Welcome to the September edition of the We’ve Been Expecting You eNewsletter – a monthly newsletter customized for members of the hospitality, tourism and service sectors. Each newsletter includes:

  • an e-guide to events for quick reference
  • helpful information on what there is to see and do in Toronto
  • details on the We’ve Been Expecting You initiative

In this issue:



Below are just a few of the September events taking place in Toronto this month! See a more complete list of what is happening.


Festivals and Events


Toronto International Film Festival

TIFF sign. Person taking photo of it. At night.Celebrating its 44th year in 2019, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in the world, welcoming a global audience of more than 650,000 every September. This year, from September 5 to 15 the city transforms into a spectacular celebration of the magic of film. Stroll through Festival Street on King Street between Peter Street and University Avenue to catch free musical performances, film screenings, and more. Satisfy the foodie in you with food and drinks from a variety of food trucks and extended patios. And don’t forget to snap a photo with the Insta-worthy TIFF sign and join one of the Fan Zones to get a glimpse of some of Hollywood’s biggest film stars.

There really is something for everyone! Learn more about this year’s programming at tiff.net/tiff.


Toronto Biennial of Art

Toronto Biennial of Art logoThe Toronto Biennial of Art (TBA). September 21 to December 1 is a new international contemporary visual arts event that is as culturally connected and diverse as Toronto itself. For 10 weeks every two years, the city will be transformed by exhibitions, talks, and performances that reflect the local context while engaging with the world’s most pressing issues of our time.

TBA’s free, citywide programming aims to galvanize citizens, bridge communities, and contribute to global conversations from a distinctly Canadian perspective. The Biennial’s programs are designed to engage the public, will be artist-led, and scheduled over the course of the 72 day-long event. The programs will take place around Toronto at a variety of locations situated between TBA’s main exhibition venues at 259 Lake Shore Boulevard East downtown and the Small Arms Inspection Building in Mississauga.

Visit: torontobiennial.org, or follow @torontobiennial and #TObiennial19 on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Ontario Culture Days

Image info: Jaene Castrillon - A Celebration of Darkness, Photo: courtesy of Jackie Lozer . Woman with blue paint around eyes, claws around forehead.
Image info: Jaene Castrillon – A Celebration of Darkness, Photo: courtesy of Jackie Lozer .

Ontario Culture Days announces the 10th anniversary edition with a kaleidoscope of free cultural activities and events across the province from September 27 to 29. Encompassing visual art, theatre, cinema, dance and beyond – this vibrant weekend of expression will explore the intersections of creativity, the arts, and well-being. Highlights will include a special province-wide, interactive art exhibition, Do blue butterflies eat parts of the sky?, coupled with Culture Trek – a series of three made-to-measure travel itineraries highlighting Ontario’s diverse regions with tips on the best places to eat, sleep, and bask in culture. Additional events will engage some of the most iconic cultural institutions in Ottawa and the GTA from the National Gallery of Canada to the Royal Ontario Museum and beyond.

In Toronto, over 150 activities are planned to place over an action packed three days including dynamic family-friendly programming at many Toronto Public Library branches.

For a detailed overview of Ontario Culture Days and this year’s expansive 10th anniversary events in your community, visit: culturedays.ca/on.


Toronto Dragon Festival

Dragon Festival poster - illustrated dragon in from of Toronto City Hall.Dragons, drums, lion dance, delicious food, cultural shows, and much more. The 2nd Toronto Dragon Festival will come back to the heart of Toronto on Nathan Phillips Square from September 6 to 8 this year. The event is free and welcomes everyone from newborns to 100 years old and beyond!

The inaugural Toronto Dragon Festival wowed thousands of Torontonians and travellers last summer. The event welcomed more than 40 Chinese and Canadian performing arts groups, presented 80 food and themed booths interacting with more than 20,000 visitors. The show has presented world-famous Sichuan Face Mask Changing and Chinese martial arts, the traditional folk arts such as sugar paintings, paper-cutting, and mouth-watering Asian specialty foods.

In addition, this year the Square will turn into dragon’s playground with lots of fascinating decorations, a mighty inflatable dragon head, gigantic dragon lantern, dragon gates, and many more dragon-manias!

Please visit www.dragonfestival.ca, or send an email to info@dragonfestival.ca. No registration needed. Just mark the date and see you there!


