A giant indoor confetti dome, a podcast festival and six other things to see, hear, do and read in Toronto this week
The happiest place in Toronto
1After a successful run in Los Angeles, Happy Place—a cross between Wonderland and Willy Wonka’s factory—embarks on a world tour, popping up at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre for two months of made-for-Instagram magic. Highlights include the world’s largest indoor confetti dome, a rubber duck–filled bathtub and an installation featuring seven-foot stilettos made from millions of candies. Opens Thursday, November 1. $32.50–$39.50. Harboufront Centre.
An Icelandic feast
2From sheep’s head jelly to fermented shark, Icelandic dishes are nothing short of interesting. If you can’t swing the six-hour flight, a Taste of Iceland is bringing the Nordic cuisine and culture to Toronto, with a mix of dining, music, architectural talks and a short film festival. Thursday, November 1 to Monday, November 5. Various prices. Various locations.
A podcast fest and all the rest
3Back for its third year, the Hot Docs Podcast Festival puts faces to some of the country’s most iconic voices. The five-day audiophile’s paradise brings together top podcasters for a full slate of panels and live recordings, featuring creators from WNYC’s LGBT podcast Nancy, BuzzFeed’s lust-themed hit Thirst Aid Kit, CBC’s The Secret Life of Canada and ESPN’s award-winning 30 for 30. Also on the roster is the smooth-voiced LeVar Burton of Reading Rainbow and Star Trek, who will make a special appearance to teach people a thing or two about what it means to hold the title as the “world’s greatest storyteller.” Thursday, November 1 to Monday, November 5. $19–$34. Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.
The return of the Royal Winter Fair
4The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair offers a rural escape from the city without the gridlock on the 400. A Toronto tradition since 1922, the 10-day fair features timeless attractions like horse jumping, sheep herding, butter sculpting and unworldly giant vegetables (there are over 2,000 planned competitions). This year, The Royal partnered with Boots and Hearts to launch a new Country Music Culinary Festival, headlined by Tim Hicks. Friday, November 2 to Sunday, November 11. $15–$27.50. Exhibition Place.
A quirky sports memoir
5Canadian actor Jay Baruchel has always been vocal about his love for the Montreal Canadiens: he proudly sports their team logo in interviews, has appeared in promo videos and once received the title of honorary captain. In his debut memoir, Born With It, he takes his fandom one step further, weaving together his most hilarious and nostalgic stories from his childhood in Montreal and his time spent living in the enemy territory of Oshawa, where Leafs fans dominate. Baruchel brings the same heart and humour to his writing that he does to his acting, which makes this sports memoir equal parts entertaining, lighthearted and comedic. Tuesday, October 30. $23. Harper Collins.
An Indigenous dance show
6Renowned Indigenous dance company Red Sky Performance brings Anishinaabe philosophy and cosmology to life in their new show, Trace. The performance takes audiences on a journey across the Milky Way as six dancers and three musicians trace our origins back to the dawn of the universe through movement. Tuesday, October 30 to Sunday, November 11. $49–$79. Berkeley Street Theatre.
A Rasta and Regge fest
7Rastafest is Canada’s biggest celebration of Rastafarian culture. Now in its 25th year, the festival has grown to include art, food and history alongside its regular bill of reggae performers. This year’s featured acts include Jamaican singer Admiral Tibet (a.k.a “Mr. Reality”), Juno nominee Iley Dread and local performers. Friday, November 2. $20. Artscape Wychwood Barns.
A mellow night with the Bahamas
8Self-taught guitarist Alfie Jurvanen, best known by his stage name Bahamas, released his fourth album, Earthtones, earlier this year. The Barrie native’s mellow brand of soft-rock has carried him though the past two decades, and his new songs incorporate influences from hip-hop and R&B. After embarking on a cross-country tour to promote Earthtones, Jurvanen is winding down in Toronto with five back-to-back shows at the Danforth. Thursday, November 1 to Sunday, November 4. $39.50–$49.50. Danforth Music Hall.