785. September 29-October 1 in Multicultural Toronto – 2017

Are British Home Children a culture? The European Day of Languages certainly qualifies as having quite a few.

Toronto continues to teem with multicultural events in the autumn that you can experience. During this period there’s an annual pow wow, and many Oktoberfest celebrations, only one of which is mentioned here. 

You could also join some home-sick Bengalis as they worship and honour the Hindu goddest Durga. You can enjoy the mesmerizing beat of Indian tablas. I’ve included a film about the controversial seal hunt (from the point of view of Inuit hunters whose livelihood depends on it), and vast numbers of artistic performances. These are from so many of our diverse cultures, we can only mention a few by name, although a great number are excellent and shouldn’t be missed. Do search for some that could interest you.

Then there’s a somber note from Muslim history, one of several marches in Toronto’s streets. Muslim worshipers also mourn a death that happened over a thousand years ago, much like Christians on Good Friday. Of course, I’ve added my favourite image of Toronto.  I first saw it at Muslimfest earlier this year.

And please let me encourage you to experience some Saudi culture and some beautiful autumn colours.

Many of the following events inspired by our diverse cultures are free, or almost free, especially if you are willing to spend a whole night looking for them. The world is indeed in Toronto 24 hours a day.

Britain. British Home Children. Unveiling of monument honouring “these poor souls.” October 1. 12:30pm. Free. Parklawn Cemetary, 2845 Bloor Street West, Etobicoke. (Use the Prince Edward Drive south entrance and follow the signs.) While technically not a culture, this was a significant movement of over 100,000 children sent to Canada from Britain as cheap labour from 1869 to 1949. 75 of these children are buried in this cemetery in two graves, unmarked until now.

For map and information, see: http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/186d15_97df13c9c113452f81d12c83d80827df.pdf

About the children: https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/immigration/immigration-records/home-children-1869-1930/Pages/home-children.aspx

Book jacket “Children’s Homes” by Peter Higginbotham.


Europe. European Day of Languages. September 29. 5pm. Free. Goethe-Institut Toronto, 100 University Avenue, North Tower Suite 201. Tel. 416-593-5257. https://culturedays.ca/en/2017-activities/view/592dd5d7-d2c0-41b8-ad8a-43e94c4a89be and http://www.goethe.de/ins/ca/tor/ver/en13145441v.htm. l 

First Nations. Annual Pow Wow. Saturday, September 30. 6am-5pm. Grand Entry 12pm. Free. Dufferin Grove Park, 875 Dufferin Street. 416-969-8510 x 3472. https://www.nativechild.org/ncfst_data/2017/pdf/NCFST%2020th%20Annual%20Community%20Pow%20Wow.pdf

Germany. Bavaria. Toronto Oktoberfest 2017. September 29 and 30. General Admission $20-$28 includes entertainment. Food and drink for sale. “…Ontario Place parking lot … 30,000 sq. ft. tent! IMPROVED BEER SERVICE! Increased taps, more servers and upgraded chillers for colder, faster beer! IMPROVED VIP! With access to the Bavarian Lodge and early entry. For more details and to purchase your tickets, please visit: www.torontooktoberfest.ca.

India. Toronto Tabla Ensemble. Tabla Open House. September 30. 12-3pm. Free. Performances and demonstrations. Queen Elizabeth Public School, 60 South Service Road, Mississauga. Please RSVP: shamirpanchal@gmail.com.


India. Bengal. Amarpujo. Celebration of Durga Puja. Bollywood singer Shweta Subram to perform.  September 30. October 1. Adults $20 (includes dinner). Swagat Banquet Hall, 6991 Millcreek Dr, Mississauga.

This year we have partnered with The Yellow Brick House located in Richmond Hill. Founded in 1978, Yellow Brick House (YBH) provides services in York Region to women and children who have experienced violence and abuse...” Schedule at: http://amarpujo.amarpujotoronto.org/index.php/pujo-2017/pujo-2017-schedule . More info and passes: www.amarpujotoronto.org.


Inuit. Angry Inuk Screening & Panel Discussion. A film and discussion about the effects of anti-seal hunting campaigns on the Inuit people. Saturday, September 30. 5pm. $5 suggested donation. YWCA Toronto, 87 Elm Street. https://ca.eventbu.com/toronto/angry-inuk-screening-panel-discussion/5626776.

 Multicultural. Opening Concert of World Music Series, Canadian Opera Company. Starts September 28. Many concerts from different parts of the world are on its 2017-2018 schedule. Free. Among the offerings is Jazz Cubano, the Best of Britain, Christmas in Southern Italy, and Moscow’s Sound.

You can scroll through this season’s calendar now and mark the dates that interest you. Look for the events marked with a “W”. The series ends on May 31, 2018 with artists from the Canadian Arabic Orchestra. http://files.coc.ca/pdfs/RBA%20Free%20Concert%20Series%20Brochure%2020172018_For%20Web.pdf

Image courtesy of Canadian Opera Company.


