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

Excited fans outside of TIFF movie - behind crowd barricades.Now in its 43rd year, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is set to offer Toronto audiences a wide variety of unique film experiences this September. While best known for the glitz and glamour of its red carpets, TIFF is not only the place to see the latest by some of Hollywood’s most talented, but also an opportunity to re-think everything you think you know about film. September 6 to 16, Toronto audiences will have a chance to discover homegrown talent through the Festival’s Canadian lineup; enjoy compelling storytelling at any length through short films; experience (for free) film history essentials in their original format and introduced by some of the most important filmmakers working today; and above all, lose themselves in the magic of cinema.

Learn more about the wealth of choices available to you this September at tiff.net/tiff.


Nuit Blanche Toronto

Person walking through exhibiton filled with blow up balls. Exhibition from 2014 Nuit Blanche - 'Walk Among Worlds'
Image info: from 2014 – ‘Walk Among Worlds’ by Màximo Gonzàlez.

The 13th edition of Nuit Blanche Toronto returns from sunset on September 29, 2018 to sunrise on September 30, 2018. More than 75 contemporary art projects will fill the city’s streets from local, national and international artists. For the first time, Nuit Blanche will expand into Scarborough, shining a light on the thriving arts community. The event will feature three curated exhibitions, presented under one event-wide theme, “You Are Here,” inviting the public to unfold, reinterpret, question, listen, disrupt and see Toronto and our places in it through new eyes.

Full program details and hotel packages are available at www.nbto.com.


The 29th Annual The Word On The Street (WOTS) Festival!

Word on the Street logo/wordmarkWOTS is the largest book and magazine festival in Canada, celebrating Canadian literacy and publishing with more than 250 exhibitors and over 200,000 attendees. New this year, WOTS is introducing WOTS Plus+ from 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday: a whole extra day of panels and discussions on current events and Canadian literature!

On Sunday, WOTS will feature a full day of panels, workshops, and readings with your favourite authors (like Sharon Bala, Waubgeshig Rice, and Karl Subban!) and industry professionals – plus a bustling book fair of more than 200 vendors! Mark your calendars and come spend your weekend celebrating books, reading, and what’s new in Canadian publishing.

WOTS takes place September 22 and 23. For more information, visit thewordonthestreet.ca/Toronto.


Hispanic Fiesta

children performing in colourful, traditional costumesA celebration of Spanish and Latin-American arts, food, music and entertainment – free of charge for all.

Founded in 1982, the 37th Anniversary of Hispanic Fiesta will take place once again at Mel Lastman Square in Toronto during the Labour Day weekend: August 31 to September 3.

Hispanic Fiesta is a four day celebration filled with the splendid sounds, tempting treats and colorful culture that Hispanic heritage is famous for. Featuring 300 local, national and International Hispanic performers from over 20 different Spanish speaking countries.

For more information, phone: 647-889-3171; email: info@hispanicfiesta.com; or visit www.hispanicfiesta.com.


Ontario Culture Days 2018

Culture Days logo/wordmarkCelebrate the ninth annual Culture Days weekend with free and engaging events across our province!

From September 28th to 30th, explore Ontario through the lens of arts and culture: find programs at participating libraries across the City of Toronto, or head on downtown to the Bloor St. Culture Corridor. Want to hit the road instead? Pack up the car and head out on a Culture Trek with one of the travel itineraries.

Last but not least, you’re invited to #GetOnBeat at the National launch event at the CBC Barbara Frum Atrium at 9 a.m. on September 28, featuring lively performances by talented Ontario artists and musicians.

To plan your Culture Days weekend in Ontario visit www.on.culturedays.ca.


Culinary Events


Toronto Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest logoWant 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 and celebrate German culture.

Enjoy Toronto Oktoberfest from September 27th to 29th at Ontario Place – food, beer, music, and a fun fair modeled after the original Munich event. We’ve Been Expecting You subscribers receive 15% off their purchase with code “WBEY”.

