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Invictus Games start the weekend in Toronto; opening ceremony on Saturday

Last Updated Sep 22, 2017 at 5:12 pm EDT

Members of Team Canada, along with Governor General David Johnston and his wife Sharon, Chief of the Defence Staff Jonathan Vance, bottom left, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities Kent Hehr, in white shirt, Minister of Veterans Affairs Seamus O'Regan, in third row, and Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan, top right, pose for a photo during a welcoming ceremony at Rideau Hall for athletes competing at the 2017 Toronto Invictus Games, in Ottawa on Sept. 20, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

After months of planning and anticipation, the Invictus Games arrive in Toronto this weekend. The flag will be raised at Nathan Phillips Square on Friday afternoon during a ceremony with Mayor John Tory, Invictus ambassador Rick Hansen, and athletes.


Invictus Games
More than 500 competitors will descend on Toronto for the Invictus Games – a sporting event that was founded by Prince Harry to inspire and motivate wounded soldiers on their paths to recovery. The Games feature military personnel who have acquired a physical or mental injury or illness while in service. Competitors from 17 countries will compete in 12 sports, including track and field, swimming and, in a first for the Invictus Games, golf. Canada’s team is made up of 90 athletes.

The Games start Saturday with the opening ceremony and come to an end on Sept. 30. The opening ceremony, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre, features performances by Sarah McLachlan, Alessia Cara, and The Tenors. Sporting event tickets cost $25 and both opening and closing ceremony tickets start at $60.

Queen West Art Crawl
Art lovers will not want to miss the Queen West Art Crawl. The charitable organization is hosting its weekend-long festival with an outdoor art exhibition at Trinity Bellwoods Park from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The festival features more than 200 artists and artisans, as well as live performances and interactive art activities for all ages. The event is designed to celebrate and promote community art, culture and diversity.

Word on the Street
If you love the written word, then the Harbourfront Centre is the place to be on Sunday for the annual festival, which is Canada’s largest book and magazine gathering. The book-lovers event celebrates literature and authors, but also aims to promote literacy. Exhibits, book vendors, author readings and activities will be held indoors and outdoors from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Some of the authors taking part include Emma Donoghue, Monia Mazigh, Ron Sexsmith and David Suzuki. Admission to the event is free.

Book enthusiasts at the Word On The Street festival on Oct. 15, 2015. FACEBOOK/TorontoWOTS/Samantha Falco
Book enthusiasts at the Word On The Street festival on Oct. 15, 2015. FACEBOOK/TorontoWOTS/Samantha Falco


Doors Open Mississauga
The doors will be wide open at several historical sites in Mississauga this weekend. Residents will be able to discover a number of buildings in the Cooksville and Dundas neighbourhoods, all part of Doors Open Mississauga. Locations include the CSI House at the University of Toronto Mississauga, where forensic science demonstrations will be held. You can also check out what’s cooking in Cooksville with a 45-minute foodie walking tour. The start of the tour is at 3024 Hurontario St.

Soupalicious Toronto
Fall arrives on Friday evening, and what better way to welcome the lovely season than with a warm cup or bowl of soup? If you need some soup inspiration, local restaurants and chefs will dish out their concoctions at the Artscape Wychwood Barns on Sunday. The foodie event is from noon to 3 p.m. but sampling continues until 4 p.m. Tickets purchased in advance are $15 (HST included) or it’s $22 (HST included) at the door. The admission includes 10 free soup tastings.

Soup in two bowls. GETTY IMAGES/EyeEm/Linus Strandholm
Soup in two bowls. GETTY IMAGES/EyeEm/Linus Strandholm


Markham Cycling Day
It may be fall, but the weather will feel a lot like summer, and what better way to enjoy the sunshine than on a bike. Markham will be hosting its third annual cycling day on Sunday from 8 a.m to 3 p.m., and is challenging cyclists of all ages to show off their pedal power. The event will feature free 50K, 25K and 10K city-wide cycling tours for all ages. Riders will also enjoy a free BBQ lunch at the Markham Civic Centre.

Road and TTC info

Partial subway closure
TTC crews will be conducting track work on Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) this weekend, between Kipling and Islington stations. Subway service won’t be running between the two stations, but shuttle buses will be provided. Wheel-Trans buses will also be available upon request.

Road closures
Road closures are already underway for the Invictus Games. Click here for a full list.

Road closures will also be in effect for other events, including the Pedestrian Sundays, Oasis Zoo Run, and WE Day Toronto. Click here for a full list.

With files from The Canadian Press