We did it, friends! Winter is over and the best months of the year stretch before us like a long summer day. With life back to normal and the start of the warm weather, it’s no surprise that this month is absolutely jam-packed with events. We’ve got the JUNOs, major festivals, outdoor concerts, food events, and much more to look forward to this month. As always, we’re bringing you a curated list of the very best things to do in Toronto this May so you know exactly where you need to be.
Check out this list of the best activities and events in Toronto this month and have yourself a fantastic May!
LIVE SHOWS & CONCERTS
After a long hiatus, Cirque du Soleil has finally brought its iconic Big Top back to Toronto for a breathtaking performance. Until May 23, the city will be treated to Cirque du Soleil’s most critically acclaimed show, called KURIOS — Cabinet of Curiosities. The performers will take the stage at Ontario Place for a “mind-boggling” limited series of shows that combine acrobatics with art, poetry, and humour.
Where: Ontario Place, 955 Lake Shore Blvd W
When: Until May 23, 2022
Attention Potterheads, this is not a drill! The highly-anticipated production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is finally coming to Toronto in May. The show was postponed due to the pandemic, so it has been a long time coming. This version of the world’s most award-winning play will feature an all-Canadian cast and it’ll bring the wizarding world of Harry Potter to life on the Mirvish stage.
Featuring “spectacular spells, a mind-blowing race through time, and an epic battle to stop mysterious forces,” this show will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish!
Where: 244 Victoria St
When: Starting May 31, 2022
Festival-goers, the season of outdoor concerts is just a few weeks away. Kicking off music festival season here in Toronto is the Electric Island Season Opener, a one-day event with back-to-back performers by the waterfront. Headliners include, Charlotte De Witte, Loco Dice, William Djoko, Nitin, Wonka, and many more.
Where: West Island, Lake Shore Blvd & Ontario Dr
When: May 22, 2022, doors at 3 p.m.
Canada’s annual music awards show is back with in-person spectators and you can attend it this month at Budweiser Stage. Among the performers at this year’s Junos are the Arkells, Avril Lavigne, Charlotte Cardin, Mustafa, and more. Hosted by Simu Liu, you already know we’re in for a good time! Tickets are still available and they start at just over $70 each.
Where: Budweiser Stage
When: May 15, 2022, 8 p.m.
Boating, music, warm nights — put ’em all together and you have what might just be the coolest live concert experience Toronto has to offer. Music on the River is a concert series right on the Humber River and you’ll get to paddle your way to the show. Your ticket comes with a boat rental, paddle, lifejackets, access to the show, and a glowstick to wave along with the music.
Where: Humber River Paddling Centre, 9 Old Mill Rd
When: Beginning on May 27, 2022
Boat parties are back for the season, starting with this epic floating bash on Victoria Day weekend. The party boat accommodates over 200 people and is equipped with state-of-the-art sound systems, a club-like dance floor, a premium bar, a professional photographer and DJ, as well as an observation deck with unbeatable skyline views. Dress code is all-white!
Where: 333 Lake Shore Blvd East
When: May 21 & 22, 2022, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
ARTS & CULTURE EVENTS
This city-wide festival will be screening documentaries at theatres all over Toronto this spring, as well as a selection of films you can screen on Hot Docs at Home. Prepare to see some of the world’s best documentaries at this annual spring festival and attend some in-person Q&As with the directors, then cast your vote for the Hot Docs Audience Award and Rogers Audience Award.
Where: Various locations
When: Until May 8, 2022
Joining the ranks of Immersive Van Gogh and Beyond Monet is Immersive Klimt, a colourful exhibition curated by the “world-renowned master of digital art” Italy’s Massimiliano Siccardi. Through vivid 360 projections, the revolutionary works of Gustav Klimt come to life all around you. Klimt is described as a “rebel, genius and legend” of a painter, and now you can be swept up in his electrifying world.
Where: 1 Yonge St
When: Various dates
A unique exhibition is on display at Toronto’s Gardiner Museum this month. Canadian visual artist Shary Boyle is putting on a major showcase, described as “a multi-sensory installation including drawings, ceramic sculpture, life-sized automatons, two-way mirrors, coin-operated sculpture, and an interactive score.” If you’ve been itching for an opportunity to see incredible local art, this exhibition is a must!
Where: 111 Queens Park
When: Until May 15, 2022
A new show titled Frida: Immersive Dream, covering the life and work of Frida Kahlo, is now open to the public. The 500,000 cubic feet of exhibit space at 1 Yonge Street will be transformed into an immersive art wonderland. The immersive Frida Kahlo exhibit in Toronto will allow guests to see the artist’s work brought to life in a whole new way, through projections, photography, drawings, and iconography.
