25 October 2017




Hello friends, and welcome to the November edition of What’s Happening Wednesdays! Traditionally, November is the time for harvest, where we reap the goods that were sown during the summer months. After the celebrations of Thanksgiving and Halloween, however, I usually enter hibernation mode. I stay put at home as I grapple with the influx of major papers, projects and presentations, all while preparing for the impending holiday season in December. 

This year, I want to embrace the traditional notion of November, and reap the benefits of living and studying in Toronto.We have yet to face winter’s frigid bite, so the following events will help us take advantage of this warm and sunny autumn. 

1. The Toronto Chocolate Festival  

Looks like heaven to me. Source.
Start November on a sweet note with a month-long – yes – a MONTH LONG festival devoted to chocolate. The Toronto Chocolate Festival , which first took place in 2005, began as a ten-day festival, and eventually turned into a month-long extravaganza. There are multiple venues that hold chocolate-centered events, such as Chocolate Afternoon Tea and the ChocOlympics , with many taking place at the Eglinton Grand. Click here to acquire “Discovery Passport Coupons”, which allow you to try out delicacies from participating pastry shops and chocolatiers. Learn about chocolate, from cocoa to creation, while sampling treats the entire day.

A festival highlight is the Toronto Luxury Chocolate Show, held at the Chocolate Salons in the Toronto Reference Library. A variety of chocolatiers, chocolate artisans and pastry chefs will have samples of their products and special deals for the holiday season. The Salon also features a Chocolate Makers demo stage and draws for chocolate-themed prizes. 

The Toronto Luxury Chocolate Show:
When: Saturday, November 4th: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Sunday, November 5th: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Where: Toronto Reference Library, 689 Yonge Street
Cost: $20 tickets, which can be purchased online 

The Toronto Chocolate Festival takes place the entire month of November. To learn about all the events featured this year, visit torontochocolatefestival.com 

2. November Events at the Bata Shoe Museum

Check out some of the great initiatives the Bata Shoe Museum has for the month of November:


The Warm the Sole Sock Drive
Every year the Bata Shoe Museum throws an annual sock drive, Warm the Sole. Socks are one of least donated items in clothing drives, yet one of the most needed items in shelters, especially as the weather gets colder. Help diminish this need by bringing a new pair of unworn socks to the Bata Shoe Museum’s drive, which takes place throughout the whole month of November. If you bring a pair on Saturday or Sunday, you can visit the museum free that day! There will also be sock-themed crafts for kids throughout the month. For more information, click here.

When: November 1-30

Where: Bata Shoe Museum
327 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1W7

Cost: Admission to the gallery is free on Saturday and Sunday with a sock donation

National Film Board Screening at the Bata Shoe Museum: The Road Forward
As part of the National Film Board’s Aabiziingwash (Wide Awake): NFB Indigenous Cinema on Tour in partnership with the National Film Board of Canada, the Bata Shoe Museum presents a special screening of The Road Forward, a musical documentary by Marie Clements that examines the relationship of the Indian Nationalism movement in the 1930's with current First Nations activism.

When: November 22, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Cost: Free! Tickets can be reserved by emailing rsvp@batashoemuseum.ca or by calling 416.979.7799 x 444

3. The 95th Annual Royal Agricultural Winter Fair 

The Best of Bovine. Source.
The Royal Agricultural Fair is celebrating its 95th Anniversary this year! Started by a group of farmers in 1922, the fair was an attempt to showcase the finest of Canadian agriculture after the First World War. It's been an annual event ever since, occurring every November in Toronto.The Royal is now the largest combined indoor agricultural fair and international equestrian competition in the world, featuring the best agriculture, local food and animal shows in the country. 

Enjoy The Royal Horse Show, dog shows, culinary competitions, wine tasting, and shopping. This year, The Royal has a special initiative, A Place to Grow. In partnership with the University of Guelph and the Canada 150 Fund, A Place to Grow is an interactive chronological walk through time that celebrates the past, present and future of agriculture and food in Ontario. 

To learn more about the many other vendors, shows and entertainment featured at The Royal, check out royalfair.org 

When: Friday, November 3- 11,  9:00 am – 9:00 pm, Sunday, November 12,  9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Where: Exhibition Place, Toronto, Ontario M6K 3C3

Cost: $16 Youth (4-17), $20 Senior (65+), $27.50 Adult (18-64), $60 Family Pass (2 Adults / 2 Youth)
Senior Mon,Tue,Wed Special $17.00
Adults After 4pm Mon-Thursday $16.00
Tickets can be purchased online here .

4. JAYU's iAM Gallery Opening

JAYU is a non-profit arts organization that shares human rights stories through the arts, specifically film and photography. One of JAYU’s initiatives is the iAM Program, which provides photography and storytelling workshops to youth in the community. iAM showcases these works in a rotating exhibition, with 100% of the proceeds going back to the youth participants. This year, JAYU has partnered with the The Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, providing workshops to nine youth from the centre. The pieces created from the workshops explore the theme of reconciliation, and will be displayed along with the youth’s stories in the Daniel Spectrum Centre. The opening takes place on Friday, November 3rd, and the show runs until January 10th, 2017. For more information on the iAM program and opening night, click here .

