With 2016 (finally) behind us, it's officially time to embrace the new year. What better way to do so than by looking forward to all of the awesome things that 2017 will bring? In Toronto alone, we can expect to see lots of new and exciting events and attractions coming our way over the next 12 months.
From theme parks and restaurants to concerts and exhibitions, 2017 is slated to bring us lots of cool new things to see and do. Whether you're looking to stay on top of the Toronto cultural scene or are simply looking for a new favourite watering hole, it can be hard to stay on top of all the new stuff hitting the city 24/7. To make sure you're in the loop, check out our roundup of some of the most exciting things hitting Toronto this year.
New Events and Attractions
1. Wet & Wild Theme Park (May)
You can expect summer in the 6 to get a lot crazier this year with the opening of the GTA's very own Wet & Wild Theme Park. The park will be located at the former site of Brampton’s Wild Water Kingdom but under new ownership and a new name. This American theme park chain is known for its huge parks in Hawaii and Palm Springs. The new owners have reportedly spent $25 million to improve and revamp the existing park, meaning we can expect it to be pretty impressive when it opens in May.
2. Ontario Place Revitalization (July)
If you shed a tear when Ontario Place closed in 2011, you can take some comfort knowing the park is reopening this year - kinda. The waterfront spot won't be returning as an amusement park, but instead as a “waterfront destination” ...whatever that means. Kids will skip out on the slides in favour of new trails that lead over hills and rock formations. This reopening is only “phase 1” of the changes expected to hit Ontario Place, so Toronto can be prepared to see even more changes happening over the next few years. Phase 1 can be expected to reopen just in time for Canada’s 150th birthday this July.
3. North American Indigenous Games (July)
In 2015, Toronto proved that we had what it took to host a large scale competition. It makes perfect sense, then, that our city will be home to the North American Indigenous Games this July. From July 16th-23rd, prepare to watch over 5,000 Indigenous athletes from across North America compete for the gold. On top of 14 different sports competitions, the 25th edition of the games will feature a “culture village,” which is set to include a variety of Indigenous artisans, vendors and entertainment.
4. Toronto Fashion Week (TBA)
When the 2017 Toronto Fashion Week was cancelled due to lack of funding, the fashion community worried for what that meant for the city’s creativity. Luckily, it was recently announced that the celebration of Canadian fashion would return this year under the new ownership of Real Estate mogul Peter Freed and would now be set in Yorkville, as opposed to the event’s previous home at David Pecault Square. While few details have been released thus far, Freed said that we could expect to hear more within the next few months.
New Bars, Restaurants & Eateries
5. La Banane (January)
This modern french bistro was expected to open in the fall of 2016 but was pushed back this month. Located in the heart of Trinity Bellwoods, the restaurant is the result of a partnernship between chef Brandon Olsen and the King Street Food Company. Considering Olsen's track record at Bar Isabel and CXBO, we expect that La Banane will be worth the wait.
6. King Taps (Early 2017)
You can expect post-work drinks to get a lot more fun with the opening of Toronto's first beer hall in First Canadian Place. King Taps will be over two stories high and offer both food and drinks. With over 50 beers on tap, we have to wonder...why did no one think of this sooner?!
7. Jollibee (Spring 2017)
If you're a fan of filipino food, you know just how exciting this new opening is. Jollibee is an Asian fast food chain known for dishes like Chicken Joy and their beef spring rolls, as well as Western dishes like hamburgers and spaghetti. The restaurant will be opening inside the upcoming Seafood City, a filipino supermarket opening in Missisauga.
8. Kiin Toronto (TBA)
Located in the fashion district, this new restaurant is the creation of esteemed Thai chefs Nuit and Jeff Regular. Though there are few details thus far, we can expect Kiin Toronto to offer up the same delicious tastes and exotic flavours as the family's other Toronto restaurants: Pai, Sabai Sabai, and Sukhothai.
9. Broadview Hotel (TBA)
Formerly the home of Jilly's strip club, this Broadview and Queen institution recently unveiled its revamped exterior, much to the excitement of the Leslieville community. Now called the Broadview Hotel, the famous Toronto location will serve as a boutique hotel complete with a restaurant and a rooftop bar.
10. Kings of Leon (January 16th)
Celebrating the release of their seventh studio LP, Kings of Leon will make their only Canadian stop in Toronto on January 16th. Expect to hear old favourites like "Use Somebody" as well as newer hits like "Waste a Moment."
11. Ariana Grande (March 5th)
After a string of hyped up awards show performances, Ariana Grande's tour is one of the most highly anticipated of this year. It should come as no surprise, then, that the Toronto leg of Ariana's tour is completely sold out, so if you're really set on catching the princess of pop, I'd start checking out resellers.
12. The Weekend (May 26th)
The Toronto local will make his hometown appearance this May in promotion of his third album Starboy. Expect to see lots of screaming girls and if we're lucky, maybe even a surprise appearance from Drake himself.
13. Bruno Mars (August 26-27)
For those of us who haven't been able to get 24K Magic out of our heads, it's probably time to give in and go see Bruno Mars live. After a high profile performance at the 2016 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, Mars will hit Toronto for a two-night extravaganza at the ACC this summer.
14. Coldplay (August 21st)
If you've always wanted to see Coldplay live but never got around to it, this is your last chance. The British rock group has called this their "farewell tour," after announcing that A Head Full of Dreams was probably their last album as a band. Go cry your eyes out during "Fix You" and say a proper goodbye to the 21 year old band.
15. Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet: Contemporary Persians at the Aga Khan Museum (February)
This exhibition will feature the work of contemporary Iranian artists, each offering their own interpretation of the country's complex history and heritage. This multi media exhibition features the work of 23 different artists and will run at the Aga Khan Museum from February 4th-June 4th.
16. Out of the Depths: The Blue Whale Story at the ROM (March)
This big scale exhibition focues on the biology of blue whales, based on the study of two blue whales found washed ashore in Newfoundland. The exhibition, which opens at the ROM in March, will feature an 80-foot skeleton of a blue whale and offer information about the species, including ways that you can protect their rapidly decreasing population.
17. Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters at the AGO (September)
Fans of Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy will want to head to the AGO this September for a retrospective of the work of director Guillermo del Toro. This traveling exhibition will be at the AGO from September 2017 to January 2018 and will offer a rare glimpse into the director's creative process.
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