Ticket starting at $20.  More information at www.torontooktoberfest.ca.


Toronto Garlic Festival

Man in yellow apron with white hat holding bunches of garlicGet ON Garlic at the 8th Annual Toronto Garlic Festival on Sunday, September 16 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Artscape Wychwood Barns (601 Christie Street).

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 onsite by local chefs. The Speakers’ Corner offers informative tips on growing and cooking with garlic or using it as a protection against vampires!

Catch live music on the Music Stage. Explore cultural similarities between sea meat and garlic watching the films Angry Inuk and Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers. Experience a relaxing VR Farm Tour, knit your own garlic bulb, sample grilled garlic scapes and free raw garlic shots before entering the garlic breath contest. Admission is $5 – more information available at www.torontogarlicfestival.ca.


Getting Around


Take the TTC to Many Great Special Events Happening Across the City this September

New, red Toronto streetcar - building and CN Tower in backgroundThere are tons of fun events taking place in Toronto this September. The Toronto International Film Festival will be lighting up the streets and we want to get you to where the action is! From September 6 to 16 celebrities and stargazers roll into town to celebrate TIFF. You are encouraged to plan your trip in advance on ttc.ca!

Other events happening this month include:

  • Toronto Ukrainian Festival from September 14 to 16
  • Roncesvalles Polish Festival from September 15 to 16
  • Toronto Oktoberfest from September 27 to 29
  • Nuit Blanche on September 29

Get around the city with an adult cash fare of $3.25, seniors and students pay $2.10. Purchase a Group Day Pass on weekends for one day of unlimited travel for just $12.50. Children 12 and under always travel for free.


Explore Modern Toronto

people on walking tour - in front of modern building Image info: Modern TO Bus Tour. Credit: Herman Custodio.
Image info: Modern TO Bus Tour. Credit: Herman Custodio.

Learn about the city’s post-war legacy of style, from downtown to suburb, on this bus tour on September 23. You’ll see exemplary Modern buildings from Etobicoke to Scarborough and learn about the architects and visionaries whose work built Modern Toronto. There’s even an exclusive interior visit of a private home. More on this event.

Modern Toronto is one of 15 tours left in the 2018 season. Join Heritage Toronto as they walk Toronto’s waterfront, hike through ravines, learn about the city’s music legacy, queer activism, and even the counter-culture movements of years gone by.

For more information on public programs, see the Heritage Toronto website.


Attractions and Exhibits


MOCA Toronto – Opening September 22

Toronto - Museum of Contemporary Art logo/wordmarkVisit the new MOCA Toronto, a place of conversation, exchange and exploration where visitors of all ages and backgrounds can be part of a global creative moment. Welcome to three phases of major exhibitions annually featuring work from Canadian and world-recognized artists, and programs that explore the themes of our time. Located on Sterling Road, in the culturally rich Junction Triangle community, the museum is housed on the first five floors of the historic Tower Automotive Building, a former aluminium factory known for its unique art deco architecture.

Also at MOCA: Local bakery, Forno Cultura serves as their café partner and shop; Art Metropole, brings their expertise in artists’ books and publications to MOCA. Toronto-based Akin Collective manages studio space on Floor 4 for up to 30 artists who will be actively producing a variety of work at the museum.

Visit moca.ca. Open September 22. 158 Sterling Road, Toronto. 


Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)

Image info: Iris van Herpen, courtesy Jean Baptiste Mondino and Iris van Herpen. Artist with dress exhibit in background.
Image info: Iris van Herpen, courtesy Jean Baptiste Mondino and Iris van Herpen.

Don’t miss the last chance to see The Evidence Room, a powerful installation which reconstructs key objects used in the forensic analysis of the architecture of Auschwitz. It closes on September 3 and is included with Museum admission.

#MeToo & the Arts programming this month includes Is the Future Female? a panel discussing feminism, misogyny, the importance of intersectional activism and male allyship on September 29. ROM Connects, free with RSVP.