Neighbourhood and Community Events


Taste of the Kingsway 2019

Taste of the Kingsway event posterDiscover international cuisines, continuous live entertainment and fresh food at Taste of the Kingsway!

This annual festival is a renowned culinary and entertainment experience. Over 100 vendors and exhibitors will be participating with demonstrations and interactive exhibits.

Taste of the Kingsway takes place along Bloor Street West, from Prince Edward Drive to Montgomery Road, September 6 to 8. More information at thekingsway.ca/event/taste-of-the-kingsway-2019/. #TOTK2019

Taste of the Kingsway 2019 is presented by Mantella Corporation.


Danforth East Arts Fair

Image info: Flora Lea. copper coloured, leaf shaped earrings
Image info: Flora Lea

On September 14 and 15, The Danforth East Arts Fair will be celebrating its 11th year. The annual free event is held in East Lynn Park, located at 1949 Danforth Ave, on the south side between Coxwell and Woodbine.

In addition to a full schedule of family-friendly activities including a kids-only tent, this year’s fair will feature handmade products of all kinds such as jewellery, glass art, pottery, woodworking not to mention bath and beauty products, and gourmet foods. Over 50+ exhibitors will showcase their accessories, clothing and children’s wear, textiles, ceramics, sculptures, paintings, photography, hand-printed stationery and more.

Swing by anytime between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to enjoy the festivities and splurge on some creativity. This event is free to attend and open to everyone. Have some delicious ice cream or cappuccino, enjoy an appetizing lunch and experience the warmth of the Danforth East community. More information at deca.to/danforth-east-arts-fair.


Cabbagetown Festival

performer in butterfly costume, on stilts in crowsToronto’s longest running street festival is back for another year to celebrate the vibrancy, passion, and diversity of Cabbagetown. Come by the Cabbagetown Festival on September 7 and 8 (11 a.m.to 7 p.m.) to explore dozens of local small-businesses, food vendors, and entertainers.

While you’re there, stop by Riverdale Park West to see the Arts and Craft show, or maybe head over to the St. Jamestown Festival too. Walk around North America’s largest collection of preserved Victorian homes and peruse the garage sales that numerous residents set up.

With all this excitement going in Cabbagetown, the only thing that’s missing is you. Go to Cabbagetownfestival.ca for more details.


2019 Roncesvalles Polish Festival

Crowd on street. Tents at festival.North America’s largest celebration of Polish culture and cuisine in Toronto’s best neighbourhood, Roncesvalles Village, returns Saturday, September 14th and Sunday, September 15th. Discover 18 blocks of boutique shops and merchants, local eateries, pubs, delis and cafés.

Now in its 14th year, the Roncesvalles Polish Festival returns with over 90 vendors, 6 Beverage Gardens + Extended Patios, 2 Family Zones and 3 stages with 40+ performances.  Including appearances by:

  • Polish-Canadian recording artist, Anna Cyzon
  • Polish-Canadian rock band Kompot
  • Grammy-nominated John Gora and Gorale
  • Polka Hall of Fame inductee Ed Guca and the Polish Canadians
  • Freeze Dried (Chicago)
  • Polka Family (Pennsylvania)
  • Polanie
  • Polish dance and folklore groups

Special entertainment and Polish cuisine events include Polka Party (with The Buffalo Touch – Buffalo, NY), Pierogi Making, and special appearances with Polish Chef, restaurateur, author, TV host Andrzej Polan.

For more details visit: polishfestival.ca #RoncyPolishFest


Celtic Island Festival

bagpiper, Toronto Island Ferry, Lake Ontario., Irish flags.St. Patrick’s Parade Society of Toronto is hosting their annual Celtic Island festival on Saturday, September 14th. This will be the third year of the festival, and it marks the six months until St. Patrick’s Day.

Celtic Island takes place at Toronto Island BBQ & Beer, just by Toronto’s Centre Island ferry dock. It is a fun-filled day for all the family, with live music, dancers, kids entertainment. Watch the sunset over the magnificent Toronto skyline as you enjoy the best of Irish and Canadian entertainment.

Be sure to bring sunscreen as they have had the luck of the Irish and have been blessed with fantastic weather in previous years.

The event kicks off at 12 noon on Saturday, September 14th, and you can find tickets and more information by visiting stpatrickstoronto.com.


