Looking for events in Toronto this week
July 4, 2006 12:52 PM   Subscribe

I will be in Toronto over the next week for work, and I want to make the most of any spare time I have. Are there any interesting events going on? Where should I go to get some good photos?

I will be arriving tomorrow from Edmonton, and staying until about the 14th. Most of my spare time will be on the weekend, but weekday activities in the evening are fair game too. I want to take in some culture (i.e. events, neat parts of town, museums) and get some photos, and generally get a feel for the city — as I might be moving there later in the year. I will be staying near edlington and younge st. My budget for exploration is in the $500-1200 range. I also considering a trip down to Niagara Falls, is that an interesting trip?
posted by clord to Travel & Transportation around Toronto, ON (24 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I get the idea that the Toronto Archives are worth a visit.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:55 PM on July 4, 2006

Based on my memories of a trip 14 months ago...

The drive to Niagara Falls might not be considered interesting by most, though you could make it more interesting by visiting some wineries on the way. The falls are worth it ... though it will be crowded this time of year.

For photos, the Butterfly Conservatory would be worth a visit. Nearby, Niagara-on-the-lake is a pretty town, some neat shops.

I visit Toronto occasionally, but generally only see the inside of music venues (when alone) or kid-friendly stuff (when there with the family). I'm sure residents will be a lot more help than I could be.
posted by valleys at 1:03 PM on July 4, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks Faint of Butt, that looks like a good resource.
posted by clord at 1:16 PM on July 4, 2006

What are your interests? art? music? food? shopping? Will you have a car or just local transit?
posted by dobbs at 1:20 PM on July 4, 2006

Gah, where to start... (also, I think you mean Eglinton)

Possible good photo spots:
- Toronto Island. The island is OK, but you can get some senic shots of the Toronto skyline.
- The Distillery District. A fave of photobloggers it seems. Old brick buildings and lots of architectural stuff to shoot.
- U of T Campus would be OK, for the same reasons.

There are several Toronto photobloggers and you could just go where they go. Apparently sitting at Yonge and Dundas will yield several bajillion photos of people and cars doing their big city thing. All those sorts are accessible via TTC for little to no cost.

Neat parts of town: I imagine any tourist guide lists them: the Distillery district, chinatown, kensington market, the st. lawrence market, queen's park/legislature, the ROM, the AGO, queen st west (shopping), any number of concerts at one of several venues indoor and outdoor, Ft York.

I mean, Toronto is the centre of the universe - it stands to reason there lots to see here.

Niagara Falls in interesting, if a bit touristy. Niagara-on-the-Lake has a slightly more classy feel, but the Falls themselves should be seen at least once. They are a massive natural wonder that is pretty unique in the world. But you only need to see it once.
posted by GuyZero at 1:21 PM on July 4, 2006

Oh, and I assume you mean Yonge and Eglinton. Not trying to be snarky, but you'll have to spell 'em right to find 'em on googlemaps in order to see distances and stuff for anything anyone suggests.

Some general neighborhoods worth patrolling (punch these intersections into google maps to get an idea of where they are).

Annex (Bathust Street and Bloor Street)
Little Italy (College Street and Bathurst Street (and west of there))
Kensington (Kensington and Dundas north to Spadina and College)
Queen West (University Avenue and Queen Street West thru to Ossington and Queen West)
Beaches (Woodbine Avenue and Queen Street East (and east of there))
Yonge Street (from Bloor Street to King Street)
Harbourfront (Queen's Quay)
The Distillery District (distillerydistrict.com - weekend only, really)

There are also multiple past posts on Toronto that I and others have commented at length in.
posted by dobbs at 1:28 PM on July 4, 2006

start at the bottom of yonge street and just keep walking north and watch the scenery change... gives you a good idea of the cross-section of the city...
posted by GleepGlop at 1:29 PM on July 4, 2006

I'm sure you'll run into it by accident anyway, since you're in the Yonge/Eg area, but this coming weekend is the Celebrate Toronto Street Festival, with all kinds of musical (and other) entertainment all along Yonge street. It's entirely free, and a lot of very talented musicians are playing. Different sites have different types of events going on, so check the program.
posted by easternblot at 1:35 PM on July 4, 2006

There's lots to do in Toronto during the summer! As you'll be in the Yonge/Eg area, you'll be in the midst of the Celebrate Toronto Street Festival that runs Jul 7-9 since that's one of about 3 or 4 intersections on Yonge that gets closed to traffic for the festival. The Summerlicious promotion is also running from July 7-23 as part of the festival so you can try and reserve at one of the 130 restos offering prix fixe menus.

The Distillery District is great to wander through on weekends since they often have booths set up in the open air with artisans selling their crafts and there are some cool galleries and restos there too. Stop at Balzac's for some coffee or at the Brick Street Bakery and sample some of their yummy sandwiches.

The ROM is free on Fridays after 4:30, and the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art across the street recently unveiled their newly-renovated space.
If you're into Andy Warhol, the AGO has an temporary exhibit that opens on the 8th.

There's really not much to see aside from Niagara Falls, unless you're interested in the usual tourist-traps. You could stop along the wine route for some wine-tasting and explore Niagara-on-the-Lake if you have the time.