When: Friday, 3 November 2017, 6:30 pm – 11:00 pm

Where: Daniels Spectrum, 2nd Floor, 585 Dundas Street East, Toronto, ON M5A 2B7

Cost: Free

5. Lest We Forget, Remembrance Day in Toronto
Remembrance Day Memorial on the lawn of Manulife on Bloor St. E. Source.
November is a month dedicated to remembrance. It’s a time to reflect on our freedoms, our right to live under a government of our choice, and the many opportunities this nation provides us. On Saturday, November 11th, the City of Toronto will hold ceremonies in different locations, such as Old City Hall, to recognize and honour the contributions made by those who serve and continue to serve. 
The featured ceremony takes place at Queens Park. The ceremony includes a moment of silence and the laying of wreaths. It can also be streamed online here .

For more information on ceremonies near you, visit Ontario Remembers .

Queen's Park Ontario Veterans' Memorial :
When: Saturday, November 11th , 10:45 am - 12:00 pm
Where: Ontario Veterans' Memorial on the front lawn of Queen’s Park, 111 Wellesley Street West, Toronto

6. The Month of Movember!

It’s Movember! Men around the country grow out their mustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of male health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s suicide. The Movember Foundation is hosting many events around the city that celebrate this important initiative. Here are a few in Toronto to check out: 

Movember fit-a-thon

Hosted by Centennial College, this event is geared towards students. Participants will be challenged during the evening to keep moving to raise money for men's health, supporting Movember Toronto.

When: November, 17th, 6:00 pm – 12:00 am

Where: Athletic and Wellness and Centre, 941 Progress Avenue, Toronto, ON M4S1C4

Cost: Donation Request. More information can be found on donations here

Muaystache: #PushKickCancer

Back Forward Kick Productions presents Muaystache: #PushKickCancer, an amateur event that supports the Movember Foundation. For more information, visit Muay Thai Ontario

When: November 25th, 5:30 pm – 11:00 pm

Where: Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie St, Toronto, ON M6G 4C7

Cost: $35 Advance tickets
$45 Door tickets
$55 Front row reserved tickets
This is an all ages event. Children ages 5 and under are admitted free.

Best "MO" in "TO"

This is the perfect opportunity to show of your ‘stache at the end of the month! Organized by emerging professionals of Sport and Event Marketing from George Brown College, the event brings awareness to Men’s Mental Health through a Moustache competition, raffle prizes, games, live music, food and drinks, and a barber who will give you a clean-shaven face after the competition. For more information, click here .

When: November 30th, 7:30 pm to 11:00 pm

Where: 588 Richmond St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1Y9

Cost: The organiser has suggested a $5 donation to help them reach their goal.

For more Movember events, visit movember.com

7. Trinity Bellwoods Christmas is Coming Flea Market

The holidays are nearly upon us! Rather than dealing with the stress of overcrowded malls, support your local shop vendors this year. The Trinity Bellwoods Christmas is Coming Flea Market is a monthly market that takes place in the beautiful and historic Great Hall. With a mission to buy and sell local, the market features 50 Canadian vendors and designers. It’s the perfect opportunity to find unique gifts or pick up a special something for yourself. To learn about the different vendors, check out the Trinity Bellwoods Website for updates!

When: Sunday, November 19, 2017, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Where: The Great Hall, 1087 Queen St. W.M6J 1H3

Cost: Free entry

8. Mozart's Don Giovanni Fall Major Opera Production at the University of Toronto
Don Giovanni in the Champagne Aria scene by Max Slevgot, 1902. Source.
Tired of heading to the movies as your main entertainment outing? Why not explore a new art form and check out an opera put on by U of T’s Faculty of Music! Mozart’s Don Giovanni, based on the legend of Don Juan, is considered a timeless masterpiece. The production is sung in the original Italian and is conducted by Uri Mayer, Professor and Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of Toronto.

When: Thursday, November 23 – Saturday, November 25th, 7:30 pm. Sunday, November 26th, 2:30 pm

Where: MacMillan Theatre, 80 Queen's Park, Toronto, ON M5S 2C5

Cost: $40 regular admission, $25 senior, $10 student. You can purchase tickets here 

9. ROM Daytime - Meet the Vikings 

The ROM’s newest show, Vikings – The Exhibition presented by Raymond James Ltd, delves into the myths, stereotypes and legends of the Viking Age. Featuring hundreds of objects and immersive activities, the exhibition also explores Canada’s link to Viking history, showcasing archaeological finds from the East Coast.

On November 30th, John Craig Cipolla, the curator for Vikings: The Exhibition, will hold a special talk that reveals how the exhibition came together, highlighting special artifacts to discuss Viking culture and history. For more information, visit ROM DaytimeVikings:The Exhibition, runs from November 4th, 2017 – April 2nd, 2018. 

Meet the Vikings Talk
When:Thursday, November 30, 2017, 11:00 am - 1:15 pm
11:00 am - 12:00 pm Lecture in Eaton Theatre
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Coffee, Tea & Treats in Theatre Rotunda
12:30 pm - 1:15 pm Exhibition Visit with Introductory Remarks

Where: Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queens Park, Toronto, ON M5S 2C6
Lecture held in the Eaton Theatre, Level 1B

Cost: Lecture is free with Museum admission. 

Enjoy November just like our little corgi friend! Source.
As a grad student, November is a very hectic time in the semester. However, this year, reap the benefits of your hard work by taking a break and enjoying some of the events taking place in the city, whether that be participating in Movember fundraisers, attending an opera, shopping at markets, or simply savoring some chocolate. If you know of more cool events in the city, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments section.

Till December, my friends!

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