Labour Day long weekend — last hurrah of summer: what’s on, what’s open

By Samantha Knight and Patricia D'Cunha

It is with mixed feelings that we welcome the last long weekend of summer. While most of us are looking forward to having Labour Day off, we are also slowly saying goodbye to summer. The season officially ends on Sept. 22.

So make this weekend a good one. Several fun-filled events are on tap, including the air show at the CNE, which comes to a close on Monday.

If you are planning to squeeze in some back-to-school shopping on the holiday Monday, several malls will be open. Below is a list of what’s open and closed.

Good news for transit users, a planned TTC closure for part of Line 1 has been cancelled. Not such good news for drivers, some road closures will be in effect this weekend. Below are the details.


CNE wraps up with air show
As the CNE comes to an end this Labour Day weekend, the Canadian International Air Show will take to the skies over Lake Ontario for its 69th annual performance. This year, the the United States Air Force Thunderbirds will open the show and the Canadian Forces Snowbirds will bring the performance to its dramatic finale. This is the first time in 15 years that the Thunderbirds have returned to the CNE, and it will be their only performance outside of the U.S. in 2018. The show runs from noon until 3 p.m. Saturday through Monday. The CNE wraps up at 9 p.m. on Labour Day.

Light show over the mountain
It is not only the last long weekend of summer but also the last fireworks show of summer at Canada’s Wonderland. So if you are already planning to be at the amusement park on Sunday, you can stay a bit later and watch the show. Fireworks set to music will light up over Wonder Mountain at 10 p.m. The light show will only run weather permitting.

Buskers bring their magic
Woodbine Park will be transformed into a world of magic and wonder this weekend for the annual Toronto International BuskerFest. The festival will have you questioning your very eyes, with spectacular circus artistry, non-verbal shows, music, magic, mime, fire jugglers, acrobats and more. This year’s event also features the Mac and Cheese Festival, with over 50 variations of mac and cheese from top chefs. BuskerFest is the largest fundraiser for Epilepsy Toronto. The event takes place from Friday afternoon until Monday.

Bring on the fans
Calling all sci-fi, horror, anime and gaming fans! Fan Expo Canada is taking over the Metro Toronto Convention Centre this Thursday through Sunday. The event is now in its 24th year and attracts more than 129,000 people from around the world. Highlights of this year’s show include the Back to the Future cast, a Degrassi: The Next Generation reunion, Harry Potter-themed escape rooms and WWE superstars Triple H, AJ Styles, The Miz and Charlotte Flair. There will also be exclusive collectibles, a kids costume contest and a cosplay photo park.

Did someone say bacon?
Keep the wet wipes and bibs handy this long weekend at Toronto’s Rib, Bacon & BBQ Fest at Downsview Park. This year the four-day event is expanding on its traditional ribfest fare by including vendors that specialize in bacon and BBQ treats. There will be tons of entertainment, including live music, midway rides, bouncy castles and a beer, wine and spirits tent. Celebrity Chef Rob Rainford will be at the festival on Labour Day doing a cooking demonstration, signing copies of his book and judging the best ribber competition.

Beer, food and summer
Brewer’s Backyard is celebrating Labour Day with its final festival of the summer — the Fruits of our Labour. The event features a lineup of breweries including Goose Island Beer Company, The Exchange Brewery, Great Lakes Brewery and Northern Maverick Brewing Company, along with tasty food. It runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the pavilion areas of Evergreen Brick Works. There will also be a “first call” special with $5 beers for the first hour. Admission is free.

Music takes over the square
TDotFest is taking over Yonge-Dundas Square this Sunday. The annual festival features over 40 artists, including Canadian R&B recording artist Jrdn, who will be releasing music from his new album, Kiia, Foxx Williams and Ebonie. The free concert also includes food and beer. It kicks off at noon.

Hanlan’s Point goes electric
Hundreds of people will be flocking to Hanlan’s Point this long weekend for the Electric Island Festival. The two-day event showcases over 20 artists on two stages. There will also be a BBQ, international food trucks, games and activities. All-day entry runs from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday and Labour Day Monday.

What’s open and closed on Monday


  • TTC will run on holiday service.
  • GO will run on a Sunday schedule.
  • Tourist attractions: Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada’s Wonderland, 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 (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.), Square One Shopping Centre (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Promenade (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Toronto Premium Outlets (9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.), Upper Canada Mall (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Vaughan Mills (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.), Hillcrest Mall (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • City of Toronto outdoor and wading pools will close at 4 p.m. on Sunday but 10 pools will be open from noon to 5 p.m. on Monday. Click here for the list.
  • City of Toronto swimming beaches will be open and supervised from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Monday. Splash pads will also be open.
  • Eight of Toronto’s historic sites will also be open, as well as city-run golf courses. Click here for a full list of city-run programming.



  • All LCBO and Beer Stores
  • Most grocery stores (select ones are open but call ahead)
  • Some malls: Dufferin Mall, Erin Mills Town Centre, Fairview Mall, Scarborough Town Centre, Sherway Gardens, Yorkdale Shopping Centre
  • Government offices, municipal buildings and banks
  • All Toronto Public Library branches (They are also closed on Sunday.)
  • City of Toronto indoor pools
  • Garbage collection: Curbside pickup is not provided on any Monday, but other solid waste collection will be affected too. Click here for details.
  • City of Toronto recreation centres
  • No mail delivery

Transit and road closures

Road closures

The east curb lanes of Coxwell Avenue from Eastern Avenue to Lake Shore Boulevard East will be closed from 6 a.m. on Friday to midnight on Monday.

Fan Expo Canada
The south curb lane of Front Street West between John and Simcoe, the north curb lane of Bremner Boulevard between Lower Simcoe Street and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre driveway, and the west curb lane of Lower Simcoe from Front to Bremner will be closed from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Labour Day Parade
The following roads will be closed from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Monday.

  • University Avenue between Dundas Street West and Richmond Street
  • Queen Street West from west of Bay Street to east of University
  • Armoury Street from Chestnut Street to University
  • Centre Street from Dundas to Armoury
  • York Street from Queen to Richmond


The following roads will be closed from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Monday.

  • Liberty Street from Dufferin Street to Jefferson Avenue
  • Jefferson Avenue from King Street West to Liberty


Toronto Fashion Week
The north curb lane and north sidewalk on Yorkville Avenue from the Hazelton Hotel to Yorkville Village will be closed from midnight on Sunday to 11 p.m. on Sept. 7. Hazelton Avenue will also be closed from Yorkville Avenue to the Hazelton Hotel driveway south of Scollard Street.

TTC track replacement
The intersection of Dundas Street West and Lansdowne Avenue will be closed from 7 a.m. on Sept. 2 to Oct. 5. Drivers heading east or west can use College Street West, Bloor Street West or Queen Street West, while those going north or south can use Roncesvalles Avenue or Ossington Avenue.

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