Live Entertainment


News from TO Live

Sony Centre audience seating, view from stage.TO Live is one of Canada’s largest multi-arts organizations, operating three iconic venues and presenting a full range of performing arts, theatrical and concert events in both downtown and uptown Toronto.

Earlier this year, TO Live entered into a strategic partnership with Meridian, Ontario’s largest credit union, to continue supporting arts, diversity, and communities in Toronto.

To reflect this partnership, on September 15, 2019 The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts will officially be renamed Meridian Hall and the Toronto Centre for the Arts will be officially renamed the Meridian Arts Centre.

“We are very excited about this new partnership with Meridian,” said Clyde Wagner, President and CEO of TO Live. “Meridian is a natural fit for TO Live and an ideal partner to help achieve our vision for arts and culture in Toronto.”

Visit tolive.com to see what’s on stage.


Soulpepper’s September Shows!

illustrations. Left: hand holding an hourglass with heart inside. Right: dual face, two female forms, holding hand mirror.Harold Pinter’s Betrayal, the “greatest of all Pinter plays”, continues on stage at Soulpepper through September 18. Told in reverse chronological order, witness a seven-year romance unravel with poetic precision, rich humour, and extraordinary emotional force. Starring Dora award-winner Virgilia Griffith as Emma. On stage until September 18.

Soulpepper’s Artistic Director Weyni Mengesha, directs Tennessee Williams’ timeless masterpiece A Streetcar Named Desire. In this raging portrayal of what it means to be an outsider, Blanche’s fragile world crumbles and she turns to her sister for solace – but her downward spiral brings her face to face with a brutal, unforgiving reality, in a society where we’re all desperate to belong. Performances of the Pulitzer Prize-winner begin September 21.

Soulpepper is pleased to offer a Relaxed Performance of Betrayal on September 15. Relaxed performances are intended specifically to be sensitive to and welcoming of patrons who may benefit from a more relaxed environment, including, but not limited to, those on the autism spectrum, with sensory and communication disorders, or learning disabled people.

Visit soulpepper.ca to check out all the upcoming programming! To learn more follow on Twitter; or call the Young Centre Box Office at 416-866-8666.


September at The Royal Conservatory of Music

Image info: Tania Miller. Conductor, with musician in background.
Image info: Tania Miller

As Koerner Hall celebrates its 10th birthday on September 25, 2019 – the birthday of Royal Conservatory alumnus Glenn Gould – the 11th concert season is about to start.

On the podium, Tania Miller projects authority, dynamism, and sheer love of the experience of making music, and, as the Hartford Courant put it, she delivers “a calm intensity … expressive, colourful and full of life … her experience and charisma are audible.” The recipient of the 2017 Friends of Canadian Music award from the Canadian League of Composers and Canadian Music Centre, she will lead the Royal Conservatory Orchestra on September 27 in Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 and Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major with pianist Godwin Friesen.

For more information and tickets, please visit www.rcmusic.com/performance.


Tarragon Theatre Presents YAGA by Kat Sandler

two women, standing side by side, one woman holding others' shoulder. Surrounded by purple paint lines, mimicking a house, with bird feet.From the mind that brought you Mustard, a genre-bending fairy tale meets whodunit inspired by the notorious figure of Baba Yaga, the hideous old witch who lives alone in the woods grinding the bones of the wicked.

A gruesome murder in a small town leads a local sheriff, a young detective, and a university professor with a taste for younger men, into a labyrinth of secret lives, ancient magic, and multiple suspects. A play that gives voice to the wicked old witch, Yaga is part thriller, part revenge play, and lots of comedy.

Featuring Claire Armstrong, William Greenblatt and Seana McKenna. Yaga is onstage September 17 to October 20.

Visit tarragontheatre.com for more information.


TSO Season-Opening Concert: Dynamic Duo: Hannigan and Storgårds

Two people - Canadian soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan, and Finnish conductor and violinist John Storgårds. The 2019/20 season opens with a masterclass in versatility by Canadian soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan, and Finnish conductor and violinist John Storgårds. The “dynamic duo” will each conduct half of the program, appearing as soloist in the other half.

At intermission, join TSO Chief Executive Officer Matthew Loden, composer Brett Dean, and librettist Matthew Jocelyn for a chat in the Roy Thomson Hall lobby!

