It seems like nothing is going to scare us off of celebrating Halloween this year. Events across the city are coming back with a vengeance. From haunted gatherings to parades with pets. Here’s how to enjoy the nights leading up to all things spooky fun in Toronto!
ROM AFTER DARK FANTASTIC BEASTS: October 28, 7:30 pm to 11:30 pm. This Halloween spooktacular cultural event for adults (19+) offers curated performances, music, gallery access to the Fantastic Beasts exhibit with an eclectic mix of bar refreshments and food from themed pop-up stations. Highly recommend booking tickets in advance. Very limited availability at the door.
HERROR at TIFF: October 7-30. calling all cinephiles! Explore this series of honest, daring, and darkly satisfying horror films read by women, co-presented by Rue Morgue. Midnight Madness Presents will complement the lineup with a special presentation of Stephanie Rothman’s under-screened classic The Velvet Vampire, featuring a virtual Q&A with the filmmaker on October 29. Horror fans will also be able to enjoy a lineup of women-centric films on digital TIFF Bell Lightbox including The Blair Witch Project, Crawl, The Lair of The White Worm, The Ring, and You Won’t Be Alone.
LEGENDS OF HORROR at Casa Loma: until October 31. our favourite castle gets a ghostly treatment with a spooky fun. The 2 km trail meanders through the grounds indoors and out. With incredible animatronics, actors (watch out for the clowns), and everything that goes bump in the night this is an unforgettable experience. It’s bigger and spookier than ever before. A half-way stop gives visitors an opportunity to catch a breath and a few libations. Family friendly hours also available.
ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE at Casa Loma: until October 31. from the creators of Legends of Horror this new experience that takes you into the experimental labs where everything goes wrong. This new level of horror with “live” actors is set in a shuttered campus adjacent to the castle.
JAYMES WHITE HOWLAND INN SEANCE: until November 26. This very popular seance invites small groups of no more than 16 to enter into one of Canada’s most haunted places. Mindreader and paranormal expert leads group in calling in any spirits that may just be lurking in the shadows. But don’t be afraid, just be sure to follow his instructions so none will follow you home. Read our experience here.
HOWL’AWEEN at The Bentway: October 29. Halloween is not just for kids! The Bentway is back hosting the popular event for dogs and their families. Costumed parade, treats, music and local vendors will be there to join in all the fun. Prizes for costumes. Get crafty! Register for free.
STORM CROW MANOR: this isn’t your ordinary restaurant! This super fun hotspot draws locals and tourists from around the world. For sci-fi and all things cool “nerds” it’s a treasure trove of items from television and movie sets. It’s an all year round place to definitely visit but Halloween is always a good reason to check it out. Special Halloween Market will be on site, October 16. Halloween party will be on October 30. Tickets on their site. They’ve also mentioned to us that they’ve recently added a strange “Caveat Emptor” vending machine in their Apothecary Room that’s filled with anti-zombie tablets, teeth, hair, and more as well as weird eldritch artifacts that may move when you’re not looking directly at them. The food is great too! The drinks are wild. Trust us! Go! Go!
OFFWORLD SPACE BAR: 739 Queen Street West. Opening very soon! From the brilliant nerds behind Storm Crow Manor come this new elevated cocktail bar experience that blends high-end tradition and cosmic creativity. Beautifully crafted cocktails, delicious small plates and digital “windows” that transport you across the galaxy. Great for sci-fi fans who like to keep it classy, as well as for the space-curious. Keep an eye on their social media for the official opening date!
A QUEEN’S BALL: BRIDGERTON EXPERIENCE TORONTO: 8 Unwin Avenue. Not scary, unless you’re being presented to the Queen in hopes of being this season’s “Diamond” or if tea is being spilled about you by Lady Whistledown. Based on the highly popular Bridgerton series on Netflix comes this real life experience. Set in the Regency Era guests are encouraged to dress the part and it will feel like you’ve walked right on to the set of the show. Makes for a fun Halloween experience with friends!
HALLOWEEN FOOD TRUCK FESTIVAL: Variety Village, 3701 Danforth Avenue. October 29/30. this second annual family friendly festival hosted by Variety – the Children’s Charity of Ontario is a 2-day accessible Halloween event will have food, drinks, kid-friendly activities, treats and live entertainment. Guests are encouraged to come in costume!
HALLOWEEN HAUNT at Canada’s Wonderland: Until October 30. Now in its 17th season, Haunt returns to the popular theme park with hundreds of monsters roaming the grounds, high scare zones, five mazes, eight sinister shows and thrilling night rides. New this year is The Day of the Dead Festival (Dia De Los Muertos) that will join every night with cultural performances, costumes, specialty food and drink. New maze “Pandemonium” is also added in the tunnels under the mountain.Venture there only if you dare! Got kids? Then visit Wonderland’s family-friendly CAMP SPOOKY that runs during the daytime.
HALLOWEEN NIGHTS OF LIGHTS at CF Sherway Gardens: until October 31. From sundown to 11 pm this immersive walk-through Halloween experience invites guests of all ages to check out more than 1.5 million LED an dRGB lights animated and synchronized to Halloween tunes. Located at the end of the trail is Pumpkinville, a fun fair that features larger than life pumpkin sculptures and village with more than 30,000 pumpkins! There are dog friendly dates as well and Fright Nights where roaming zombies and other ghouls will wander (not on the same night for dogs of course). Check their site for full details and tickets.
SPOOKtacular Halloween Celebration at CF Sherway Gardens: St. Joseph’s Health Centre hosts its annual Toronto West Halloween Fest on Sunday, October 30th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Families are invited to take part in an afternoon of activities including a costume parade and trick-or-treat trail, a Halloween magic show and spooky storytelling. The event will feature guest appearances, live entertainment and much more! This is a free event but guests are encouraged to make a donation to ensure that St. Joseph’s Health Centre continues to provide the best care experiences for kids and their families including at our Children’s Emergency Department and the CIBC Just for Kids clinic.
STUDIO 54 at Valerie, Hotel X: October 29. Throw back to the fun days of Studio 54 in this glamorous Halloween weekend event. Come in your glittery costumes and enjoy canapés and a welcome cocktail in addition to regular bar service. The views are spectacular here! Tickets start at $40 (from 8pm to 10 pm). Reservations required.
Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiousities debuts on Netflix October 25. As a fan of his work, I’m really excited about this award-winning filmmaker’s latest work (he often films on location in Toronto!). GDT has curated a collection of unprecedented and genre-defining stories meant to challenge our traditional notion of horror. This special four day, double episode Netflix & Chills Halloween event will be available globally. Also check out the complete schedule of spooky shows on Tudum.com
BITE SIZE HALLOWEEN on Hulu: stream 20 spooky shorts from diverse, emerging filmmakers — Tatiana Maslany, Bridgette Lundy-Paine, and Kate Nash included in the cast. The shorts blend genres like horror, comedy, sci-fi, thriller, and more. Shot in seven different countries, this season takes on topical issues such as racism, gender, parenthood, sexuality, and identity. Now streaming.
KANDL LAB HALLOWEEN: Bubbles are sure to set the tone for making your own cosy candle to enjoy this fall. Seasonal delights and nibbles are a lovely touch to a custom afternoon. Book ahead, and don your Halloween attire, the best dressed will win a free 13oz scented candle of their choice.