If you're interested in theatre, there's much to check out in town with Soulpepper, LOTR, etc. Out-of-town options include the Shaw and Stratford, but those are daytrips so you may not have the time since you've really only got the weekend.
posted by phoenixc at 1:35 PM on July 4, 2006

Here's a past thread with more specifics.

Looks like the Toronto Outside Art Fair will be on while you're here.
posted by dobbs at 1:36 PM on July 4, 2006

well, italy just beat germany, and tomorrow portugal plays france. if portugal wins, it'll be portugal vs. italy in the world cup finals on the 9th.

so what, you say? well, in toronto the portuguese neighborhood is right next to little italy, which means if this matchup happens, it's bound to be very interesting out on college street. possibly worth witnessing, if your taste runs to these sort of things. i'll probably be there.

if you like the unusual, the shoe museum is free on thursday nights.

taking the ferry over to the islands is nice in the summertime. events be damned.

there's usually stuff happening at casa loma, which is cool in a colonel-mustard-in-the-library-with-the-candlestick sort of way.

get some good cheap grub in chinatown!

that's all for now.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 2:58 PM on July 4, 2006

Newmindspace holds crazy events from time to time. Pillow fights, Bubble Battles, subway parties and more. It's all totally bizarre and awesome. The sight of bubbles everywhere at Queen and Bay the other day was surreal.

Friday night they're holding something called Flight of Fancy, which promises to be the biggest event they've ever had. Something about a massive mobile celebration? A marching band? This should not be missed by anyone. Follow the link and enter your email and they'll let you know the starting location 24 hours ahead of time.
posted by yellowbinder at 3:18 PM on July 4, 2006

You're right on time for the Fringe Festival! Go and see some shows!
posted by greatgefilte at 3:27 PM on July 4, 2006

Sergeant Sandwich: If by "very interesting," you mean "very loud." Lots of honking and yelling and air horns and what not. I remember when just Portugal was in the Euro-cup a couple years ago and that was bad enough. I live close by and I'm endeavouring to be far away if the Portugal-Italy match comes to pass.

The Yonge-Eglinton stage seems to have the best Celebrate Toronto acts, presuming you like rock/pop, so that's lucky for you.

Also, I would like, fifth the Distillery District. Pretty, and great coffee at Balzac's and Soma has probably the second-best gelato in town.
posted by SoftRain at 3:31 PM on July 4, 2006

Man, oh man, people from Edmonton hate it when people from the centre of the universe assume they mean Eglinton and helpfully correct them.

Just sayin'.

It reminds one vaguely of this picture, except in metric.

As for stuff to do, I second the Fringe!
posted by Sallyfur at 5:34 PM on July 4, 2006

Unless of course you were correcting "Edlington". In which case I should learn to read.
posted by Sallyfur at 5:35 PM on July 4, 2006

Harbourfront Center is having a "Beats Breaks and Culture" fest this week (July 7-9) including Prefuse 73 and Konono No 1. Even if you're not a huge electronica fan, it's free and Harbourfront is an amazing place to see a show in the summer - band in front of you, lake behind you bringing in a nice cool breeze...

Info here: http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/wr/festivals/bbcMusic.php
posted by Gortuk at 5:46 PM on July 4, 2006

Toronto.com's list of events happening over the next 15 days. Lots of good stuff in there. I recommend a stroll in high park, a ball game, and a night out at any of the fine establishments in the Annex.
posted by purephase at 6:16 PM on July 4, 2006

Response by poster: Awesome! Thanks AskMeFi. Greatest site on the internet if you ask me.

I must have misheard "Eglinton" on the phone. I have an email which states it correctly now though. Thanks for the nitpicking — the mistake may have led to a more expensive cab ride.
posted by clord at 6:46 PM on July 4, 2006

Dobbs's first post with the list of neighbourhoods is probably your best place to start, if you want to see interesting neighbourhoods and take interesting pictures. Also, for activities, you should check out Toronto's two free alternative weekly's, Eye and Now. There will be newspaper boxes for both of those approximately every 10 feet at Yonge and Eglinton (and most places around town). Also, you should consider getting a weekly pass for the subway - that way you can get on at Eglinton station and go wherever you want to go (unlimited rides) while you're here.
posted by Kololo at 7:06 PM on July 4, 2006

If by "very interesting," you mean "very loud." Lots of honking and yelling and air horns and what not.

actually by "very interesting" i meant "very likely to devolve into chaos and mayhem". but you know, everyone's tastes vary. forza italia!
posted by sergeant sandwich at 10:35 PM on July 4, 2006

The Toronto Night Market is also on this coming weekend.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:27 AM on July 5, 2006

So, having been thoroughly mocked for correcting the OP incorrectly, I do indeed kno whow to spell Eglindton. Eglinginton. Edlingdtion.

Screw it. Who goes north of Bloor anyways?
posted by GuyZero at 6:48 AM on July 5, 2006

Oh, and if you want a good used CD / vinyl / DVD shop, there's an excellent one right at Yonge and Eg. It's called Vortex and is at 2309 Yonge (first block north of Eg) on the second floor.

If you want to rent a movie, there's a terrific shop 1 blk west of Yonge and steps north of Eg. It's at 405 Duplex and is called Film Fest DVD.
posted by dobbs at 2:29 PM on July 5, 2006

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