Visit TSO.CA to learn more.


Cirque du Soleil’s Alegría

Image info: Crédit : Marie-Andrée Lemire / Costumes Dominique Lemieux / Cirque du Soleil 2019. Performer spinning fire on stage
Image info: Crédit : Marie-Andrée Lemire / Costumes Dominique Lemieux / Cirque du Soleil 2019.

Experience Cirque du Soleil’s most iconic show Alegría this fall under the Big Top at Ontario Place. Twenty-five years after its original premiere in 1994, Cirque du Soleil has reinterpreted Alegría through today’s lens for both new and old fans, featuring a new set design and costumes, a renewed acrobatic vocabulary and new musical arrangements.

Come celebrate the show’s 25th anniversary and experience the reincarnation of Alegría this fall from September 12 to December 1, 2019, under the Big Top at Ontario Place.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit cirquedusoleil.com/alegria.


Francophonie en Fête’s 14th annual Music Festival

Francophonie en Fête’s 14th annual Music Festival logoIs there a better way to celebrate the arrival of a beautiful September weekend than free outdoor concerts at the Distillery? The 14th Annual Francophonie en Fête Music Festival launches on Friday, September 20 at the Distillery District with 2 full days of free outdoor concerts. The festival has selected some of the best in Francophone music for your enjoyment, with performers representing the musical traditions of Franco-Ontarians, Quebecois, French, Haitian, Moroccan, and Sudanese artists.

This 10-day festival includes a standup comedy show featuring Louis-José Houde to celebrate Franco-Ontarian Day on September 25. There is also a concert featuring the highly successful Montreal performers Corneille and Julie Kim on September 27. The Festival wraps up with an annual favourite, the Afro-Caribbean Musical Extravaganza featuring Emmanuel Jal with Abel Maxwell as the opening act on September 28.

This festival is definitely worth checking out!  Get the schedule and learn more about the artists on the website and follow on social media!


CreateTruth Productions presents Broken Branches

Broken Branches artwork. Tree with broken branches. Swing hanging from limbWritten by Lorene Stanwick
Directed by Philip McKee

What happens when sibling conflict crosses a line? Broken Branches, a timely and provocative play, starts a long-overdue conversation that sheds light on an important yet silent issue: Sibling Abuse.

It weaves together the stories of Jade, Rachel and Josh as they confront the truth about their childhood and the profound impact it has had on their lives. Told with honesty and humour, it reveals secrets, lies, family dynamics … and the resilience to survive. Making the invisible visible, it will forever change the way we see sibling relationships.

Produced in Association with Workman Arts, Broken Branches features Sarah Kitz, Rebecca Applebaum, Janel Rae Filipiak, Anastasia Kokolakis, and Mark Correia.

The World Premiere is Thursday, September 19 to 29 at Native Earth’s Aki Studio, 585 Dundas Street East. Preview performances Tuesday, Wednesday, September 17 and 18. Evenings 8 p.m.; weekend matinees 2 p.m. General admission tickets: $3.

More information at brokenbranches.ca.


Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir

Image info: Photo by Jeff Higgins. 9 string musicians on stage.
Image info: Photo by Jeff Higgins.

“Old” meets “new” in Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir’s 2019/20 season. Tafelmusik meets Tchaikovsky opens the season September 19 to 22 at Koerner Hall, TELUS Centre. Join Music Director Elisa Citterio and the orchestra for an exciting, innovative program that extends the sound of Tafelmusik’s instruments into an era where few period orchestras have gone before- the world of Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Tafelmusik plays Tchaikovsky for the first time, alongside inventive string symphonies by Felix Mendelssohn. Pytor’s Dream, a world premiere by Cree composer Andrew Balfour written to compliment the program, completes the concert. September 21 is the first Tafelscene Intermission Party of the 2019/20 season for anyone aged 19-35. Arrive early and learn more about the program in a free Pre-concert Chat one hour before each concert. For tickets and information, call 416-408-0208 or visit tafelmusik.org.


Culinary Events


Toronto Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest logo

Want to experience a traditional Oktoberfest? Toronto’s Oktoberfest is the closest you’re going to get without hopping on a plane to Germany! Join thousands of others dressed in lederhosen and dirndls under a massive Bavarian-style Festhalle tent to celebrate German culture. Toronto Oktoberfest takes place at Ontario Place from September 26 to 28.