Explore the development of the exhibition Modernism on the Ganges: Raghubir Singh Photographs with curator Mia Fineman of the Metropolitan Museum of Art at Mounting Modernism: From Development to Display. ROM Daytime, free with RSVP.

A brand new season of Friday Night Live (#FNLROM) launches on September 28 with a fashion-themed bash, featuring complimentary access to the ROM’s current fashion and design exhibitions, Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion and Philip Beesley: Transforming Space. Ticket prices vary; see website for details. The ROM is Canada’s pre-eminent museum of art, culture, and nature. Become a ROM member and enjoy unlimited free admission to special exhibitions and more. For more information please visit rom.on.ca.


What’s On at the Ontario Science Centre

New Eyes on the Universe: New Eyes on the Universe wordmark - fiery surface of the sun.Step into the world of a story that is still unfolding, in an observatory where a Canadian professor solved the mystery of neutrinos. Take a journey deep underground with a virtual tour of the subterranean research facility used to observe the interactions of subatomic particles. See the cloud chambers that reveal the background radiation we experience on the surface of the Earth.

Quantum: The Exhibition: Learn about the science that brought you neon, lasers, MRIs and GPS tracking. Videos, games and multi-level interactive activities will challenge your current understanding of the world. Get a glimpse into some exciting technologies on the horizon and leave with a new perspective on how the world works.


Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Octopus holding Octoberfest wordmark. Blue backgroundSplash into Octo-berfest (19+) on Thursday, September 27th at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada! Raise your stein and enjoy live music and entertainment by Matt Lebar Ensemble and craft beer from nine local breweries. Prost! Tickets available at website.


What’s On at The Aga Khan Museum

hand with rings holding a red jemVisit the Aga Khan Museum this month for unforgettable experiences. Discover men’s jewellery and adornments from the Indian courts, from The al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait, at the Emperors & Jewels exhibition.

The Transforming Traditions exhibition opens on the 22nd and takes you through the art of 19th-century Iran, where society was caught between the desire to preserve local traditions and embrace outside influences.

This year the Annual Lecture features globally renowned artist, eL Seed. His talk on the 26th, How Can Art Bring People Together, highlights his intricate public projects all around world.

On the 29th, visit the Museum for Nuit Blanche, an all-night cultural exploration of performance, art, and storytelling titled Arrivals and Encounters.

Plan your visit at agakhanmuseum.org. The Museum is open Labour Day; regular hours are Tuesday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with extended hours on Wednesdays until 8 p.m. Diwan restaurant is now open Wednesday evenings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.


Live Performance


JFL42 Festival

#jfl42 wordmark in a speech bubble - logoThe seventh annual JFL42 Festival, in association with SiriusXM, is returning to Toronto from September 20 to 29 with a new collection of artists descending upon this year’s festival, including Joe Rogan, Seth Meyers, Jo Koy, Wanda Sykes, Hannibal Buress, Anthony Jeselnik, Chris D’Elia, Reggie Watts, Ken Jeong, Dax Sheppard, Margaret Cho and many more. Featuring a boisterous combination of comedy’s esteemed stand-ups and rising stars, JFL42 gives you big laughs assembling some of the funniest artists for Toronto’s biggest comedy event of the year. ComedyCon, JFL42’s daytime program, promises to be the best yet with highlights including In Conversations with some of today’s comedy greats, unmatched cast panels, and live recordings of today’s most popular podcasts. Passes can be purchased at www.jfl42.com.


I Call Myself Princess

I Call Myself Princess poster - woman with traditional regalia superimposed on imagePaper Canoe Projects and Cahoots Theatre partner with Native Earth Performing Arts for the world premiere of I Call myself Princess by Jani Lauzon. Including music by Charles Wakefield Cadman, and directed by Marjorie Chan, this production will make its debut at Aki Studio, September 9 to 30.

