In 2002, Richard Florida wrote the bestselling book, The Rise of the Creative Class, where he argued that the growing importance of creativity in people’s lives would determine what companies would prosper in the future and which cities would thrive. In 2004, he followed it up with Cities and the Creative Class, a look at how diversity and creativity in urban centres drive innovation and growth. It speaks volumes about Toronto then that, in 2007, this creative-minded academic chose to bid adieu to positions at Carnegie Mellon, Harvard, and MIT and accept a role as Professor of Business & Creativity (yes, that’s a real job title) at the University of Toronto. It’s yet another sign that Toronto is the cultural capital of the great white north, well, that and this Vogue article titled Vogue’s Guide to Canada’s Cultural Capital: Toronto. As Anna Wintour or Justin Trudeau will tell you, when you’ve made it to Vogue, you know you’ve arrived.
Like any great honour, Toronto’s position as a beacon of arts and culture isn’t accidental. The city is home to more than 80 film festivals, 200 professional performing arts organizations, internationally recognized symphony, ballet, and opera companies, countless commercial and not-for-profit galleries and museums, and much more. Toronto’s 10 city-owned museums hold almost 150,000 artifacts and 1 million archaeological specimens in their collections. There are more than 200 city-owned public art pieces and historic monuments that enrich the urban landscape and make art accessible to everyone. And that’s not even counting privately-owned pieces like the public art that graces Collecdev sites.
There’s something going on nearly every day in the city, far too many events to list here, but we’re taking you through some of the biggest, from January to December. If you’re looking for a dose of culture and creativity, save these dates!
JANUARY | Winterlicious
For two scrumptious weeks, Winterlicious offers a series of gourmet events at over 220 restaurants across the city.
FEBRUARY | Canadian Opera Company
Catch an award-winning performance of the COC, Canada’s largest opera company with an international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation.
MARCH | Art Gallery of Ontario
When temperatures drop, stay warm and fired up with creative fuel at the AGO. Each season the gallery puts on world-class exhibits and the permanent collection is second to none.
APRIL | Hot Docs
North America’s largest documentary festival is held every April at theatres across Toronto.
MAY | Contact Photography Festival
This month-long exhibition is the largest photography festival in the world.
JUNE | Luminato
Each June the Luminato Festival transforms theatres, parks, and public spaces across the city into places for artists to play, share and create.
JULY | Caribana
This festival of Caribbean culture is billed as North America’s largest street festival, with over 2 million visitors each year.
AUGUST | Taste of the Danforth
Over a quarter of a century the festival has morphed from a tasting menu of Greek cuisine to a celebration of Canada’s multiculturalism.
SEPTEMBER | TIFF
One of the biggest and brightest film festivals on the planet, second only to Cannes. World premieres, cutting-edge films, galas, and more celebrity sightings than you can count.
OCTOBER | Nuit Blanche
On the first Saturday of October Nuit Blanche sees art installations set up across the city from sunset to sunrise.
NOVEMBER | The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
A true Canadian tradition, this indoor agricultural and international equestrian competition has been taking place in Toronto for over 90 years.
DECEMBER | The Toronto Christmas Market
Celebrate the romance and magic of a traditional Christmas in a European-style outdoor market showcasing hundreds of unique products.