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Fathers rule all this weekend in GTA, but expect TTC and road closures

PATRICIA D'CUNHA AND AMBER LEBLANC | posted Friday, Jun 17th, 2016

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Fathers are sometimes unsung heroes, standing in the background far removed from the spotlight. And while dads should be celebrated every day of the year, Father’s Day on Sunday is reserved as their special day.

Not sure how to spend the day with your dad? We have curated some events below to help you out. Keep in mind that some road closures will be in place to accommodate the events.

Also, you knew this was coming. A portion of Line 1 (Yonge-University-Spadina) is shut down this weekend for TTC work.

Happy Father’s Day!


Father’s Day

There seems to be more fanfare with Mother’s Day, while Father’s Day quietly comes and goes without much pomp and circumstance. Well, this has to change. Fathers deserve just as much attention as moms. Sunday is the big day, so below are some events to take dad to this weekend.

Do it for Dads Walk Run
Want to do something active with your dad while helping a good cause? The Do it for Dads Day 5K walk and run is being held to raise awareness and money for prostate cancer, which is the leading cancer affecting Canadian men. It starts at Ashbridges Bay Park at 8:30 a.m. Click here to register.

One for the Ages
The human experience is constantly evolving, shaping the present day and future generations. And what better way to share that experience than with music. The performance by Toronto’s Queer Songbook Orchestra at the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre tells the personal stories of LGBTQ elders – those who took part in the social movements of the 70s and 80s – along with songs that have shaped themselves and the community. The show starts at 8 p.m. Click here for ticket information.

People take part in the annual Pride Parade in Toronto on July 3, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ian Willms
People take part in the annual Pride Parade in Toronto on July 3, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ian Willms

Neighbourhood Food Festival
As part of the Luminato festivities, venture down to Union Station for a free backyard party that starts on Saturday and continues into Sunday. Dishes from 15 restaurants in the GTA, such as Caplansky’s, Valdez, My Little Dumplings, and Nana, will be featured at the event, as well as food demonstrations every hour. If your dad likes board games, there will be a giant chess board on scene and Jenga too. Admission is free and the cost of each food dish is $6.

Chocolate workshop
If your dad has a sweet tooth, then maybe you should take him to a chocolate workshop where he can make his own coffee-infused chocolate truffles and taste other chocolate delights as well. Tasty Tours is also offering two food tours – a sweet and savoury food tour and a chocolate tour – where your dad can try some treats while getting a tour of Kensington Market.

Chocolates in a tray. GETTY IMAGES
Chocolates in a tray. GETTY IMAGES

Toronto Wine and Spirit Festival
Celebrating Father’s Day later this week or on Saturday? Head down to Sugar Beach at the foot of Lower Jarvis for an outdoor wine and spirit festival. With sunny skies and temperatures in the GTA expected to hit the low 30s, so you may want to hang out under an umbrella to stay cool. And remember, don’t drink and drive. The cost of admission, which is $25 for advance tickets, includes five sample vouchers.

When the Beatles Rocked Toronto
It was “good day sunshine” fifty years ago, when, on Aug. 17, 1966, the Beatles played for the last time in Toronto. The concert came on the heels of releasing their seventh studio album ‘Revolver.’

The Beatles visit a television studio in 1964. GETTY IMAGES/Mark and Colleen Hayward
The Beatles visit a television studio in 1964. GETTY IMAGES/Mark and Colleen Hayward

Images and interviews from this concert, as well as the ones held in the city on Sept. 7, 1964, and Aug. 17, 1965, are being showcased at an exhibit curated by the City of Toronto Museums & Heritage Services, held at the Market Gallery from June 18 to Nov. 12. There will also be Beatles memorabilia to marvel at.

The exhibit also examines the cultural and musical change the city went during in the early-to-mid 60s. Click here for more details and ticket information.

Dragon Boat Race Festival
Now in its 28th year, the festival rows onto Lake Ontario near the Toronto Islands this weekend. Around 200 teams made up of more than 5,000 athletes from around the world highlight the event, alongside food vendors and other entertainment.

Admission is free, so you just have to pay for your ferry ride to Centre Island.

Other events

Pride Parade in York Region
York Region will be celebrating Pride this weekend with the annual parade.

It starts at 2 p.m. Saturday at Yonge Street and Crosby Avenue in Richmond Hill. Organizers encourage everyone to come out to celebrate inclusivity, equity and diversity. (The Toronto Pride Parade is set for July 3.)

The York parade travels south on Yonge, turns left onto Lorne Avenue and then heads along Church Street, ending at the Pride in The Park event in Town Park.

Yonge will be closed between Crosby and Major Mackenzie Drive from around 1 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Taste of Little Italy
College Street is shut down between Bathurst to Shaw for the annual Taste of Little Italy.

One of the dishes offered at Taste of Little Italy in the past. Photo via Facebook.com/TheTasteofLittleItaly
One of the dishes offered at Taste of Little Italy in the past. Photo via Facebook.com/TheTasteofLittleItaly

It’s a weekend filled with delicious food and drink, and it’s expected to be extra busy as fans take in Euro 2016 and cheer on the Azzuri. You can check out over 50 restaurants as you “go slowly (this year’s theme) and spend some time exploring this region of the city.

The party starts at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and wraps up at 10 p.m. on Sunday.

Family Fun on the 407
Families are getting the first crack at the new Highway 407 extension in the Whitby area on Saturday. Before the extension opens, people are invited to walk, run, cycle or rollerblade on the 1.5-kilometre portion between Baldwin Street South and Anderson Street.

There will be lots of activities for children, including face painting and a bike obstacle course. The event is from 9 a.m. to noon. Shuttle buses will be running to the highway, and you can see the locations to get one here.

Medium and Ellie Goulding singer at ACC
A pop star and a famous medium both take over the Air Canada this weekend.

On Saturday night, “Long Island Medium” Theresa Caputo will try to channel loved ones when she stops in Toronto. Tickets are available here.

Then on Sunday, British singer Ellie Goulding plays a show starting at 7 p.m. Click here for tickets.

TTC and road closures

Line 1 closure
It wouldn’t be a weekend without another subway closure. If you live north of the city and are planning to head downtown this weekend, trains won’t be running on a portion of Line 1 (Yonge-University-Spadina) between St. Clair West and Downsview stations. The shutdown is part of the TTC’s ongoing work to improve its infracture. This time, the service shutdown is for signal upgrades. Shuttle buses will be running.

Next weekend, service will be halted on Line 3 (Scarborough RT) from McCowan to Kennedy stations due to track work. Buses will shuttle TTC riders to all stations including Kennedy Station so that they can hop on Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) and head into the city.

Road work
Construction is being ramped up on the Gardiner Expressway, in order to have all lanes fully reopened by June 25. On Wednesday, Mayor John Tory announced the closed lanes of the Gardiner will open next week – four months ahead of schedule.

Starting on Thursday, overnight lane closures will be in effect in order to remove the work zone for the deck replacement between Dufferin Street and Spadina Avenue. The expressway will be reduced to one lane in both directions between 11 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. each night until next Saturday. The closure times and locations differ on some days. Click here for details.

And a heads-up for drivers and TTC users on Monday, as the entire intersection of College and Bathurst will be closed for TTC work until July 12.

Also, Queen Street West between Spadina Avenue and Bathurst Street is reduced to one lane in either direction for watermain replacement and and reconstruction work. The construction is expected to last until Oct. 8.

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