With milder temperatures and colourful foliage out in full force, autumn is a popular season to explore Toronto. And if you’re visiting during October, you’re choosing a great time, with events across the city to celebrate not only Halloween, but also Canadian Thanksgiving.
Since this is a holiday many of us Brits are unfamiliar with, images of extravagant turkey dinners and pumpkin pie may come to mind. But there is so much more you can do to celebrate. If you’re going to be in Toronto on Monday 14th October, or you know someone who is, we’ve rounded up some unusual ways to join in the spirit of the long weekend and make this Thanksgiving a memorable one.
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Get lost in a corn maze
Corn maze season in Ontario typically runs from August to the end of October, with farms across the province inviting you to get lost amongst giant stalks of corn. Navigate your way through everything from family-friendly mazes to terrifying labyrinths. Many farms also offer a range of other activities including picking pumpkins and milking goats.
Go apple picking
Want to celebrate Thanksgiving with a special home-cooked meal (or make candy apples for a Halloween treat)? Why not pick some apples for a delicious dessert? Apple picking is a great way to spend time in the outdoors, and with plenty of orchards around the Toronto area, you’re spoilt for choice. Some also offer wagon rides, petting zoos and country shops with homemade jams and preserves.
- Applewood Farm & Winery (12416 McCowan Rd, Whitchurch-Stouffville)
- JC Agri Orchards (3105 16th Sideroad, King City)
Attend an authentic country fair
This year is the 172nd for the Woodbridge Fair, bringing with it a jam-packed weekend for the whole family. Among the activities you can enjoy are a car show, rides and a giant Pumpkin Contest. There are also lots of community displays and food vendors to try. The fair runs at Woodbridge Fairgrounds (100 Porter Ave, Woodbridge) at the following times:
Saturday 12th October – Noon to 8 pm
Sunday 13th October – Noon to 8 pm
Monday 14th October – 10 am to 5 pm
Enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner
Toronto is known, among many things, for its excellent dining scene, so take advantage by enjoying a Thanksgiving dinner at one of its many restaurants. From castle brunches to three-course dinners, you can celebrate the occasion with your nearest and dearest without fighting about who does the washing up!
- Casa Loma Thanksgiving Brunch (Sunday 13th October, $75 per person, or $55 for children between 4-13 years)
- The Drake
See the Raptors play
It may be an unconventional way to celebrate Thanksgiving, but it’s certainly something on many visitors’ bucket lists (even more so after the Raptors’ recent win at the NBA Championship). Why not head to the Scotiabank Arena to watch the Toronto Raptors take on the Chicago Bulls in a pre-season game to remember. The event will take place on Sunday 13th October at 6:00 pm. Tickets are available on the Scotiabank Arena website.
Go to the Toronto Pumpkinfest
This family event takes place over three days and welcomes guests to enjoy all things autumn. Participate in a Pumpkin Carving Contest, try your hand at pumpkin bowling, and enjoy the event’s ‘Food Truck Frenzy’, featuring Toronto’s best food trucks. Also on offer, you’ll find inflatables and games for kids, mini-golf, arts and crafts, and even pumpkin pie eating contests! This event takes place between 12th-14th October at Downsview Park (35 Carl Hall Road).