Can you believe it’s already September? We’re only a few weeks away from the start of fall, but it seems that we’ve got many warm and sunny days left to enjoy before we need to bundle up in blanket scarves. You already know that Toronto takes advantage of every opportunity to enjoy the gorgeous weather with all kinds of events, festivals, and activities. This month is filled with late-summer celebrations, pumpkin fests and Halloween events, all of the TIFF movies you can handle, and much more.
Here’s the only list you need of 30 incredible things to do in Toronto this September 2021!
Fall & Halloween Events
A fall festival you won’t want to miss. In addition to the iconic “sea” of 10,000 pumpkins on display at this event, Downey’s Farm will have a corn maze, farm animals, wagon rides, live entertainment, jumping pillows, a skeleton band, and more, so you can load up on everything you love during Ontario’s prettiest season. Downeys’ pumpkin donuts are made fresh on-site and they even have pumpkin donut ice cream sandwiches, so be sure to bring your appetite.
Where: 13682 Heart Lake Rd
When: September 18th—October 31st
Drive your way through an enchanting tunnel filled with thousands of glowing jack-o-lanterns. These pumpkins are hand-carved and there are live carving demonstrations so you can see how the pros create their masterpieces. If you want to get a head start on your Halloween bucket list, this award-winning annual tradition is a must!
Where: Country Heritage Park, 8560 Tremaine Rd
When: September 17th to November 7th
The “scariest Halloween event in the Toronto area” is making a terrifying return at Canada’s Wonderland, and let this be your warning that this is not for the faint of heart. New attractions this year include the Kingdom of Carnage, Streets of the Undead, and The Farmstead, in addition to all the terrifying attractions from years past and of course, nighttime rollercoaster rides. You can book your tickets online here.
Where: 1 Canada’s Wonderland Dr
When: September 24th — October 31st
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Outdoor Events & Activities
If you’re ready to dance your end-of-summer blues away, Steve Aoki is headlining a concert this September at the CityView Drive-In that you won’t want to miss. This venue typically hosts drive-in events, but for this concert, tickets are standing-room-only and no cars will be permitted. Other performers include Nightmre, Cheyenne Giles, Dzeko, Ship Wrek, and more. You can buy yours here!
Where: 20 Polson St
When: Sunday, September 5th
There’s no better way to enjoy summer in the 6ix than a nighttime cruise with skyline views. The boat is equipped with 3 full-service bars, live DJs, snacks for sale, and a club-like dancefloor. The event is 4 hours, rain or shine, so dress for the weather!
Where: 11 Polson St
When: September 18th & 19th
Warm weather in Toronto is best enjoyed on the lawn of Budweiser Stage, and the amphitheatre is saving the best acts for last. Maroon 5 is performing at the start of September for a late-summer evening show. If you’re still playing the Songs About Jane album on repeat 20 years after its release, you have to see this iconic group hit the stage in person.
Where: 909 Lake Shore Blvd W
When: Thursday, September 2nd
Rock out to a live show from Ontario’s very own indie-pop band, Walk Off The Earth. The season of outdoor concerts at Budweiser Stage is almost over, so don’t miss your chance to enjoy it to the fullest!
Where: Budweiser Stage
When: September 18, 2021
This FREE event in the Trinity Bellwoods Park Dog Bowl is all about the furry friends in our lives. Bring your pet along for all kinds of attractions and activities, including a photo booth and other goodies they’re sure to love. You’ll also get to meet animal rescue heroes and pets up for adoption. Maybe you’ll even fall in love and give one of these animals their fur-ever home.
Where: 790 Queen St W
When: Saturday, September 25th
Cozy outfits, nostalgic tunes, and tasty bites — has there ever been a better trio? This outdoor daytime event is making a comeback this month and the dress code is comfy casual. Dance the day away to your favourite 90s and 00s jams like it’s a boozy slumber party. This event is 19+ and you’ll need to get your ticket in advance, as capacity will be limited.
