Fall is a short but sweet season in Toronto. We have but a slim window between the sweltering heat of summer and the wind chill winter brings with it, but there are many ways to take advantage of autumn in the city. Whether you are participating in of one of the many events and activities happening during the fall in Toronto, going apple or pumpkin picking, or finding somewhere to catch sight of the fall foliage, there’s plenty to add to your fall must-do list in the city.
If you’re looking for something to do between now and the end of November, here are 10 things to put on your fall bucket list in Toronto.
Apple picking (September to mid-October)
Fall is the time to take advantage of going to pick-your-own farms for a bushel of apples. There are plenty of places in and around Toronto to stock up on apples of all kinds including Downey’s Strawberry & Apple Farm in Caledon where you can choose from 13 popular varieties of apples. Dixie Orchards is another good option with 20+ varietals of apples. Take a hayride through the orchard to check some of them out. Pick apples and pears at Carl Laidlaw Orchards where you can also take a wagon ride and shop the barn market.
Soupalicious Toronto (November 4)
What better time than fall to start refocusing our culinary attention on soup? You can warm up with a steaming bowl on Sunday, November 4 at Artscape Wychwood Barns when the eleventh annual Soupalicious rolls into town. A variety of delicious soups will be available to sample courtesy of local chefs, restaurants and caterers and proceeds will go towards Plant a Row – Grow a Row, a charity wherein participants (whether groups or individual) plant, grow and harvest an extra row of specific vegetables for local food banks and soup kitchens.
Nuit Blanche (September 29)
Nuit Blanche, the all-night contemporary art extravaganza, is back once again, giving you the chance to explore various neighbourhoods in Toronto while also checking out close to 75 art projects by more than 300 artists, both local and international. You can scope out art projects in a few areas across the city including Nathan Phillips Square/City Hall; along John Street between Dundas and Front Street; along Bay Street from Dundas to Front Street; and along the waterfront, between Bay Street and Harbourfront Centre. The event goes from sunset to sunrise.
Leaves changing (ongoing)
Watching the leaves change colour from green into a colourful canopy of red, orange and ochre is one of the best things about the fall season. You can head north of the city to see the real show, but there are also plenty of places in Toronto to get a good look at the fall colours, including High Park, Rouge Park, Scarborough Bluffs and Leslie Street Spit.
Cask Days (October 19-21)
Beer fans, especially fans of cask ale, have something to look forward to this fall in the form of Cask Days, happening October 19-21 at Evergreen Brick Works. The cask-conditioned beer festival will involve over 400 casks and more than 200 beers and ciders. If you’re wondering what, exactly, cask-ale is, it’s unfiltered, unpasteurized, naturally carbonated ale. And once it’s tapped, the beer is best consumed in two to three days. Breweries and cider producers from across Canada and the United States will be participating and there will also be food and music on site courtesy of local DJs, as well as a temporary gallery space inside the festival showcasing the best in beer label and design.
International Festival of Authors (October 18-28)
Should you be on the lookout for new reading material, you might just find some inspiration at the International Festival of Authors happening October 18 to 28 at Harbourfront Center. The fest got its start in 1974 and in that time has seen 9,000 authors from over 100 countries participate. Over the 11-day event you can expect author readings, interviews, panels, lectures, book signings and more. There will be over 200 participants representing a wide range of genre, from fiction to memoirs to graphic novels.
Toronto Chocolate Festival (October 1-30)
Calling all chocoholics. The 13th annual Toronto Chocolate Festival is back to celebrate all things chocolate, so if you have a sweet tooth you might what to think about making time for this one. Started in 2005, the multi-day, city-wide festival aims to incorporate as many chocolate-centric events as possible including a chocolate-infused full-course dinner, chocolate afternoon tea and Chocolicious, wherein participating venues offer coupons for discounted treats.
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (November 2-11)
It’s a fall tradition for many people in Toronto to make a visit to the annual Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, happening at Exhibition Place. The largest combined indoor agricultural fair and international equestrian competition in the world encompasses quite a lot, which makes it such a long-running event in Toronto. People make the trip for a variety of reasons, including the horse show, agricultural competitions, wine competition, butter sculpting, live music, food demos featuring local chefs and much more.
The Toronto Christmas Market (November 15-December 23)
Just on the precipice between fall and winter comes the annual Toronto Christmas Market held at the historic Distillery District. This mega-popular event draws enthusiastic crowds ready to embrace the holiday spirit and the event itself is pretty magical. Twinkle lights and massive decorated trees let you know you’re in the right place as you make your way towards and through various vendors selling crafts, beer gardens where you can have a pint or warm up with a hot toddie, or stages with live entertainment. It’s a one-stop shop for all things festive, but note that things get really crowded on weekends.
One of a Kind Christmas Show & Sale (November 22-December 2)
Get all of your holiday shopping done early and all in one place at this year's One of a Kind Christmas Show and Sale. The annual artisan fair happens at the Enercare Centre at Exhibition Place and you can expect a wide selection of handmade and locally-made items up for grabs, ranging from unique fashion and home decor finds, to bath and body care, art, ceramics, accessories, food and more.