It’s almost May and spring will be officially in full bloom. Now that the weather is beginning to warm up, our city is coming to life.
We’ve compiled a calendar of our favourite events to give you some ideas of how you can explore the city during the month of May.
(Psst, many of the events are even FREE!)
For more information on each event, click on the orange links.
Hot Docs Canada’s International Documentary Festival starts April 27 and comes to a close on May 7. The event schedule is up, check out the link!
Scotiabank Contact Festival This yearly photography festival runs throughout the entire month of May. You will find exhibitions and events, meant to provide a forum for education and conversation, strewn throughout the city. The list and map of where to find exhibitions can be found in the orange link.
AGO’s Georgia O’Keefe exhibition The Art Gallery of Ontario is running a major retrospective on the pioneering American painter until July 30. This exhibition is an extra $5.50 for adults above the regular admission price. If you happen to be an AGO member, it’s free!
Toronto Raptors – Eastern conference semi-finals begin against King James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Game 1 will be in Cleveland. This is going to be great. #WeTheNorth
High Park is predicting that their cherry blossoms will be in full bloom by the start of May. This only happens once a year, so see it while you can. And visit the High Park zoo while you’re there, it’s FREE!
(Or judging by our Instagram feed of cherry blossoms this weekend, head down to Trinity Bellwoods Park, NOW!)
AGO’s First Thursday
Loud bands, DJs, performance pieces and art, a lot of art. One Thursday a month, the party happens after the gallery closes, 7pm – 11:30pm. The May First Thursday is titled, “Gender Trouble” as an ode to Georgia O’Keefe who declared, “I am not a WOMAN painter!”
Advance tickets can be purchased for $23 via the link. Cash bar.
Light vs. Dark on May the fourth. An ode to Star Wars, Drink Inc. is hosting a tasting event at the Berkeley Church on Queen Street East. Beer, wine, spirit and cider vendors will produce a light and a dark beverage for you to sample. Which side will win? $25 tickets (includes 3 sample tickets). May the 4th be with you.
ROM’s Friday Night Live – Splash
The ROM’s Friday Night Live happens only in the spring and summer, so come and get it. The first event of the season is called “Splash”, to celebrate the Blue Whale that you will be able to view in wonder while you attend a FNL session. You can purchase tickets online for $17. Cash bar.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada – Splash
A 5 part SPECIAL EVENT series is coming to us also called, Splash. It begins on Friday May 5 and it will pop up throughout the entire year. The theme for the first event is The 90’s. Sharpen up your Jenga skills and iron those jean overalls to wear! $30.97 admission + food & drink extra.
Cinco de Mayo – A day to commemorate the Mexican Army’s victory over France in The Battle of Puebla, 1862. It has also become synonymous with celebrating Mexican-American culture. Hot spots to celebrate while eating tacos and drinking margaritas across the city are: El Catrin in the Distillery District, El Caballito in the Entertainment District, Fonda Lola in West Queen West, Playa Cabana in the Annex, and of course our friend Andrew’s La Carnita Uptown, College Street, Leslieville or Central, just to name a few.
Cinco de Mayo doesn’t have to end on May 5th. And it’s doesn’t in Toronto. Baro & El Cabalitto are partnering up for CincoFestTO and is sponsored by none other than our favourite tequila company, Tromba! $25 admission.
MAY 8 – 10:
The Blue Jays host a 3 game series with the Cleveland Indians (and welcome Edwin Encarnacion on his first visit back to the Rogers Centre!)
Tickets are going for as little as $6 USD (plus fees) on the Blue Jays official re-seller, Stub Hub.
MAY 11 – 14:
The Blue Jays host the Seattle Mariners for a 4 game series.
ROM Friday Night Live – Fashion
Celebrate the fabulous world of fashion in the second installment of the ROM’s Friday Night Live aptly called ‘Fashion.”
Ripley’s Aquarium Friday Night Jazz – Ivory and the Sugar Daddies
The second Friday of every month the Aquarium hosts live jazz music. $25.98 admission to enjoy the live music throughout the Aquarium while hobnobbing with the sharks. Cash Bar.
Color Me Rad All those fun photos of people doing a 5k run, covered in colour? That’s Color Me Rad. The runs happen all across North America and Toronto’s turn falls on May 13. Your outlook on running WILL be brighter. That can be guaranteed.
Toronto Comic Art Festival
Do you like Comics? Graphic Novels? Then TCAF may be worth checking out. This 2 day event is hosted at the Toronto Reference Library, only the coolest (and quite possibly the largest) library we’ve ever been to. And you won’t believe this, it’s FREE to attend!
Spring into Parkdale
There will be many all spring and summer long, but the first neighbourhood festival of the season happens in Parkdale. It’s a day sidewalk festival and a night market that surges summer life into this west end neighbourhood. Queen West from Dufferin to Roncesvalles is where you’ll want to be. When you’re there, get your ice cream fix at our friend Mel’s Boreal Gelato.
MAY 15 – 16:
The Blue Jays host the Atlanta Braves for 2 games.
National Caesar Day. And not the salad.
ROM Friday Night Live – Get Out of Town
If you aren’t “getting out of town”, begin your Victoria Day long weekend with the third Friday Night Live of the Month, celebrating the British invasion!
MAY 20 & 21:
**J&C’s choice** Toronto’s Festival of Beer – Spring Sessions
The spring sessions are the slightly less expensive and less busy baby sister to Toronto’s Festival of Beer that normally happens mid summer. It is a little bit smaller, with maybe a few less beers to sample, but the fun is still supersized! Garrison Common (Fort York) – $30 admission
Victoria Day (It’s Queen Victoria’s birthday but you may know it by the name we do, Firecracker Day!)
You can catch fireworks display at our favourites: Ashbridges Bay (free, you only have to deal with the traffic) or Canada’s Wonderland (free with price of admission).
Electric Island Nothing says summer is here more than music festivals. One of the first of the summer happens on Centre Island. 2 stages of electronic music, food trucks & BBQ, games & activities and the views… that skyline. Bring a blanket! (To sit on… or it works in the case that it’s a bit chilly. It is May and you never know.)
ROM Friday Night Live – Flash
Photography is in the air at the final affair for Friday Night Live in May. The new ROM exhibition ‘The Family Camera,’ will be front and centre on this night.
MAY 26 – 28:
Blue Jays host the Texas Rangers for a 3 day stint.
MAY 27 & 28:
**J&C’s choice** Doors Open One weekend a year, the City of Toronto opens it’s doors at a slew of different, normally off limits, buildings. In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday this year, the theme is “15 Decades of Canadian Architecture.” Plan your route and see as much as you can. Last year we were able to see inside the Sony Centre, Osgoode Hall, City Hall, Redpath Sugar Building, the Toronto Police Marine Unit, Railway Museum just to name a few. And the price of admission? FREE!
The first festival that let’s us celebrate DOGS! There will be a kid zone too, so it’s family fun. This year it will be all weekend at Woodbine Park in the Beaches. Buy tickets online, $10 for the entire weekend.
**J&C’s choice** Kensington Market – Pedestrian Sunday
The 14th season of this very popular neighbourhood street festival happens the last Sunday of the month, from May until October. You won’t find Dr. Oetker handing out free pizza or the drink out of a fruit that seems to find it’s way into every festival in Toronto. You will find a celebration of the unique community with different foods to try, performers to watch and art to admire. In our opinion, it’s a do not miss.
MAY 29 – MAY 31:
Blue Jays host the Cincinnati Reds in the final series in May.