Toronto is a great place to visit at any time of the year, but it really is spectacular during autumn as the city comes alive with festivities.
This is why direct flights to Toronto are so popular during this time of the year. If you are considering going on a short autumn break in the city then read on to discover just some of the great fall festivals that you can visit. From Oktoberfest to the Toronto International Film Festival, there is plenty to see and do!
Toronto International Film Festival
Date: 7th to 17th September
Location: City wide
Tip for visiting: While the films are the main attraction, you can catch a glimpse of some famous faces during the festival at places like the Ritz Carlton Toronto and the Shangri-La Hotel. Previously, A-listers such as George Clooney, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dakota Johnson and Ryan Gosling have stayed at the hotels and this year the likes of Idris Elba and Kate Winslet are in town.
The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is a hugely popular festival as it welcomes some of Hollywood’s biggest names to the city.
TIFF shows the best of Canadian and international cinema to all film lovers and after starting over 40 years ago, the event is now the world’s most important public film festival.
This year’s event has seen over 25 world premieres and more than 33 special presentations.
Niagara Wine Festival
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Date: 8th to 24th September
Location: Montebello Park
Tip for visiting: If you are driving, there is free parking on weekends for the event.
Although not strictly in Toronto, the Niagara Wine Festival is just a short drive from the city based in Montebello Park, St. Catharines. It is the perfect festival for wine lovers to attend as whether you like a robust red, a sweet white or a sparkling rosé, you will find a drink that you love.
There are 100 local wines available to taste, live entertainment to enjoy, tasty food to eat and lively parades to watch.
There are a number of award-winning local wineries taking part in the event and these include the likes of Inniskillin Wines, Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery and Coyote’s Run.
JFL42 Comedy Festival
Date: 21st – 30th September
Location: City wide including the Sony Centre, the Second City and the Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Tip for visiting: Keep checking JFL42’s Facebook and Twitter pages as the event’s organisers will be adding more shows and moving some acts to bigger venues. They will be sharing these schedule updates via their social media channels.
The JFL42 comedy festival, which is a production from the comedy outfit Just For Laughs, brings you 42 comedy acts that not only cover stand up, but music, art and dance too.
The acts are world renowned with the likes of Jack Whitehall, Ali Wong, Tom Segura, John Mulaney and Mike Birbiglia all performing at the festival.
Date: 29th – 30th September
Location: Ontario Place
Tip for visiting: Upgrade your ticket to a VIP one as this year there is an improved VIP experience! Ticket holders can now access the new private Bavarian Lodge, get to enter one hour before general admission and can bypass entry lines and queues.
If you have always wanted to don some lederhosen, then now is your chance!
The Toronto Oktoberfest is a two-day event that will be celebrating Bavarian heritage, food, beer and music in an enormous Festhalle tent and outdoor Bavarian Village.
The festival is so authentic that there will be real Bavarian-style communal tables and benches from Germany, giving you the chance to mingle with other festival goers.
The Toronto Oktoberfest was first launched in 2012, but now you will be able to join 5,000 others when celebrating Bavarian culture.
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Date: 30th September
Location: City wide
Tip for visiting: Cycling is a great way to see as many of the exhibitions across the city as possible and with Bike Share Toronto you can locate a bike at one of 200 stations.
This year’s Nuit Blanche festival will showcase over 85 contemporary art projects by over 350 local, national and international artists.
The annual event is one sleepless night, running from sunset to sunrise. It shows off a variety of contemporary artworks at a number of public spaces.
Some of the projects on display include the Monument to the Century of Revolutions at the Nathan Phillips Square and the Life on Neebahgeezis, which will be located on Bay Street between Albert Street and King Street.
Toronto After Dark Film Festival
Date: 12th – 20th October
Location: Scotiabank Theatre on Richmond Street West
Tip for visiting: The complete festival schedule and individual tickets will be available online in early October, so make sure you check back on their website.
The Toronto After Dark Film Festival brings a frightening 9 nights of horror movies, and thrill seekers will turn up in their thousands to celebrate this genre of film.
There will also be showings of sci-fi, action and cult movies and this year’s films are handpicked from across the globe.
If you will be one of the 10,000 visitors to attend the 2017 event, you can expect to be involved in Q&A sessions with filmmakers and can visit the Pub After Dark event, the festival’s after-screening social event.
Cask Days Beer Festival
Date: 20th – 22nd October
Location: Evergreen Brickworks
Tip for visiting: Head over to the temporary gallery called ‘The Art of Beer’ to see the best in beer label and design.
On the third weekend of October, the 13th annual Cask Days Beer Festival will once again take place and the old brick-making factory will be filled with lots of cask-conditioned ales.
This year there will be over 400 cask ales and ciders from breweries across Canada and the United States. The event will celebrate the love of cask ale and will teach you all about the process of making these types of ale.
This year’s regional feature will be New York and 32 beers and ciders from the US city will be on offer to you for the first-time in Ontario.
As well as the drink, the festival also gathers some of Toronto’s most famous and iconic chefs and restaurants to serve delicious food alongside the ale.
Toronto Chocolate Festival
Date: 1st – 30th November
Location: City wide
Tip for visiting: The Chocolicious “tour du chocolat” discovery passport allows you to download coupons for the events, including discounts to free chocolate samples.
The Toronto Chocolate Festival will celebrate its 12th anniversary this year and if you are a chocolate lover then you will want to book your flights to Canada right away, as you will be able to see and taste it in its many magnificent forms.
Some of the great events that will be taking place include:
– Chocolate Afternoon Tea – Held at the OMNI King Edward Hotel, you can enjoy afternoon tea with chocolate and chocolate pastries every weekend during the festival.
– Toronto Luxury Chocolate Show – The show is in its seventh year and welcomes chocolate artisans to show you their unique and decadent products.
– Choc Olympics – This will see firefighters, paramedics and police devour chocolate in a 9-1-1 relay.
Image credit: Zahra Siddiqui | Graphic Artist: Javier Navarette Bravo.