A Downton Abbey ball, a Patois pig roast and 10 other things to do this New Year’s Eve
The Gladstone Hotel’s Edwardian ball
After transforming into the Grand Budapest Hotel for its Wes Anderson–themed Halloween party, the West Queen West hot spot continues its shapeshifting shtick with a Downton Abbey–inspired end-of-year bash. Edwardian characters will deliver interactive performances, old-timey bartenders will serve up themed cocktails, judges will watch for the most dapper costumes, and everyone else, we presume, will be gushing over the Christmas-day series finale. $55. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., gladstonehotel.com.
A pig roast where you can pig out
At Patois, you can ring in the New Year with a mouthful of pork. Chef Craig Wong has teamed up with barbecue pop-up Smoke Signals to host an all-you-can-eat (’til the food runs out, at least) pig roast. Veggie and non-pork options are available, and there will be drink specials every hour, with complimentary champagne at midnight. $65. 794 Dundas St. W., 647-350-8999, patoistoronto.com.
An exclusive indie-music extravaganza
Wavelength, the crew of music boosters behind ALL CAPS! Island Festival and Camp Wavelength, caps off its 15th year championing local indie with its first-ever New Year’s Eve party. Electrifying electro-soul singer Maylee Todd leads a line-up that includes robot-disco dudes Matrox and a pair of DJs who’ll fill in every silent moment between bands. The bash is also the launch of the rebooted #ICYMI exhibition, a collection of posters, photos and artwork from Wavelength history. The evening will be intimate—the venue is a repurposed two-storey house, and only 100 tickets are available. $19.50. Markham House City Building Lab, 610 Markham St., wavelengthtoronto.com.
Five+, an oddly mindful New Year’s experience
A group of DJs, party planners and promoters calling themselves the Five+ Shamans is embracing the New Year’s resolution attitude early with this tropical party, set in an artificial Amazon rainforest. The night begins with an hour of sound therapy and meditation, followed by a gourmet marketplace (food is included with admission). Touch-healing stations and “visionary art” will be strewn about the 20,000-square-foot secret location, too. The evening ends like any respectable party should: with 10 DJs playing until the sun rises. $32.40–$64.20. Secret location, eventbrite.ca.
Drake One Fifty’s old-school New Year
For the big night, Drake One Fifty is planning the “Ultimate Throwback Thursday.” Guests will enjoy four- or six-course menus of old-school favourites like oysters Rockefeller, devilled eggs and lobster thermidor to the sounds of live jazz. $75–$125. 150 York St., 647-531-8037, drakeonefifty.ca.
An end-of-year Elliott Brood gig
It’s fitting that this alt-country Toronto trio is playing a show on New Year’s Eve: the tracks on their most recent album, 2014’s Work and Love, have titles like “Tired,” “Nothing Left” and “End of the Day.” They’re contemplative songs with nostalgic lyrics—a sufficiently wistful soundtrack for year-end celebrations. $20–$25. Lee’s Palace, 529 Bloor St. W., leespalace.com.
A night at Toronto’s best party house
When he’s not working the soundboard at Parts and Labour, shooting videos for Choir!Choir!Choir! or playing in the city’s best (and perhaps only) live karaoke band, Good Enough, ubiquitous music man Tim McCready throws wild parties at his house. Brendan Canning, Buck 65 and virtually every member of Sloan have played 159 Manning Avenue, which became an official NXNE venue in 2014. McCready’s annual New Year’s Eve shindigs are unpretentious, BYOB and a guaranteed good time. $10–$15. 159 Manning Avenue, timmccready.wordpress.com.
A decade-by-decade dance party
If you’re looking to dance up a sweatstorm on NYE, the city offers hundreds of options, none of them quite as cleverly quirky as the Garrison’s Chronologic dance party. The plan: the retro-loving Goin’ Steady DJs spin the sweetest beats from the past century, in chronological order, from the acoustic era’s vocal groups and 1950s doo wop to synth-heavy ’80s tunes and today’s Top 40 hits—a little like an hours-long version of the video above. $25. The Garrison, 1197 Dundas St. W., ticketweb.ca.
DaiLo’s truffle shuffle
Nick Liu’s special New Year’s Eve menu at DaiLo pays homage to the truffle. Almost every dish—including Japanese bolognese and Singapore chili lobster—incorporates some variation of the fancy fungus, be it winter truffle, Chinese truffle, truffle oil, truffle pearls or truffle custard. $75; $50 optional wine pairings. 503 College St., 647-341-8882, dailoto.com.
New Year’s on ice at Harbourfront Centre
Few of the million things happening on December 31 are as kid-friendly as Harbourfront Centre’s skating party. The ingredients are simple—skating rink, warm wintery beverages, jubilant tunes new and old—and the result is superb: a laid-back lakeside milieu, and a decidedly non-clubby way to ring in 2016. FREE. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., harbourfrontcentre.com.
NYE with The Dude
If crowds and cocktails aren’t your bag, find your bliss at the Bloor Cinema’s fourth annual year-end screening of The Big Lebowski. No need to dress up: just show up in a bathrobe and sunglasses, grab a White Russian and popcorn (included with admission) and prepare yourself for some absurd Coen Brothers comedy. $21. Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, 506 Bloor St. W., hotdocs.ca.
Track and Field Bar’s shuffleboard celebrations
On New Year’s Eve, when all the country clubs are closed and all the outdoor bocce lanes are frozen over, there will be only one place to get your geriatric gaming fix: Track and Field Bar. The College Street funhouse features shuffleboard, bocce and crokinole, and, on December 31, it’s hosting a massive dance party with a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. If you’re not too hungover, bring your ticket back on the evening of January 1 for discounted drinks. $25. Track and Field Bar, 860 College St., eventbrite.ca.
An earlier version of this post mistakenly stated that New Year's Eve was a Saturday.