Visit an orchard and pick some apples for yourself
Fall is a great time to visit Toronto and do some sightseeing. If you come at the end of October, you can enjoy one of the many Halloween festivals (the Halloween Haunt at Canada’s Wonderland is a short drive outside the city center). There’s more to fall in Toronto than Halloween festivals: From apple and pumpkin picking to film festivals; there are plenty of things to do and sights to see.
Toronto features all kinds of events for you to view or visit on a tour bus, including festivals, musicals, parades, and markets. There’s never a dull moment in this vibrant, cosmopolitan city. With this guide’s help, you can find all the fabulous events you need to put on your bucket list. Check out the list below for ideas about what to visit before fall is over, and have fun!
Legends of Horror
If you’re in a Halloween mood, there are tons of spooky events in Toronto for the choosing, including movie festivals and haunted mazes. There’s also Legends of Horror, a two-kilometre, one-hour walking tour through Casa Loma. You’ll start in the gardens before winding your way through tunnels and spaces never opened before to the public. You’ll find elaborate sets throughout the gardens and chambers, each of which depicts vignettes from classic horror movies. The tour also features over 70 actors portraying characters from classic horror movies like Dracula, the Phantom of the Opera, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. If you’re a fan of horror films, this event will provide lots of shivery fun.
Apple and Pumpkin Picking
Apple picking and finding your own pumpkin are popular fall activities for many Torontonians. Get in on the action yourself and enjoy fresh fall produce picked by your own hands. Choose a nearby farm and spend the day. Apple picking and wandering a field for the perfect jack o’lantern is a great way to exercise. Some orchards also offer products like cider, jams, and pies if you want some goodies for later. And if you’re bringing kids, some orchards also offer wagon rides and petting zoos.
Toronto really shows its true colours in the fall, with the trees turning vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows. Visit one of Toronto’s beautiful parks and enjoy the best of the autumn at your leisure. High Park (in the city’s west end) is 400 acres of “treed splendour” and boasts other attractive features (it’s close to the lakefront, has a popular restaurant, a zoo, and fantastic playgrounds) for more things to do on your visit. There are also great hiking trails throughout the park and terrific off-leash trails and “dog hill” for your pets. You can also visit some of Toronto’s older neighbourhoods with their stately tree-lined streets (The Beaches, Rosedale, or Forest Hill) to take in the city’s colourful charm.
Fall is theatre season, and you’ll find plenty of plays to watch in Toronto. If you’re in a Halloween vibe, catch the Rocky Horror Show for some musical fun with a singing, crossdressing alien. If comedy is more up your alley, there’s a production of The Producers starting in November; purchase tickets and enjoy some dark humour and great music. If you want to bring your kids to a world of pure imagination, Mary Poppins and Charlie and the Chocolate Factorystart on the 5th and 20th of November, respectively.
If you’re into film, there are a few festivals to enjoy this fall. For starters, there’s the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, which showcases features and short films by East, South, and Southeast Asian directors from all over the world. The festival also features different genres to suit your interests, from biopics to sci-fi to romance. If you want to see local and independent works, check out the Regent Park Film Festival, Toronto’s longest running free community film festival. Their films are relevant to all walks of life, and aim to show that no one has just one story.
Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
Nothing says autumn in Toronto like the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. There’s plenty to do and lots to see at the fair, including agricultural competitions, live country music, craft beer and cider awards, and butter sculpting. The biggest attraction, however, is the Royal Horse Show, featuring top-level riders and horses competing in different events. For the culinary-minded, there’s also the Burnbrae Farms Culinary Academy. Sign up and learn from Canada’s best chefs as they teach you recipes you can take home with you, and while you’re there enjoy a wide range of dining experiences to fill you up between events.
Santa Claus Parade
Mark November 18th on the calendar for this year’s Santa Claus Parade — a tradition in Toronto since 1913. Bundle up and bring the whole family downtown to see fabulous floats, marching bands, dancers, cheered on by hundreds of parade-goers getting into the holiday spirit. The parade starts at Christie Pits and ends at the St. Lawrence Market, perfect for a place to get snacks and hot chocolate afterwards. Spots at the front fill up fast, so come early.
Toronto Christmas Market
Top off your trip with a visit to the Toronto Christmas Market set in the Distillery Historic District. There’s plenty to see here if you’re looking for entertainment, activities, and shopping. Take a walking tour of the Distillery District to sample some history, or visit the Spirit of York Micro Distillery to sample some craft beverages. There are plenty of photo ops to immortalize the visit. Take a snapshot at the massive Christmas tree at this year’s market, or visit “Santa’s House” for pictures with Saint Nick. The market also features live entertainment and includes an interactive sing-along with Santa’s Elves, with daily Christmas carollers. And of course, check out the incomparable shopping and dining in this area. Stop by one of several excellent eateries for a bite to eat, or look around the shops for gifts and stocking stuffers.
With all the events and sights to see in Toronto, it might be daunting to think about how to get around. No worries on that score; there are excellent options for transportation, like charter buses. Parkinson Coach Lines offers charter bus services for tourists (especially large groups) to give you convenient and comfortable ways to travel and enjoy the Greater Toronto Area. Plan your trip with our help.
When you need charter bus services, school or bus tours in Toronto, Parkinson Coach Lines takes pride in offering you high-quality, personalized service. We’re licensed throughout Canada and the U.S., and our charter buses provide single and multi-day trips throughout North America for your convenience. Contact us at (905) 451-5499; we’re happy to serve you.