Celebrate cannabis legalization on October 17 at these Toronto events

From a big smoke-out at Trinity Bellwoods to parties at Tokyo Smoke and the Drake, here's where to light your first legal joint


Cannabis is officially legal for recreational use starting Wednesday (October 17). For some users, this new status won’t make much of a difference – they’ll continue to buy from their dealer, stop into pot shops or order their bud online. But for some Canadians, legalization might mean they’ll finally give cannabis a try, and many businesses are preparing for this onboarding by offering cannabis 101 classes for newbies.

Whatever your experience level with weed, folks can attend one of many events celebrating legalization on Wednesday (some even start as early as Tuesday). From a mass smoke-out in the park to fancier parties at hotels, here are some of the best events happening in Toronto.

First Legal Smoke at Trinity Bellwoods

The big smoke-out usually takes place at Yonge-Dundas Square on 420, but to commemorate cannabis legalization in Canada, potheads will be heading to Trinity Bellwoods on October 17. Already over 630 people have indicated on Facebook they’ll be attending, with another 3,400 interested. Expect big crowds and big smoke at 4:20 pm. Needless to say, it’s bring-your-own-weed, although we expect they’re will be lots floating around for sharing. See website.

Here Comes The Sun at Tokyo Smoke

The cannabis lifestyle and coffee shop is getting a head start on celebrations with a party on October 16 at the site of their very first brick-and-mortar location (850B Adelaide West). Festivities naturally kick off at 4:20 pm and go until 10:17 pm (the date of legalization). Attendees will be able to check out the cannabis accessories at the store while enjoying an immersive art exhibition and giveaways. See website.

RIFF Sessions XL Toronto

With legalization, med-pot companies like Leamington’s Aphria are launching “cooler” brands that they’re hoping will appeal to a different market. RIFF is Aphria’s millennial-focused rec company, and they’re throwing parties across the country on October 16. In Toronto, attendees at RIFF Sessions XL at the Fermenting Cellar (28 Distillery Lane) can enjoy performances by Sheck Wes, Yung Tory and more. Admission is free but RSVP is required. 8pm. See website.

Explore Latitude at the Drake Hotel

Women-centric cannabis lifestyle brand Latitude is hosting a night of cannabis storytelling featuring six women at the Drake Hotel (1150 Queen West) on October 16 from 7:30 to 10 pm. Speakers include Sandy Braz, Daenah Campbell, Sarah Hanlon, Maika Harper, Allia McLeod and Tania Peralta. Drinks and munchies will be provided. Admission is free but RSVP is required. See website.

Indie88’s Up In Smoke Show

Indie88’s October 17 legalization show featuring Japandroids at the Phoenix Concert Theatre (410 Sherbourne) is officially sold out, but you can still win tickets. See website.

Legalize It: A Tribute to Peter Tosh with House of David Gang and Higher Heights HiFi

To celebrate legalization, House of David Gang performs the music of Peter Tosh, a reggae artist and activist who coined the phrase “legalize it.” Admission is $10/15, or free if you’re an MC wanting to perform. The show on October 17 at Lula Lounge (1585 Dundas West) starts at 9 pm. See website.

Leafly Learning Hub

The cannabis info site is hosting a one-day pop-up at Zane (753 Queen West) from 7 am to 7 pm on October 17. Stop by to chat with experts, learn about responsible consumption, the rules and regulations and how to make edibles. Food, coffee and giveaways will be offered at the free event.

Weed Did It with Tweed

Canada’s largest licensed producer is throwing a party with Vice at the Drake Hotel (1150 Queen West) on October 17. Starting at 6 pm, the event features local bands and artists, plus “a few other surprises.” Admission is free but RSVP is required. See website.

michelled@nowtoronto.com | @michdas

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