What are the hottest May events in Toronto that you need to get in on? Check out our ultimate rundown, ranging from Cinco de Mayo fetes to photography lovers’ wet dreams to the swankiest galas to get your groove on…
Right to Play Ball (with Russell Peters)
The annual Right to Play Ball is back at the Shangri-La, bringing with it funnyman Russell Peters doing something decidedly unfunny: DJing like it ain’t no thang. The cause: giving children the right to play… like all kids should!
An Artists’ Affair
Help bring hope through art at An Artists’ Affair, once again taking over The Carlu in support of Al and Malka Green Artists’ Health Centre at Toronto Western Hospital, Artists’ Health Alliance, and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.
Jazz Bistro – 3rd Floor ‘Jazz Cellar’ Patio Opening
Join the cool cats at Jazz Bistro for the official opening of their 3rd Floor ‘Jazz Cellar’ Patio. Seriously, this has to be one of the swankiest rooftops in all the land. You’re welcome for the 411.
OCAD U Presents the 99th Annual Graduate Exhibition
May 1st through 4th
Check out OCAD’s annual Graduate Exhibition and help the young artists of our nation feel all warm and fuzzy and important before they have to face the realities of the real world and join the QSR army.
Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival
May 1st through 31st
Not to be confused with a Canadian AVN-style show (some of you will laugh at that, others can simply move along and hang their heads in shame), the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival brings hundreds of amazing works of innovative photography to our city’s streets, strewn about town at various venues with a multitude of social commentaries to be dissected.
Five up-and-coming artists are set to take to their new sounds to the stage at House of Moments, playing totally acoustic sets before a DJ comes in to close out the evening.
Lakeshorts International Short Film Festival
May 2nd and 3rd
Go shorty, it’s yo’ berfday. Well, not exactly. The Lakeshorts International Short Film Festival is bringing clips of cinematic reverence to, well, the Lake Shore.
Niagara Food & Wine Expo
May 2nd to 4th
Ever wanted to bask in the glory that is the Niagara region while indulging in gourmet eats and spirited treats? Two things: 1) Niagara’s not that far, so really you’re just lazy if you haven’t done that yet; 2) the Niagara Food & Wine Expo is your perfect get-out-of-jail-free card to do so.
10th Annual Spirit of Toronto
Not to be confused with a feel-good celebration of Toronto’s cultural heritage… no, no… Spirit of Toronto is all about the finest of spirits in one of the finest of settings: Roy Thomson Hall.
Cue6 Presents: BEER! A Comedy Tasting
Held at the new and impressive Fraser Studios in West Queen West, BEER! A Comedy Tasting will feature carefully selected (if moderately ridiculous) food and beer pairings hosted by self-proclaimed beer aficionado Filip Jeremic.
Rally Sports Bar + Smokehouse – Mayweather vs. Maidana
Catch one of the most anticipated fights of the season at one of our fave watering holes/sports meccas, Rally Sports Bar + Smokehouse.
Morgan Casting Boot Camp
May 3rd and 4th
Ever wondered if you could make it in the cutthroat world of show biz? Join famed Casting Directors Matthew Morgan and Michelle Grimaldi as they prepare you for the “real deal” when it comes to camera calls.
3rd Annual Toronto Wing Festival
Get yer bibs on for the 3rd annual Toronto Wing Festival organized by the Rotary Club of Toronto Skyline. This year over 2,000 hungry Torontonians will sample over a dozen varieties of chicken wings, all in the name of a good cause.
Niagara Cinqo De Mayo with La Carnita and Dillon’s Distillery
Need another reason to head to Niagara this season? This. Craft food + drinks celebrating the famed Mexican celebration? Doesn’t get much better, folks!
School Shucks – Oyster Class
Want to learn how to shuck oysters like a pro? This three-hour interactive class will do just that. If you need more than 180 minutes to learn, then you might as well just head to the bar at Rodney’s and hang your head in shame as you nosh on pre-shucked beauties.
Walk So Kids Can Talk
The annual walk in support of Kids Help Phone takes place in cities across Canada. Join in to help support this priceless service for children in need.
