The top events in Toronto for October will offer you the chance to celebrate Halloween at Wes Anderson's iconic hotel, The Grand Budapest (but really the Gladstone). Dress up in your finest Lobby Boy outfit, or head to Church Street for their annual party (which never disappoints). Before that, there's everything from a poutine eating contest to a lightsaber battle - so really, all the bases are covered.
Here are my picks for the top events in Toronto this October.
Nuit Blanche (October 3)
Nuit Blanche returns for its 10th year on October 3. There's over 60 contemporary art projects scattered around the downtown core for your viewing pleasure. I would advise spending the day getting some shut eye if you plan to stay out until morning.
World Poutine Eating Championship (October 3)
If you can't get enough of Canada's favourite salty snack, Dundas Square is where to be on the first Saturday of the month. Competitors will go head to head, devouring mountains fo poutine to determine the most gluttonous eater. If you're not a contender,Smoke's Poutinerie will be serving up free poutine from 10-4, which is pretty sweet.
X Avant X (October 15-18)
While there are more than enough killer concerts happening this fall, X Avant is where to go if you're looking for a music festival this October. Head to The Music Gallery to catch shows by Absolutely Free, Tyondai Braxton, and many more over the course of the four-day event.
Toronto After Dark (October 15-23)
The annual horror, sci-fi, and cult film fest is rolling back into town on October 15th for a 9-day stint. There won't be any star-studded galas (a la TIFF) accompanying the films, but if you're into all things petrifying and paranormal, this one's for you. Check out the full list of films here.
Big City Improv Fest (October 16-24)
Admittedly, Just For Laughs, ending October 3rd, is a hard act to follow for any comedy festival. Big City Improv won't, however, go gently into that good night, as it's bringing many comedic greats to the city. Expect to see the likes of Colin Mochrie, Scott Adist, Deb McGrath and tons more funny men and women when the shows kick off on October 16th.
Buffer Festival (October 23-25)
The Buffer Festival is like TIFF but for Youtube. The event showcases international video content from Youtube's finest creators through theatrical screenings and gives fans the opportunity to meet some of their favourites. Also look forward to a red carpet gala event and free meetups prior to screenings.
Cask Days (October 23-25)
If you're only going to attend one beer event this fall, it's got to be Cask Days. Arguably the best annual beer event held in Toronto if not all of Ontario, this year the 11th annual tribute to real ale returns to the Brickworks over five separate sessions featuring 150 participating breweries and over 300 beers. Tiered access tickets range from $35-$80 and are already selling fast.
Ligthsaber Battle Toronto (October 24)
If you can't wait until the new Star Wars movie premieres later this year, you can awaken the force earlier thanks to a showdown that'll pit Jedi versus Sith for an epic-sounding lightsaber battle happening in the nearby galaxy of Toronto. Organized by homegrown company Newmindspace, the battle is scheduled to go down on October 24.
The Grandstone Budapest Hotel (October 31)
On October 31st say goodbye to The Gladstone and hello to The Grand Budapest Hotel. The venue is being transformed into the iconic establishment, complete with Gustave the concierge and a Mendl's Patisserie (aka Glory Hole Doughnuts). Wes Anderson isn't everyone's cup of tea, so if you aren't up for crafting a Lobby Boy costume, head to Church Street for the annual bash.
What did I miss? Let us know what us know what events you're most looking forward to this October in the comments.
With contributions from Maria Vanta, Ben Johnson, and Amy Grief.
Photo of Cask Days.
by Alice Prendergast via blogTO