Temperatures can be low in Toronto in November, and it often rains or snows, but the atmosphere is very pleasant, with many special events taking place this time of year. From somber events like Remembrance Day to celebrations like the Santa Claus Parade or the Winter Magic Festival, November in Toronto creates magical atmosphere and makes you look forward to the arriving winter. We’ve picked up some of Toronto’s best November events. Here’s our selection.
Where: Hotel Ocho, 195 Spadina Ave
When: November 1–November 3
The four floors of Hotel Ocho in Toronto will host a three-day games and interactive media event packed with inspiring talks, panels, presentations, game-play sessions, demos, films, game jamming, and arcades. Besides seeing and playing some of the newest and coolest video games, attendees of the festival will learn a lot of interesting information about design and innovation in digital, interactive, and game media. The festival welcomes game developers, designers, digital creatives, artists, and of course video game fans. If you want to try the new Sony PlayStation 4, then you should not miss this great opportunity.
The price for the arcade is $15 for adults, while the evening talks Salon Series costs $50 altogether and an all-access pass is $199. You can buy tickets either online or at the door.
Where: Exhibition Place
When: November 1–November 10
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the largest indoor combined agricultural, horticultural, dog, and equestrian competition in the world. The fair encompasses over 1 million square feet of displays and competition facilities where you can find entertainment for the whole family — including horse shows, agricultural shows, Superdogs, and rodeos. Plus, the show offers more than 300 vendors with delicious homemade local food. Each year, more than 300,000 people visit the event, which substantially contributes to the economy of the City of Toronto as well as the Province of Ontario. Admission for adults is $20, and you can purchase your tickets here.
Where: 292 Brunswick Avenue
When: November 6–November 9
The 416 Toronto Creative Improvisers Festival features some of the finest local as well as visiting improvising musicians in a celebration of music-making on a tightrope. The creative improvised music scene in Toronto has a lot to offer, as this festival proves every year. This vibrant music event includes a variety of styles created by spontaneous artists during their performances. In addition to the music, the festival showcases drawings, graphics, and objects. Visit the festival and experience Toronto blooming with creativity during the four nights of celebration. Admission is $7, and the program starts each day at 10:00 PM.
When: November 14–November 17
Held at the North Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Building, the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo offers a unique opportunity to try more than 1,500 fine wines, spirits, and beers from all around the world. The expo offers many special features, such as the Food Network Stage with celebrity chef Roger Mooking, Spiritology Pavilion, Cheese Stage, Fine Wine & InterVin Tasting Lounge, Moulin Tag Vodka Lounge, and much more. It combines a top-notch cocktail party with educational opportunities and compelling showcases. Admission varies from $20 to $161.59, and you can find tickets either online or at 5 Dundas Street East.
Where: Uxbridge Train Station
When: November 16 –December 15
Each year, Santa visits the York-Durham Heritage Railway with goodie bags for all passengers. Each trip lasts approximately one hour and provides onboard entertainment for children of all ages. It starts at the Uxbridge Train Station in the northeastern GTA, where you can enjoy a cup of hot chocolate while you wait for this magical journey. The number of seats is limited, so you should be quick and reserve a seat early. Tickets are $20, and the train departs from Uxbridge at 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM.
Where: Christie Pits
When: November 17
Santa Claus by Richard Pilon
The Santa Claus Parade has been a cherished Toronto tradition since 1905. It’s a world-class spectacle with fantastic floats accompanied by two dozen marching bands, a couple thousand costumed participants, and thousands of excited kids. This year, the parade introduces the first annual Holly Jolly Fun Run, which starts at noon on the day of the parade and takes the same route. Take your family and enjoy the more than 100-year-old tradition of welcoming Santa.
When: November 22–November 24
This celebration of the holiday season brings together more than 200 vendors showcasing everything ranging from holiday décor and unique gifts to the most entertaining Christmas ideas and products. Besides the shopping, visitors can look forward to inspiring presentations of celebrity experts from the culinary and décor fields as well as a series of workshops from different exhibitors. The program is packed with entertaining activities and features like Cheese Sampling Seminars, a Celebrity Raffle, a Celebrity Champagne Brunch, a tour of the season’s best décor at Poinsettia Park, and much more. Regular admission is $15 ($13 if you buy tickets online), and the Celebrity Champagne Brunch costs $50.
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square
When: November 23
The annual KidzFest continues in the seventh season of Winter Magic with free entertainment, rides, and activities for kids of all ages and their families. The community-driven festival brings the unique atmosphere of winter festivities right into the heart of Toronto. This year, kids can look forward to meeting and greeting Rapunzel, characters from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, The WotWots, SpongeBob SquarePants, Chuck the Dump Truck, and Santa! Bring your whole family and take part in the many entertaining activities or enjoy a carousel ride. Admission is free and the program starts at 11:00 AM.
Where: Harbourfront Centre
When: November 23–November 24
The Swedish Christmas Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary at the Harbourfront Centre. There will be two shows each day, including the well-known Lucia pageant, traditional folk dancing, and a special magical show. Guests can look forward to hearing traditional Swedish Christmas carols, buying traditional gifts, enjoying Swedish food, glögg, and much more. Kids can participate in Christmas workshops, where they can learn Swedish crafts and dance around a Christmas tree. Admission is free, and the festival starts at 11:00 AM.
Where: Exhibition Place
When: November 28–December 8
A tradition since 1975, the One of a Kind Christmas Show is the largest consumer craft show in North America. The show features handmade works of more than 800 artists, artisans, designers, and craftspeople and provides a unique opportunity to purchase original handcrafted items. All the items presented at the show are created by Canadian or American artisans. The show includes many special features, such as One of a Kind Flavours, One of a Kind Fashion District, and an exclusive gift-wrapping service provided by Scotch Tape. You can buy tickets either online ($12) or at the door ($14).
Where: Distillery Historic District
When: November 29–December 15
Lowe’s Toronto Christmas Market is a traditional celebration of magical Christmas featuring hundreds of unique and local handcrafted products. This charming and family-friendly event includes music, carollers, children’s choirs, Santa’s Children Workshops, and Santa himself. The Distillery District will fill with Christmas spirit and joy — so bring your whole family and enjoy all the special treats, and maybe buy some Christmas presents as well. There is no admission fee, and the program starts at noon (Monday to Friday) or 10:00 AM (weekends).
Where: Nathan Philips Square
When: November 30
Cavalcade of Lights by Owen Byrne
The annual celebration of the holiday season with the lighting of Toronto’s official Christmas tree will take place on Saturday, November 30, at Nathan Phillips Square. This 47th year will feature live musical performances as well as a spectacular fireworks display. The evening starts at 7:00 PM. There’s a lot to look forward to, so join the city-wide celebration and kick off the holiday season right.