The Weekender: Santa Claus Parade, Winter Woofstock and six other events on our to-do list

The Weekender: Santa Claus Parade, Winter Woofstock and six other events on our to-do list

Gordon Lightfoot (Image: Larry Busacca/Getty Images Entertainment)

Sure, these SportChek-sponsored exhibition tennis matches don’t actually count for anything, but with the calibre of players coming to the ACC, it seems peevish to complain. Former number one Andy Roddick, who recently retired, challenges upstart local boy Milos Raonic, while Serena Williams takes on Agnieszka Radwanska (Williams beat Radwanska in this year’s Wimbledon final). As a slightly random appetizer, there will be a pre-match celebrity mixed doubles game, in which the four professionals will be joined by George Stroumboulopoulos, Adrian Grenier and the current Canadian Bachelor, Brad Smith. November 16. $49–$214. Air Canada Centre, 50 Bay St., 1-855-985-5000,

Proving a death hoax will only make your career stronger, Canadian icon Gordon Lightfoot brings his folksy majesty back to Massey Hall, 45 years after debuting there. With 16 Juno awards tucked neatly into his trademark vest, Lightfoot was further honoured this year by being awarded the Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contribution to Canadian music. November 14–17. $45–$85. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., 416-872-4255,

Winter Woofstock is a veritable playground for the type of dog owners who refer to their pooches as their “babies.” Highlights include a “doggie communicator” (yes, she’s a pet medium), pageants and canine-themed contests. But cute dogs aren’t the only ogle-worthy beasts on display: the Oakville firefighters will be providing the backdrop for pet portraits (What? Their calendar supports Canadian guide dogs!). November 17–18. $10. Direct Energy Centre, 100 Princes’ Blvd., 416-234-9663,

The classic good versus evil tale gets a sexed-up rock ’n’ roll facelift courtesy of former American Idol contestant Constantine Maroulis (perhaps known more for his hair than his performances) and Scarborough-raised R&B singer Deborah Cox. Directed by Jeff Calhoun (Newsies, Big River), this new production features sweeping scenery and decidedly low-cut and tight costumes. Toronto is the only Canadian stop en route to Broadway. November 14–18. $29–$150. Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria St., 416-872-1212,

Internationally adored violinist (the man has 15 Grammys, for goodness sakes) Itzhak Perlman shows off the chops and sensitivity that earned him the honour of playing at President Obama’s first inauguration. Perlman performed with the TSO earlier this year, and is returning for a solo recital of works by Mozart, Fauré and Stravinsky. Rohan De Silva accompanies him on the piano. November 18. $29.50–$129.50. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., 416-872-4255,

Taxi drivers face a barrage of different faces in their rearview mirrors each day, from the impatient to the crazed, not to mention often abysmal working conditions. With the taxi industry in Toronto on the brink of a dramatic shift, and the population of Toronto expanding at a rapid clip, this multimedia performance is nothing if not timely. Created and performed by Ruth Madoc-Jones, Marjorie Chan and Alex Williams, who’ll interact with videos of cab rides and interviews with cabbies. November 16–December 18. $30–$35. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Ave., 416-504-7529,

Foodies can stock up on gadgets for their next wine and cheese night at the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo. For the wine connoisseur, a gourmet gala will be held on the Friday evening, and there are numerous international wine-tasting workshops throughout the weekend. There’s also a Food Network stage with celebrity chefs like Top Chef Canada season one contestant Andrea Nicholson bringing their expertise to the expo. November 15-18. $20. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building, 255 Front St. W., 1-866-414-0454 ext. 350,

Even the most cold-hearted Grinch can’t help but smile when the fat man in the red suit sails by on a giant float. Toronto celebrates its 108th annual Santa Claus Parade, complete with an app to track Santa’s progress and cameras snapping pictures of the crowd from the float (you can go online post-parade and download your picture—which is slightly creepy, but the intentions are sweet). Starting at Christie Pits and ending up at St. Lawrence Market, the parade will weave its way through the downtown core, spreading cheer, glad tidings, traffic jams and those little plastic-wrapped candy canes to one and all. November 18. 416-249-7833,