We didn’t have much of a snowy winter (so far). But as Torontonians we know it ain’t over until it’s over. As we wait for cherry blossom season (eeek, sooooon!) here are a few happenings in our City Girl’s Guide for the month of March!

YOU GO LADIES!

The Collective Women’s Empowerment Summit: March 2 at the Park Hyatt Hotel: This full day event is filled with immersive programming, panels, discussions and networking opportunities. The event aims to inspire, uplift, and empower women from diverse backgrounds by bringing together accomplished leaders, influences, and advocates to create a platform for meaningful discussions. Hosted by The Social’s Melissa Greco, the event will feature a lineup of industry titans including New York Times bestselling author, award-winning journalist and television host Elaine Welteroth. The event is in support of the Canadian Women’s Foundation. Great for leaders, young professionals, and business owners. Follow @collectivesummit for updates. Tickets available here.

When Sisters Speak: March 2 at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts (27 Front Street East).  As part of Black Mental Health Week (March 4-10), this annual event aims to raise awareness about the effects of systemic, anti-Black racism on mental health and wellness. Featuring performances from 2024 Grammy nominee, Queen Sheba (Atlanta), 5-time Grammy nominee and one half of the group Floetry, The Floacist (UK), Ayanna Albertson-Gay (Orlando), Canadian National Poetry Slam Champion, Shelly Grace (Toronto), Hannah Flores (Toronto), and Shahaddah Jack (Toronto).  Tickets here.

RAD: After Hours Celebration for International Women’s Day:March 8 at the Royal Ontario Museum. As part of the ROM’s After Dark (RAD) popular 19+ events, celebrate women in this jam-packed night out. The evening includes live entertainment, food, DJs and access to the entire museum. Live performances include Lilyisthatyou, Jordan Alexander, Probably Theatre Collective, and Gimmemar. The event will also bring all the Barbie energy complete with everything pink and the opportunity to create beautiful origami. DJs Baby Q and Marina Bósèdé will also keep the groove turned up. Some of the city’s yummies food vendors will also be on site. Website: rom.on.ca 

Flowing for Our Sisters Sunset Yoga at Hotel X: March 10. Celebrating women in this two-hour yoga fundraising event at Hotel X’s 10xto. The session will focus on women’s empowerment, strength and inspiration with 100% of the funds raised to be donated to Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter and Library In A Week. The class will feature nature’s sunset as a backdrop with curated music by DJ Natalie Rivera. Light refreshments included. Tickets here

Sweet and Reckless at the Drake Underground: March 9. Hosted by Nonoza and Queen Tai with DJ Baby Faye, DJ Ama, DJ Playgirl and Yomsexe. This is a party celebration of Women’s month in style with an all-women lineup of DJs and hosts. Starts at 10 pm (early arrival recommended). Website: thedrake.ca 

TORONTO’S ARTS SCENE:

REBEL YELL: Girlhood in the 1980s at TIFF: During the month of March this series caught our attention as described as “punk girl films”. Films that defined a generation of young women – rebellious, exciting, and often controversial. Some were considered hits but many barely made it. Here’s a chance to catch a few of them including Foxes (Adrian Lynn), Ladies and Gentleman The Fabulous Stains (Lou Adler), Old Enough (Maris Silver), Out of the Blue (Dennis Hopper), Starstruck (Gillian Armstrong), Times Square (Allan Boyle). Website: tiff.net

From Gloom to Grin: Managing Eco-Anxiety through Art at the ROM: March 2, 2 pm to 5 pm. If the current talk about climate crisis makes you anxious and overwhelmed, you’re not alone. In this art therapy workshop explore managing those feelings through opportunities to chat with others and complete creative exercise guided by professional art therapist. This may offer insight and ways to deal with those feelings. Using art to heal from collective traumas is a theme highlighted in the ROM’s online exhibition Aftershocks: Japanese Earthquake Prints. The worship ties in to that theme using examples from historical and contemporary Japanese art. Full details on the site. Website: rom.on.ca 

SIX Musical Sing-Along: March 6. Royal Alexandra Theatre. Join the Queens in the first-ever sing-along performance of this amazing musical! From Tudor Queens to Pop Icons, the six wives of Henry VIII take to the stage in this smart, funny, and highly energetic night. It’s “her-story” and a must-see. Shy to sing? That’s okay, the very popular musical has more dates available. Website: Mirvish.com

Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival: March 6-17 at The Theatre Centre and Comedy Bar on Bloor. A star-studded line up of over 60 sketch comedy troupes from across North America, all rally the comedy community around over 50 high-energy showcases as well as the 7th annual TOsketchfest Film Festival. Highlights include Scott Thompson The Kids in the Hall) as Buddy Cole in King, the long awaited TOsketchfest return of TallBoyz, plus Sex T-Rex in their smash hit SwordPlay (Just For Laughs Best Comedy Award). We have our eyes on the Big Chick Energy! Website: torontosketchfest.com 

Big Chick Energy: My Best Friend’s Sketch Show at TOsketchfest

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead: March 5 to 24.  CAA Theatre. Playwright Tom Stoppard burst onto the scene in 1966 with his absurdist comedic masterpiece Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. It was an instant hit at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and was quickly staged at the Old Vic in London and then on Broadway, where it won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1968. The play is now considered a modern classic and a favourite of actors to perform.