Seen and Unseen worlds collide when William, a modern-day Métis music student, is handed a 1918 opera about Creek/Cherokee Mezzo Soprano Tsianina Redfeather. William learns more than just an aria as he begins to unravel the complex circumstances faced by Indigenous performers past and present. Combining drama, biography, and contemporary opera, this play with opera explores the tension between representation, inspiration and cultural appropriation.

Visit www.cahoots.ca for more information.


The Royal Conservatory’s Koerner Hall Celebrates its 10th Anniversary During the 2018-19 Concert Season

Image info: Gábor Takács-Nagy. Conductor and strings section of orchestra.
Image info: Gábor Takács-Nagy.

The season opens with three free concerts as part of the Bloor St. Culture Corridor hub of Culture Days.

Gábor Takács-Nagy conducts the Royal Conservatory Orchestra on September 28, with soloist Orin Laursen performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major. The rest of the program includes Mozart and Dvořák.

The wildly popular Koerner Hall Free for All is back on September 29. The Conservatory offers this opportunity for anyone who ever dreamed of performing on the Koerner Hall stage to do just that – for five minutes.  Aspiring and professional performers are once again encouraged to sing a song, recite a poem, or even dance, and to invite their friends and family to experience their five minutes of glory. Acoustic performances take place from noon to 3 p.m. and amplified performances from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Fern Lindzon, described as an engaging jazz pianist and singer who brings an unassuming authority, an inquiring spirit, and a natural grace to contemporary jazz returns to the Conservatory on September 30.

For more information and tickets to the anniversary season, please visit www.rcmusic.com/performance.


September at Soulpepper!

illustration. Orange background - outline of head, clockworks inside, people climbing in.As summer winds down, Soulpepper’s September shows ramp up! The world premiere production of Sisters continues its run through September 16. Sisters Ann and Evelina find themselves in a romantic 90 minute mystery where their familial bond is tested. Starring CBC’s Kim’s Convenience star Nicole Power and CBC’s Schitt’s Creek personality Karen Robinson, this play shows how precarious life can be.

Also in September, Soulpepper’s Concert Series brings back the sold-out concert A Moveable Feast: Paris in the ‘20s. You are invited to post-war Paris, the global capital of art, music, literature, and Baccanalia! Artists like Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, James Joyce, Picasso, and Josephine Baker shaped a new era of modernity, and set the stage for the Lost Generations of musicians who followed. A Moveable Feast: Paris in the ‘20s runs September 14 to 23.

To learn more: visit soulpepper.ca; follow on Twitter; or call the Young Centre Box Office at 416-866-8666.


Onstage at The Second City in September

She The People wordmark - surrounded by pink text.She The People: The future is here and it’s female! Second City presents She The People – a sketch show entirely created, designed, and performed by the fearlessly funny women of The Second City! This mimosa-and-madness-fueled foray roasts the patriarchy, taking on everything from having it all…to having that sick feeling your government is trying to send you back to the Middle Ages. It’s time for women everywhere to shout – comedy is our weapon and we’re here to slay! She The People is an all-star cast of Second City performers.

The Best is Yet To Come Undone: One of the most popular Second City shows in years has been extended until the end of 2018! The Second City crashes into the modern world in this comedy commute down the hyper-conscious highway. An all-star cast weaves in and out of the danger zone, tackling our generation’s minefield of crushing clichés and relatable revelations. Don’t miss this unflinchingly honest laugh-tacular…with a magic touch you have to see to believe.

Visit the website for more information.


September at the TSO

Conductor with arms wide spread. Image info: Sir Andrew Davis. Credit: Malcolm Cook.
Image info: Sir Andrew Davis. Credit: Malcolm Cook.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) kicks off its 2018-19 season on September 20, 21 and 22.

Interim Artistic Director Sir Andrew Davis is on the podium for these inaugural concerts, which highlight the Orchestra through the music of Berlioz: the epic Symphonie Fantastique, and the lesser-known Fantasy on Shakespeare’s The Tempest from Lélio, or The Return to Life, featuring the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. Both works will be recorded live by Chandos Records for future release. The program also includes Variations concertantes by Canadian composer Jacques Hétu – a remarkable work that was commissioned and premièred by the TSO in 2006.

