Must-see January events in Toronto

December 27, 2017

by Jenn Reid
Last Updated December 12, 2017

It’s a new year and a new chance to explore the city! Don’t let the short days and cold weather get you down, January is full of fun events that will keep you warm and light up the night. Check out dance performances, theatre events, festivals, art exhibits and more this month in Toronto. [Photo courtesy of Monster Jam]

Must-see January events in Toronto

Long Winter
Long Winter is a monthly event series with music and art, meant to chase those winter blues away! January’s lineup is still to be announced, but expect lots of local artists and musicians sharing the stage.

Shen Yun
Shen Yun is back in Toronto this month! The show is a spectacle of Chinese dance, including folk and interpretive dancing, with an orchestra providing the music. The dancers wear historically accurate costumes of ancient China, and the elaborate sets are reminiscent of that distant time.

Next Stage Festival
The Next Stage Festival is a chance to check out brand new plays and shows from some unique artists and storytellers. Toronto Fringe assembles the show, calling on previous Fringe artists to create and workshop new art for the city to enjoy. There’s drama, comedy, improv, dance and more.

New Year’s Resolutions at Hot Docs
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Travel, exercise, use less technology? Hot Docs has a series of documentaries to help keep you motivated and informed for your resolution, from docs about training for marathons to living happy and traveling the world.

Bentway Skate Trail Opening 
The Bentway Skate Trail is a new skating rink below the Gardiner, and they’re hosting an opening weekend skate party! There’s musical performances from Charmie Deller and Carmen Braden, breakdance ice skating from the Toronto Ice Skate Group, plus art installations, DJs, music and more. There’s also a family-friendly skate party with Mayor John Tory, with complimentary skate rentals and hot chocolate.

Canada’s Top 10 Film Festival
TIFF celebrates the best in Canadian film from the previous year each January. Catch screenings and Q&As from the best Canadian movies that came out in 2017, including documentary Our People Will Be Healed, animation If I Fall and romantic drama Allure. Ruch tickets area available to sold-out screenings.

Monster Jam 
Monster Jam is celebrating its 25 anniversary this year! Watch some of the biggest and most iconic monster trucks race and jump around the Rogers Centre, including Grave Digger, El Toro Loco, Monster Mutt and more.

Ice Breakers 
Winter Stations brings art installations to Woodbine Beach each winter, but before it gets started there’s an Ice Breaker. Ice Breakers is a five-piece installation that will take place along the waterfront near Lower Spadina and Lower York. Artists will create unique installations based on the theme “constellation,” which will be on display for five weeks.

Toronto Light Festival 
The Toronto Light Festival lights up the Distillery District in these dark winter months! The neighbourhood will have light installations, both indoor and outdoor, to decorate the area.

What is January without Winterlicious? The annual prix-fixe dining event is back to get us through this cold and blustery winter. Some of the best restaurants across Toronto are offering unique and affordable three-course menus for lunch and dinner. Try anything from high-end French restaurants to Spanish tapas, Mexican, Iranian or barbecue. Book your reservations ASAP!

Toronto Boat Show
It’s not quite ‘hit-the-lake’ time yet, but get into the spirit with the Toronto Boat Show! Whether you’re an avid boater or someone who dreams of summers on the water, head to the Enercare Centre to check out vendors, exhibitors, boats (obviously) and water activities on the indoor lake. Start planning cottage season now!

Toronto Design Offsite Festival
If you’re into art, architecture, interior design or just looking at pretty things, you’re going to want to check out the TODO Fest. The week-long festival has different exhibits, talks and lectures from artists, window installations at buildings across the city and more.

Come Up to My Room
The Gladstone Hotel’s annual design event, part of the Toronto Design Offsite Festival, lets local artists reimagine the hotel any way they chose. Artists turn bedrooms, bathrooms and hallways into mini art projects, all with a central theme. There’s also an opening night party where you can browse the art installations, enjoy drinks and snacks, and listen to live music.

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