April came in quickly!  As the flowers begin to open and the rain showers us with love, we can put away our winter coats now (I think?) and discover what our city has to offer this spring. There are amazing things to do this month and the cherry blossoms might even come earlier. Here’s our latest City Girl’s Guide to Toronto!

Les Misérables: Princess of Wales Theatre on now until June 1

An all-time favourite has returned to Toronto but updated. Whether you’ve seen it a hundred times or a few times…or never, this is a musical that is definitely worth seeing! Based on the 1862 novel by author Victor Hugo, this stage production is powerful and truly moving. Our write-up is here.

Les Misérables - Toronto - Mirvish

Haley Dortch as Fantine in Les Misérables. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy & Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.

Making Her Mark: A History of Women Artists in Europe 1400-1800 at AGO: (Opening date TBC)

Heralded as a ‘must see’ by Vogue and a ‘sure-to-be-historic’ exhibition by the New York Times, the AGO original exhibition arrives in Toronto. With more than 230 objects — from paintings to textiles, scientific drawings to furniture – this groundbreaking exhibition explores the breadth and depth of women’s artistic contributions across Europe as a stunning corrective to long held ideas that women artists of the period were rare and unexceptional.

Toronto Vintage Clothing Show: April 6 and 7. Queen Elizabeth Building, Exhibition Place

This is Canada’s largest sale of vintage clothing, accessories, jewellery, handbags, and decor. Items date back from 1920s to 1980s.

Toronto Gone Wild: City Meets Nature: Museum of Toronto, 401 Richmond Street West. Opens April 10

Explores the city as a multi-layered habitat — starring the animals, plants, and insects that call Toronto home.  Venture through different Torontonian terrains from city streets to burrows, hives, and nests, all seamlessly woven together in our downtown exhibition space. You’ll emerge with a renewed appreciation for the interconnectedness of life in the city.  See just how much we share with our animal neighbours in the struggle for food, housing, and community.

Artist Project: April 11-14. Better Living Centre, Exhibition Place

Over 250 independent artists from across the city and country will showcase their latest works of art. There will also be large site-specific installations, several unique performances, fashion shows and more. This year, the fair continues in an experimental and experiential direction with many ways to elevate enjoyment for art lovers and spark creativity. Free art tours are planned with professionals from the art world offering an opportunity to see art through their lens. Families with children are also invited to drop into the DeSerres Studio and get creative in their art stations.

Artist project

Destroy, She Said: The Cinema of Marguerite Duras: April 4 to 24 at TIFF

Honouring the French filmmaker, this 17-film major retrospective — the largest on the filmmaker in North America — includes a significant number of Duras’ films; imported prints of rarely seen works such as her debut, La Musica, and the elusive Son nom de Venise dans Calcutta désert; and special guests who worked with her, namely DP Bruno Nuytten and editor Dominique Auvray. Working with some of the greatest actors and technicians of her time, Duras’ formally daring, sensual, and politically subversive films are also timeless in their collapsing of personal and global catastrophe.

HYPROV: CAA Theatre April 9 -21.

We are super curious about this one. This unique comedy experience in the hands of two experts – and solely crafted from the volunteer’s uninhibited, unconscious minds will offer an unforgettable theatrical experience. Tickets at Mirvish.com

Songkran Market at PAI Uptown: April 13 from 11 am to 3 pm (free admission)

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Thailand at this one-day-only event. Inspired by the street markets in Thailand. Amazing local Asian artisans and vendors selling unique vintage clothing, vinyl records, candles, tote bags, caricature drawings, dog treats, crystals, plants, personal care products, and more! Experience a Thai massage and take part in the traditional Songkran water blessing ritual, symbolizing purification and the washing away of past misfortunes to welcome a fresh start. Also, try some of Chef Nuit’s off-menu dishes at the pop-up food stations. More info here.

Make Chef Nuit’s recipe for Red Curry Paste here!

Fraud Fighters self-defence class presented by Interac: Toronto’s United Boxing, 1034 Bloor Street West. April 13 and 20.

The Fraud Fighters classes will be hosted by Toronto’s United Boxing and Reni, The Resource ( a Financial Educator of Conscious Economics will offer key tips for Canadians to protect themselves against fraud), alongside Interac. The classes, which blend traditional self-defence and boxing moves with fraud prevention advice, are free to the public. The class will teach participants how to recognize and help prevent fraudulent attacks by combining the resilience needed in boxing with financial vigilance.

