619. Easter Weekend March 25-27 and April 29-May 1, 2016

Good Friday commemorates the death of Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity, over 2000 years ago  in both Eastern Orthodox and Western Christian traditions. Good Friday occurs on the Friday before Easter.  This year, Good Friday is March 25 in the Western, and April 29 in the Orthodox calendar.

The most popular and dramatic public commemoration of this event here is the annual procession in Little Italy. This year it is on March 25. The Church of St. Francis of Assisi, 101 Grace Street (two blocks south of College and west of Bathurst), has been organizing a parade depicting the suffering of Jesus before his death. Parishioners also dress up as Roman soldiers. The parade includes veterans of the Italian army and church leaders. The procession this year starts at 3pm and goes south from the church on Grace Street to Dundas, west on Dundas, north on Montrose, east on College, and south on Manning. From there, it goes west on Mansfield Avenue ending back at the church. If you haven’t seen it, please do so you can understand this Italian tradition. The map is at: http://www.stfrancistoronto.org/sfoa_2/?p=1406.

St. Helen’s Catholic Church is frequented by many of our Portuguese neighbours. It has an outdoor procession at 7pm but it is much shorter, March 25 at 1680 Dundas St. West.

St. Mary’s Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo  Church will commemorate Good Friday on April 29 with a service from 7pm to 1:30am on April 30. Its Easter Sunday is on May 1. It’s at 80 Tycos Dr, Toronto. Phone:(416) 781-4802.

An outdoor procession by other Christians centres on social justice which confronts us directly with Toronto’s poor and victims of injustices. It brings us close to the religious meaning of Easter on March 25, God’s love. 2016 Zamtar 2 download_002-page-0

Another popular Easter event is the Toronto Passion Play in Etobicoke, March 25, 26 and 27. General admission: $5.  Information and tickets on: https://tickets.cpacentre.org/. For more information on this year’s show, click on:  http://www.cpacentre.org/#!toronto-passion-play/c1gld.

For information about other Good Friday and Easter Sunday events, consult each Toronto church individually.

Many churches do have services on Easter Sunday, the most important event on the Christian calendar. It is the resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ. Many families, not just Christians, get together over turkey or lamb and special cakes. Some Ukrainians, for example, display their beautiful pascha eggs, and put wreaths of eggs on their front doors.

Please let us know of other interesting affordable ethnic events, both religious and secular. Easter is a spring festival. Easter Sunday is also a day for Easter egg hunts, chocolate bunnies, baby chicks, and parades.

The annual: Easter Parade in the Beach is March 27. It starts at 2pm and goes on for two hours with bands, giant rabbits, and lots of local politicians. Kids will love it. http://www.beacheslions.com/. For Easter egg hunts: http://bit.ly/1RqX72q.

The Easter flower shows are on at Allan Gardens and Centennial Park. Bruce Mills and the Kortright Centre will continue to demonstrate the making of maple syrup until April 3, a Toronto tradition that started this year on March 5. http://maplesyrupfest.com/

Happy Easter.

Copyright ©2016 Ruth Lor Malloy

Copyright ©2016 Ruth Lor Malloy






  1. Thank you for the post. I am looking forward to attending some of these events!

    NOTE: Ukrainian Easter eggs are not called pascha eggs, they are called pysanky, which means “written” eggs. This is because what is written on the eggs has meaning; it is not just a pretty design. The act of “writing” the egg imparts spiritual power which blesses the recipient.

    Also, it is NOT a Ukrainian practice to “put wreaths of eggs on their front doors”!

    You can learn to make pysanky at this upcoming workshop in Toronto: http://kosakolektiv.com/pysanky-workshops/2016/3/26/pysanka-workshop
    or in Oakville, Mar 25 at St. Joseph’s Ukr. Catholic Church (kids workshop)
    or in Guelph, Mar 26 http://www.guelphtribune.ca/events/6307448–easter-bazaar-and-ukrainian-easter/
    or in April at the UNF on Evans Ave.Etobicoke http://unfcanada.ca/calendar/
    (In April because many Ukrainians will be celebrating Easter on May 1 this year, according to the Julian calendar.)

    Thanks again for your wonderful blog!

  2. Sofia, thanks for the corrections. I live in a Ukrainian neighbourhood which blossoms with circles of eggs every Easter time and I just assumed it was a Ukrainian custom. I should have asked. Ruth

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