When: Various dates
Where: 1 Yonge St
Photography enthusiasts, this one’s for you. Starting this Sunday, May 1, Canadian and international artists will showcase their work through exhibitions, installations, and commissioned projects at museums, galleries, and public spaces across Toronto. You’ll get to discover both acclaimed and emerging artists, documentary photographers, and photojournalists at this annual event.
Where: Various locations
When: May 1-31, 2022
Toronto’s waterfront has released its jam-packed summer programming and kicking things off is Canada’s first and only floating arts and culture festival running from May 20 to September 5. “Performances will bring together songwriters, musicians, and other artists from all walks of life to deliver art and culture into the daily lives of Torontonians,” the description says. It’s not one to miss!
Where: 585 Queens Quay West & 1 Queens Quay West
When: May 20-September 5, 2022
Fans of Princess Diana can experience a photography and art exhibit in Toronto this month. Princess Diana: Accredited Access Exhibition will be at Casa Loma, and will run until June 12. According to the iconic castle, this is a first-ever walk-thru documentary, and it tells the untold story of how the Princess changed the world.
Where: Casa Loma
When: Until June 12
Canada’s premier 2SLGBTQ+ film festival returns for in-person and virtual screenings this month. For almost 30 years, this event has brought together people of all ages, races and abilities in celebration of Canadian-made queer film. Year after year, the festival engages in challenging attitudes and changing lives through stories told on-screen. A can’t-miss festival for film buffs, community members, and allies alike.
Where: In-person & virtual
When: May 26-June 5, 2022
Fashion enthusiasts, you don’t need to head to Paris or Milan to get your front-row fix. Toronto’s Fashion Week is coming up this month with 40 runway shows to attend, all of which will showcase Canadian designers. Some events are ticketed while others are free to attend, and there will be a spring pop-up retail event presented by INLAND where you can buy looks straight off the runway.
Where: Various locations
When: May 6-8, 2022
Canada’s premier amusement park has reopened with new attractions, restaurants, and entertainment for visitors to enjoy. Plus, Wonderland is putting on a spectacular fireworks show on Victoria Day long weekend, followed by the opening of Wonderland’s 20-acre waterpark Splash Works to follow later this month.
Where: Canada’s Wonderland
When: May 22, 2022
The SplashWorks waterpark at Canada’s Wonderland officially opens on May 28 and there’s so much fun to be had this spring and summer. SplashWorks has a brand new cliff-jumping attraction called Mountain Bay Cliffs, along with Canada’s largest outdoor wave pool, 17 water slides, and a Lazy River. Get ready to slather on your suncreen and hit the slides!
Where: Canada’s Wonderland
When: May 28, 2022
Torontonians will once again get rare access into some of the city’s most interesting sites this May as part of the annual Doors Open Toronto event. With nearly 700 unique locations and over 2 million visits since the event began in 2000, this event is not to be missed if you love to explore the city.
Where: Various locations
When: May 27 — May 28, 2022
Island lovers in Toronto, listen up! Centre Island’s iconic Centreville Amusement Park is set to reopen this May. If you’ve never been, Centreville is a ferry-ride away from downtown Toronto and has over 30 rides and attractions for the family. It also has several food outlets, and is surrounded by 600 acres of parkland.
Whether you’re spinning in the Twirling Tea Cups, or bouncing around in Bumper Boats and Bumper Cars, the fun doesn’t stop, especially on those perfect summer days in Toronto.
Where: 9 Queens Quay W
When: Opens May 7, 2022
This popular sale event is back with deep discounts on well-known cosmetics, fragrances, and skincare brands like Elizabeth Arden, Juicy Couture, Ralph Lauren, Versace, Gucci, Burberry, and many more. Plus, you’ll get to shop for designer purses, sunglasses, fine chocolate, nail care, and professional hair care.
Where: 135 Commerce Valley Dr East, Markham
When: April 29—May 2, May 6-9 & May 13-15, 2022
Looking to spend some quality time with mum this Mother’s Day? Why not do some shopping and wine sipping while you’re at it? This free pop-up at the Kimpton St. George hotel will host a variety of beloved Toronto vendors, selling treats, jewelry, flowers, ceramics, beauty, skincare, sustainable sleepwear, and more. Come for the free glass of wine, stay for the shopping spree!
