Must-see September events in Toronto

by Jenn Reid

Summer may be over, but that doesn’t mean the fun stops! September is a busy month in Toronto, with major festivals and events taking over the city. It’s the perfect distraction from the back to school blues! Check out the top events happening in Toronto this month. [Photo courtesy of Cirque du Soleil]

Must-see September events in Toronto

TIFF
The Toronto International Film Festival is back! TIFF takes over Toronto with movie screenings, celeb sightings and all the glamour that comes from being Hollywood North. Catch screenings of star-studded films or just hang out on the red carpet, hoping to catch a glimpse of George Clooney, Matt Damon or Angelina Jolie (yes, they’re all coming this year!).

Veg Food Fest
Calling all vegetarians and vegans! The Veg Food Fest at the Harbourfront Centre is a foodie festival just for those who go meat-free. More than 140 vendors will be making tasty veggie treats, from pizza and veggie burgers to ice cream and desserts. There’s also demonstrations from chefs and health experts.

Word on the Street
Canadian literature takes centre stage at Word on the Street. The annual festival brings beloved Canadian authors to Toronto to discuss their latest works, talk about their careers and share wisdom from inside the publishing industry.

Nuit Blanche
Toronto’s biggest art event is back in September this year! All night long (7 p.m. to 7 a.m.), art installations will pop up across the city. Local and international artists contribute with works in different mediums, from traditional art like painting and photography, to grand scale works in video, light, sound and more.

Le Burger Week
Eat your way through the city’s best burgers and then crown the winner. That’s the premise of Le Burger Week, where Toronto restaurants participate with special discounted burgers. Vote at the end of the week for who has the best burgers in the city.

  • When: September 1 to 7
  • Where: various participating restaurants
  • More information

Cirque du Soleil: Volta
Volta is the latest show from Cirque to hit Toronto. The acrobatic performance is inspired by action sports this time, following the story of a gameshow host who revisits his childhood memories in an attempt to rediscover himself. But of course, Cirque du Soleil isn’t straightforward storytelling, and Volta will be more about the dizzying heights and jaw dropping spectacle.

At Home with Monsters
The AGO’s latest exhibit is bringing the work and personal art collection of director Guillermo del Toro to Toronto. Del Toro is known for his dark fantasy and horror films like Crimson Peak, Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy, and he’s amassed a large collection of props, practical effects, art, artefacts and books celebrating his influences. His personal collection has already appeared on display in LA, and the AGO is the show’s only Canadian stop!

JFL42
Just for Laughs is a Montreal fest, but luckily for us they’ve expanded! JFL42 has 42 comedy shows during the fest, with special passes where you can see a headlining act plus smaller shows of your choosing. This year’s lineup including John Mulaney, Jack Whitehall, Mike Burbiglia, Jenny Slate, Jen Kirkman and a live recording of the podcast My Favorite Murder. Some of the shows are at big venues like the Sony Centre, while others are at Second City or Yuk Yuks.

Invictus Games Closing Ceremony
Prince Harry’s Invictus Games are sort of like the Olympics, but all the athletes are veterans and soldiers. It’s also sort of like the Olympics in that is has massive opening and closing ceremonies, with musical performances. The games open with Alessia Cara and Sarah McLaughlin, but it’s the closing ceremony that will be the big showstopper. Bachman & Turner, Ryan Adams, Kelly Clarkson and Bruce Springsteen will all headline the event, where Toronto hands off the games to Sydney, Australia as the next host.

Buffer Festival
YouTubers are the new celebrities, and nothing proves that quite like Buffer Festival. Buffer is styled like a film festival, with red carpets and screenings, but for big name YouTubers to premiere new and experimental content. YouTubers from around the world attend, including Adande ‘Swoozie’ Thorne, Jon Cozart, Timothy DeLaGhetto, Melanie Murphy, Dodie Clark and Bertie Gilbert. And if you don’t recognize any of those names, try asking a teenager.

The Weeknd
Grammy Award winner, Oscar nominee, multi-platinum recording artist, Scarborough native. The Weeknd is back home this month for a Toronto stop on the Starboy tour, where he’ll play hits like “Starboy,” “I Feel It Coming,” “The Hills” and “I Can’t Feel My Face.” No word on if Selena Gomez will be in attendance.

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