WHAT’S NEW & HAPPENING IN TORONTO
Wednesday, June 12th, 2019
Download the press release: What’s New Summer 2019.
TORONTO, CANADA (June 3, 2019) – Canada’s Downtown caters to the curious traveller this summer with a slew of new experiences waiting to be discovered. As temperatures rise in Toronto so do the number of events, festivals, openings and outdoor experiences. Read through the latest “What’s New in Toronto” for a full list of updates and happenings around Toronto.
The Ritz-Carlton has unveiled new Club level guest rooms, suites and Club Lounge. The design of the rooms and lounge was inspired by the entertainment district, Toronto’s waterfront and the history of rail travel in the city. The Club Lounge, an exclusive private lounge, offers views of the waterfront and Centre Island.
The Fairmont Royal York will celebrate its 90th anniversary on June 11. The Fairmont will open two new restaurants on this day to launch the celebrations. The first, Clockwork Champagne & Cocktails, is a classic lounge style bar perfect for intimate groups. Reign is a Canadian-inspired brasserie with a take on traditional French cuisine. It will host multiple dining experiences, from a restaurant, bar and bakery. This sustainability-focused restaurant will offer a farm-to-table experience with locally-sourced ingredients.
Toronto’s newest restaurants Centrale Bergham and LOV are set to open this summer. Centrale Bergham is a popular Halal burger chain. LOV, an all-vegan restaurant, will be opening on King near Portland.
Maison Selby, opened on April 10 at the 136-year-old C.H. Gooderham House. Situated at Bloor and Sherbourne, this location was once host to Ernest Hemingway during his career as a foreign correspondent at the Toronto Star. Dishes like the Eggs Hemingway are aptly named.
After a long anticipation, Baro rooftop has officially re-opened. At Baro, traditional Latin culture and cuisine is reimagined in a modern way. The cocktail menu offers perfect choices for summer including sangrias, a pine-aperol spritz and a Big Slushy. The patio features vegetarian options and is family friendly.
A new restaurant is opening from the former executive chef of Hexagon Restaurant. Est Restaurant is expected to open by the summer and will feature a menu inspired from the cultures within Canada.
In June 2019, Shook Kitchen will open its doors. Shook is an Israeli-inspired vegetarian restaurant. It will incorporate a sustainable and locally sourced dine-in and takeout restaurant with a retail marketplace. Menu items will include dips, small and large plates, soups, salads and sandwiches.
In May, Toronto gained a new family owned gin distillery. Reid’s Distillery handcrafts its own gin in Toronto from Canadian ingredients. It boasts a large bar, plant wall, guitars and chess games. Its menu offers charcuterie and seafood boards priced per serving, so they are customizable.
After the closure of its Danforth location, Nomads Restobar has announced its new Riverside location. Nomads features a globally-inspired menu including roasted hummus, guacamole and jerk chicken.
To celebrate their 25th anniversary, HOTHOUSE Restaurant & Bar has undergone a significant renovation to its restaurant and patio. The restaurant boasts brand new décor, a fully functioning boardroom with Wi-Fi, HD screen and whiteboard, and a signature plant wall. HOTHOUSE’s summer menu features international flavours and the restaurant will host events.
This summer, the Grand Bizarre will host the Bizarre Beach Club Night Market. Beginning on June 15 and continuing every Saturday night, the Night Market will feature an array of food vendors and live entertainment on its 40,000 square foot patio.
The people behind BlueBlood Steakhouse and Cibo Wine Bar have opened a new nightclub near Kind and Spadina. Arcane Bar features a lounge and nightclub area with a design inspired by a fusion of baroque elegance and modern sophistication. It also has a 2,000 square foot patio for a cool oasis after a night of dancing.
EXHIBITS & ATTRACTIONS
Canada’s Wonderland is home to an all-new, record-breaking coaster, the Yukon Striker. This 90-degree drop coaster drops 245 feet into an underwater tunnel. The coaster is the world’s tallest, longest and fastest dive coaster. On Canada Day, Wonderland will host Celebration Canada. This event will showcase a fireworks display, a Flying Frontenacs stunt and dive show, Tundra: A Cirque Experience and Starlight Spectacular. Before the festivities begin, park-goers can explore the parks all new gold-rush themed attractions area Frontier Canada. This area is home to the Yukon Striker.