September 26 and 29, Kirill Karabits – the Ukrainian-born Chief Conductor of England’s Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra – makes his TSO début with Romantic Rachmaninoff – a program of romantic masterpieces which includes the anticipated return of the captivating Scottish-Italian violinist, Nicola Benedetti.

Visit www.TSO.ca or call 416-598-3375 for details!


Harlem Duet

Profile, woman with arms wrapped around self. Staring off into distance.Written / Directed by Djanet Sears. Onstage at Tarragon Theatre September 18 to October 28 in the Mainspace.

A play from multi award-winning and nationally recognized playwright. The return of a Canadian theatre milestone! Djanet Sears’ rhapsodic blues riff on Othello whisks the tale off to Harlem, where a college professor leaves his grad student wife for a white colleague. The stinging abandonment leads to profound questions about love, loss, loyalty and race, played out over two centuries in a wide range of settings. An iconic work that packs as powerful a punch now as it did when it debuted over twenty years ago.

Winner of: Governor General’s Literary Award, Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award, Four Dora Mavor Moore Awards (Outstanding New Play, Outstanding Direction, Outstanding Production, Outstanding Performance by a Female).


Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir

yellow background. 6 circular, paper fans, layered on one another. Multi colour - white, gold, bronze.Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir invites you to the opening of their 40th anniversary season! Join Tafelmusik for Mozart 40, a celebration of milestones and Mozart at Koerner Hall, TELUS Centre from September 20 to 23. Mozart’s arresting 40th Symphony is the centrepiece of the program, taking you on a journey of great beauty, urgency and passion. This music pushed the boundaries of the classical style and still feels as bold and extraordinary today. Music Director Elisa Citterio takes centre stage as soloist in Tafelmusik’s first-ever performance of Mozart’s vivacious Violin Concerto in D Major, the launch of a new cycle of Mozart concertos.

Tafelmusik also launches the first Tafelscene Intermission Party of the 2018/19 season for anyone 19 to 35 with discounts on tickets available. All are welcome to a free Pre-concert Chat one hour before each concert. For tickets and more information, visit tafelmusik.org.


Toronto Bicycle Music Festival (TBMF)

Toronto Bicycle Music Festival wordmark/logoThe Toronto Bicycle Music Festival (TBMF) is a free, family-friendly community event that involves a series of outdoor, pedal-powered concerts in and between Toronto’s great parks. The festival harnesses the energy of an audience pedalling stationary bicycles that power portable sound systems. A group bike ride between venues, led by Cycle Toronto, is an added component and features a mobile performance act.

The main event is Sunday, September 9 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

  • 12 p.m. Performances begin at The Bentway, beneath the Gardiner Expressway
  • 1 p.m. Group ride along the Waterfront Trail, connecting the two venue locations
  • 2 p.m. Performances begin at Humber Bay Park West 
  • 6 p.m. Performances end at Humber Bay Park West

More details about the event can be found online at www.torontobicyclemusicfestival.com. Join the conversation on social media using #TBMF2018 and follow @bike_music_fest on Twitter and Instagram for live updates.


What’s Bringing People to Toronto

looking up at sky from the ground, between 6 buildings, Canadian Flag.Here’s a sample of what’s happening in the city:

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.

Catch a game!

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


There’s Still Time…

red tshirt. black mug. black baseball cap.The City of Toronto has a selection of fun merchandise available for sale! Pick up your t-shirts, mugs, hats, etc. at the Toronto Desk located in the Ontario Travel Information Centre in Union Station (west end of the station, near entrance to the Skywalk). Get yours soon – they are going fast.


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. Available at www.wbeytoronto.ca and in face-to-face format for groups (note: this format is unavailable until fall 2018). Email wbey@toronto.ca for more info.


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