Updated (October 22, 2021): We’ve updated this post with more Halloween events in Toronto.
One of the city’s biggest Halloween parties is not on this year, but the spooky season is certainly a lot more open than it was last year.
Restaurants, clubs and concert venues are open with capacity restrictions, so there are a few IRL concerts and parties happening in addition to the usual haunted houses and outdoor walks. The big haunted walks and horror “scream parks” have moved the scares outdoors, while the indoor haunted house offerings are physically distanced.
There are also a few family-friendly drive-in events if actors dressed as Stephen King characters, animatronic ghouls and prop cadavers dangling from meat hooks are too intense for your night out. Here are the best Halloween events happening in and around Toronto this year.
Legends Of Horror
NOW critic Glenn Sumi called this haunted house at the Toronto landmark “more Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft than Eli Roth.” The walk through the castle grounds and subterranean corridors mixes live performers with slickly designed animatronic frights and even includes a bar and lounge area.
To October 31. Casa Loma (1 Austin Terrace). $30-$55. legendsofhorror.ca
This maze-like walk behind Etobicoke Italian restaurant Mamma Martino’s – and next door to Tom’s Dairy Freeze – delivers plenty of jumps (via live performers and animatronic creatures) during a disorienting trip through a haunted courtyard and into a series of slasher-movie-style interior sets.
To October 31. 7 McIntosh. Thu & Sun 7-11 pm, Fri-Sat 7 pm-midnight. $20. martinomanor.com
Now in its 28th year, the “scream park” has relocated to a larger space in Vaughan so there’s plenty of room for its 120 live performers to remain physically distanced. The outdoor maze is housed under a 15,000-square-foot open tent so rain doesn’t scare away business. There are also midway rides, food trucks and stage shows.
To October 31. Assembly Park (80 Interchange Way, Vaughan). $14.95-$44.95. screemers.ca
The massive theme park north of the city turns into a “scream park” with a variety of things to do – and all the indoor scares have moved outside due to pandemic protocols. In addition to Canada’s Wonderland’s usual rides, there are a series of haunted attractions, horror walks, live music, freak show performances, comedy shows and more.
To October 31. Canada’s Wonderland (95 Jane, Vaughan). $33.99 and up. canadaswonderland.com
Pumpkins After Dark
Drive-thru light attractions have become a big thing during COVID. This 2.5-kilometre drive puts a Halloween twist on the experience, promising 70 per cent new content this year.
To November 8. Country Heritage Park (8560 Tremaine Road, Milton). $39-$89 per vehicle. pumpkinsafterdark.com
Jaymes White presents The Eatonville Farmhouse Séance
Mindreader Jaymes White brings back his intimate, two-hour haunted experience, which invites groups of 13-16 people to walk to a historical site, learn about it and then participate in a Victorian séance.
To November 27. Meet outside the Red Cardinal Tavern (555 Burnamthorpe, Unit 102). $66.66 per person. jaymeswhite.com
This Halloween-themed pop-up bar is aimed at horror, goth and metal fans. It promises nightly shows, “immersive” decor and a mysterious back-room in addition to a selection of over-the-top cocktails. There will be a $20 cover charge on weekends and nights with live performances – for patrons who are not in costume.
October 14-31. 866 Bloor West. 5 pm-2 am. blacklagoonpopup.com
Haunted Cinema Drive-In Experience
If the horror walks are too intense for your kids (and you), this drive-in movie experience is offering family-friendly scares. During nightly screenings of Goosebumps and Scream, choreographed actors and dancers will appear around your vehicle to create a “movie within a movie” experience timed to the action on screen.
October 26-31. Ontario Place (955 Lake Shore West). 6:30 pm & 10 pm. $50 per vehicle. ontarioplace.com
Blood in the Snow Film Festival
Another streaming option is the annual Canadian horror film festival, which is viewable on SuperChannel. Highlights include Mark O’Brien’s Catholic thriller The Righteous and Tin Can, a really weird sci-fi movie starring Anna Hopkins and Michael Ironside. An in-person version of the fest is happening in November at the Royal (details TBA).
October 29-31. superchannel.com/bits
Crow’s Theatre is streaming Dave Malloy’s exhilarating musical, which feels like a cross between Wes Anderson, Edgar Allan Poe and Emily Brontë. NOW contributor Kathleen Smith gave the stage production four Ns in 2019, calling it “storytelling on an epic scale.”
October 29-31. 8 pm. $20. crowstheatre.com
Recently revived west-end venue Parkdale Hall is hosting a community-oriented Halloween affair, featuring comedy, a craft makers market, trivia and eats and treats courtesy of Sausage Party Toronto.
October 30. Parkdale Hall (1605 Queen West). 1-7 pm. $40. eventbrite.ca
If you’re craving the full-on club-kid experience, Pep Rally (aka Chippy Nonstop and Karim Olen Ash) are bringing in Montreal collective Hauterageous to DJ alongside local spinners Bambii, Young Teesh and Redliners, among others.
October 29. 10 pm-5 am. Coda (794 Bathurst). $30. ticketweb.ca
Twisted Halloween Queens
The Phoenix has turned into a cabaret-style venue with seating and thus has become the place to catch the country’s burgeoning drag superstars who are too big for the Village clubs. Canada’s Drag Race alum Scarlett BoBo, Pythia and BOA will be doing the Halloween thing.
October 30. 7-11 pm. Phoenix Concert Theatre (410 Sherbourne). $80. pitbullevents.com
Cherry Cola’s Halloween
Halloween and classic-rock riffage are hardly strangers, and so Cherry Cola’s is teaming with Alice Cooper tribute band Love It To Death to satisfy all your headbanging needs.
October 30. Doors 9 pm. Cherry Cola’s Rock n Rolla Cabaret & Lounge (200 Bathurst). $10. eventbrite.ca
The dance scene promoters at Promise are taking over the sprawling banquet hall to throw one of the city’s biggest (indoor) parties in months with three stages and 14 DJs, including Chicago’s Hiroko Yamamura and Montreal’s Sierra St. Louis.
October 30. 10 pm-5 am. Lithuanian House (1573 Bloor West). $25-$45. showpass.com/promise-halloween
If you’ve been missing queer monthly party energy, Pride Toronto, Hunhouse and Strapped are taking over the newly reopened El Mo. Halloween-appropriate drag artist Yovska and Yes Yes Y’All resident Nino Brown are on the bill.
October 31. Doors 9 pm. El Mocambo (464 Spadina). $15. elmocambo.com
Death To T.O. X (postponed)
The annual covers show featuring members of local indie bands dressing up and performing as their musical heroes turns 10 this year and runs over two nights. The grand finale at Lee’s Palace will take place over two floors and feature tributes to Kate Bush, Oasis, Shania Twain, Spinal Tap, the Strokes, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Garbage and more.
February 4 at Horseshoe Tavern (370 Queen West), February 5 at Lee’s Palace (529 Bloor West). Doors 7:30 pm. $15. showclix.com
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