The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO):
The AGO has announced a new pass to make art more accessible to the public. The AGO Annual Pass allows a full year of unlimited access to the AGO collections and all special exhibitions for just $35. In addition to this new offer, the AGO announced all visitors under 25 are free all year at any time. AGO All Hours will always be free for Annual Pass holders and visitors under 25.
The Toronto Zoo:
The Toronto Zoo has announced an all-new Wild Encounters program that takes guests behind-the-scenes and up-close with some of the zoo animals. There are multiple experiences to choose from, including African penguins and polar bears, to learn more about the animals and how zookeepers care for them. The Kangaroo Walk-Thru exhibit is also reopening to the public.
This summer will also launch the zoo’s new feature exhibit, Washed Ashore –Art to Save the Sea. It’s a series of 10 installations of giant aquatic animals created entirely from plastic and other litter collected from the ocean.
The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM):
The ROM Friday Night has begun its lineup for summer events including Indigenous NOW on June 7 and Colour ROM Proud on June 14. The ROM has also announced that every third Monday night is free between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m.
The museum will also feature It’s Alive! Classic Horror and Sci-Fi Art from the Kirk Hammett Collection starting July 13. Metallica’s guitarist, Kirk Hammett, will share his large personal collection of classic horror and sci-fi movie posters.
Ontario Science Centre:
This year is the 50th anniversary of the Ontario Science Centre. To celebrate, the Ontario Science Centre is showcasing the human adventure of discovery. Summer 2019 is the Summer of Space. It will feature two new exhibitions, Astronaut and Women in Space. There will also be a screening of the IMAX film Apollo 11: First Steps Edition.
Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA):
From May 24 to July 29, the MOCA will host The Life of a Dead Tree, an evolving art installation and natural history lesson. The installation will feature a large, dead ash tree to be dissected by scientists and the public. Dissection will reveal the past and present inhabitants of the tree. Mark Dion, the artist, is a long-time environmentalist and his work confronts the connection between mankind and nature.
The Gardiner Museum is now offering unlimited admission for just $30. This offer also includes a 10 per cent discount at the Gardiner Shop and CLAY Restaurant. From May 1 to August 18, museum patrons can experience Glenn Lewis: The Poetic Process, an artistic conversation between two art forms: ceramics and photography. This exhibit will feature ceramic pots and photographs of roses taken in German and English gardens.
Explore your curiosity and forge your own path between June 3 and September 19 at The Funhouse. Discover a blend of visual arts, music and interactive tech in this new, experiential art maze inspired by local musical artists. Every experience is unique in this 14-room 1920s inter-dimensional hotel.
The Brick Bar is coming to Toronto on July 5. This pop-up, made entirely of LEGO, is the first of its kind and has over 1 million bricks. The bar is a playground for adults and will feature sculptures, ball pools and lots of extra bricks to dig into.
Eye Candy is one of Toronto’s newest Instagram pop-ups featuring immersive, multi-sensory installations to inspire creative expression in everyone. Explore a bank vault, cherry blossoms in full bloom and a larger than life slice of pizza.
The summer line-up for Mirvish will feature many beloved classics and Tony Award winning musicals. First, The Book of Mormon will have a short run at the Ed Mirvish Theatre from June 11 to 23. The Lion King will be at the Princess of Wales Theatre all summer from June 13 to August 4. Later comes Waitress at the Ed Mirvish from July 9 to August 18. And there’s still time to catch Come From Away at the Elgin Theatre and Dear Evan Hansen at the Royal Alexandra Theatre until September 29.
The National Ballet of Canada:
This summer, The National Ballet will showcase The Merry Widow from June 19 to 23. The Merry Widow, a romantic-comedy ballet, is a fan favourite at The National Ballet whenever it runs.
Toronto Symphony Orchestra:
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has a full line-up of talented acts for the summer including Brahms Symphony 4 by German conductor Karl Heinz Steffens on June 5, 6 and 8. Principal Pops conductor Steven Reineke will end the 2018/19 Pops series and perform modern Broadway hits and classics from award winning shows like The Book of Mormon, Once, The Last Five Years and Little Shop of Horrors on June 10, 11 and 12.
The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Toronto Youth Choir & the Toronto Children’s Chorus will perform Carmina Burana on June 19 to 23. On June 28, 29 & 30, Gustavo Gimeno will conduct Firebird, a concert based on a fairytale inspired ballet.
