The best things to do in Toronto this weekend: September 24-26

Including Gallery Weekend, Yorkville Murals, Long Winter, Toronto Palestine Film Festival and Fall Beerfest T.O.

NOW critics pick the best things to do in Toronto on the weekend of September 24, including beer festivals, a carhop experience, a free gallery crawl, a drive-in symphony and the return of Long Winter.

Yorkville Murals

A three-day public mural festival takes over Yorkville as part of the city’s public art push. Cumberland Street will close for a day-long block party, and there will be art talks, an exhibition of prints by American artist Shepard Fairey and a film screening. September 24-26. 99 Yorkville. Free.

Gallery Weekend Toronto

Several art galleries in the city are teaming up for an art crawl that runs from the Stockyards down through the west end and across to the Distillery District. These events are popular in other cities, and include walking itineraries, guided curator tours and other events. Participating galleries include Franz Kaka, Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Zalucky Contemporary are and more.

To September 26. Various venues. Free. Fri, noon-7 pm; Sat-Sun, noon-5 pm.

Toronto Palestine Film Festival

The 14th edition annual event is hybrid affair, with in-person and online screenings. Of particular interest is the North American premiere of Of Land And Bread (in-person and online, Saturday at 8 pm); Ehab Tarabieh’s documentary is assembled from the B’Tselem Camera Project, which gives Palestinian citizens in the West Bank the opportunity to document their lives under occupation. There’s also a festival within the festival: Weengushk International Film Festival will screen a trio of documentaries – Tanya Talaga and Michelle Derosier’s Spirit To Soar , James Burns’s The Water Walker and Janna Kyllästinen’s Along The Winisk River (Lightbox and online Friday at 9 pm). The annual Sunday brunch has been expanded into the Sahtain Deluxe Block Party, outdoors at Lynx Music (260 Emerson) Sunday afternoon.

To September 26. TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King West) and online at

Dusty Star Drive-In Diner

The 50s-themed carhop experience is coming back for another weekend of food service on roller skates. This edition of the event is rockabilly themed. Live music will be provided by the Ichi-Bons, fusion-style diner food truck Fidel Gastro is doing the menu and Mascot Brewery has the beer covered. There will also be a market featuring local wares, vintage clothes, jewellery, hot sauce and other items.

September 24-26. 37 Advance Rd, #105. $28 per vehicle.

A photo of the RendezViews patio in Toronto in summer 2021
Samuel Engelking


Early fall is apparently a great time for beer – beer fests are taking over the city this weekend. The Toronto Craft Beer Festival is taking over RendezViews at John and Richmond, one of the city’s biggest and best new outdoor bars. The festival will feature 40 to 50 craft beer varieties and take place over five timed sessions.

To September 26. RendezViews (229 Richmond West). Tickets start at $21.

dance: made in canada / fait au canada

The biennial dance festival includes everything from a new podcast to an online dance film series (curated by frequent NOW contributor Kathleen Smith). But the centrepiece is inTO focus – three nights of live performances by Blue Ceiling Dance, Kendra Epik, SaMel Tanz and Lua Shayenne Dance Company.

To September 25. High Park Amphitheatre (1873 Bloor West).

As You Like It

Cultural provocateur Cliff Cardinal (Huff, Cliff Cardinal’s CBC Special) takes Shakespeare’s comedy and radically adapts it in this intriguing solo show.

To October 10. Crow’s Guloien Theatre (345 Carlaw).


Choreographer Guillaume Côté’s piece inspired by the myth of Odysseus and the idea of home will be livestreamed from Harbourfront Centre Theatre as part of the Fall For Dance North festival.

Streaming until September 29.

Fall Beerfest T.O.

An even bigger beer festival goes down at Exhibition Place. There will be hundreds of beers to sample, plus food and music. DJ Jazzy Jeff, Skratch Bastid and Shaggy take the stage on night one, while local cover band and beer festival staples Dwayne Gretzky hold it down on Saturday.

September 24-25. Bandshell Park, Exhibition Place (210 Princes’ Blvd). $70-$125.

The Garden Of Vanished Pleasures

Garden Of Vanished Pleasures

In his final years, filmmaker and queer rights activist Derek Jarman found solace from the AIDS epidemic in his garden. Director Tim Albery has used that as the inspiration for this world premiere theatrically streamed event by Soundstreams, featuring lyrics by Cecilia Livingston and music by Donna McKevitt, including texts from Jarman’s journals.

To October 10.

Black And Free: Theatre & Conversation

The Department of Theatre at York University presents a live-streamed 20-minute staged excerpt from Lisa Karen Cox’s play No Knowledge College, about four Black graduate students, followed by a conversation with theatre artists Quincy Armorer, Rawle Gibbons, Djanet Sears and moderator Naila Keleta-Mae.

September 24 at 6:30 pm. Register here.

Long Winter’s Together Apart

After some virtual variety shows last year, Long Winter is back in person for a big 10th anniversary year. The new Together Apart series starts this weekend with a pair of outdoor concerts in the parking lot across the street from Garrison. It’s a solid lineup of local acts we’ve been missing. Fiver, LAL, Status-Non Status and ROY play night one, while Absolutely Free, Obuxum, Zones and Rogue Tenant hold it down the next day. There’s also art and other multi-disciplinary goodies as per the series’ decade-long MO. 

September 24-25 across from the Garrison (Dundas and Lakeview). Advance tickets $15 or pwyc.

Toronto Symphony Orchestra at the Drive-In 

Drive-in concerts are no longer a pandemic necessity now that you can step out of your car for live music, but there’s something about seeing the TSO from the comfort of your car that just works. This time around, the symphony will be playing Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 and A Little Night Music, along wiht an overture from his Viennese contemporary Marianna Martines.

September 24 and 25 at 6:30 pm. CityView Drive-In (20 Polson). $80-$220 per vehicle.

The 43 best things to do in Toronto this fall


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