Food, beer, music, and a fun fair modelled after the original Munich event. We’ve Been Expecting You subscribers receive 15% off their purchase with code “WBEY”. Ticket starting at $16.00. More information at www.torontooktoberfest.ca.


Toronto Garlic Festival

garlic bulbs on braidThe Toronto Garlic Festival is the annual garlic harvest celebration featuring Ontario farmers and chefs, small scale rural and urban food producers, and Ontario craft and alcohol beverage producers.

Hand select your winter’s supply of fresh Ontario garlic from dozens of varieties grown by local farmers. Choose from a bounty of garlic preserves, garlic desserts, arts, crafts, oils, honey, wine, even garlic beer to compliment the delicious garlic-laden food prepared on site by local chefs. Buy garlic-themed products, sway to live music or participate in the Speakers Corner Culture Talks for interesting personal stories on the cultural impact of garlic plus tips on growing and cooking with garlic or using it as a protection against vampires! Experience a relaxing VR Farm Tour, attend an art workshop, sample grilled garlic scapes and free raw garlic shots before entering the garlic breath contest!

Sunday Sept 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. $5.00.admission. The Toronto Garlic Festival takes place at Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street, Toronto. More information at www.torontogarlicfestival.ca.


Toronto Beer Week (TBW)

Toronto Beer Week (TBW) logoThe tenth annual edition of Toronto Beer Week (TBW) is highlighting the very best in beer culture. From September 13 to 22, TBW 2019 will celebrate the best local, national and international craft beer with seminars and events at Toronto’s best bars, restaurants and breweries.

The festivities kick off with the release of an official beer, produced by Mill Street Brewery and available at the LCBO for a limited time. Beginning August 30, you can also visit LCBO stores to pick up your official Toronto Beer Week guide—consisting of a primer on the history of the craft beer movement in the city, a look at where to find the best beer in the GTA, and a guide to all special events and seminars at TBW 2019.


Getting Around


Take the TTC to Many Great Special Events Happening in the City This September

2 streetcars on a Toronto streetThere are tons of fun events taking place in Toronto this September. The Toronto International Film Festival will be lighting up the streets and the TTC wants to get you to where the action is! From September 5 to 15 celebrities and stargazers roll into town to celebrate TIFF. You are encouraged to plan your trip in advance on ttc.ca!

Get around the city with an adult cash fare of $3.25, seniors (65+) and youth (13-19) pay $2.20. Children 12 and under always travel for free. You can also pay your fare using a PRESTO card (adult $3.10, senior/student $2.10) or PRESTO Ticket (one-ride $3.25, two-ride $6.50 and day pass $13.00). PRESTO cards and PRESTO Tickets are available at the Fare Vending Machines at all subway stations, at Shoppers Drug Mart locations, online at prestocard.ca (PRESTO cards only) or at the TTC Customer Service Centre. Seniors and youths must set a senior/youth fare type on their PRESTO card to pay the senior/youth fare. This can be done by brining government issued identification to any Shoppers Drug Mart location.


Film and Literature


CaribbeanTales International Film Festival (CTFF)

CaribbeanTales International Film Festival (CTFF) posterCaribbeanTales International Film Festival (CTFF) breaks dawn on ‘A New Day’ with a powerful line-up of Caribbean films from September 4 to 20.

CTFF 2019 features eight special-themed nights of incredible on-screen storytelling from Caribbean filmmakers. This year’s CTFF themed nights are Environmental, Haitian/French, Music, Trinidad, Jamaica, LGBT and Awards Night.

CTFF is celebrating fourteen years of showcasing the talents of established and emerging filmmakers of Caribbean heritage, who practice their art across the Caribbean Diaspora worldwide – including Canada and the Caribbean, Europe, the Americas, Africa, China, India, and the Middle East. CTFF presents a multi-ethnic mix of exciting and dynamic films that showcase diverse and shared stories and cultures.

For more info visit caribbeantalesfestival.com.


JLF Toronto 2019 – The Iconic Literature Festival Comes to Toronto for the First Time!

Love lock sign at Distillery District with brightly coloured umbrella placed in heart.At Toronto’s Distillery Historic District, from September 27 to 29, it will feature a heady mix of writers, thinkers, and poets.

