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What you need to know this Thanksgiving long weekend

SAMANTHA KNIGHT AND PATRICIA D'CUNHA | posted Friday, Oct 7th, 2016

Maple leaf cookies on pumpkin pie. GETTY IMAGES/Tom Merton

What are you thankful for this year? That will be on mostly everyone’s mind this weekend as families and friends gather around the table to give thanks and share a meal together.

For those who are spending Thanksgiving weekend enjoying the comfortable weather (highs in the mid-teens are expected), there are several events across the city.

Keep in mind that there is a subway closure on Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) all weekend and a late opening on Line 4 (Sheppard-Yonge) on Sunday.

As always, be sure you check out our list of what’s open and closed over the long weekend.


Pumpkinfest Toronto
If you’re looking for some family fun this Thanksgiving weekend, Pumpkinfest Toronto is your one-stop shop.

Guests of all ages can enjoy the Pumpkin Express train, traditional farmers market, baked goods sale and a princess meet-and-greet. There are also plenty of prizes to be won in the bull riding, costume, pumpkin carving and “Little Miss Pumpkin Fest Toronto” contests. The autumn-themed fun runs all weekend long from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Pumpkin patch. GETTY IMAGES/Paul Keleher


Toronto Zoo Panda Party
There’s a lot to celebrate and be thankful for this weekend at the Toronto Zoo. Along with Thanksgiving, Canada’s giant panda cubs, Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue, are celebrating their first birthday.

Panda cubs Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue play in an enclosure at the Toronto Zoo on March 7, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

The three-day party includes panda-themed activities, photo opportunities, giveaways, interpretive stations, panda mascots, and more. The pandas were born to mother Er Shun on Oct. 13 last year. The Toronto Zoo says the female panda, Jia Yueyue, tends to be more independent, while Jia Panpan is quite an instigator, often play-wrestling with his sister.

The celebration runs in the Front Entrance Courtyard and Panda Interpretive Centre from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday through Monday.

Harvest Brunch at Casa Loma
Need a break from all the cooking this Thanksgiving weekend? Let Casa Loma do the work for you.


Casa Loma in Toronto. Photo via Wikipedia/Creative Commons/Maria Carmen.


The city’s famous castle is hosting its annual Thanksgiving Brunch, where guests can experience the splendour and elegance of the space. Reservations are required and the meal costs $60 for adults and $45 for children aged 13 and under. After brunch, guests are encouraged to explore the castle grounds at their leisure.

Halloween Haunt
If you’re up for a scare this Thanksgiving weekend, Halloween Haunt has once again transformed Canada’s Wonderland.


A paranormal presence near a window. GETTY IMAGES


The heart-thumping event promises to be more terrifying than ever with 20 haunted attractions, including the return of Zombies 4D Interactive Dark Ride.

There are also mazes, scare zones, live shows and 700 monsters prowling the park. You can check it out this weekend on Saturday and Sunday from 7 p.m. to midnight. Remember to keep the costumes at home. Canada’s Wonderland says guests wearing costumes or face paint will not be permitted.

Brewers Backyard will be hosting its final event of the year this long weekend. Torontoberfest is returning to the Evergreen Brick Works on Monday.


Stock image of beer. LEHTIKUVA/Jussi Nukari



The Oktober-fest themed celebration will feature a lineup of Ontario craft brewers, including Beau’s, Granite, Muddy York, Junction and Big Rig. If you’re looking for some food to enjoy, WVRST will also be on hand, serving up delicious sausages, along with Delight Bite and Sugar Mamma’s. Torontoberfest runs from noon until 5 p.m.


What’s open and closed


  • TTC will run on holiday service
  • GO will run on a Sunday schedule
  • Tourist attractions: Art Gallery of Ontario, Casa Loma, CN Tower, Hockey Hall of Fame, Ontario Science Centre, Canada’s Wonderland, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Zoo
  • Several malls: Bramalea City Centre (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Eaton Centre (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Pacific Mall (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.), Square One (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), The Promenade (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Upper Canada Mall (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Vaughan Mills Mall (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.), and Hillcrest Mall (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.)



  • All LCBO and Beer stores will be closed
  • Most grocery stores (select ones are open but call ahead)
    Some malls: Dufferin Mall, Fairview Mall, Scarborough Town Centre, Sherway Gardens, Yorkdale Shopping Centre
    Government offices, municipal buildings, and banks
  • All Toronto Public Library branches are closed on Sunday and Monday
  • No mail delivery


Fall colours can be seen in foliage on the Canadore Trails in North Bay, Ont., on Oct. 12, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Wendy McCann


TTC and road closures

Partial shutdown on Line 1
TTC workers will be hard at work this weekend making the subway system better for all of its riders – something to be very thankful for. But the work comes at a cost.

Subways won’t be running between St. George and Pape stations on Line 2 due to bridge work on the Prince Edward Viaduct on all three days.

On Sunday, subway service will start at 2 p.m. on Line 4 between Sheppard-Yonge and Don Mills stations due to signal upgrades. Shuttle buses will be running in both cases.

Road closures for construction
The intersection of Bay and Richmond streets will be closed from 6 a.m. on Thursday to Tuesday at 6 a.m. for TTC track replacement work, road reconstruction and sidewalk repairs.


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