Summer coming to an end might be immanent, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to slow down in September. In fact, it’s pretty easy to keep your summer momentum going through the end of the month with the wide range of activities and events happening all over the city. There’s something for everyone going on in September, from beer-focused events to film to art, music and food. Here are 10 of the best September events happening in Toronto.
1. CNE (until September 5)
Early September in Toronto is synonymous with one thing in particular: The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE). On until September 5, a trip to the CNE means you have your pick of games, rides of all kinds (whether you want thrills of something you can ride with the kids), live performances, a casino, bars and restaurants, parades, talent shows, concerts and food, glorious food. So no matter how many times you’ve been or how many times you go before it’s over, you’re bound to find something different to see, do or eat each time.
2. Buskerfest (September 2-5)
Make your way to Woodbine Park for one of the most entertaining September events in Toronto: Toronto International Buskerfest, happening in support of Epilepsy Toronto. Buskerfest began in 2000 and has since grown into one of the biggest street performance festivals in the world. You’ll have the chance to see over 100 performers including everyone from mimes and magicians, to clowns, contortionists, acrobats and so much more. Admission is by donation to Epilepsy Toronto.
3. Toronto International Film Festival (September 8-18)
Get ready for a slew of A-list stars to descend on Toronto once again for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), one of the biggest and best film festivals in the world. For 10 days a mind-boggling array of films will be screened, from world premieres filled with big-name celebrities, to smaller independent movies, to potential award season contenders. Individual tickets go on sale September 4 but there are a variety of ways to purchase tickets and see films, depending on what you’re intertsted in.
4. Craft Brew Cruise (September 10)
If you like beer and you also like being on a boat, you’ll love the Craft Brew Cruise, happening September 10 as part of Toronto Beer Week. Choose from two sailings (one at 2 p.m. and one at 7 p.m.) during which you’ll get a three-hour tour while having the chance to sample a variety of craft beers. The $45 ticket price gets you a commemorative sample mug as well as four sample tokens. Samples are 4oz and once you use up the first four, you can buy more for $1 each. Some of the breweries aboard the boat will include Longslice, Oat House, Big Rig, Side Launch, Old Tomorrow and Collingwood to name a few.
5. Veg Food Fest (September 9-11)
Get ready to veg out at Harbourfront Centre September 9 to 11 for the annual Veg Food Fest. This is a great fest to attend if you’re toying with the idea of going meat-free, or if you’re new to vegetarianism. But it’s also fun and informative if you’ve already been meat-free for years. There are samples galore, the chance to buy a wide array of veggie meals from on-site food vendors like King’s Café and Chic Peas, workshops, lectures, music, fitness classes, panel discussions and more. Not only will you get to fill up on delicious vegetarian food, you’ll get to learn a lot, shop and meet interesting people.
6. In/Future (September 15-25)
Art Spin, in collaboration with the Small World Music Festival, will be presenting in/future September 15-25 at the west island of Ontario Place. Billed as a “transformative art experience”, the 11-day event will encompass both art and music including projects by over 60 visual artists and over 40 world music artists. You can also expect film and video presentations, food and drink vendors, a lecture series and kids’ programming for a well-rounded cultural experience in the city.
7. Toronto Beer Week (September 16-24)
In addition to the aforementioned Craft Brew Cruise, Toronto Beer Week offers a lot more in the way of beer-focused events and programming. All of the beer-centric fun is happening at 70 participating bars and restaurants throughout the city and will involve over 100 event featuring 35 craft breweries. Events range from beer tastings and tap takeovers, to pub crawls, beer dinners and beer festivals. The week is a good chance to learn more about craft beers from some of the best local craft brewers.
8. Toronto Garlic Festival (September 18)
Garlic fans have a festival to call their own in Toronto with the Toronto Garlic Festival, happening on September 18 at Artscape Wychwood Barns. More than 20 local farmers will be selling heirloom garlic, while local chefs will be cooking with it. If that wasn’t enough to entice you, there will be workshops and demonstrations to inspire your own garlic-infused cooking, as well as various garlic-focused activities, craft beer and wine and food vendors.
9. Word on the Street (September 25)
Canada’s largest free outdoor book and magazine festival is back on September 25, taking place at Harbourfront Centre. The celebration of Canadian literature began in 1990 and continues to draw more and more book and magazine lovers from across the country. The jam-packed day will include 200 Canadian authors, 133 events, 16 stages and 265 vendors. Whether you’re looking to simply shop for some new reading material, meet a favourite author, or attend a lecture on reading or writing, there’s more than enough happening to keep you busy.
10. Toronto Octoberfest (September 30 & October 1)
Ontario Place will be playing host to Toronto Oktoberfest happening September 30 and October first this fall. Started in 2012, Toronto Oktoberfest is the first Bavarian-style Oktoberfest in the city. This is where to go to feel like you’ve gone to Munich for the day without actually leaving Toronto. The two-day event celebrates the food, drink, music and dance of Bavarian culture which of course includes a lot of German beer and traditional foods.