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What's On In Toronto In November

Picture of Alix Hall
Updated: 1 November 2016
Despite an unseasonably warm October, in true Canadian fashion, Torontonians are bracing for a frigid winter. Culture Trip has rounded up everything you need to welcome the darker, cooler months. From must-see art exhibitions to hot eats (including a free pizza pop-up, a chocolate festival and a wine festival) to the start of holiday markets and festivities, we have you covered to usher in Canada’s season.


© Sorauren Pumpkin Parade / Via Aimia | AGO Photography Prize / © Pexels
© Sorauren Pumpkin Parade / Via Aimia | AGO Photography Prize / © Pexels

SEASONAL | Sorauren Pumpkin Parade

📅 November 1st | Parade begins at dusk

In a world of pumpkin spice lattes, candles, and muffins, take a moment to celebrate the classic pumpkin. Make post-Halloween plans and head to the Sorauren Pumpkin Parade; every November 1st, the world-famous Pumpkin Parade hits Sorauren Park. Recent years have seen over 2,000 pumpkins on display. These jack-o-lanterns aren’t messing around – expect artful, intricate designs, from politicians to witches. Head to the park around dusk, bring along your pumpkin to place along the inside edge of the path, and head off on a festive walk.

📍 Sorauren Park, 50 Wabash Ave, Toronto, ON, Canada

ART | 88 Days of Fortune x AGO First Thursday: BE MAGIK Featuring Witch Prophet

📅 Thursday, November 3rd

It’s the first Thursday of the month, so head to the AGO for this month’s theme, 88 Days of Fortune x AGO First Thursday: BE MAGIK: Featuring Witch Prophet. November’s event celebrates the AGO’s new blockbuster exhibition, Mystical Landscapes: Masterpieces from Monet, Van Gogh and more. The evening features Toronto’s own 88 Days of Fortune Collective, so attendees can expect the genre-defying experimental act Witch Prophet to take the stage at 10 pm; classically trained, rock-oriented violinist Edwin Huizinga teaming up with contemporary dancer Jennifer Nichols; pop-up talks; local artists; and more. The Gallery is also in the countdown to the announcement of the winner of the $50,000 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize, so get out there and get voting.

This is a 19+ event.

Tickets are available online. *Advanced purchase is highly recommended.
Advance Tickets: $13/$11 AGO Members
At the door: $16/$14 AGO Members

📍 Art Gallery of Ontario, 217 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 979 6648

FOOD | Toronto Chocolate Festival

📅 October 15th – November 6th

(Every Saturday and Sunday until November 6, 2016)

The Toronto Chocolate Festival hit the city for its 11th anniversary, with this 23-day event culminating this weekend. Cocoa lovers won’t want to miss this city-wide event, which celebrates chocolates in all its tasty forms. From an afternoon Chocolate High Tea to the Toronto Chocolate Show at Roy Thomson Hall, check the events listings to make this weekend a sweet one.

📍 Various locations across Toronto


© United Press International / © The National Ballet of Canada / Via The Scotiabank Giller Light Bash
© United Press International / | The National Ballet of Canada / Via The Scotiabank Giller Light Bash

HISTORY & MUSIC | When The Beatles Rocked Toronto

📅 June 18th – November 12th

Embrace a bit of Beatles Mania before you miss the chance, and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ last show in Toronto with When the Beatles Rocked Toronto. Developed by the Market Gallery of the City of Toronto Archives, this exhibition profiles the Beatles’ three concerts in Toronto and their effect on the city. Get a glimpse into 1960s Toronto while discovering more about these final shows, which took place just 12 days before the band announced their break-up on August 29, 1966.

Tickets are $10 (adults), $5 (youth, students, and seniors), children under 5 go free

📍 The Market Gallery, 2nd floor, South St. Lawrence Market, 95 Front St E, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 392 7604

DANCE | Cinderella

📅 November 12th-20th

When is a fairy tale not a fairy tale? That’s the question both Prokofiev explored in his 1994 ballet Cinderella, and the question the National Ballet of Canada’s 2004 version asks. Turning a Disneyfied Cinderella on its head, this ballet subverts the traditional rags-to-riches story of marrying rich as a solution to life’s struggles. While this Cinderella performance preserves the romanticism, satire, and comedy, audiences are encouraged to consider tough questions: ‘What is the point, the ballet asks, of seeking happiness within a world as farcically corrupt as the one Cinderella inhabits?’

Tickets are available online, $99-$265

📍 The National Ballet of Canada, 145 Queen St W, Toronto, ON, Canada

LITERATURE | The Scotiabank Giller Light Bash

📅 November 7th | 7PM-1AM

Bibliophiles won’t want to miss out on *the* must-attend party for the Canadian publishing industry: The Scotiabank Giller Light Bash. The Scotiabank Giller Prize is a prestigious honour awarded annually for excellence in fiction in Canada; the Light Bash is your chance to catch the live Gala – at an affordable price tag. What started as a house party thrown by a group of friends in 2002, the Scotiabank Giller Light Bash now sees over 1200 people celebrate Can-Lit across the country. The event is a fundraiser for Frontier College, Canada’s original literacy organization.

Tickets are available online: $35 in advance / $40 at the door

📍 Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas St E, Toronto, ON, Canada


© Pexels / © The Aga Khan Museum / © Pexels
© Pexels / | The Aga Khan Museum / | Pexels

FOOD | Rustico on King Pop-Up

📅 November 4th-20th: Mondays-Fridays 3-9PM; Saturdays 1-9PM; Sundays 1-7PM

If there’s one thing in this life that’s better than pizza, it’s free pizza. Rustico on King, a pop-up pizzeria, is serving free pizza every day between November 4th and 20th. Stop by Rustico on King at the corner of King and Blue Jays Way and create your own, customizable, namesake pizza. The pizza pros use a base of Delissio Rustico Pizza, which is then topped with your favourite gourmet ingredients. All for free!

