Weekend need to know: Lunar New Year, art exhibits; road closures

By Julie Arounlasy

The first day of Lunar New Year of 2023 takes place this Sunday.

There will be celebrations all weekend throughout the GTA to ring in the Year of the Rabbit, or for those specifically celebrating Vietnam’s Lunar New Year, then it’s the Year of the Cat. Scroll below for a list of some Lunar New Year events happening in and around Toronto.

Alongside Lunar New Year celebrations, an art exhibit about the tragic, ongoing war in Ukraine is on display in Mississauga, as well as a health and wellness fair for the local Black community.

There are no scheduled subway closures this weekend. But scroll below for a list of ongoing road closures.

Here’s what’s going on this weekend:

Top events

Lunar New Year

Many people will be with family this Sunday, but major festivities are still taking place in downtown Toronto and beyond.

Here’s a list of where to celebrate:

On Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Dragon City Mall and Chinatown Centre, several celebrations will be happening to celebrate the new year.

Events include the annual lion dance parade, a street festival, a mahjong competition, zodiac fortune telling, and more.

Scarborough Town Centre
On Saturday and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. people can visit Centre Court for several Lunar New Year performances.

Events include an eye dotting ceremony, a lion dance performance, a baby lion dance, folk dance performances and more.

Pacific Mall
Pacific Mall is celebrating Lunar New Year this Sunday starting at 12:30 p.m.

Events will also include a lion dance eye-dotting and awakening ceremony and much more.

Vaughan Mills
There will be a Lunar New Year Celebration at Vaughan Mills in partnership with Mackenzie Health this Sunday starting at 1 p.m.

The event will have an “Immersive Wishing Tree Experience” where with every wish made, Vaughan Mills will donate $1 to the Mackenzie Health Foundation.

There will also be live cultural dances and musical performances, as well as interactive Lunar New Year activities.

Yee Hong 34th Annual Benefit Gala
Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation is hosting the 34th Dragon Ball on Lunar New Year’s Eve this Saturday at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building.

The night will include delicious food, entertainment and auctions.

Organizers say proceeds from the event will support services provided by Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care to seniors of various ethnic backgrounds in the GTA.

The grand reception starts at 5:30 p.m. and the gala program starts at 7 p.m.

Lunar New Year red envelope

Photo credit: Jason Leung/Unsplash

‘Doors. Through the Horror of War’

The opening night of the free exhibition Doors. Through the Horror of War is taking place at Small Arms Inspection Building in Mississauga on Thursday and runs until February 1.

The exhibition was сurated by Ukrainian artist Ruslan Kurt and will feature a range of mediums including photography, children’s drawings and toys brought from Ukraine, and 13 real Ukrainian doors damaged by war.

Each piece explores different aspects of the war and its impact on the people of Ukraine.

Black Health Fair and Wellness Summit

The Black Scientists’ Task Force has put together a Black health and wellness fair on Saturday at Daniels Spectrum located at 585 Dundas Street East, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The task force says the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed long-standing, social and health inequities related to poverty, racism, marginalization, and other forms of discrimination faced daily by the Black community.

Organizers say throughout the day there will be opportunities to learn practical tips about health and wellness as it relates to the Black community.

The full day event will be split into two streams: a Black healthcare symposium to promote Black health and wellbeing, and a race-equity workshop series to educate the community and share lessons for the future.

ROM After Dark

The Royal Ontario Museum is celebrating DesignTO this Friday starting at 7:30 p.m., a festival that organizers say brings people together to design a more sustainable, just, and joyful future.

It will include access to Canadian Modern, ROM’s new original exhibition spanning more than 80 years of fashion, furniture, jewelry, and electronics.

There will also be a DesignTO Lounge, a fun spot full of projections and glow-in-the-dark furniture.

Tickets must be purchased online.

rom after dark

Photo credit: Royal Ontario Museum

Toronto International Boat Show

The Toronto International Boat Show returns to the Enercare Centre and runs from this Friday to January 29.

The event will debut more than 100 product innovations, new recreational boats and watersports accessories, and electric boats.

Hundreds of boats will be available to purchase and pre-order from family pontoons to sailboats to inflatable boats.

Road closures

Pape Avenue construction
Construction along Pape Avenue north of Danforth has been extended into February.

Crews are conducting drilling operations in preparation for construction of the future Ontario Line subway.

There are four work zones on and near Pape, north of Danforth, south of Mortimer, south of Cosburn, and on Hopedale Avenue west of Pape.

In these zones, there will be one lane closed between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., but the lane and direction will change depending on where drilling is taking place.

Ongoing closures

  • Military Trail is closed from Ellesmere Road to Highcastle Road for road rehabilitation and slope stabilization. The project completion date has been delayed to the summer.
  • Sheppard Avenue West is reduced to a single lane east of Bathurst Street for the installation of a new sanitary sewer line as part of the city’s basement flooding protection program. All work is scheduled to be complete by March.
  • Keele Street is reduced to a single lane about 100 metres north of Langstaff in Vaughan. Construction work is scheduled to finish in the spring.
  • Eastbound Steeles is reduced to one lane from Alness Street to Dufferin Street for conduit and fibre optic cable installation. Work is expected to be completed on January 27.
  • East and Westbound Queen Street is reduced to one lane between Bay Street and Yonge Street for work on a hydro vault. Work is expected to be completed in March.
  • Northbound Yonge Street is reduced to one lane between Wellington and King Streets for TTC construction. The project is scheduled to continue into 2024.
  • Southbound University Avenue from Armoury Street to Queen Street West will be reduced to one shared lane for people driving and cycling due to the construction of the future Ontario Line.
  • Bloor Street is impacted by long-term construction, which is behind schedule, between Parliament and Sherbourne streets.

With files from Kyle Hocking and Jordan Kerr of CityNews

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