Press Release:
What’s New & Happening in Toronto, Ontario Canada – Winter 2016/17

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

We’re here if you have any questions.
Tourism Toronto Media Relations:
Office: 416-203-3812
Fax – 416-203-6753

Download a PDF version of this press release: What’s New & Happening in Toronto, Ontario Canada – Winter 2016/17.

TORONTO, CANADA (November 2016) – It’s kickoff time—and not just for the beloved Grey Cup. As autumn leaves begin to fall, Toronto begins to glow with holiday anticipation. Shop windows glitter with festive displays, theatre curtains rise and joyful shoppers fill the city streets. From Christmas Markets to cheering on the Leafs and Raptors, stay cool this winter in Canada’s hippest city.

It all happens in Toronto, Canada’s Downtown, an unforgettable city alive with energy. Read on and find out the updates and latest happenings in Toronto or visit


Le Germain Hotels and Alt Hotels presents two new innovative experiences: an exclusive series of online yoga capsules, as well as the “Nama-StayWellness” and a fitness and wellness stay exclusively for women taking place this fall at Le Germain Hotel Workout WeekendCharlevoix. Created in collaboration with Virginie Duval, a seasoned yoga and fitness instructor, the video series “Nama-Stay” allows guests to take part in regenerative and effective yoga sessions, even while traveling. The series includes two series of three videos, one in English and the other in French: two 20-minute sessions and one 10-minute session in each language under the following themes: Start the Day, Energizing Yoga, and Yoga for Jet Lag. A bonus capsule of chair exercises is also included in each session. Virginie Duval regularly leads large group training sessions with up to 250 participants and her work has been featured in several renowned publications.

After 100 years since its first debut, The Crystal Ballroom at The Omni King Edward hotel will open again in early 2017 after a $6.5 million renovation. The Omni King Edward is elated to have this elegant space renovated to feature influences of its original charm with modern luxury. Once again, the venue will become the most prestigious and sought-out space for social functions in the city. With 5,000 square feet of space, the newly renovated Crystal Ballroom is sure to exceed all of your expectations. Enjoy a timeless space with ornate moldings, floor-to-ceiling windows and stunning panoramic city views.

Less than two years after Delta Toronto opened, the hotel launched The Roof at SOCO, an exclusive outdoor space located on the 4th floor of the hotel. The terrace offers spectacular views over the whole Toronto downtown area including, CN Tower, Rogers Centre and Lake Ontario. The space can accommodate up to 175 people, with the same unique food offerings created by Chef Dan Craig that guests have come to enjoy at SOCO Kitchen+Bar main restaurant.

Bisha is the newest private-label boutique brand to originate in Toronto since the 60’s. Rising to 44 storeys, the Bisha flagship property will be situated in the heart of the Entertainment District on Blue Jays Way. Bisha Hotel and Residences is expected to open in February 2017.

Shopping & Spas

Housed in a landmark historic building in downtown Toronto, Elmwood Spa aims to preserve the character of its historic space, while providing guests with a modern and lavish experience. Elmwood recently completed renovations worth approximately $1 million to several areas. The Water Therapies™ space has been upgraded with plush, patterned seating, new tables, and lighting in both the lounge area and sunroom. The manicure and pedicure area has also been completely renovated –from the level it’s on to its concept. Designed to allow natural light to cascade through, it features tall windows that overlook the historic buildings surrounding the spa. It boasts plenty of space that can accommodate a spa day out for two, or large groups. Guests are invited to wait for their appointment on luxurious velvet benches illuminated by chandeliers, while enjoying a snack and beverage from the juice bar. This licensed area has 12 manicure and 12 pedicure chairs, along with a small hair salon. A few floors down from the manicure/pedicure area, the massage rooms have also been renovated.

Uniqlo’s two-floor Eaton Centre flagship store opened its doors to the public on September 23, 2016. As with all Uniqlo stores, the focus is on inclusion and individuality: you can shop for your grandmother, toddler and hipster cousin all in one spot and although each piece on its own may seem basic, endless variety means mixing and matching to create a unique look is a breeze. Before its Toronto launch, the brand set up mini popup shops within cool local stores like Souvenir Studios, Drake General Store and Blacksmith Cycle. Now, select items from each store (including familiar Canadiana from DGS) are available in Uniqlo.

French luxury brand Saint Laurent Paris (formerly ‘Yves Saint Laurent’) will open a store this fall at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre. It will be one of two freestanding Canadian stores for Saint Laurent. According to a City of Toronto Application, Saint Laurent will occupy retail space ‘219’ in the mall, which was recently vacated by footwear retailer Geox. The new 3,000 square foot, one-level Saint Laurent will be located next to luxury brand David Yurman, which opened its first Canadian location at Yorkdale in December of 2013. Set to open by the end of 2016, the Toronto store will feature men’s and women’s ready-to-wear fashions as well as footwear, bags and accessories.

Opening its doors at 768 Queen Street East, BRIKA is a gift store that sells high quality, handmade goods by artisans and designers from around North America. From birthdays and graduations to baby showers and bridal parties, BRIKA offers a highly curated selection of beautiful pieces for every occasion. The shop carries pieces that range from home goods and art to jewelry, accessories and gifts for little ones, including a selection of goods you won’t find anywhere else. In addition, the store features a balloon bar, which offers a fantastic and exclusive selection of helium balloons fit for celebrations of any kind.