The story of Hamlet is reimagined in this brilliant comedy that thrusts two minor characters to the forefront. Prince Hamlet has been exiled to England by his treacherous uncle Claudius, who has murdered his brother (Hamlet’s father) and crowned himself king. On his way to England in the company of his school friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet discovers they are carrying a letter from King Claudius that commands that Hamlet be put to death when he arrives in England. Hamlet rewrites the letter to command that instead, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern be put to death. He then escapes back to Denmark.

The bewildered Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are trapped in this absurdist universe where their lives are left to chance with the flip of a coin. Website: Mirvish.com

Replay Story Fest: March 6 to 10. Burdock Music Hall. A showcase of real stories told by the people who lived them. From live performances to music, live journalism to poetry. This festival offers the opportunity to revel in the magic of our shared lived experiences. Schedule and tickets available on their site. Website: replaystorytelling.com

Women Rising at the ROM: If you’re a member of the Royal Ontario Museum, there are several tours happening throughout the month focused on women who dared to rise up and rule. From Greek Goddesses to queens of the natural world, the tour spans oceans and ages. Details on how to register is on their site. Website: rom.on.ca 

Canadian Film Fest: March 18 to 23. Scotiabank Theatre. CFF is an indie-inspired festival dedicated to supporting Canadian Filmmakers. The festival presents a variety of films across the country from dramas to documentaries that resonate with Canadians. It also includes panels and masterclasses that are essential to the grown of our country’s film industry. The Festival also includes Homegrown Shorts, and a spotlight on Toronto filmmakers.  Website: canfilmfest.ca 

IDEAS at Crow’s  Theatre: CBC Radio’s IDEAS and Toronto’s Crow’s Theatre have collaborated to explore the ideas that animate great art and the crucial questions that shape our world. This five-part talk series to be recorded at Crow’s Theatre in Toronto from January to June 2024, inspired by five plays in the Theatre’s 2023-2024 and 40th anniversary season. This series, hosted by Nahla Ayer, is a forum for artists and scholars to develop new ideas, and for audiences to engage directly with the pressing questions of our time.  Coming up Sunday, March 24 at 10:30am, Miglena Todorova at Streetcar Crowsnest: The Making and Unmaking of Violent Men. All talks take place from 10:30am-12.00 noon in advance of the afternoon play performances. Website: crowstheatre.com 

MOCA Triennial Exhibition Greater Toronto GTA: Opens March 24. the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto (MOCA) will launch Greater Toronto Art 2024 (GTA24), the second edition of the museum’s highly-acclaimed triennial exhibition. Presenting a constellation of 25 artists, duos, and collectives, GTA24 is a project that challenges the notion of individualism and focuses instead on the interconnectedness of individuals within a larger social fabric.  The exhibition weaves together 15 newly commissioned artworks and live programmes with existing work made between the 1960s and the present. The exhibition will be on until July 28, 2024. Website: moca.ca 

Arcadia Earth: ongoing at The Well (Front & Spadina). If you’re looking for an escape within the city, first The Well, is a jaw-dropping stunning destination not just for the architecture but for what’s been buzzing here. Included is the permanent exhibition title Arcadia Earth. This breathtaking  immersive and interactive walk-through exhibition incorporates augmented reality as you learn more about the planet we live on. Great to bring kiddies during March Break s well. Afterwards, hit up Mandy’s Salads just one level below. Website: arcadiaearth.ca

Arcadia earth toronto

International Art + Found Day: March 12 everywhere. This idea keeps growing connecting artists with art lovers across the globe. Now in its fourth year, artists are setting their works free, literally for free into the wild. There are quite a few artists participating (seasoned and emerging) in our city. No obligation to do anything. The artists just want finders to just enjoy the art. Maybe post on social. If you’re an artist you can register to participate on the official site. Full instructions on the Website: artandfoundday.com

FOOD HAPPENINGS IN MARCH:

