also reflects in the main theme of the 2013 edition, Changing Perspectives.
Kanye West Concert (November 12 to 13)
Kanye West, critically acclaimed artist and self-proclaimed hip hop genius, announced two shows in Toronto. Kanye will stop by in support of his eighth studio album Yeezus, which has been receiving praise from music journalists and fans around the world. The latest release of the Grammy-winning artist has become known for dark, experimental arrangements and several interesting collaborations. It features such hits as “Black Skinhead” and “Bound 2.” Both concerts will be held in the Air Canada Centre, and ticket prices vary from $51.75 to $211.75.
Gourmet Food and Wine Expo (November 14 to 17)
Foodies in Toronto are counting down days until the ultimate fine dining show — Gourmet Food and Wine Expo 2013. Visitors will get an opportunity to taste food exclusively prepared by celebrity chefs, savour exquisite wines and drinks, and learn new tips and tricks for their own culinary creations. The show will also feature tutored tasting events, including some of the overall 1,500 samples of wine, beer, and spirits from different producers from all around the globe. Tickets are $20, except for a special VIP Thursday preview evening for $40. The event takes place in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Santa Claus Parade (November 17)
One of Toronto’s dearest traditions, the Santa Claus Parade is on again! Come over to Christie Pits Park to witness the kick-off of the festive season together with the start of the parade at 12:30 PM, November 17. The parade includes more than 25 themed floats, 100 celebrity clowns, 22 bands, and 1,500 cheerful volunteers. The procession will continue along the ROM and the Eaton Centre and finish at the St. Lawrence Market. Don’t forget to come early to reserve a seat — and bring blankets and hot chocolate along, so that you’re not cold while waiting for Santa.
Planet in Focus (November 21 to 24)
Planet in Focus is here to offer an alternative to all those who are tired of action films and love stories – the five-day festival focuses on films that deal with environmental issues. The program includes more than 70 films from all around the world, panel discussions, workshops and film sessions. Kids and teenagers are also welcome to take part in numerous educational programs prepared especially for schools and teachers have an opportunity to organize special screenings. The event takes place in TIFF Bell Lightbox and regular screening ticket costs $15.
One of a Kind Christmas Show (November 28 to December 8)
Don’t miss the ultimate opportunity to get your dearest ones unique Christmas gifts at One of a Kind Christmas Show. Since its start in 1965, the event has made it among the biggest craft shows in North America – in 2013, the Direct Energy Centre will host more than 800 artisans, artists and designers. If you enjoy browsing through heaps of beautiful hand-made items including jewelry, ceramics, clothing, paintings, glass works and many more, you should certainly visit the show. Some of the exhibitors will also lead hands-on workshops, so that you can create your own unique work.