Most New Year’s parties and events are outside our price range. Here are a few affordable and interesting events that reflect Toronto’s cultural diversity.
It’s interesting that the Japanese celebrate the western new year, while the Chinese and the rest of Asia have their own dates sometimes in addition, this year starting on January 28.
Black History. Kwanzaa. December 29. 12-6pm. 55 Forest Manor Road. For our 2015 Blog on this inspiring event, see: https://www.torontomulticulturalcalendar.com/2016/01/05/577-kwanzaa-uniting-the-african-diaspora-in-toronto/
Buddhist. Japan. Kindling the Light of Wisdom Heart. December 31. 8-10pm. $10. “The Zen Buddhist Temple New Year’s Eve is a little different from the average New Years event. It’s an evening of chanting, meditation and candlelight. It includes burning the defilements to usher in a new year. Open to all. You are also invited to the New Year’s Day Service at 11:30 am on January 1.” Free. Zen Buddhist Temple, 86 Vaughan Road. https://www.keepandshare.com/calendar/show_month.php?i=1593247&lang=
Buddhist. Japan. New Year’s Eve Bell Ringing at Ontario Place. Saturday, December 31, 11:30pm – Sunday, January 1, 2017. 12:30am. Free. Ontario Place. “It is said that we rid ourselves of the 10 destructive desires and begin anew by ringing in the New Year with 108 strikes of the temple bell. Renew yourself by meeting at the Japanese Canadian Centennial Bell at Ontario Place to strike the bell.” Toronto Buddhist Church. http://tbc.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/GUIDING-LIGHT-DECEMBER-2016.pdf. Background information about the Bell: http://www.torontonajc.ca/2013/02/13/the-temple-bell-at-ontario-place/ . Defilements: jealousy, greed, sarcasm, envy, etc.
Buddhist. Japan. Buddhist. Interfaith. Nembutsu Chanting. December 31. By donation. “Please join us to pray for peace and happiness in 2017, the Year of the Rooster. There will also be traditional ‘soba’ noodles with soup served to welcome the New Year.
9 am ~ 10 am Nembutsu Chanting
6 pm ~ 7 pm Interfaith Nembutsu Chanting
7 pm ~ 7:50 Traditional Japanese Soba Noodles and tea
8 pm ~ 9:00 Nembutsu Chanting (Clearing all past Karma)
9:15 ~ 10:30 Nembutsu Chanting (Creating Brighter Future)
10:45 ~ 12 midnight Nembutsu Chanting (Wish Realization).” http://taosangha-na.com/toronto-news-events/new-years-nembutsu/
England. New Year’s Eve Dance English Country Dancers. Saturday, December 31. 8:30pm – 12:30am. $15-$20. St. Barnabas Anglican Church, 361 Danforth Avenue, at Hampton Avenue. Near Chester subway station. http://torontoenglishdance.ca/newyearseve.html
Ethiopia. 2nd Annual ‘Night in Oromiya’. Friday, December 30. 4-11pm. $5-$15. “A festive family event that showcases the unique traditions and cultures across Oromiya… a night full of food, laughs, dancing and fundraising. This event is opened to the public. 50% of the proceeds will be sent back home for those who seek medical attention and/ or burial sites for those dead due to the ongoing unrest in Oromiya. #OromoRevolution #OYAOntario Tags. Montecassino, 3710 Chesswood Drive.
Hindu. New Year’s Eve Harinama. December 31. 10pm-2am. Worship and then group heads at 11:30pm to Old Toronto City Hall. Congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord as shown by Srila Prabhupada, founder of the Hare Krishnas. http://iskcontoronto.blogspot.ca/2016/12/ring-in-2017-in-grand-fashion-with.html.
Japan. New Year’s Eve. Not all Japanese New Year’s events are meditative; for example, if you can afford $110 per person, there a lively bash at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. However, if you can wait, the January 22 New Year’s Festival also mentioned on the JCCC website is cheaper. $7 each or $16 a family.
Multicultural. New Year’s party on New Year’s eve in King City. December 31. 8:30pm. Non members $5. Pot luck. 13620 Weston Road, King City. The Ontario Folk Dance Association. Details are at: http://ofda.ca/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/newyear_16web.pdf
Multicultural. Share the Warmth. December 31. 7-11pm. Free. Package and distribute winter kits for refugees. Centre for Social Innovation, 192 Spadina Avenue. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/spread-the-warmth-on-new-years-eve-tickets-30043721580?aff=erelexpmlt
Russia. Puppetmongers Theatre. Dec 28 at 7 pm, Now through Dec 31 daily at 1 pm. $15. The annual spectacle of puppetry and music for families & ages 5 to 105 features two folktales told in old Russia about justice, humanity and compassion. Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street. http://puppetmongers.com/shows-in-theatres/
Scotland. We’re sorry that Scotland’s Hogmanay at Mackenzie House on December 29 is already sold out. Please mark your calendar now for 2017 and book it a month in advance. The Hogmanay at Toronto’s Gibson House costs $60 and might still be available. But it’s too expensive for us to promote.
Toronto. New Year’s Eve at Nathan Phillips Square. 7pm to fireworks at midnight. Free. Live musical performances by JUNO Award winners, Walk Off The Earth, award-winning Mexican/Canadian artist, Boogat, Canadian/Jamaican reggae artists, Exco Levi and High Priest; and soul/pop singer and songwriter Nefe. Other site animations include a skating party sponsored by Tim Hortons with DJ Shub, formerly of A Tribe Called Red. toronto.ca/canada150. Sat., Dec. 31 – New Year’s Eve – TTC Ride free from 7pm-7am. Jan. 1 courtesy of Corby Spirit and Wine.
Toronto. New Year’s Eve Countdown Tradition for kids. Too young to stay up to midnight for welcoming in the New Year?
Countdown at 9pm. December 31. 9pm. Free. Rennie Park with ice skating. Near Bloor and South Kingsway, 1 Rennie Terrace. http://www1.toronto.ca/parks/prd/facilities/complex/181/index.htm
New Years at Noon. Jane-Dundas Library. 11am-12pm. Free. For ages 3 and up with caregivers. 60 Jane Street. Drop in only. http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMEVT269066&R=EVT269066
Toronto. Seasonal lights. They are free for all to enjoy. You just have to tour the city. Here are a few from this year and from the last several years. We haven’t seen them yet but among the most interesting are the dozens of giant Santas and competing giant snowmen in the Inglewood Drive and Rose Park Drive areas. https://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2015/12/23/toronto-neighbourhood-showdown-gets-frosty.html.
Let us know about Toronto’s other free or nearly-free cultural events. Send posters or information to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image from Kwanzaa. Copyright ©2015 Ruth Lor Malloy