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Auld Lang Syne: New Year’s events, what’s open and closed

NEWS STAFF, WITH NEW YEAR'S EVENTS BY SAMANTHA KNIGHT | posted Friday, Dec 30th, 2016

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A clock counts down to New Year’s Day. GETTY IMAGES/Jamie Grill

“For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.”

At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, many people will be singing the traditional Scottish folk tune ‘Auld Lang Syne,’ as they remember the year that passed and toast to the future. The three words literally mean “old long since” and loosely translates to “for old times’ sake.”

While some people will be celebrating with dinner and parties, others will be opening champagne at home with family and friends. As always, please drink responsibly and don’t drink and drive.

Don’t have any plans for New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day yet? Below are some events.

If you are heading out on Jan. 1, click here to scroll down to a list of what’s open and closed over New Year’s. Since New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday, several businesses including government offices and Canada Post offices will be observing Jan. 2 as a holiday for Jan. 1.


Events

New Year’s Eve at Nathan Phillips Square
Ring in 2017 at Nathan Phillips Square. The 32nd annual New Year’s Eve event runs from 8 p.m. until 1 a.m. More than 50,000 people are expected to take over the square for a night of skating, music and dancing.

Performers include Juno award-winning band Walk Off The Earth, DJ Shubb (one of the original members of A Tribe Called Red), Jamaican-Canadian musician Exco Levi, Mexican-Canadian MC Boogat, and rising star Nefe. A fleet of food trucks will be on hand throughout the night. Fireworks will go off at midnight to signal the New Year and officially kick off the year-long celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday.

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New Year’s Eve Comedy Extravaganza
If you’re looking to close out 2016 with some laughs, then Massey Hall is the place for you. The New Year’s Eve Comedy Extravaganza is in its 16th year. The event is hosted by well-known stand up comic and actress, Caroline Rhea, and is headlined by veteran comedian Mike MacDonald. The evening features a flock of stand-up comedians hand-picked by the founder of Yuk Yuk’s. The laughs start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $40 to $70.

A Very Bowie New Year’s Eve
Dance to the sounds of David Bowie this New Year’s Eve at The Old Nick on the Danforth. The band ‘I Will Be King’ will be paying tribute to the late singer-songwriter. The show starts at 9 p.m. Party favours and champagne at midnight will be included. There’s no cover charge for the evening’s festivities.

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Toronto Polar Bear Dip
Make 2017 a year of adventure by taking a dip into the chilly waters of Lake Ontario. Over 500 brave “dippers” will be swapping their winter coats for bathing suits at noon on Sunday, as they take part in the 12th annual Toronto Polar Bear Dip at Sunnyside Beach.

The event helps raise money for Habitat for Humanity Greater Toronto Area. Since 2005, the Toronto Polar Bear Club has raised almost $370,000 for build projects in the city. Registration opens at 10:30 a.m.

2017 Centennial Classic and 3HL New Years Day Classic
Enjoy some hockey action to kick off the new year.

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings will face-off in an outdoor regular season game at BMO Field this Sunday, in the first-ever NHL Centennial Classic. The game will be a rematch of the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, when the Leafs won 3-2 in a shootout. The puck drops at 3 p.m. Tickets start at $145.

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Throughout 2017, the NHL will conduct a centennial celebration featuring a variety of ceremonies and special events that will highlight 100 years of NHL hockey and a number of milestone anniversaries for clubs, including the Maple Leafs.

Meantime, the 3HL New Year’s Day classic will be held at the Mattamy Athletic Centre from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The 3HL Tour is the world’s first three on three Professional Hockey League. The event features eight teams of aspiring, and accomplished, pro hockey players competing in a single elimination bracket style tournament. Tickets cost $8 for children and $29 for adults. A portion of the proceeds will support March of Dimes Canada and Prostate Cancer Canada.

What’s open and closed

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Transit

TTC
Dec. 31: Service will run on a Saturday schedule but subways and most surface routes will extend later than usual – subways between 3:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and surface routes until 4 a.m. Click here for details.
Jan. 1: Sunday service schedule (subways start at 8 a.m.)

GO Transit
Dec. 31: Trains will run on a Saturday schedule with late-night service and free rides after 7 p.m. (Check the GO website for schedule details)
Jan. 1: Sunday service
Jan. 2: Sunday service

Other GTA transit
Some GTA transit services are also offering free rides at or after 7 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. Click on the links below for more information:

Designated driver services

Below are some designated driver services across the GTA:

Shopping

Bramalea City Centre
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Dufferin Mall
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Eaton Centre
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 1: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Erin Mills Town Centre
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Fairview Mall
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Pacific Mall
Open all year round

Scarborough Town Centre
Dec. 31: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Sherway Gardens
Dec. 31: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Shops at Don Mills
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Square One
Dec. 31: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The Promenade
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Toronto Premium Outlets
Dec. 31: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Vaughan Mills
Dec. 31: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Yorkdale Mall
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Grocery/drug stores

Loblaws
Dec. 31: Most stores will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Click here to check the hours at your local store.
Jan. 1: Closed

Longo’s
Dec. 31: Most stores will be open from 7 am. to 6 p.m. Click here to check the hours at your local store.
Jan. 1: Closed

Shoppers Drug Mart
Select stores will be open on New Year’s Day. Click here to check the hours at your local store.

Sobeys
Dec. 31: Most stores will be open from 7 am. to 6 p.m. Click here to check the hours at your local store.
Jan. 1: Closed

LCBO/Beer Stores

LCBO
Dec. 31: All stores will open at regular hours and close at 6 p.m. Click here to check hours at your local LCBO.
Jan. 1: Closed

The Beer Store
Dec. 31: All stores will open at regular hours and close at 6 p.m. Click here to check hours at your local store.
Jan. 1: Closed

Tourist attractions

AGO
Dec. 31: 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Jan. 1: 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Casa Loma
Dec. 31 and Jan. 1: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

CN Tower
Dec. 31: 9 a.m. – midnight
Jan. 1: 10 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Ontario Science Centre
Dec. 31 and Jan. 1: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
Dec. 31 and Jan. 1: 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Royal Ontario Museum
Dec. 31: 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 1: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Toronto Zoo
Dec. 31 and Jan. 1: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Government offices and banks

Dec. 31: Most bank branches will be open but government offices are closed
Jan. 1: Closed (no mail delivery)
Jan. 2: Closed (no mail delivery)

Note: Most City of Toronto operations and all municipal offices will be closed on Jan. 1 and Jan. 2.

Toronto Public Library

Dec. 31: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed
Jan. 2: Closed

Toronto garbage collection

Since New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday, there are no changes to the curbside pickup schedule.

City of Toronto recreation centres

Dec. 31: Community recreation centres will close at 4 p.m., except those with scheduled permits.
Jan. 1: Closed

Click here for list of activities to do in the city over the holidays.

 

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