Free classes will be held on April 13 and 20 at Toronto’s United Boxing Club. Registration is available here: http://unitedboxing.club/FraudFighters/

Textile Revitalisation with Arounna Khounnoraj at the ROM: April 14 & 21

Build the confidence and kill to repair and maintain your wardrobe in this fun, hands-on workshop. Artist and Maker Arounna Khounnoraj will guide participants in learning basic hand-sewing skills, such as hemming, darning, and basic repair techniques that work on different fabrics and garments.

Mad Madge: April 9 to 21, The Theatre Centre. Written by Rose Napoli

Meet Margaret Cavendish – a Jill-of-all-Trades and mistress of none. In her unapologetic pursuit of fame, Madge ditches her dysfunctional family to join the court of an unruly Queen and leave her mark on history.  Paying homage to Jane Austen and Tina Fey in the same breath, this laugh-out-loud contemporary-period mashup suggests that perhaps a woman’s hunger for unbridled attention is not so shallow, after all. Tickets here.

Golf Fest: April 13. Rebel Toronto

Torontonians can watch the Masters on jumbo screens and celebrate with an all-day par-tee full of new innovative golf apparel and travel brands, good eats, drinks, games and a hole-in-one competition with a chance of winning $100,000. For more information visit golffest.ca Early bird tickets are available now on Eventbrite.

10xTO and HYROX Ultimate Workout: at Hotel X on April 14

This wild and rewarding workout experience led by James Muscart (HYROX and 10XTO fitness trainer team) is a special twist on a traditional HYROX workout class that goes next level. Activities include devil’s press, wall balls, rowing, assault bikes, farmers’ carry, thrusters, lunges, extensive running and so much more! Ticketed event.

National Canadian Film Day - April

National Canadian Film Day: April 17

Shine a Spotlight on Canadian films so distinct, delightful, eccentric, and profoundly human that even the most advanced Artificial Intelligence couldn’t conceive them! More than 1,000 screenings, in every province and territory, and in more than 39 countries around the world and hundreds of offerings on broadcast and streaming services for every human to enjoy. Full details here.

How Plastics are Changing Our Planet’s Geology at the ROM: April 18

Explore how plastics have become a hallmark of the Anthropocene – the period during which humans have had a substantial impact on our planet — and a permanent part of Earth’s geology.

Earth Day at Evergreen Brickworks: April 20

Join in Earth Day festivities filled with family-friendly activities and workshops. Visitors can expect to immerse themselves in the nature surrounding the Brick Works, take part in workshops, contribute to a circular economy through the Mini Drop, Swap and Shop, watch an educational film and so much more. The theme this year is ‘Planet vs. Plastics’. A particular focus is on spreading awareness of the impact of plastics on our earth. Reduce plastic consumption through programs like Muuse at the Farmers Market. Full program here.

SIX Musical Sing-along: April 23 at 7:30 pm

This high-energy musical has added another sing-along performance for fans of all ages. How fitting for the queens of King Henry VIII to tell their “her story” to the audiences in “The 6ix”! Songs range from pop, R&B, and ballads.

Hot Docs Film Festival: April 25 to May 5

The annual documentary film festival returns with another exciting lineup of national and international films. This year’s festival will screen 168 films from 64 countries. The Big Ideas Series will once again spark engaging conversations with notable guests, including filmmaker Barry Avrich and subject Sash Simpson of Born Hungry.  A complete list of film screenings at this year’s Hot Docs is available here.

eclipse

Photo: Jongsun Lee for Unsplash

Significant dates to keep in mind in April:

April 1: Fools’ Day

April 2: National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day

April 7: National No Housework Day and National Beer Day

April 8: Solar Eclipse. There are many planned events across the city where the eclipse can be celebrated including the Ontario Science Centre, Toronto Zoo, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (Tommy Thompson Park), and Toronto Public Libraries at various locations.

April 17: National Canadian Film Day

April 22: Earth Day

April 27: National Gummy Bear Day

April 30: National Bubble Tea Day

*lead in photo by Alice Dietrich on Unsplash