Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre is a year-round entertainment complex that features live music and dance shows, family activities, food festivals and art exhibitions. Run by a non-profit organization, this 10-acre (4-hectare) waterfront complex hosts some 4,000 events a year in and around multipurpose venues.
Start in the York Quay Centre, where you’ll find an art gallery that hosts exhibitions ranging from visual and experimental arts to architecture. At the heart of the Harbourfront Centre site, Canada Square is a modern waterfront square with public artworks. Take a seat on Lakeside Terrace and enjoy views of Lake Ontario and the Toronto Islands. Kids can enjoy canoe and paddleboat rides on the pond beside the center’s boardwalk. The pond doubles up as an ice skating rink during the winter months and skating classes are available for beginners.
Art lovers will appreciate the contemporary art exhibitions, artist talks and film screenings held at The Power Plant. Set in a 1920s power station, the gallery showcases the work of both local and international artists. For a fee you can take a guided tour of the gallery to learn about the current exhibitions. In the same building is the Enwave Theatre, which is one of three theaters at the center that put on live music events, dance and theatrical performances.
At almost any time of the year you can find festivals celebrating art, dance, music and food. Enjoy foodie events dedicated to Pan American cuisine, hot and spicy dishes, and Filipino and artisanal flavors. Celebrate Victoria Day and Thanksgiving, dance to DJ sets at the Redpath Stage and take part in free yoga lessons. Don’t miss the Caribbean carnival Island Soul, which showcases Caribbean food and music.
Located on the shores of Lake Ontario, the Harbourfront Centre is a short walk from Union Station. Streetcars stop directly outside of the center’s main entrance. If you are driving, park in one of the on-site underground parking lots for a fee.
Opening times of the individual venues vary. Find the complete opening times on the center’s official website plus a schedule of events and festivals.