Where: 220 King St W
When: Sunday, September 12th
With movies every Thursday through Sunday, four giant murals to check out, and a series of food events and concerts, Vaughan’s ArtWalk Drive-In is something you definitely won’t want to miss. Activities and events will be taking place until September 10th, so you’ve got plenty of time to check them out. Plus, there are some great screenings to see this month, including Inception, The Sandlot, Bohemian Rhapsody and so many more.
When: Until September 30th
Where: 101 Edgeley Blvd
Show our Jays some love in the stands while you still can! There are different seating options to choose from, depending on whether you prefer to sit closer to the action or with social distancing measures in place. Starting on September 13th, fans aged 12 and older will be required to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend home games. This month’s home game schedule is packed solid, so you’ll get plenty of opportunities to hit the stands if you haven’t already.
Where: Rogers Centre, 1 Blue Jays Way
When: Various dates
Nothing says “hello fall” like a trip to the apple orchard, and there are so many great apple picking spots and around Toronto. Make your way to the iconic Fill up on Gala and Cortland apples at Chudleigh’s in Halton Hills, and go for a cute tractor ride while you’re at it. Or if you’re looking for someplace extra scenic, Albion Orchards in Caledon was recently rated one of the best in Canada.
Where: Various locations
Party in the sunshine at this long weekend day party and BBQ right in the heart of the city. Indulge in something delicious made right on the wood-fire grill, hang out on the patio and enjoy the music of two live DJs. This oasis will make you forget you’re in the downtown core, so if you’re not planning to venture out of the city this weekend but still want an escape from your busy surroundings, this is the place to be. Online tickets are sold out, but there will still be some for sale at the door for $30 each.
Where: 621 Richmond St W
When: Sunday, September 5th & Monday, September 6th
Are you ready to be whisked away to the year 2099? Terra Lumina is making its return at the Toronto Zoo this month for more nightly magic under the stars. The immersive light show features an illuminated 1.5 km trail designed to make you feel like you’ve travelled to a “radiant” future world.
Where: The Toronto Zoo, 2000 Meadowvale Road, Toronto, ON
Cost: Adult (18-64) $29.99 + HST
Celebrating 15 years of art, music, community, and culture, this festival is returning at the CityView Drive-In grounds this month. Admission is just $17.32 each and the event is 19+. The event will be headlined by Canadian rhythm and blues signer Savanna Ré and rapper Notifi, and opened by Charmaine and Jahkoy.
Where: 20 Polson St
When: Saturday, September 11th
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Arts & Culture Events
This breathtaking exhibit is now open for the first time in the world — here’s a sneak peek so you know exactly what to expect. Over 400 of Claude Monet’s works come alive before your eyes through vivid 360-degree displays that swirl all around you, enhanced by sound effects and music. Forget the world and get lost the mind and masterpieces of this great painter.
Where: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St W
When: Hours vary
The stars are coming to town for the annual Toronto International Film Festival this month! This year’s festival will be a combination of virtual and in-person screenings at theatres around the city, and all of you film buffs will be spoiled for choice. The festival announced that all guests and ticket-holders will be required to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result to attend in-person events.
Where: Various locations
When: Thursday, September 9th to Saturday, September 18th
If you still haven’t checked out Immersive Van Gogh, this summer is your chance to. The most talked-about exhibit of last summer is back this season. Stop by for a fully immersive display of the famous artist’s greatest works. This exhibit can be enjoyed in person or from the comfort of your car drive-in-style.
Where: 1 Yonge St
When: Various times
Live theatre is officially back in Toronto, but it’s unlike anything you’ve seen before. Blindness is a socially distanced light and sound show that takes you into a compelling story about a city gripped by a blindness epidemic. If Birdbox had you on the edge of your seat, you will not want to miss this unique production.
Where: Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King St West
When: September 24th — October 24th
Check out this complimentary exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum this month and reflect back on our pandemic experience in a unique way. The exhibit is called Unmasking the Pandemic: From Personal Protection to Personal Expression — it showcases 60 original facemasks, each with its own backstory and symbols that reflect the struggles we’ve all experienced in some way, both together and apart.
