852. December 7-15+ Affordable Events in Multicultural Toronto – 2018

As usual, the world is in Toronto this week with lots to do, much of it free of charge including a play set in Gaza, a launch of a book of African-Canadian poetry,  and a candle light Christmas parade. Look also for Caribbean, Black-owned, Japanese and Estonian Christmas or holiday markets.  Hungarian folk music. An interactive Italian Christmas play. A Hanukkah event. A party at a Ukrainian nursing home.

A Buddhist potluck, a lively Creole dance to Handel’s Messiah, and a Christmas party fund-raiser with top-rated multicultural performers. Two opportunities to learn English country dancing Jane Austen style. A magnificent collection of wildlife images by very patient worldwide photographers. The famous Welsh male  choir.   And there are many more such happenings we don’t have time or space to list. This city is bursting with wonderful multicultural and cultural hybrid opportunities.

Africa. Canada. Book Launch. Roots of a Woman by Nana Yaa Yeboaa. Sunday, December 9. 3-6pm. Free. A Different Booklist, 779 Bathurst Street. “The poetry of an immigrant woman, where culture, tradition, and the fight for self-definition meet.”

“Join us as we Celebrate WOMAN through the powerful, thought provoking poetry of Nana Yaa Yeboaa at A Different Booklist, with guest, Kwesi Firempong Yeboa.” https://www.adifferentbooklist.com/?q=h.calevents

Black Entrepreneurs. Black-owned Holiday Market. December 8. 12-9pm. Free. Queen Elizabeth Building, Exhibition Place, 180 Princes’ Blvd. “Black Owned Market features great products and services by black-owned businesses from various industries. Come enjoy music, performances, amazing food, and do your holiday shopping.

Donations will go towards funding business development programs to support black youth entrepreneurs. All are welcome.” https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/black-owned-holiday-market-tickets-48984801861

Buddhist. Korea. Winter Sangha Potluck. December 8. 6pm. Zen Buddhist Temple, 86 Vaughan Road. “A service, seasonal vegetarian potluck dinner, music and friendship. Please bring your favourite winter dish, fruit, beverage or sweets.” https://www.zenbuddhisttemple.org/toronto

Lanterns at Zen Buddhist Temple. Image©Ruth Lor Malloy 2011


Caribbean. 2nd Annual Pop-Up Caribbean Christmas Market. December 15. 12-6pm. Free. Ralph Thornton Community Centre, 765 Queen St. East.

… unique, Caribbean-inspired Gifts & Island Eats this holiday season … rum cake, pudding, Haitian + Jamaican patties, ponche crema, sorrel, plus jewellery, accessories, skin care and more…” Email your inquires to: caribbeanfoodguide@gmail.com. https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/pop-up-caribbean-christmas-market-toronto-tickets-51381569658 

Christmas. Creole. Soulful Messiah. Friday December 7 at 8pm; Saturday December 8 at 8pm; Sunday December 9 at 3pm. $20-$48. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay West, Harbourfront Centre. 

Harbourfront has some wonderful events from around the world. Much is free. The dancing at the Fleck Dance Theatre there is not free but you might be interested in this Ballet Creole’s production of Soulful Messiah (as in Quincy Jones’ Grammy Award-winning rendition of Handel’s Messiah).

For a video that could convince you to go, and more information: http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/whatson/dance.cfm?id=10315&festival_id=0

Christmas. Unionville. Olde Tyme Christmas Candlelight Parade. December 7. 5:30-10pm. 157 Main Street, Unionville, Markham. “Kick off the festive season with a Christmas celebration in Unionville. Live entertainment beginning at 5:30pm. Don’t miss the candlelight parade at 7pm. More than 40 floats, bands, and characters. Afterwards kids can visit Santa following the tree lighting ceremony at the Millennium Bandstand.” http://www.unionvilleinfo.com/event/93-olde-tyme-christmas

England. Toronto English Country Dance Assembly. Every Friday. 6:30-9pm. Free. Ralph Thornton Community Centre, 765 Queen Street East. Newcomers are welcome. Maxine.louie@gmail.com; http://www.tecda.ca/

English Country dances also at: http://www.torontoenglishdance.ca/index.html

image from www.tecda.ca website


Estonia. An Estonian Christmas / Rahvajõulupuu. December 8. 12-4pm. Market, folk dancing, food, etc. $10-$15. Toronto Estonia House, 958 Broadview Avenue. https://toronto.carpe-diem.events/calendar/8601602-an-estonian-christmas-rahvaj-ulupuu-at-toronto-estonian-house

France. Canada. Chantez Noel. December 8. 7:30pm. $15-$30.  ClearView Christian Reformed Church, 2300 Sheridan Garden Drive, Oakville, and December 9. 3pm. Chartwell Baptist Church, 228 Chartwell Road, Oakville.