Free access to a vibrant outdoor street festival where festive flags and handcrafted umbrellas will create a riot of colour, and include:

  • Unique artisan vendors
  • Culinary delights
  • Creative installations
  • Pop up performances
  • Sunday Farmer’s Market

Explore The Distillery District, a national historic site, with its brick-lined courtyards and streets, cafes, art galleries, restaurants, and specialty retail stores.

  • September 27: Opening Night Gala Reception, featuring conversation with bestselling author and festival Co-Director William Dalrymple, and acclaimed writer, politician, and former UN Under Secretary General, Shashi Tharoor.
  • Sept 28: Each Other’s Stories ($10 per ticket per session)
  • Sept 28 and 29: FREE outdoor street festival and marketplace

Learn more here.


The Word On The Street Toronto

The Word On The Street Toronto artworkIt’s a festival 30 years in the making – The Word On The Street Toronto has championed literacy and Canadian writing since 1989, delighting audiences of all ages with author readings and programming alongside Canada’s largest free outdoor book fair.

This September, enjoy a birthday party like no other, celebrating the future of Canadian literature with an exciting lineup including Cherie Dimaline, Casey Plett, Cory Doctorow, Amal El-Mohtar, Kai Cheng Thom, and over 100 other guests. Beloved children’s entertainers Sharon & Bram will share a special performance as part of their official Farewell Tour.

This year’s programming includes an inaugural City Imagines keynote on urbanism and the arts (September 17). WOTS Plus returns with partners Diaspora Dialogues and the Toronto Public Library (September 21). The Word On The Street Toronto’s 30th Festival & Marketplace takes place Sunday, September 22 at Harbourfront Centre.

For details, visit thewordonthestreet.ca/toronto or connect on social media @torontoWOTS.


Attractions, Exhibits and Tours


ᐊᕙᑖᓂᑦ ᑕᒪᐃᓐᓂᑦ ᓄᓇᑐᐃᓐᓇᓂᑦ
Among All These Tundras

Image info: Marja Helander, Dolastallat (To have a campfire), 2016. Video still. Courtesy of the artist.. woman in red coat pushing sleigh. snow on ground. mountains, smoke stack in background.
Image info: Marja Helander, Dolastallat (To have a campfire), 2016. Video still. Courtesy of the artist.

Exhibition at Onsite Gallery, OCAD University, 199 Richmond St. West from September 18 to December 7.

Free public reception, everyone welcome on Wednesday, September 18 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Group exhibition featuring work by: asinnajaq, Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, Carola Grahn, Marja Helander, Kablusiak, Sonya Kelliher-Combs, Joar Nango, Taqralik Partridge, Barry Pottle, Inuuteq Storch, Couzyn van Heuvelen and Allison Akootchook Warden

Curated by Heather Igloliorte, Amy Dickson and Charissa von Harringa. Produced and circulated by the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University

Among All These Tundras features contemporary art by Indigenous artists from around the circumpolar world. Together, their works politically and poetically express current Arctic concerns towards land, language, sovereignty and resurgence. These works invite viewers to contemplate relationships between textual and embodied Indigenous knowledges, innovation and sustainability, humour and resilience, and our collective responsibility to northern life and land.

Click here for more information.


The Big Draw Festival Toronto 2019

child drawing on wallReady. Set. Draw! The world’s largest drawing festival is coming to the City’s Toronto History Museums on September 28 and 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The free all-ages event invites everyone who loves to draw to make a mark on their city by creating artworks using paints, pencils and crayons, and participating in a collaborative art project.

More details on website.


29Rooms Toronto

room with clouds painted on walls. 3 red doors, spiral, checkerboard floor. Statue and eye.
Image credit:  Getty Images for IMG/Refinery29.

Refinery29’s immersive festival of cause, culture and creativity, 29Rooms: Expand Your Reality, will make its international debut at Toronto’s Exhibition Place – Queen Elizabeth Building from September 26 to October 6.

The award-winning live event brings together a diverse group of local and international, emerging and established collaborators to create an artistic wonderland of interactive installations and thought-provoking performances.

Toronto’s own local mixed media artist Hannah Epstein (AKA hanski) will be represented in The Art Park, where artists transform a geometric playground into a canvas for creativity. While Canada’s Maria Qamar, also known as HATECOPY and the author and artist of Trust No Aunty, will create The Traveling Billboard – a full-scale billboard mural welcoming guests to 29Rooms. Audience-favorite rooms will include a vibrant teenage bedroom completely covered in faux fur and a dance party where guests are invited to make room, make moves and release.