Multicultural. Culture Days. Dance, paint and create with Culture Days programming all across the city (and the whole country). September 29-30. Oct. 1. Free. Many diverse cultural events near you: https://culturedays.ca/en/2017-activities.

Toronto Public Library, for example, has special programs like Irish Ceilidh dancing and Bollywood hip-hop dance fusion, Cuba and Dominican Republic Salsa and Bachata dancing, African dance, Chinese calligraphy, South Asian henna lessons, Italian accordian music, etc. http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/programs-and-classes/featured/culturedays.jsp.

You can explore museums for free. Consider the Gardiner Museum’s “world-renowned collection of ceramics from the Ancient Americas, Europe, China, Japan, and contemporary pottery, and see Raku firing taking place on the plaza on Saturday September 30 and Sunday October 1.” https://www.gardinermuseum.on.ca/event/culture-days-weekend/


Image from Culture Days website.

Multicultural. Nuit Blanche. September 30. 6:58pm to October 1 sunrise. Free. Start planning your night at nbto.com today! 110 contemporary art projects created by hundreds of artists. Various venues. Lots of diverse cultures including A Monument to the Century of Revolutions, GREAT October socialist revolution, Russia 1917 , 2017 in Nathan Phillips Square, https://nbto.com/project.html?project_id=315 and Nomadic Architecture at the Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive: https://nbto.com/project.html?project_id=377.

Take advantage of all-night service on a portion of the TTC. https://nbto.com/

Muslim. Muharram/Islamic New Year. Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar and a time of remembrance or mourning, depending on sect. Different Islamic denominations – Shi’a and Sunni – and cultures commemorate it differently: https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/muslim/muharram-new-year

Ashura Procession for Muharram. September 30. 11am. Free. Gather south side of the Queen’s Park Assembly Building. After the majlis, the procession will leave Queens Park and travel south on University Avenue… Commemorating “the martyrdom of Mazloom wa Shaheed e Karbala Hazrat Imam Hussain bin Ali(as) grandson of the Holy Prophet(sa)…  For any questions please contact 289-633-1946.”

A video of one of these processions in 2015 is on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdxzfzNNSiM

Image Copyright ©2017 Ruth Lor Malloy


Muslim. 150 Muslim Contributions to Canada: a Mixed-Media Exhibit. September 30-January 21, 2018. Admission: $4-$5. Consider also Official Opening October 5. 7-9pm. This mixed-media exhibition showcases the rich heritage and growth the Muslim community has brought to Canada in the last 150 years. It will help build positive dialogue and understanding about the Muslim community and culture. And it hopes to also inspire the community to continue to actively contribute to Canada’s growth in future. The exhibit is a project of MuslimFest and is funded by the Ontario 150 Celebration Program.”

Peel. Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives (PAMA), 9 Wellington Street East, Brampton. Phone: 905-791-4055. http://pama.peelregion.ca/en/exhibitions/upcomingexhibitions.asp

Painting by Henna artists Kadwa Twins. Permission to use it here courtesy of Amreen Kadwa.

Ontario. Fall Colour Progress Report. The trees in this province change to their most beautiful colours in October. It is a time to get out into our parks (by TTC if don’t have a car) and enjoy the splendour. The reds start in the north of the province and move south as the month progresses. You can follow the changes in the website: http://contentservices.tourismpartners.com/api/documents/01A3wVKD7kumiJ7cwMoezQ/download.

The weather in autumn is usually comfortable. Get out and enjoy it before our frigid winter keeps you indoors. For good places to see our famous autumn leaves in town: http://gocanada.about.com/od/torontoattractions/tp/toronto-fall-colours.htm. Most of these available by public transportation.

Image Copyright ©2017 Ruth Lor Malloy


Saudi Arabia.  Saudi National Day. September 30. 3pm. Mel Lastman Square. For more information, try: 1 888-572-8150 and the website www.naditoronto.com

 Toronto. Colborne Lodge Harvest Festival. October 1. 11am-5pm. Free. Colborne Lodge, South end of High Park. 11 Colborne Lodge Drive. https://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=7578ec09cd61c510VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD.

Image from Colborne Lodge website.


Note: TorontoMulticulturalCalendar.com chooses to promote events that encourage a peaceful world in our diverse city. Mention doesn’t mean endorsement but we try to include events we think readers will find stimulating in the cultures of other groups. We hope you will discover something to do near your neighbourhood so you can avoid Toronto’s traffic jams.

Please continue to send us posters and pictures about other upcoming affordable events that give the rest of us a chance to experience Toronto’s exemplary cultural diversity. We don’t charge to post them and we don’t accept paid advertising. We will try to post as many as we can.

Tell us about your adventures in multicultural Toronto. Subscribe to our mailing list for newsletters above. Follow us on www.twitter.com/torontomulticul. — Ruth.










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