Gaza. Director’s Showcase: Tales of a City by the Sea. Friday, December 7. 8pm and Saturday, December 8. 3pm. Free. Robert Gill Theatre, University of Toronto, 214 College Street. “Tales of A City by the Sea is based on real-life experiences during the 2008-2009 Israeli bombardment of Gaza. It follows a long-distance love story, an illegal underground journey, a tragic loss of a family, and the unconditional urge to continue to find hope within an open-air prison.” https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/directors-showcase-tales-of-a-city-by-the-sea-tickets-52629791122

Hungary. Kodaly Christmas Tanchaz 2018. December 15. 5:29pm-1:29am. 13 years and up—$15; 12 to 6—$5; 0 to 5—free. HCCC / Magyar Haz Hungarian Canadian Cultural Centre — HCCC / Magyar Ház, 141 Sunrise Avenue.” Come celebrate the Holiday Season with the Kodaly Ensemble at our Christmas Tanchaz.” Tickets:

Hungary. Christian. Advent a Magyar Hazban. December 9. 11am. Advent Concert 1:30pm. Hungarian Canadian Cultural Centre, 141 Sunrise Avenue.

Italy. “If on a Christmas Night…” December 4 – 23. Previews: $25; General Admission – Adults: $40; Children (Ages 6-12): $20; Seniors (65+), Students (Ages 13-25) and Artists: $25. Columbus Centre, 901 Lawrence Avenue West. If on a Christmas Night… ”is an interactive and immersive theatrical experience specifically designed for the Columbus Centre.” Mainly in English. For times and more information: rsvp@villacharities.com; 416-789-7011 ext. 250. https://www.villacharities.com/christmasnight/ https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/if-on-a-christmas-night-se-una-notte-a-natale-tickets-50006719444

Image from Columbus Centre website.


Japan. J-Town Holiday Market. December 8, 9, 15, 16. 10am-6 or 7pm. J-Town, 3160 Steeles Avenue East, Markham. “Enjoy festive foods, games and entertainment!” http://www.jtown.ca

Jewish. Beth Tikvah Tots Hanukkah for Kids. December 9. 10-11am. Free. “Please bring a donation for the Chai Lifeline Toy Drive. Beth Tikvah Synagogue, 3080 Bayview Avenue. Join Rabbi Louis, Sigal, and Kati Szabo Kovari for storytime, cookie decorating, latkes, and much more! Pre-registration required.” Visit the BT website or call 416-221-3433. For more info: sigal@bethtikvahtoronto.org.

For other Hanukkah events you might attend, see: https://jewishtoronto.com/calendar/month/grid/2018/12/01

Image copyright ©2012 Ruth Lor Malloy


Multicultural. Celebrate! Holidays of the Global Village with Chris McKhool. December 9. 2pm. $20 Advance/$25 Door/Kids free. Please bring non-perishable food for Daily Bread Food Bank. Kingston Road United Church, 975 Kingston Road.

Family Concert with special guests Aviva Chernick, Shannon Thunderbird, Maryem and Ernie Tollar, Donne Roberts, Kevin Laliberte, Drew Birston and more presented by Chris McKhool. “Celebrate! gives young audiences a glimpse into the different customs, celebrations and festivities enjoyed in Canada.” For more information and video: http://smallworldmusic.com/shows/celebrate-holidays-global-village-chris-mckhool/

Image from http://smallworldmusic.com/shows/celebrate-holidays-global-village-chris-mckhool/


Ukraine. Joy of Lights. December 9. 6–9pm. Ukrainian Canadian Care Centre, 60 Richview Road. https://www.facebook.com/events/1424913307653290

Wales. The Toronto Welsh Male Voice Choir.  Wednesday, December 12. 7:30pm. $30. Calvin Presbyterian Church, 26 Delisle Avenue.

World. Wildlife Photographer of the Year ROM. Now to March 31, 2019. Daily 10am-5:30pm. General admission: $22.50-$28. Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park.

Whether you’re a nature lover, aspiring photographer, or simply love a perfectly captured moment, you will appreciate the talent and technical expertise required to photograph such rare and surprising glimpses of the diverse life on this planet.” https://www.rom.on.ca/en/wildlife-photographer-of-the-year-2018

Image from ROM website.


Note from Ruth: TorontoMulticulturalCalendar.com chooses to promote events that encourage a feeling of community in our culturally diverse city. Mention doesn’t mean endorsement as we try to include events we think readers will find stimulating in the cultures of other groups. If you go to any of our mentioned events, please send us corrections or an account of your impressions so we will know whether or not to mention these events in future.

Let us know the kind of events that interest you. Please continue to send us posters. We don’t charge to post them and we don’t accept paid advertising. Please post comments on “Leave a Reply” below. Email us at: ruthlormalloy@gmail.com. Please subscribe to our Newsletter above.



  1. Dear Ruth,

    This was a great selection—especially the Ballet Creole (for a friend) and so I’m passing your TMC news on to her- Sarah. She may contact you.

    How you manage all you do in one day, is nothing short of miraculous

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