More information available at tickets.29rooms.com/city/toronto. Adults: $34.50 Children: $10.00.


Major African Portraiture Exhibition at the Ryerson Image Centre Explores the Role of Women in Photography

Image info: Nontsikelelo (Lolo) Veleko, Nonkululeko, 2003, pigment print © The artist. Courtesy of the artist and Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg.

This fall, the Ryerson Image Centre is pleased to present The Way She Looks: A History of Female Gazes in African Portraiture. Drawn from the extraordinary holdings of The Walther Collection, The Way She Looks revisits the history of African photographic portraiture through the perspectives of women, both as sitters and photographers. Spanning the beginnings of colonial photography on the continent to the present day, the exhibition features contemporary works by female artists alongside twentieth-century studio portraits and early colonial images and albums.

The exhibition launches with a free public party on September 11, 6 to 8 p.m., and remains on view until December 8.

Free admission. Free exhibition tours daily at 2:30 p.m. More information at www.ryersonimagecentre.ca.

Image info: Nontsikelelo (Lolo) Veleko, Nonkululeko, 2003, pigment print © The artist. Courtesy of the artist and Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg.


On This Month at the Royal Ontario Museum

ROM speaks logos - yellow word bubble, black fontExplore the stunning world of Dutch floral design with 3rd generation Dutch Master florist Remco van Vliet at the ROM Speaks lecture, Art in Bloom – Still Life comes to Life with Dutch Master Florist Remco van Vliet, on September 10.

On September 26, delve into the ROM’s Japan Collection with Bishop White Committee Curator of Japanese Art & Culture Dr. Rosina Buckland at ROM Daytime: Tales from the Japan Collection: Old Friends and New Discoveries.

Hear bestselling author William Dalrymple tell the remarkable story of the Mughal Empire’s fall at the ROM Speaks lecture, The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company, on September 30.

Catch them before they’re gone! The following feature exhibitions are closing soon:


September at the Zoo!

Rhino, trees. rock.The Zoo is the place to be the month of September. They are Celebrating Seniors on Monday, September 9th with Discovery Day for Seniors – Zoo Guests 65+ will receive free admission, free Zoomobile rides and more! Plus, don’t forget about the annual fundraiser run/walk the Oasis ZooRun on Saturday, September 21st. Bring the whole family for a day of fitness, fun and fundraising. Support the Toronto Zoo and invite your friends, family and colleagues to pledge a runner!

Visit on Saving Species Days where they highlight the importance of conservation for a variety of threatened species at the Toronto Zoo. Enjoy educational activities, special keeper talks and more. Check out September’s Saving Species Days schedule below:

Check out torontozoo.com for full details on upcoming events. Be sure to follow on Facebook and Twitter @TheTorontoZoo for all the latest news.*

*Events subject to change


Raw History Thursdays

Toronto History MuseumsBlack and White photo. Woman in black veil, ghostly child/ get edgy, racy and raw on Thursday evenings with a new program series. Tour, taste and explore history in a new way. Enjoy a beer in a 19th-century tavern, take an interactive tour exploring the medical profession in early Toronto or discover High Park’s secrets on a twilight walk.

More details on website.


What’s On at the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto

Image info: Shezad Dawood. Leviathan Legacy Pt 1, 2018, VR environment
Image info: Shezad Dawood. Leviathan Legacy Pt 1, 2018, VR environment

Age of You: September 5, 2019 – January 5, 2020. Members’ Preview and Public Opening September 4, 6 p.m.

Age of You at MOCA is an exhibition about why the inside of your head feels so strange today. It features words by Basar/Coupland/Obrist in dialogue with visual contributions from 70 international artists, designers, musicians and technologists, unfolding as an immersive graphic experience designed by Daly & Lyon.

  • September 19 – November: Shezad Dawood: Leviathan, Episode 1: Ben and 5: Ismael
  • October 5 – 13: Stephanie Comilang: It All Makes Sense

Stay tuned for expanded learning and student tours and programs.