Where: 280 Bloor St West
When: May 8, 2022, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Toronto Flower Market returns to the city this spring after a couple of years of absence, brightening up our weekends. This is the city’s first outdoor market of its kind, and it celebrates and supports Ontario-grown flowers and plants while connecting growers and florists directly with the city. The market season runs monthly from May through October, and its first return is on Saturday, May 7.
Where: 1001 Queen St West
When: Season launch May 7, 2022, 10 a.m.
FOOD & DRINK EVENTS
Celebrate springtime in the speakeasy era at this new pop-up. The St. Regis Toronto has opened its new Rhythm & Blooms experience in its Astor Lounge, serving prohibition-era style ‘iced’ teapot cocktails, delicious bites, and cocktails in an enchanting setting.
You’ll be treated to the sounds of live jazz on Friday and Saturday evenings as you sip among the pink canopies of cherry blossom trees and floral decor.
Where: 325 Bay St
When: Until July 31, 2022
A heavenly experience is coming our way this spring, just in time for Mother’s Day — high tea with adoptable puppies! The event, put on by Toronto-based startup Doggos and jewelry company Twinkle Links, will invite guests for a dreamy afternoon of tea and tasty bites as well as playtime with puppies rescued by the Helpaws organization, which you can apply to adopt.
Where: Crayon Studio, 688 Richmond St W Suite 304
When: May 8, 2022
A mystical cocktail experience called The Wizard’s Den is coming to a secret location in the city this May that will put your spell-casting and sorcery skills to the test. “Get ready to unleash your inner magical being as you brew potions, cast spells, and drink more mead than you can shake a wand at,” says a description of the experience.
You’ll get to create a variety of concoctions for good and evil with the help of a potions master in your 90-minute session. Tickets cost $45 per person and come with one welcome drink (your choice of mulled wine or a tasty IPA) and two alcoholic potions.
Where: Secret location
When: May 4-29, 2022
Pasta enthusiasts, listen up. Toronto’s Italian market is hosting an all-you-can-eat (and drink) celebration this May. Eataly’s SpringFest will be an all-inclusive experience, with unlimited authentic Italian dishes, wines, and entertainment.
Your ticket grants you access to over 15 tasting stations serving up dishes like regional pizza, fresh housemade pasta dishes, artisanal salumi and formaggi, sweet Italian desserts, and of course, vino galore.
Where: 55 Bloor St West
When: Friday, May 13, 6 p.m., 7 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Take a bite into the finest street eats around the GTA at this spring food festival. This event is the first of many food festivals happening this year at Street Eats Market. Being Canada’s largest launchpad of its kind for emerging independent street food businesses, you could be among the first to taste the next big thing in Toronto street cuisine.
When: May 20—22, 2022
Where: 500 Progress Ave
Ready to take your taste buds on a trip around the world? Canada’s first-ever ethnic food and wine outdoor festival called Spring Into Spice is coming to Toronto this May and you may not need a passport for this culinary journey, but you’ll definitely need your appetite.
The one-day event will feature 30 ethnic vendors, wineries, and wine importers, so prepare for some seriously heavenly pairings.
Where: Stackt Market, 28 Bathurst St
When: May 28, 2022, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Ribfest is back, baby! This month in Yonge-Dundas Square, you’ll get to chow down on “mouth-waterin’, finger-lickin’, belly-rubbin’, good BBQ.” Live bands will provide the soundtrack as you explore the festival, play classic carnival games and yard games, and most importantly, eat and drink like there’s no tomorrow. The best part? Admission is free!
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square
When: May 20-22, 2022
We hope you’re hungry, Toronto! This May, a brand new Asian night market called Superfresh is taking over the Annex with 4,000 square feet of delicious eats, live entertainment, and special surprises.
Superfresh “will showcase Asian-led and owned businesses across the city combining food, drinks, live entertainment, a bodega and other planned secret events under one roof—making it the ultimate experience, no matter what time of day you decide to stop by,” the description says.
Where: 384 Bloor St W
When: Opening May 14, 2022
What’s better than brunch? All-you-can-eat brunch on a historic train, of course. This May, the York-Durham Heritage Railway is hosting a brunch buffet train ride, with lavish spreads of sweet and savoury favourites served with unbeatable views.
Soft music will play in the background while you dine and enjoy the springtime sights from your seat on the train. Champagne and mimosas will be available for purchase too because you can’t do brunch without a little bubbly.
Where: 19 Railway St, Uxbridge
When: May 14, 2022