Where: 100 Queens Park
When: Opens September 18th, 2021
This exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario explores Caribbean history and culture through over 200 photographs, as well as paintings, sculpture, and video works by modern and contemporary Caribbean artists. According to the AGO, the exhibit will “invite visitors to experience the multiple ways of encountering the Caribbean and its diaspora, from the period following emancipation through today.”
Where: 317 Dundas St W
When: September 1st, 2021 to February 21st, 2022
A new immersive open-air experience with 40,000 sq ft of colourful candy-inspired installations is coming to Square One Shopping Centre. You’ll get to walk among larger-than-life candy art displays which will provide you with tons of Insta pic opportunities. Additionally, you can watch live performances, custom parade floats, and even bring your pup for the event’s dog-friendly days!
Where: 100 City Centre Dr, Corner of Duke of York Blvd & Square One Dr
When: Until September 6th
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Food & Drink Events
Canada’s largest Ribfest is going drive-thru this Labour Day weekend. Drive on up to the action in Burlington and order from the gigantic menu of rib vendors. The event will be held in the parking lot and cars will line up at the Fairway entrance to enter. Your food will come right to your window and you’ll get to enjoy some live music while you cruise through the grounds.
Where: Burlington Centre, 777 Guelph Line
When: Monday, September 6th
Sample some of the city’s finest beer in the fresh air and sunshine. This outdoor, limited capacity event is a celebration of beer featuring hundreds of local and international brewers, mouthwatering eats, and live music from performers like Shaggy and Dwayne Gretzky. And it’s worth noting that proof of full COVID-19 vaccination is required to attend.
Where: Bandshell Park, 100 Princes’ Blvd
When: September 24th & 25th
Make your way just outside of the city to this celebration of beer and cider from over 35 Ontario craft brewers. The event will feature live music, gourmet food, and a charming countryside atmosphere. Tickets are no longer available for purchase online, but you may be able to get one at the main entrance for $45 each. Plus, all the proceeds will be donated to local charities.
Where: 11494 Trafalgar Rd
When: Saturday, September 18th
We may be approaching the end of the season, but it’s not too late to enjoy Ontario’s quintessential summer activity — winery tours! The best part is that you don’t even have to drive to wine country yourself. Your ticket comes with round-trip transportation from Toronto’s Union Station Bus Terminal to your choice of two wineries in the Niagara region. Once you arrive, you’ll get to enjoy a 2-hour wine and food pairing, with a pit stop at the Wine Rack on your way home.
Where: 81 Bay St
When: Saturday, September 18th & Saturday, September 24th
This vegan food fest is popping up for one day only at Steam Whistle Brewery’s Locomotive Hall right in the heart of downtown, and admission is completely FREE! This plant-based extravaganza has taken place in the city for 37 years, and it’s always a good time. You’ll get to enjoy live programming and entertainment while you stuff your face with plant-based comfort food.
Where: 255 Bremner Blvd
When: Saturday, September 11th, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Canada’s biggest burger event of all time, Le Burger Week is back and they’ve released a list of all the restaurants participating in the event so far. From local bars to cafes, Toronto is in for a very special TWO weeks of some wildly tasty creations in celebration of the festival’s 10th anniversary and we are in for a real treat.
Where: Various locations
When: Wednesday, September, 1st to 14th
If you’ve been missing your running group to help you stay motivated, we’re here to tell you that you’re finally getting your jogging buddies back. Meet up with other runners every Tuesday evening at the Scotiabank Pond for an hour-long run through Downsview Park, organized by Lululemon Yorkdale. If you’re nowhere close to a marathon runner, don’t sweat it — this event has options that are just right for your level. It’s free to attend, but you’ll need to register in advance.
Where: 57 Carl Hall Rd
When: Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Get moving in the fresh air with this fitness class among the fall foliage. These gentle exercises are accessible to everyone and are designed to help relieve your aches and pains while also improving your agility and strength. The classes will take place on the beautiful grounds of Toronto’s Botanical Garden, which is an ideal spot to enjoy the last of the warm weather.
Where: 777 Lawrence Ave
When: Every Tuesday from September 14th to October 19th
There it is, folks! Your guide to 30 of the best activities and events around Toronto this September.