Wigwam Chi-Chemung Culture Days Event Presented by Myseum of Toronto

Wigwam Chi-Chemung Culture Days Event Presented by Myseum of Toronto. Dancer in blue regalia.Throughout the summer, Myseum of Toronto has presented programming for Wigwam Chi-Chemung, an art installation and Indigenous interpretive learning centre in partnership with Indigenous intellectual, poet, painter, broadcaster, filmmaker and orator Elder Dr. Duke Redbird. The installation and programming are taking place in partnership with Ontario Place, until October 2019.

Wigwam Chi-Chemung, which translates to Big House Canoe, tells the story of the Indigenous presence on the waterfront. A bare 40 foot pontoon houseboat has been painted with magnificent Indigenous artwork by Elder Dr. Redbird and muralist Philip Cote. Guests are invited to visit the boat during public hours, engage with, ask questions of, and learn from the perspectives of an Indigenous Elder.

On Sept. 28 the project will host Art & Wellness as part of Culture Days, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Ontario Place Marina and Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail. This event will explore creativity, the arts, and well-being through an Indigenous lens with two art-making workshops and talks hosted by Elder Redbird.

More information here: www.wigwamchichemung.com.


On at the Aga Khan Museum in September

gold multi-sided vessel, ornate.Opening September 21 is the ground-breaking exhibition Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, and Exchange Across Medieval Saharan Africa. Through stunning art masterpieces and new archeological discoveries, you’ll discover world history that wasn’t taught in Western text books.

Also opening September 21, is Building Black: Civilizations, a series of powerful sculptures made entirely out of black LEGO© Bricks by Toronto artist Ekow Nimako.

On September 28, the museum launches the 2019/20 Performing Arts season, Listening to Each Other, with a concert from Toko Telo. Featuring three of Madagascar’s biggest stars – including D’Gary, one of the world’s top guitarists – the trio will perform reinterpreted folk songs. Opening the evening is acoustic guitarist Maneli Jamal.

The Aga Khan Museum also celebrates their fifth anniversary with a talk on September 12, Behind the Scenes of Our First Five Years, which brings together five senior staff who will reveal what it takes to build a museum from the ground up.


Commemorative Events and Harvest Traditions at Toronto History Museums

Black and White photo. Historic. Troops in uniforms (kilts) marching from Princes' Gate.Visit Fort York this September and commemorate the First and Second World Wars. Discover exhibits and presentations or join a walking tour.

Plus enjoy the tastes of fall with an eclectic selection of immersive harvest workshops and events.

More details on the website.


What’s Bringing People to Toronto

Hazy day. City Skyline, CN Tower. Birds flying over lake.

Choose your sport!

Check out some of the events, shows and live entertainment taking place this month:

For more information on live performances across the city, visit www.whatsontonight.ca. Or check out the venue event listings directly at:

No matter what kind of music you enjoy or what kind of venue you like best, there’s always something playing in Toronto. Visit the City’s Music page for links to concert listing and information on the music sector.

Visit the websites of the major conference centres for information on other events, conferences and shows: Exhibition Place, Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) and the International Centre (in Mississauga).


Tourism Services News


Toronto Merchandise

red tshirt. black mug. black baseball cap.Get your Toronto-branded merchandise! Items are for sale at the Toronto Desk located in the Ontario Travel Information Centre in Union Station (west end of the station, near entrance to the Skywalk). Supplies are limited.


We’ve Been Expecting You: We Can Help!

WBEY logoTourism Services offers a variety year round programs to support the industry:

Event Calendar: www.toronto.ca/eventcalendar. Promote your event on the calendar by submitting your information. Or stay up to date with what’s happening in Toronto.

Information Centres: Year round at Union Station (part of the Ontario Travel Information Centre) or seasonal at key locations around the city. Drop in to find out more about Toronto or to pick up material and maps. To provide your material for distribution to the public email us at infotogo@toronto.ca for more information.

Visitor Maps: Available free of charge. Contact us at visitorservices@toronto.ca to:

  • Request a supply to distribute to your guests.
  • Find out about advertising on future editions.

We’ve Been Expecting You (WBEY) Training: Free training covering customer service principles and providing helpful information about Toronto. Currently available online at www.wbeytoronto.ca. Email wbey@toronto.ca for more info or to ask about face-to-face sessions.


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What would you like to see in future editions of the Welcome to Toronto… We’ve Been Expecting You newsletter? Email us at wbey@toronto.ca with your comments and suggestions.

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