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Will you be my Valentine? Love blooms this weekend in Toronto

Last Updated Feb 9, 2017 at 9:56 am EDT

A chocolate truffle With a card saying "I Love You." GETTY IMAGES/Digital Vision

“I will spend my whole life through loving you, loving you,” the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll sings in “Loving You.” The song, written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, was released on Elvis Presley’s third studio album – you guessed it, “Loving You” – in 1957. The songs on the album served as the soundtrack for the movie of the same name, which starred Presley.

Love will be in the air this weekend in Toronto and the GTA, ahead of Valentine’s Day on Tuesday. And let’s be clear – love is not just the romantic type, no matter what Cupid may have us believe.

If you are looking for something to do this weekend that is Valentine-related, we have you covered. If you are ‘bah humbug’ about the day, don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten you.

Love at the Zoo
Humans could learn a thing or two about courtship and love from animals. But there is one thing both can agree on: finding romance is a challenging prospect.

An English bulldog puppy with lipstick kisses. GETTY IMAGES/Carol Yepes
An English bulldog puppy with lipstick kisses. GETTY IMAGES/Carol Yepes


Ahead of Valentine’s Day, head over to the Toronto Zoo on Saturday to learn about the “elaborate, awkward, and sometimes hilarious lengths to which animals will go to attract a mate.”

The special, ticketed, program also takes place on the big day (Tuesday). It includes a romantic dinner for you and your date, as well as a meet-and-greet with some of the animals, an interactive group presentation, and more.

Toronto Maple Leafs Centennial Gala
In honour of the Toronto Maple Leafs 100th season, the MLSE Foundation is hosting the team’s Centennial Gala on Sunday night.

The event is expected to attract over 750 guests, with tables running $10,000 for eight people. The gala will celebrate what the Toronto Maple Leafs do for the community over a cocktail reception and seated gourmet dinner at Fairmont Royal York. Leafs of past and present will be in attendance.

All net proceeds from the event will support MLSE Foundation’s Sport for Development Centre – MLSE LaunchPad.

National Day of Action on Electoral Reform
If you are not happy with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to postpone electoral reform, you can voice your concerns at a rally on Saturday.

Trudeau campaigned on the issue during the 2015 federal election campaign to end the first-past-the-post voting system before the next election.

“He then repeated that promise a total of 1,813 times since becoming Prime Minister, including in the speech from the throne. Now, suddenly, the government has decided to abandon this crucial promise to strengthen our democracy,” organizers said on Facebook.

Demonstrators will meet at 2 p.m. at Nathan Philips Square and then march to Yonge-Dundas Square.

Come Let Us Sing!
In celebration of Black History Month, Canada’s cutting-edge gospel group Toronto Mass Choir is holding a special performance at Toronto Public Library’s Deer Park branch.

Come Let Us Sing! runs Saturday from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The award-winning choir, which was founded in 1988, will perform their distinct and soulful music, which incorporates contemporary gospel, traditional gospel and Caribbean music influences.

Welcome Weekend at Aga Khan Museum
If you haven’t been to the Aga Khan Museum yet, this weekend is your chance to check it out.

The museum is offering free admission on Saturday and Sunday. There are several exhibitions including Syria: A Living History and Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet: Contemporary Persians. There will also be musical performances by local artists and a screening of the 2011 TIFF People’s Choice award-winner “Where Do We Go Now?” by filmmaker Nadine Labaki.

Art and Wine with your Valentine
A fancy dinner out with your Valentine is so yesterday. Been there, done that. Spending the afternoon or evening painting and sipping on wine – now that’s so much more original.

Painting while sipping on wine at the Paint Lounge. FACEBOOK/PaintLounge
Painting while sipping on wine at the Paint Lounge. FACEBOOK/PaintLounge


The Paint Lounge is offering a special treat for lovers and those who choose to be single. For $70 (plus taxes), the Valentine’s Day package includes two freestyle painting sessions, and two drinks to choose from (if wine does not suit your taste, there is also beer, and hot beverages like loose-leaf tea and coffee).

The event, which runs from Friday to Valentine’s Day, takes place at three locations: in the city’s west and east ends and in Markham.

Bellwoods Flea – Valentine’s Edition
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and the Bellwoods Flea is here to help you pick out the perfect gift for your loved one.

The Valentine’s edition of the flea market is open on Saturday with everything from art to baked goods, beauty care, clothing and jewellery.

Over 20 vendors will be on hand. Enjoy vinyl spinning, a full bar with drinks and snacks, and arcade machines while you shop. Admission is free. The flea runs from noon to 6 p.m.

Winter Craft Beer Festival
Warm up your taste buds this weekend with the 4th annual Winter Craft Beer Festival at Roundhouse Park.

The festival showcases over 40 Ontario craft brewers and cider-makers, along with the Ontario Small Brewers Association and a special selection of beers from Alberta Small Brewers. The “crazy Canuck fun” includes ice carving, marshmallow roasting, simulated curling, a dozen food trucks and more.

The festival goes from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m on Saturday. The first 500 guests receive a free toque.