The best events in Toronto on Thanksgiving weekend 2019

Including a major Mandela exhibit, Screemers, Rendezvous With Madness, Jeremy Dutcher, Night Owl Festival and Charli XCX

Mandela: Struggle for freedom

Anti-apartheid revolutionary and former South African president Nelson Mandela died nearly six years ago, but his legacy lives on. Now a major exhibition developed by Winnipeg’s Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg chronicles his experiences. Included in the multimedia exhibit are a replica of the eight-foot by seven-foot prison cell he lived in for 18 years at Robben Island Prison, and an actual ballot box used in South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994.  

October 10-January 5, 2020 at the Meridian Arts Centre. 5040 Yonge. Tuesday and Wednesday 1-6 pm, Thursday to Sunday 10 am to 6 pm. $10, students $5.


Massive haunted house bursting with monster-filled mazes introduces  Carnival of Carnage midway. Check out more Halloween events here.

Better Living Centre (195 Princes’ Blvd). Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout October. From $34.95.

Rendezvous With Madness

The 27th annual festival – featuring film, art, live performances and more – adopts the theme of #GetMad as a call to action for mental-health awareness and resilience. Read more about the festival here.

To October 20. Various venues.


Daveed Diggs’s Afrofuturist noise-rap project comes to the cozy confines of the Garrison.

October 11. 8 pm. $25.

Night Owl Festival

Psychedelic festival continues with the all-local lineup of Badge Époque Ensemble, Possum and Bart. (Read more: Night Owl Festival keeps growing in a challenging year)

October 11-14. The Garrison. Doors 9 pm. $15. 

Jeremy Dutcher

Virtuosic piano player and singer plays his biggest Toronto show to date. (Read more: Jeremy Dutcher wants his songs to soar beyond the record)

October 12. Danforth Music Hall. Doors 7 pm. $20-$45.

Songs Of Heaven

Three new choral works from musicians Owen Pallett, Cris Derksen and Matt Smith debut as part of the AGO’s Early Reubens exhibition.

October 12 and 13 at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Walker Court. 5:30 pm. $45.

Charli XCX

The party-starting British pop star glams up Rebel.

October 14. Doors 7 pm, all ages. $35.


The city’s only long-form improv comedy festival kicks off.

October 14-19. Mon 9 pm. Various venues. Pwyc-$20.


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