The Rec Room:
On June 16, The Rec Room will host mentalist pair Beyond Mental Borders’ new stage show Connection. Melissa Ronson and Armand Anthony promise to deliver a Las Vegas-style magic show for their audience.
At the end of the summer, Budweiser Stage will host the main composer for HBO’s recently concluded show Game of Thrones. The composer, Ramin Djawadi, will conduct an 80-piece orchestra in the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience on September 6.
In honour of their 10th anniversary, The Tour Guys will bring back the Waterfront Tour and starting the “Fact or Fiction” Ghost Tour early by popular demand. The Tour Guys run seven free tours a day, seven days a week.
Toronto Urban Adventures has two new tours for the summer. The first is the New York Times Journeys: Cool Toronto, a tour of Queen Street West. This tour dives into what makes a neighbourhood cool and what happens to the local economy and culture once word gets out. The second tour offered by Toronto Urban Adventures is the Canadian Food at the St Lawrence Market. This tour explores what Canadian food is and includes tastes of butter tarts, peameal bacon and maple treats.
The Local Vibe Tours has announced a new food tour for the summer called “Eat the World on East Danforth”. It is a three hour walking tour along one of Toronto’s up-and-coming communities. Guides will take groups on a two km walk to five restaurants with international cuisines from Africa, South America, Europe, South Asia and the West Indies.
FESTIVALS & EVENTS
North by Northeast (NXNE) is back June 7 to 16 for its 25th anniversary. This annual music and gaming festival celebrates community and new music with showcases, panels, parties, installations and concerts. This year will feature more curators and club shows and an expanded Festival Village with four stages. Wristbands for NXNE Club Land Curator Series will be available for $29, the same as the original 1995 price.
On June 7 to 23, the Luminato Festival will host the North American premier of the multisensory installation House of Mirrors. This festival dedicated to performance, media and visual arts has a fresh line-up for 2019. Also check out Monday Nights, an interactive basketball and theatre experience.
The Water Lantern Festival, a unique new experience, is coming to the shoreline of Port Credit, Mississauga on August 10. Tickets for this family-friendly event will get you entry into the festival area, a floating lantern, commemorative bag and a marker. To ensure sustainability, all lanterns are 100 per cent biodegradable and will be cleaned up by staff after the event.
Woodbine Race track will host the 160th Queen’s Plate Festival. The Queen’s Plate is Canada’s oldest thoroughbred horse race and longest continuously run race in North America. On June 28 and 29, Toronto’s best-dressed will come out to enjoy the races, live music by JUNO Award winning band The Washboard Union, gaming areas, food and drink.
Every three years, the Redpath Waterfront Festival welcomes a fleet of tall ships to Toronto’s shore. The festival, presented by Billy Bishop Airport on June 29 to July 1, gives everyone the opportunity to climb onboard for deck tours. The festival will also welcome the Canadian Coast Guard for the first time.
Starting on July 7 and returning every Sunday for the rest of the summer, the Bentway will be hosting block parties. The first event of the Sunday Social Series, the Bentway Block Party, will feature a family-friendly day of installations, musical acts, games, food and drink.
Presented by The Toronto Caribbean Carnival, Beyond the Mas is a new event at the Riviera Banquet Hall to replace the Carnival Gala and bring a new twist to the festival lineup. On July 26, the event will present traditional carnival satire through masquerade and will feature dance, entertainment and live performances. Prizes for the best costume will be handed out.
This year’s Jazz Festival will be bigger than ever. Bloor Street will be completely shut down for the first time for a free opening weekend celebration of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival and Cumberland Street will close down for the entire festival. On June 21 to 30, performers including the Downchild Blues Band with special guest Dan Aykroyd, Shad, Shirley Caesar, Diana Ross, Nora Jones and Tower of Power will take over the streets of Toronto.
High-quality yet inexpensive Japanese home goods store MUJI is opening an outlet pop-up store close to its flagship store at The Atrium on Bay.
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ABOUT TOURISM TORONTO
Tourism Toronto is the official destination marketing organization for the region, “Canada’s Downtown” – encompassing Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton. With sales and marketing programs in key markets around the world, Tourism Toronto promotes the Toronto region as a remarkable destination for tourists, convention delegates and business travelers. Tourism Toronto operates in partnership with the Greater Toronto Hotel Association and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. For more information please visit SeeTorontoNow.com.
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