212. New Year’s Holiday Weekend in Toronto

Ice-skating in Nathan Phillips Square. A Toronto Tradition. copyright ©2011 Ruth Lor Malloy.

New Year’s in multicultural Toronto has some interesting events that are free. In addition to the children’s 6 to 9:30 pm New Year’s Eve celebration in Rennie Park, there is of course the biggie at Nathan Phillips Square. This is hosted as usual by CityTV and there’ll be fireworks. If you can’t make this free, alcohol-free event, you can watch it on television. See http://www.holidayguide.ca/citytvnewyears2011/.

Rides on the TTC will be free from 12 midnight to 4am January 1. Thanks, TTC.

For those in the north part of the city, there’s a big bash in Brampton with no-charge outdoor ice-skating in Gage Park and marshmallow roasting on Queen St.  Fireworks will explode at 9pm at Brampton City Hall, and at the Rose Theatre at midnight. See http://bit.ly/w4SWce for a detailed schedule.

On Sunday, Jan 1, free skating will continue as usual. See: http://bit.ly/rt0qDk . At least two venues will host annual swims in Lake Ontario. These are fund – raisers. Spectators can watch for free.

On Sunday also, the mayors of Mississauga and Brampton will host their annual levees. Mayor Rob Ford will hold his on Monday, January 2. Brampton’s event will have music and Mississauga’s will have multicultural song and dance performances. 311 couldn’t give me any information about entertainment at Mayor Ford’s event. If you go, all you might get is just some hand-shakes from politicians. Monday is the official holiday.

For times, see www.TorontoMulticulturalCalendar.com . And do let us know if I’ve missed anything special and free that’s available to everyone.

Last year I attended the Lieutenant-Governor’s levee at Fort York. Unfortunately there won’t be a vice-regal event in town this year. Too bad. These are indeed special. We not only spoke with Lieut-Gov. David Onley, but we history buffs enjoyed seeing the military uniforms of old wars and current dress uniforms worn on some good-looking guys. The celebration was special as it seemed to be the first event in the centennial celebrations of the War of 1812. A band played music from a Cuban group and we were treated to gingerbread cookies and muffins, tea and coffee. A report of that visit is on: http://bit.ly/u W4ZAv .

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