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Counting down to Halloween in Toronto

Last Updated Oct 25, 2019 at 6:46 am EDT

An illuminated Jack-O-Lantern. GETTY IMAGES/Ashley Sandberg/EyeEm

It is one of the most wonderful times of the year — if you’re a ghost or ghoul! Halloween is around a week away and the fun continues this weekend leading up to the big day.

If you are taking transit to the events, keep in mind that there are two partial subway closures this weekend, and no train service on the Lakeshore East line. Scroll below for the details.

‘This is Halloween’

Howling pumpkins
Halloween wouldn’t be complete without Jack-o’-lanterns greeting passersby with their ghoulish grin and illuminating the neighbourhood at night. This weekend, pumpkins will be all the rage at two events taking place in the city’s west. On Saturday, High Park will be the spot for the Pumpkin Float, where pumpkins will be carved and set afloat in a wading pool at dusk. The cost is a minimum donation of $3 per pumpkin, and money raised from the event will go towards a classroom field trip to the High Park Nature Centre.

Then on Sunday, the area of Jane and Annette streets will be hosting a Halloween Pumpkin Spectacular. Humans and their pets are encouraged to dress up in costume and make their way to the pumpkin patch. Humans can learn how to carve a pumpkin, check out the scary and not so scary decorations in the area, indulge in some Halloween-themed food and beverages, and just have fun with their pets and other revellers. More details of the event can be found here.

Ghostly history of an inn
Nestled in the Islington area of Etobicoke sits a Georgian-style inn, which was built around 1830 by Irish immigrant Thomas Montgomery. Now a museum, Montgomery’s Inn also served as a farm and a meeting place for the community. With so many people going in and out of the inn, it would only make sense that the historic home would have some ghostly tales to share. If you like ghost stories told by candlelight, the inn is the place to be this weekend for “hair-raising stories connected to the history of the Inn.” Your guide will also take you on a short walk to see the final resting pace of the Montgomery family. Click here for tickets.

Monster mash at the ROM
Put on your best Halloween costume and head to the Royal Ontario Museum for their weekly Friday Night Live event — this edition is called ‘Wicked.’ Bust out your ‘Thriller’ dance moves or just groove to the live DJ, but you can also watch a dance crew put on a show. Check out some classic horror and sci-fi art from the Kirk Hammett Collection, and get help to finish off your Halloween look with the right makeup. Masks and props are not permitted at the event due to safety reasons. Click here for more details including ticket information.

Featured in previous weekend editions
Canada’s Wonderland is putting on its frightful Halloween Haunt until Sunday, with more than 700 monsters, haunted mazes, live shows from performers such as The Illusionist, and the Dixieland Zombie Marching Band, and other “scare zones.” Click here for tickets.

The Legends of Horror at Casa Loma takes attendees on a one-hour, two-kilometre walk from the castle’s lower gardens and into its tunnels. Along the walk, you will be immersed with a “theatrical interpretation of all of the classic horror figures” with sets in the gardens and underground areas, as well as projections on the castle walls. The haunt runs until Halloween.

Other events

Be a kid again
Nowadays kids are all about the smartphones and tablets, but back in the day the playground was where they wanted to be. Starting this weekend, re-live that old-fashioned fun at Impulse — a free exhibit of 15 glow-in-the-dark musical seesaws at the Harbourfront Centre. As you seesaw, you will be able to conduct your own musical and light sequences. The exhibit runs until Nov. 12.

More than an art gallery
The Art Gallery of Ontario houses more than just art — it is also a space where creativity comes to life. This Saturday, from morning to night, the AGO is offering special programming that showcases a “new way to experience” the gallery. AGO All Hours will feature interactive installations, musical performances, and more. The programming is free with general admission.


Subway service
TTC riders will have to deal with two subway closures this weekend, affecting parts of Line 1. First on Saturday, there will be no service until 8 p.m. between St. Clair to Unions stations. Then, on Sunday, trains won’t be running between Lawrence and Bloor-Yonge stations. Riders who require an elevator need to exit at York Mills Station. The closures are due to upgrade the signalling system. Shuttle buses and Wheel-Trans service will be running.

GO Transit service
Trains will not be running on the Lakeshore East line this weekend due to construction. GO buses will run to and from Union Station for riders travelling to and from Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax or Pickering stations. For those travelling to and from Rouge Hill, Guildwood, Eglinton, Scarborough or Danforth stations, they will need to use the TTC to and from Union Station.