April is a busy month in Toronto and not just because people are excited for spring weather to arrive. April is also a month where Toronto gets inundated with various events throughout the city. From food and drink-focused fun to film festivals, there’s a lot going on this month. Here is a list of the top 10 April events to check out in Toronto.
1. Cottage Life Show (April 1-3)
Cottage season will be here before you know it – be ready with a trip to this year’s Cottage Life Show, the 23rd annual edition of the get-summer-ready event. Check out more than 550 exhibitors showcasing everything you need to get your cottage in tip-top shape, including builders, contractors, water toys, décor items and entertaining solutions among other useful tools, tips and products. In addition to exhibitors there will also be an outdoor fun zone, family activity centre, model cottage, a tree planting zone, speakers and a wildlife centre.
2. Gin-A-Palooza (April 6-20)
Fans of gin rejoice – there’s a festival that celebrates your booze of choice. The second annual gin-focused event is happening across four Canadian cities including Toronto and involves 10 of the city’s restaurants and bars creating unique signature gin-based cocktails of which there will be 30 to sample in Toronto. You can pick up a “G-Pass” at any participating venue and then get it stamped for every gin cocktail you try. Venues taking part in this year’s event include Montauk, Peter Pan, Thompson Toronto, Civil Liberties and Rush Lane among others.
3. Toronto Life’s Best Restaurants (April 7)
Once again Toronto Life is putting together an event that celebrates some of the best restaurants in the city. The restaurants being showcased are those that the magazine featured in its annual “Where to Eat” issue and all the foodie fun will be taking place at the Sony Centre for Performing Arts. This event sells out fast and involves chefs from the top-rated restaurants serving up signature dishes from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Guests can also enjoy wines, spirits and craft beer to go along with the array of exceptional food on offer.
4. TIFF Kids Film Festival (April 8-24)
Toronto is home to a multitude of film festivals but this one has the distinction of being just for kids – and it also happens to be one of the largest children’s film festivals in the world. TIFF Kids will feature 100 movies from around the world as well as free activities and more for kids aged 3 to 13. Films on offer are not only meant to be entertaining to kids and parents, but also to spark discussion, present new ideas and highlight important issues in a way kids can understand.
5. Curryfest (April 9)
If you like your food with a healthy dose of spice, then you might want to consider bringing you appetite to Aga Khan Museum on April 9 for Curryfest. The food-focused event spotlights curry in all its forms and incarnations from various countries around the world and regions including Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Festivities start at 7 p.m. and the varied vendor list includes Toronto restaurants like Little Sister, Rickshaw Food, Indian Street Food Co., Pai Northern Thai Kitchen and The Gabardine among others. Bonus: everyone who buys a ticket for Curryfest can enjoy free access to the Aga Khan Museum exhibits from 6:15 pm to 7:15 pm on the day of the event.
6. Toronto Food and Drink Market (April 8-10)
Another food-focused event happening in April is the Toronto Food and Drink Market taking place at Enercare Centre at Exhibition Place (formerly the Direct Energy Centre). You’ll definitely want to bring your appetite to this one since there will be food to sample and buy. Visitors will also have the chance to learn about food through various demos and tutored tastings as well as fill up at Food Truck Alley, which showcases some of the newest and best food trucks in Toronto.
7. TD Story Jam (April 9-10)
Harbourfront Centre will be hosting TD Story Jam, co-produced with Storytelling Toronto. The two-day event happening April 9 and 10 is part of the Toronto Storytelling Festival and features a series of storytellers from a variety of cultures, backgrounds and with unique life experiences and is ideal for storytelling fans of all ages. Highlights include a storytelling picnic (where teddy bears are welcome), concerts and a talking stick workshop.
8. Fashion Art Toronto (April 12-16)
Fashion Art Toronto (FAT), will feature 200 Canadian and International fashion designers and artists and will be held at Daniels Spectrum ((formerly Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre). The theme of this year’s multifaceted fashion and arts event looks at the unique role fashion plays in constructing identity, something that will be explored over the five-day event through runway shows, short films, exhibitions, art installations, live photo shoots, photography exhibits and performances. You can check out this year’s list of designers and artists here.
9. Green Living Show (April 15-17)
Head to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre this April for the annual Green Living Show. The popular healthy living and eco event is celebrating 10 years this year and is the place to be for green living tips, products and learning opportunities. There will be fitness workshops and free fitness and yoga classes, sustainable beauty and fashion exhibitors, 20 Ontario wood artisans exhibiting handcrafted products, local food and drink to shop and sample, lectures, the chance to test drive some of the latest hybrid, electric and fuel-efficient vehicles, presentations to attend and much more.
10. Hot Docs (April 28-May 8)
North America’s largest documentary festival is back and will be showing over 200 films from Canada and around the world. Each year Hot Docs puts together a programming schedule with unique documentaries that entertain, inspire, educate and spark discussion. No matter what you’re interested or want to learn more about there will likely be a film or several films that you’ll want to add to your list. Subject matter runs the gamut from religion and families, to activism, health, culture and education.