Whether you call it the 6ix, T-dot or just plain T.O., Toronto’s popularity is hard to ignore. If you’re lucky enough to also call it home, you can celebrate Toronto’s 182nd birthday (the big day is March 6) this weekend with art, live music, comedy, and more.
Luca Greco, a second year psychology student, told Humber News he can’t wait to celebrate the city he loves for its energy.
“I love the atmosphere, how busy it is, and there’s always something happening. It’s been especially hyped recently – the Raptors are winning, Drake’s always downtown, so it’s pretty great,” said Greco.
Here are six ways to wish Toronto a happy birthday!
1. Raise a glass
Celebrate Toronto is organization that describes itself as “a celebration of the city’s fundamental past, the evolving present and its promising future.” The organization hosts an annual birthday party for the city and runs pop-up art and photography exhibitions throughout the year.
The annual birthday bash will be held March 5 at 7pm at the Steam Whistle Brewery (255 Bremner Blvd). The party brings together more than 30 Toronto artists, performers and vendors, complete with a midnight countdown to the city’s actual birthday on Sunday March 6.
Micayla Doria, CEO and Founder of Celebrate Toronto, told Humber News that the idea for the festival was born of a realization that nothing like it existed.
“It was founded in 2013 and it was a ‘breakfast’ idea – I woke up one morning and realized it’s the one thing that Toronto’s missing. Toronto had every type of festival but there was nobody really celebrating the city just for itself,” said Doria.
“It’s a big, collaborative love movement with the city, fellow artists, Toronto entertainers, musicians, and vendors.”
2. Enjoy some art
CBC Toronto is throwing a three-day birthday party in Yonge-Dundas Square to celebrate the big day. Festivities kick off today with Mayor John Tory, CBC Toronto News hosts Anne-Marie Mediwake and Dwight Drummond and Metro Morning’s Matt Galloway unveiling “Art in the 6ix” between 12 noon and 2 p.m. The party continues throughout the weekend with live music, art installations, cupcakes, hot chocolate, and giveaways. Bonus: it’s all free.
Friday, March 4: 11am to 7pm
Saturday, March 5: 10am to 6pm
Sunday, March 6: 10am to 6pm
3. Do a little vintage shopping
The Toronto Vintage Clothing Show takes over the Exhibition grounds this weekend with a sprawling collection of curated vintage clothing, accessories, and yes, designer purses for sale. Chanel and Fendi and Dior, oh my!
Cambridge’s Fashion History Museum will be at the event selling 10,000 pieces of excess inventory from their regular museum collection. The Ian Drummond Collection will also have some eighties gear from a private collection up for grabs. If you’re a vintage enthusiastic with a taste for exclusive things, this is, as the kids say, #VeryRare.
The show takes place on March 5 from 10 am to 5 pm and March 6 from 10 am to 4 pm in the Queen Elizabeth Building at Exhibition Place (180 Princes Blvd.) Admission is $10.
4. Celebrate Irish-Canadian film
The Toronto Irish Film Festival (TIRFF) kicks off this weekend at TIFF Bell Lightbox for the sixth consecutive year. Irish eyes will be smiling as TIRFF promotes the work of Irish filmmakers, kicking off a month-long lead up to St. Patrick’s Day with decidedly more tasteful fare than green beer.
5. Take in some live music
Torontonians are lucky to have their pick of live music shows most weekends and this one is no exception. Fans can catch R&B up-and-comer Tinashe at the Phoenix tonight (8pm, 410 Sherbourne Street) while Montreal electro-pop duo Milk & Bone bring their mellow sound to Lee’s Palace on Saturday March 5 (8:30pm, 529 Bloor St. West).
Dream pop duo Beach House are following up with two hit albums this past year by playing two nights at the Danforth Music Hall (Saturday March 5 and Sunday March 6, 7pm, 147 Danforth Ave.). If you weren’t lucky enough to snag a ticket, you can try their recently announced intimate “installation show” tonight.
6. Enjoy a good LOL
From March 3 to 13, the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival will have live, scripted comedy shows by comedians from all over Canada hosted in venues all over the 6ix, so you can LOL your way through the city you love this weekend.
It’s only fitting that in a city celebrated for its diversity, there is something for everybody.