Nordstrom recently opened their flagship three-level store in the fall of 2016 at Toronto’s Eaton Centre. They also opened the doors to their Yorkdale location this past Ocotber. These are the first two of three Nordstorms opening in the Greater Toronto Area. A third location is set to open at Toronto’s Sherway Gardens in the summer of 2017.


Enjoy a musical underwater adventure at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada the second Friday of every month. You can experience live music paired with cash bars located throughout the aquarium at Ripley’s Jazz Fridays.

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) presents the Anthony Caro: Sculpture Laid Bare exhibit from December 10, 2016-May 21, 2017. Sir Anthony Caro (British, 1924–2013) revolutionized the medium of sculpture in the 1960s when he moved away from making elaborately modelled, figurative works cast in bronze, instead creating large, abstract assemblages out of prefabricated steel and aluminum elements that he installed directly on the ground. As art and matter struggle against one other, the drama of artistic creation is made physically present and palpable for the viewer.

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is pleased to debut Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures, a groundbreaking exhibition of more than 60 boxwood miniatures organized in partnership with The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Rijksmuseum on from December 8, 2016-January 22, 2017. Offering new insight into the methods of production and cultural significance of these awe-inspiring works of art, this exhibition highlights more than four years of research that has used cutting-edge technology to understand these elegantly precise miniature rosaries, prayer beads and altarpieces.

Exploring the experimental energy of an era, Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989 brings together more than 100 works by 65 artists and collectives to highlight an innovative period in Toronto art history at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) until May 7, 2017. Amidst the social and political upheavals of their time, the generation of artists that emerged in Toronto during the 1970s and 1980s pushed the boundaries of conventional painting, sculpture and photography, exploring new ways of art making including video, installation and performance.

The Royal Ontario Museums’ (ROM) newest exhibition, Art, Honour, and Ridicule: Asafo Flags from Southern Ghana, on until March 2017,takes a historical and contemporary look at Asafo flags. These flags are the insignia created for the numerous military Asafo companies of the Fante states along the coast of Southern Ghana. Their flags depict narratives of pride, wisdom, and defiant messages to enemies and are sacred objects depicting the spirit and history of a company. Featuring stunning handcrafted flags, brilliant costumes, artifacts and stirring videos, Art, Honour, and Ridicule: Asafo Flags of South Ghana, brings life to the amazing stories behind the Asafo flags and the people who conceive and wave them.

Discover striking wildlife and captivating landscapes as Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the longest-running and most prestigious nature photography competition in the world, returned to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) for its fourth year on November 12, 2016. Featuring new photographs from the 2016 competition, Wildlife Photographer of the Year continues to amaze and move viewers with the remarkable beauty and diversity of the natural world. Now in its 52nd year, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition attracts tens of thousands of submissions from photographers of all ages and skill levels. Premiering at London’s Natural History Museum before embarking on a world tour, the exhibition showcases category finalists and winners of the competition through 100 breathtaking photographs.

Discover a story bigger than all of us on March 11, 2017 at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). Out of the Depths: The Blue Whale Story retells the story of nine blue whales that died tragically in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 2014, and the unprecedented opportunity for research and conservation that has resulted. In this amazing ROM original exhibition, see the enormous skeleton of one of the recovered blue whales and discover how they evolved, the size of their heart, how they communicate, and more of the mind-blowing biology of Earth’s largest animal ever. Gain insight into the decline of blue whales, what’s being done to protect them, and how the ROM is using DNA to unlock some of the secrets of these elusive creatures.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) has been chosen by the Government of Canada to present Canada Mosaic in 2017. Highlighting this nation’s diverse musical landscape, Canada Mosaic underscores the rich musical past, present, and future through performance, education, innovation, and collaboration in every province. From indigenous to indie, classical to cutting-edge, and with innovative collaborations from coast to coast to coast, Canada Mosaic is a Signature Project of Canada 150. Across the 2017 calendar year, the TSO will present an unprecedented number of commissions, legacy works, and thematic programs. Spotlighting the wealth of existing and new Canadian music, these initiatives will include classical, pop, indigenous, and film music. Cross-country orchestral collaborations will showcase the vast network of excellent Canadian orchestras, composers, and soloists. Pioneering digital resources and an e-learning platform—with TSO concerts, listening guides, and other interactive resources—will engage new and existing audiences of all ages.

On May 2, 2017 the new Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada will open and be devoted to the art of the XXIst C. The new museum will operate under the idea of the “agora,” a public space for working out democracy today by creating a “nexus,” a space for exchange and networking. This hospitable space will be the centre for new exhibitions of international calibre. Its collection will be based on innovative ideas. The museum will co-produce exhibitions and new works with national and international partners such as curators, museums, major galleries, collectors and foundations.

