From great art to great food, there’s something for everyone this New Year!

by Maya Honda-Granirer, Staff Writer

Planned Leslie Lookout Park in Toronto’s Port Lands, see more at no. 7.
Photo source: CCxA

With a dreary and cold start to 2024, it can be easy to lose hold of the excitement and joy of New Year’s Day. But, there are many fun occasions in store for this year, especially in Toronto, including new food ventures, art exhibits, festivals, and more. Here are 10 events to look forward to this year, hand-picked for the U of T student who wants to get more bang for their buck – or, better yet, no buck!

1. Student Art Exhibition: Ephemeral Reverie

When: January 19th to March 17th

Where: Hart House

Come see your fellow U of T students’ incredible artworks at the student-organized Winter Talking Walls exhibition. The theme for this year’s exhibit is Ephemeral Reverie, which is explored and embodied by the artists using diverse media, interpretations, and meanings. Whether you are a passionate art lover or simply someone looking to take a break from schoolwork, this exhibit is a perfect opportunity to unwind, contemplate the beauty of the ephemeral, and appreciate some local, U of T art! Located on the second floor of Hart House, this exhibit is completely free and will be available all the way into March. 

2. The Underground Market by Street Eats

When: February 24th to March 23rd

Where: Evergreen Brickworks

There will be a social underground market coming to Toronto this February, with iconic food and drinks, games, and live entertainment. What’s even better is all food and drinks will be $7 dollars or less! Although it is a bit far from U of T’s St. George campus – around 45 minutes by public transit – the trip will certainly be worth it. There will be over 30 vendors, many of them emerging food entrepreneurs, chefs, and home cooks who are eager to share their creations with a food-loving crowd. Some important notes: there is a $7 dollar admission fee and tickets go on sale starting January 24th. Additionally, it is an adult-only event, so make sure to bring a piece of ID and ensure that you and your party are all 19 and above.

3. Toronto Career Fair and Training Expo

When: March 20th

Where: Queen Elizabeth Building

Looking to find a job? Or to chat with potential employers and learn about a career you’ve always been interested in? Well, if that is the case, then this job fair organized by Jobs Canada Fair is perfect for you. It is a multisector event with employers seeking to hire from all levels of experience and walks of life. Even if you’re not looking to find a job, this would be a great way to have your job questions answered by a professional in that field, and to start building connections. Tickets can be reserved for free here. There will be additional job fairs on May 28th and September 17th, 2024. 

4. Total(-ish) Solar Eclipse 

When: April 8th, at roughly 3:19 PM EDT

Where: The sky!

There will be a total solar eclipse visible across North America, and partially visible in Toronto, on April 8th. The last time Canada experienced a total solar eclipse was in 2008, except that it was only visible in the far north. Otherwise, the most recent total eclipse was in 1979! Unfortunately, Toronto lies just outside the path of totality, so we will not be able to see the total solar eclipse, but rather a partial one. It will nonetheless be a magnificent sight – just make sure you are wearing protective eclipse glasses while you look. 

5. Making Her Mark: A History of Women Artists in Europe, 1400-1800 

When: March 27th to July 1st

Where: Art Gallery of Ontario

This upcoming exhibition at the AGO will exclusively feature artworks by women in an effort to spotlight the contributions of women to European art, which have traditionally been underrepresented and underrecognized by museums and history books. There will be a myriad of art media on display, including paintings, ceramics, textiles, metal work, cabinetry, and more. Additionally, the artists featured will consist of well-known artists, amateurs, and factory-working women alike. The AGO is free for all under the age of 25 and within walking distance of U of T’s St. George campus. Why not challenge the patriarchy in European art and view some incredible pieces by visiting the AGO after exam season?

6. Doors Open Toronto 

When: May 25th and 26th

Where: All around Toronto!

Doors Open Toronto is a yearly festival during which over 700 buildings, sites, and exhibitions all around Toronto open up to the public, free of charge. The festival also includes guided tours, illuminating talks, live entertainment, and more. It is a great chance to explore the city, meet new people, and learn about Toronto’s history. Keep your eye out for more information about this year’s festival starting this spring. 

7. Opening of the Leslie Lookout Park

When: Starting June

Where: Port Lands

Toronto – a city admittedly known for its lack of green spaces – is getting an innovative new park this year. Leslie Lookout Park, located near Toronto’s Distillery District, will feature a mini-forest, public beach, lookout tower, and bike repair station. It will also be a phenomenal lookout spot, with views of the Toronto skyline. The park has been designed with climate stewardship and Indigenous principles in mind, and is meant to serve as a space for people to come together. So, for your next picnic, party, or sunset-viewing (as of June), consider checking out the Leslie Lookout Park!

8. Summer Olympics in Paris 

When: July 26th to August 11th

Where: Paris

Though Paris is quite a ways from Toronto, this year’s Summer Olympics are still worth watching, even from afar. The 2024 Summer Olympics will include a first-of-its-kind opening ceremony along the Seine River and will see many sporting events in the heart of the city, alongside famous Parisian landmarks. Even more exciting is that this Olympics is the first ever to achieve gender parity. 5,250 men and 5,250 women are scheduled to compete, marking a significant step towards gender equality in sports. Tune in this summer to cheer on your favorite athletes and witness the best of athletics!

9. Launch of NASA’s Europa Clipper Mission

When: October 2024

Where: Kennedy Space Center

NASA’s Europa Clipper will launch this October to head to Jupiter’s Moon, Europa. Europa Clipper is destined to enter Europa’s orbit by 2030, and will thereafter conduct a multitude of scans, measurements, and tests to gather data for NASA scientists on Earth. This will be the first time Europa has been examined in detail by a NASA spacecraft; the goal of this mission is to learn more about the composition of Europa’s icy shell and the ocean beneath, which possibly contains liquid water. Ultimately, the Europa Clipper will bring us one step closer in our search for habitable places in the cosmos. 

10. Shake Shack Comes to Toronto 

When: Unannounced

Where: Unannounced

The widely loved Shake Shack will be opening its first Canadian location in Toronto. Not many details have been released by the franchise, including the store’s opening location and date. That said, representatives have revealed that the new menu will include classic Shake Shack items, including the ShackBurger and crinkle cut fries, along with exclusive Canadian dishes. Whether you are an avid Shake Shack lover or have never heard of it before, visiting the all-new Toronto Shake Shack once it opens may just be your best fast-food experience yet!

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So, there you have it – a 2024 filled with new ventures and adventures, great and small. Of course, this list is non-exhaustive, and a little bit of digging will surely reveal many more events to look forward to. But I hope that what is presented here can at least be a mental heat pack to last you through the cold and bring warmth to your heart! 

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