AP Restaurant + Mont Bar Two-Night Pop-up: March 6 and & at AP Restaurant. The stars align the smooth with a two night only pop-up dining  event. Celebrity Chef Antonio Park (AP Restaurant) and guest Chef Fran Aged (Barcelona’s Michelin-starred Mont Bar) unite in this extraordinary collaboration. Ticketed dinner are set to showcase Chef Antonio’s deep appreciation for Japanese and Pan Asian cuisine as well as locally sourced ingredients along side Chef Fran’s signature, highly imaginative Spanish cuisine. Food lovers won’t want to miss this. This collaboration is presented by Estrella Damm. Website: aprestaurants.com

Olivia Rodrigo Themed Brunch at Patois: March 30. In additional to weekend brunch service, Patois (my favourite Caribbean restaurant in Toronto) has started a series of Concert Brunches in tandem with Toronto’s exciting live music scene. The brunch will feature themed playlists, cocktails and dishes. If you’re actually attending the concert that weekend for the named artist, show your ticket for a complimentary mimosa or orange juice. Watch for Nicki Minaj next month and later on in the year, Taylor Swift! Check site often for updates. Reservations highly recommended. Website: patoistoronto.com 

High Tea + High Tops at The Drake Hotel: Indulge in sweet and savoury offerings along with tea, jellies and jams along with some provisions from Foodpreneur Lab, a Canadian Black women-founded nonprofit. Every Sunday. Website: thedrake.ca

SPRING REFRESH:

National Home Show: Enercare Centre. March 8-10 & 13-17. Looking for the latest trends in home renovations? Need some inspiration? This consumer show is full of ideas for your next home refresh. Check out the Speakers Lounge with an impressive roster of Canada’s leading designers, industry experts and familiar faces in home deign, renovation and gardening. Line up includes TV personality Mike Holmes, BT’s Frankie Flowers, HGTV Canada’s Sebastian Clovis.

Celebrate Women in Construction Week  that will be there to promote women in the skilled trades. Also expected to speak are Tracy Moore, Glen Peloso, Carson Arthur, Lynda Reeves, Tommy Smythe, Sarah Richardson, Alexander Younger, and many more. PLUS some of Toronto’s top chefs and restauranteurs will host cooking demonstrations and talks at the Outdoor Kitchen Stage uncluding Nick Liu (DaiLo), Sarah Hoebeke (Duchess of Sweets and Treats), Brian Misko (House of Q) and more.  Website: torontohomeshows.com

UNIQLO Official Opening at CF Fairview Mall: March 1 at 9am. Torontonians are invited to join in on opening day festivities of the highly popular Japanese apparel brand’s latest locations. Starting at 9 am, the first 300 customers will receive free coffee and snacks courtesy of Pilot Coffee Roasters. Then, at approximately 9:35 am Kyowa Taiko Performance will entertain with their energetic beats followed by opening remarks and a ribbon cutting ceremony. The doors will officially open to customers at 10 am. The weekend will continue with in-store festivities, Japanese treats and $100 UNIQLO gift card giveaway opportunities. 

GET OUT OF TOWN:

The Skate Escape and Outdoor Adventure Centre at Friday Harbour: Returning is this beloved seasonal outdoor activity open until mid-March. Skate the charming rink at the heart of the Piazza on the retail Promenade. Skate rentals available. Then cozy up at the fire pits and warming lounges and enjoy a curated selection of sweet and savoury treats. Live entertainment also happening at various times. While you’re there, check out the 7 kilometres paths through the tranquil Nature Preserve or journey through The Next trails on snowshoes, cross country skis, or fat bikes (rentals available). Website: fridayharbour.com/events 

Friday Harbour - Innisfil

Friday Harbour

Explore New Brunswick (in Toronto) at Naturescape: March 16 from 11 am to 7 pm at the Design Exchange. Be transported to the east Coast of Canada with this free public event. Featuring a preview of Maestro Chef Wes Season Two – filmed entirely in New Brunswick. Naturescape invites guests to explore all facets of New Brunswick. Engage in a variety of activities inspired by the province including an immersive video projection experience. Also, listen to music from Indigenous, Acadian and Cuban-Canadian artists and taste some of the province’s most delicious foods. Live performances held throughout the day.

7 Summits Snowshoe Challenge for Skin Cancer: if you’ve been participating in this event all February long, be sure to join in on Sunday March 3 at 9am EST at the Hardwood Ski and Bike in Ontario’s Lake Country region to complete the final 5 km of the challenge. The family friendly event will offer snow shoeing across the beautiful trails and enjoy the Sip & Savour food and drink stations prepared by celebrity chefs at every kilometre. The 7 Summits Snowshoe Challenge presented by Neutrogena in partnership with Melanoma Canada – aims to raise awareness for melanoma and promoting sun safety while being active. Website: 7summits.ca