Cinco De Mayo Pop-Up at Drake One Fifty
Special guest chef Donnie Masterton joins the kitchen at Drake One Fifty for this one-day Mexican feast with cocktails pairings by our fave blanco, Tequila Tromba.
Elizabethan Gala for Shakespeare in the Ruff
Join all the other knaves in Toronto as they support Shakespeare in the Ruff’s 2014 season, kicking off in August at Toronto’s Withrow Park.
Canadian Music Week
May 6th to 10th
In case you didn’t know – and we were rather unaware ourselves (not!) – the Canadian music scene is hot and happening. For proof, snatch up passes to this year’s Canadian Music Week, showcasing the best and brightest of the Great White North at multiple venues across Toronto.
Digital Media Summit
For those who gravitate towards all things digital media, this summit is the hottest place for you to make worthy connections and learn a thing (or 94) about the intricacies of the post-Web 2.0 era.
Indie Alehouse’s Kitchen Collaboration with Michael & Anna Olson
Best night out in May? Likely, as famed Food Network Canada personality Anna Olson, along with Chef Michael Olson and Indie Alehouse’s Chef/Partner Todd Clarmo, bring us a three-course food and beer pairing dinner.
May 8th to 10th
More digital dreams come true at this year’s Digifest 2014, Canada’s premier digital festival.
A Night Under the Sea at Ripley’s Aquarium
Support ProAction Cops & Kids’ programs while taking a trip underwater (sort of, technically) at Ripley’s Aquarium.
Toronto’s 2nd Annual Buddy Walk
Support the Down Syndrome Association of Toronto at the 2nd Annual Buddy Walk, taking to the streets on May 10th.
That’s right. May 11th is the day to end all days… or rather… will end the rest of yours if you don’t treat mamma right. Check out the best Mother’s Day brunch spots in Toronto, as well as the best Mother’s Day spa packages in the city to treat mom right for all those years of diaper changing disgust.
Terroir Symposium 2014
Learn all about farmland reverence at the annual Terroir Symposium, taking over Arcadian Court.
RUFF 2014 (Ryerson University Film Festival)
May 13th and 14th
Check out the latest crop of filmmakers to come out of Ryerson’s School of Image Arts at this year’s thesis film fest.
This Is Not A Work Party
The official closing party for the This Is Not A Toy exhibit – curated by Pharrell, naturally – at the DX on May 14th.
Canadian Stage: Intermission
A live exploration of what happens when divergent ideas and ideologies collide, Canadian Stage’s newest event series is bound to be a unique experience you won’t want to miss.
One Night Stand: The Gala
Join raunchy revelers in support of the Toronto Burlesque Festival’s upcoming season at this “gala” fundraiser.
2nd Annual Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament
This poker tourney, in support of Lights Camera Imagine and Sick Kids, sees buy-ins benefiting great causes alongside hors d’oeuvres and special guest appearances
Greater Good Gala
Benefiting the great works of St. Felix Centre and the vulnerable communities it serves, the Greater Good Gala will have a live art and design auction and epic good times.
One of our all-time fave event concepts, bid on original works of art using a commodity you never even thought viable at auction: your time. That’s right, you bid volunteer hours for great non-profits instead of cash at this interactive, philanthropic art auction.
Marathon of Sport Toronto
Seventy-two teams across six sports will compete in an all-out melee supporting motionball on May 24th at Downsview Hangar.
Doors Open Toronto
May 24th and 25th
Get up-close-and-personal with some of Toronto’s coolest spaces as they open their doors to the public for two days of city exploration.
An Sibin Restaurant: Irish Whiskey Dinner
Indulge in a 5-course dinner replete with uber-tasty whiskey pairings at our favourite Irish outpost in Riverdale.
The Art Of Marketing
The sexiest speaker series (in a way) to hit Toronto is back, this year with guests like Malcolm Gladwell and Scott Stratten.
Burger Week 2014
May 28th to Jun 1st
The famed Grid Burger Week is back, bringing us tons of specially-priced beefylicious patties at some of the city’s top burger slingers.
10th Annual Fight for Independence Charity Boxing
Going down at Kool Haus, the 10th Annual Fight for Independence supports Nazareth House, and takes guests back in time to the Roaring Twenties.