The Best October Events in Toronto

Some of the best events happening in Toronto in October

It’s official, fall is here (whether we like it or not) and it’s time to get ready for a new season and embrace the start of autumn. October in the city is a busy month, with Thanksgiving and Halloween happening, but there’s also quite a few other things going on. This month you have your pick of events involving art, movies, beer, comedy and more so there should be no trouble finding something that piques your interest in October in Toronto.

  • 01 of 10

    Smoke’s Poutinerie World Poutine Eating Championship (October 14)

    Poutine from Smoke's Poutinerie. Image courtesy

    Get ready for some serious gluttony on October 14 with the eighth annual event dedicated to trying to cram as much poutine into your mouth as possible. Yonge-Dundas Square will play host to what is the world’s largest poutine eating competition and the second largest professional eating competition in the world. That’s a lot of cheese curds, fries and gravy. If you’re not participating, you can still watch the action, as well as enjoy live entertainment, interactive games and of course, some free poutine. 

  • 02 of 10

    Study and Go Abroad Fair (October 1)

    Student abroad.

    Thinking of hopping a plane and going abroad to either work, study or volunteer? Then the Study and Go Abroad Fair is for you. Canada’s largest international university and student travel expo offers the chance to check out universities and colleges from around the world, as well as travel options such as volunteering, language travel, internships and work abroad programs, depending on what type of opportunity you’re looking for. 

  • 03 of 10

    Toronto After Dark (October 12-20)

    Poster for Toronto After Dark Film Festival. Image courtesy

     Since October is Halloween month, it makes sense that the annual After Dark Film Festival takes place during the lead-up to everyone’s favourite spooky holiday. The acclaimed festival is one of the world’s leading showcases of new horror, sci-fi, action and cult movies and each year you have the chance to catch upwards of 50 feature films and shorts. All the viewing action takes place at the Scotiabank Theatre and in addition to the many films on offer you can also expect Q&As with filmmakers and other events including the popular zombie-themed night.

  • 04 of 10

    Big City Improv Festival (October 13-21)

    Comedy fans, and especially fans of improv, should mark their calendars for the annual Big City Improv Festival happening October 13 to 21. Canada’s largest improv showcase features performers from across North America and while this year’s lineup has yet to be announced, past performers have included Scott Adsit, John Lutz, Holly Laurent, Scott Thompson and Colin Mochrie to name just a few. Venues for the festival include Comedy Bar and Bad Dog Theatre, both conveniently close to Ossington Subway station. 

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Pancakes and Booze Art Show (October 14)

    Poster for this year's Pancakes & Booze Art Show.

    What do you get when you combine pancakes, booze and art? You get the Pancakes and Booze Art Show, where you can also imbibe while eating breakfast food. Established in 2009, the pop-up show happens all across North America. The Toronto show takes place October 14 at the Opera House and will feature over 80 emerging artists, live music, live audio and visual performances, live body painting, DJ sets and free pancakes - all for a cover charge of $15. The event is 19+ and all the fun happens between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. 

  • 06 of 10

    Pedestrian Sunday (October 29)

    Scene from Pedestrian Sunday in Kensington Market. Image courtesy

    October 29 marks the last Pedestrian Sunday in Kensington Market for the season, so if you’ve yet to experience one, or haven’t been since the beginning of the summer, now is your chance to spend some quality time in Kensington. Enjoy the market without worrying about dodging cars and have a fun day filled with great food, street performers, live music and more throughout the market’s streets. Do some shopping, snack on delicious foods and enjoy the entertainment from noon to 7 p.m.

  • 07 of 10

    Art Toronto (October 27-30)

    Art Toronto. Image courtesy

    Art Toronto, Canada’s international contemporary and modern art fair, was founded in 2000 and it will be back again at the end of the month at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, featuring artwork from leading Canadian and international galleries. This year is the 18th addition of the fair and will present 95 galleries from 8 countries and 29 cities. There will be 87 returning galleries represented and 10 new galleries. The fair will also include speakers, art tours and site-specific projects.

  • 08 of 10

    Cask Days (October 20-22)

    Scene from Cask Days 2016.

    This festival, happening October 20 to 22 at Evergreen Brick Works, will feature over 400 beers and ciders and 200 brewers over three days of beer-focused fun. Cask-conditioned ale is unfiltered, unpasteurized, naturally carbonated beer that ferments in the barrel until it's almost time to be poured. Keep an eye on the website for the list of this year's brewers. There will also music to keep you entertained as you sample beers and food vendors if you get hungry.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Fall Cottage Life Show (October 20-22)

    Scene from the 2016 Cottage Life Show.

    Cottage season might be over for another year, but why not get a jump on next season with a visit to the Fall Cottage Life Show? Taking place at the International Centre, this year is the 14th edition of the annual show and will feature over 225 exhibitors to inspire your cottage planning for 2018. There will also be presentations and workshops if you're looking for cottage-related tips and advice. 

  • 10 of 10

    Reelworld Film Festival (October 11-15)

    If you're looking to watch films that spark discussion about social issues, Reelworld Film Festival is well worth checking out in October. Founded in 2001 by Tonya Williams, the unique festival showcases Canadian and International films that delve into some important issues facing the world today. You can expect feature films, shorts, documentaries, music videos and even virtual reality films.