Cineplex is bringing its latest venture, The Rec Room, to Toronto in the form of an entertainment complex that will focus on arcade games and live entertainment. Moving into the Leon’s Furniture store in Roundhouse Park in early 2017, this 40,000 square foot space will feature an upscale casual restaurant, a bar with multiple high definition screens, games, shuffleboard courts, pool tables, ping pong tables and an entertainment venue.

Toronto’s newest sports team is the Toronto Wolfpack, which plans to play in the third tier of English rugby league in 2017. The owners are billing it as the first transatlantic professional sports team. The Wolfpack will be based in England for the most part, playing home games in three-week chunks at Toronto’s Lamport Stadium. The new team will be the 16th in the third-tier Kingstone Press League 1, which has 12 teams from England, two from Wales and one from France.

The Bentway, formerly known as Project: Under Gardiner, is a unique and innovative public space that will transform the vacant and forgotten area underneath Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway (1.75 km) into a new gathering place for our city’s growing population. This dynamic new urban corridor will activate the community with a continuous multi-use trail providing access to year-round activities and events, including gardens, a skating rink, recreational amenities, public markets, public art, special exhibitions, festivals, theatre and musical performances and more. Phase 1, Opening July 2017.

Events & Festivals

Disney on Ice Presents Dream Big at the Rogers Centre from December 23, 2016-January 1, 2017. Enter a world where adventure is awaiting. Join the Disney Princesses as they learn that courage leads the way. Then watch Anna, Elsa and Olaf from Disney’s Frozen discover that true love is the greatest magic of all. Believing is just the beginning.

This November, the 104th Grey Cup Festival is coming to Toronto, and they’re going to show Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast that they know how to throw a football party. This year’s festival will kick off on November 24, 2016 and runs right up until game time on November 27, 2016.

This holiday season Toronto will once again celebrate the romance and magic of a traditional Christmas at the Toronto Christmas Market. Inspired by the Old World and influenced by the New, this annual event captures all of the tradition, heritage and charm of a European Christmas market, while showcasing hundreds of unique and local handcrafted products. Head to the Distillery District from November 18-December 21, 2016 to be a part of the magic.

Since 1975, One of a Kind, on from November 24-December 4, 2016 at the Enercare Centre, has been the place to go for unique, handmade pieces. It has everything from baked goods, jewellery and clothing to furniture and major artworks are here, along with the designers and craftspeople, so you can learn first-hand the inspiration behind the work.

Launch the Holiday Season in style at Cavalcade of Lights on November 26, 2016. This festive event, a Toronto holiday tradition for nearly 50 years, features the illumination of Toronto’s official Christmas tree, performances by some of Canada’s top musical talent, a brilliant fireworks show and a DJ skating party at Nathan Phillips Square.

Toronto Market Co.’s Union Station Holiday Market showcases unique merchandise from specialty retail vendors, artisans, designers, food merchants and cultural institutions. On for 12 days from December 5-16, 2016, it is a destination for Torontonians and visitors to browse, shop and embrace the holiday spirit.

Toronto’s newest Christmas Market is coming to Nathan Phillips Square. Holiday Fair in the Square is on from December 8-23, 2016, combining the charm and elegance of a traditional European Christmas market with the excitement and allure of a thriving winter carnival. Whether you’re looking for that unique, perfect gift, taking the family for an afternoon of skating and festive fun, stopping by for some lunch and shopping, or enjoying a romantic evening drink at the ice bar, Holiday Fair in the Square has something for everyone.

Experience the first ever free Winter Village at Evergreen Brick Works from December 10-22, 2016. This is a new holiday destination – an escape from the city in the city – you can eat, play and shop locally and outdoors. This year Evergreen Brick Works is launching a new Street Food Market and an Etsy Vendor Market open daily from 3-7pm.

Innovation, style and power continue to rule at the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto, on from February 17-26, 2017, with over 600,000 square feet of dazzling displays, big prize giveaways and engaging exhibits. Among the many world debuts at the 2016 show is Tesla’s Model X. The forward-thinking car manufacturer is using the Auto Show in Toronto to officially show off the final production model of one of the few all-electric SUVs and the first which includes rear falcon-wing doors that open upward.

The Toronto Sportsmen’s Show has introduced many generations to Canada’s outdoor heritage during its 69-year history. Many youths and adults alike had their first fishing, archery and outdoor experiences at the show, which takes place March 15-19, 2017. That tradition continues with parents bringing their children to experience the same and outdoor enthusiasts gather to learn about the latest tips and techniques from the pros, while experiencing the latest in new products.

Toronto ComiCon has grown to become a spectacular three-day event taking place March 17-19, 2017. With a range of guests from cos play, comic characters and celebrities like Kenny Hotz of Kenny vs. Spenny and Jonathan Frakes of Star Trek, ComiCon presented by FAN EXPO CANADA™ is 15,000 square feet of fan heaven.


For more information contact:

Jessica Halliday
Tourism Toronto
(416) 203-3812

About Tourism Toronto

Tourism Toronto, Toronto’s Convention and Visitors Association, is an industry association of more than 1,000 members established to sell and market the greater Toronto region as a remarkable destination for tourists, convention delegates and business travellers around the globe. Tourism Toronto operates in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and the Greater Toronto Hotel Association. For more information please visit