📍 Rustico on King, 363 King St W, Toronto, ON, Canada

ART & HISTORY | Syria: A Living History

📅 October 15, 2016 – February 26, 2017

Stories of conflict and displacement have long dominated the media, defining how people perceive a place. Recognizing that few countries have captured the world’s attention as Syria has, the Aga Khan Museum presents Syria: A Living History to shine a different light on a region rich in history, culture, and resourcefulness. Revealing stories apart from war and struggle, the Aga Khan Museum brings together art and artifacts reflecting the cultural diversity, history, and resilience of Syria. For over five millennia, the region has seen and experienced plenty, reflected in the works produced by artists throughout the ages. To gain a new understanding of Syria’s past, present, and its future, head to the Aga Khan Museum.

Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Dr, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 646 4677

FOOD | Gourmet Food & Wine Expo

📅 November 7th-20th

The city’s annual Gourmet Food & Wine Expo is back, serving up tasty eats and drinks to Torontonians all weekend long. Held each November, the Expo gives 45,000 guests the chance to sample fine wine, spirits, and beers from around the globe – and, of course, accompanying gourmet eats. The expo boasts a packed programme, but you’ll want to check out the Chef Stage for complimentary cooking demos by your favourite celeb chefs and the Spiritology Pavillion, where seasoned bartenders will showcase the hottest drinks in Toronto’s buzzing cocktail scene.

Tickets are available online, with a variety of different passes and packages

📍 Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building, 255 Front St W, Toronto, ON, Canada


© Pexels / © John Benson / © Pexels
© Pexels / | John Benson / | Pexels

MARKET | Etsy York Region Presents Country Christmas

📅 November 26th | 12:30-6PM

Shop local this holiday season by heading to the Country Christmas Market. Join the Etsy York Region team on November 26th for a day of holiday shopping, crafts, and more – including pictures with Santa. You’ll find one-of-a-kind handmade and vintage goods from local artisans, and over 40 Etsy shops. Bring along your shopping list, and head to Richmond Hill’s Elgin West Community Centre for some local festive fun.

Admission: $2, or free with food donation

📍 Elgin West Community Centre, 11099 Bathurst St, Richmond Hill, ON, Canada

MUSIC | Basia Bulat

📅 November 26th | 7:30PM

The 2016 Polaris Music Prize short-listed musician, Basia Bulat, hits Toronto for a show at the Danforth Music Hall. The Etobicoke-raised singer-songwriter often performs with an autoharp and is taking Canada’s indie-pop-folk music by storm with her rich, expressive voice, and honest lyrics. Take a listen to her Polaris-nominated album Good Advice.

Tickets: $22.50 + applicable fees and taxes

📍 Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON, Canada

FESTIVE | Cavalcade of Lights

📅 November 26th | Begins at 7PM

It’s the last weekend in November, so now is the time to embrace the festive season. Head to Nathan Phillips Square to celebrate the 50th annual Cavalcade of Lights. This Toronto holiday tradition includes the first lighting of Toronto’s Official Christmas Tree, fireworks, a skating park, and musical performances from Canada’s hottest talent. The festivities kick off at 7 pm with an audience sing-a-long with Choir! Choir! Choir!, including John Lennon’s ‘Imagine,’ with special guests Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet. Following a fireworks display at 8:35 pm, JUNO award-winning Whitehorse will take the stage.

📍 Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto, ON, Canada


Via The Power Plant Contemporary / © Dan Gaken / Via The Natural History Museum
Via The Power Plant Contemporary / | © Dan Gaken / Via The Natural History Museum

ART | Faux Guide

📅 October 15, 2016 – January 2, 2017

This fall, the Power Plant presents a solo exhibition of Yto Barrada, which features her new body of work, Faux Guide (2015-ongoing). With Faux Guide, Barrada explores the Moroccan fossil and mineral trade. The histories and stories of Morocco’s unique regions can be seen through fossils – from Erfoud sea-lilies to Khouribga shark teeth and Kem Kem dinosaur footprints to Alnif trilobites. While appreciating the beauty, Barrada considers the industry these fossils gave birth to – with fossil hunters, auction houses, decorators, and palaeontologists all with a vested interest. Barrada also explores powerful history, as well as its subsequent ‘underground economy’, raising questions about how history is examined through the collection of objects.

The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, 231 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 973 4949

FESTIVE | Toronto Christmas Market

📅 November 18th – December 22nd

It’s not Christmas in Toronto without making a stop at the Toronto Christmas Market. The city’s favourite holiday market is now one of the largest holiday festivals in North America. Eat, drink, shop, and soak up all that Christmas magic. Even self-proclaimed Scrooges will have a hard time resisting the Market’s charm in the historic Distillery District.

Admission: free during the week, and $6 on weekends (starting Fridays at 5PM)

📍 The Distillery District, Toronto, ON, Canada

ART | Wildlife Photographer of the Year

📅 Opens November 12th

The world’s longest-running and most prestigious nature and photography competition, Wildlife Photographer of the Year, hits the ROM for its fourth year. The exhibition, which premiered at London’s Natural History Museum, is now on its world tour, showcasing the finalists and winners of the contest. Be amazed and moved by the beauty of nature through 100 stunning photographs from the 2016 competition. Whether you go for the nature, the photography, or both, just make sure you get to the ROM before Wildlife Photographer of the Year continues its tour.

Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queens Park, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 586 8000