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CNE kicks off a weekend full of events in Toronto

The CNE marks the unofficial end of summer but there is still another month to go before the season officially ends. Several events are taking place this weekend to help you enjoy every minute of it.


Events

Let’s go to The Ex
You know back to school is around the corner when the CNE opens for another season. The exhibition is one of the last hurrahs before the last long weekend of summer comes to a close in early September. But there is still a lot of fun to be had before that happens. Starting on Friday and until September 3, Exhibition grounds will be filled with all the delights of summer, but two of the highlights will be the newest and how-can-we-make-it-more-crazy food, and the air show over the Labour Day long weekend.

Pedestrian party on Bloor-Yonge
Portions of Bloor and Yonge streets will be closed to vehicular traffic on Sunday as part of Open Streets TO. The free event encourages communities to experience city streets in a whole new way by engaging in physical activities and healthy recreation. Activity Hubs along those portions of Yonge and Bloor streets will feature several areas designed to get you moving, including exercise and dance classes, street games, and scavenger hunts.

Wild about blueberries
Did you know that the blueberry is indigenous to North America? Well now you do. Celebrate all things blueberry at the Wild Blueberry Festival, which is being held at the Evergreen Brick Works on Sunday. More than 20 vendors will serve up various dishes, drinks, and other products that feature the super berry. While you are there, learn more about the nutritional benefits of the fruit and how you can enjoy it fresh or frozen all year long. The kids can also enjoy cooking activities with the blueberry — of course, what else? — and arts and crafts in the garden.

Celebrate Chinatown
Thousands are expected to come out to the annual Toronto Chinatown Festival this weekend. The theme of this year’s festival is Leap through the Dragon’s Gate, and organizers say it will showcase Canada’s cultural and communal diversity. Anyone walking through Chinatown during this two-day festival will be able to enjoy live, traditional dancing and opera performances, kung fu demonstrations, and street food. The Toronto Chinatown Festival will take place on the west side of Spadina Avenue between St. Andrew and Sullivan streets on Saturday between noon and 11 p.m. and on Sunday between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Street festival on Gerrard
Experience the arts the culture of the various countries that make up South Asia at a street festival on Gerrard Street this weekend. While you are at the Festival of South Asia, taste some of the cuisine including channa batura, pav baaji, aloo tikki, paneer tikka, biryani, and drinks like faluda. You can also try your hand at gully cricket, build a mini version of the Taj Mahal out of Lego, get some henna on your palms, or browse the sidewalk sales. There will also be live music, visual artists, and children’s activities.

Butterflies get their own festival
The majestic monarch butterfly is planning a trip, and too bad we all can’t join in. Later this month, this group of butterflies will start their journey to Mexico where they will spend the winter months. They will travel 3,500 kilometres, taking them three months to get to their destination. But before they head out, they will be hanging out at Tommy Thompson Park, where you can observe them at the Butterfly Festival on Saturday. You can also lookout for other butterfly and moth species as you stroll or hike in the park, or learn more about butterfly conservation. Click here for a list of activities, some of which require registration.

Burger feast
Burgers will be on the menu all weekend in Vaughan. The Burger Fest is taking place Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in Interchange Park. You’ll be able to sample burgers from several restaurants, including The Burgers Priest, Hero Certified, and Holy Chuck. The festival will also feature craft beer, cocktails, and live music.

Road closures

Chinatown Festival: Southbound lanes of Spadina Avenue will be closed from St. Andrew Street to Sullivan Street from midnight on Saturday to midnight on Sunday

Taste of Manila: Bathurst Street between Wilson Avenue and Laurelcrest Avenue will be closed from midnight on Saturday to midnight on Sunday

Festival of South Asia: Gerrard Street East will be closed from Coxwell Avenue to Glenside Avenue from 8 a.m. on Saturday to 2 a.m. on Monday

Wheels on the Danforth: Danforth Avenue from Byng to Leyton avenues and from Warden to Leyton avenues will be closed from 7 a.m. to midnight on Saturday. Danforth Road will be also be closed from Landry to Danforth avenues during this time.

Open Streets TO: Bloor Street between Montrose Avenue and Sherbourne Street, and Yonge Street from Bloor to Queen streets, will be closed from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday

Panorama India Day Festival and Grand Parade: Two northbound lanes on University Avenue from Queen Street West to Dundas Street, and Armoury Street from University Avenue to Chestnut Street will be closed from 12:01 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.