Weekend need to know: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Toronto Blue Jays, Mid-Autumn Festival

By Julie Arounlasy

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (NDTR) is Saturday, September 30. The holiday, originally and still colloquially known as Orange Shirt Day, recognizes the legacy of the Canadian residential school system.

The day is meant to encourage everyone to learn about and reflect on the history and ongoing impacts of the residential school system and other colonial policies in Canada.

The 6th annual Indigenous Legacy Gathering is taking place at Nathan Phillips Square, plus the Toronto Blue Jays are hosting a ceremonial first pitch and a trilingual national anthem to recognize NDTR at Rogers Centre.

Banks will be closed on Saturday and most LCBO stores will only open at noon. There will be no mail delivery on Monday.

Casa Loma is hosting its annual horror-themed event, and a festival celebrating Chinese culture is also happening this weekend.

There is a scheduled subway closure on part of Line 1, alongside ongoing road closures.

Here’s what’s going on this weekend:


Community members are reminded there are resources available if they are in need of support:

  • Six Nations 24/7 Mobile Crisis Line: 519-445-2204 or 1-866-445-2204
  • Native Child and Family Services Toronto: 416-969-8510
  • Talk4Healing for Indigenous women available in 14 languages across Ontario: 1-855-554-HEAL

Top events

Indigenous Legacy Gathering

The Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre is hosting sacred events Friday and Saturday to celebrate the heritage and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples at Nathan Phillips Square.

The event is the 6th annual Indigenous Legacy Gathering. The gathering acknowledges and honours residential school survivors, their children and communities, and commemorates Orange Shirt Day.

The event celebrates the diversity of Indigenous Peoples’ cultures, traditions and languages through workshops, presentations, stories, teachings, dance, film and music.

The public is welcome to attend the Indigenous Legacy Gathering, free of charge, as an opportunity to learn, reflect and engage.

For the gathering, Nathan Phillips Square will be transformed into a cultural space with vibrant tipis on the site and programming from Indigenous community agencies.

A sacred fire will burn over the two days, allowing visitors to make offerings and prayers.

Each morning of the gathering will begin with a 7 a.m. sunrise ceremony conducted by Elders and Knowledge Keepers, and visitors are invited to join to pay their respect to creation.

The ceremony will be followed by speakers, acknowledgements, and other festivities.

Visitors are encouraged to wear orange.

Indigenous Legacy Gathering

The 6th annual Indigenous Legacy Gathering takes place at Nathan Phillips Square from Friday, September 29 to Saturday, September 30. CityNews/Gaetan Belair

Jays vs. Rays

The Toronto Blue Jays are playing against the Tampa Bay Rays all weekend at Rogers Centre for their final homestand of the season. The team can clinch a playoff spot as early as Friday night.

The Blue Jays and Jays Care Foundation also join all of Canada on Saturday in recognizing NDTR, with a ceremonial first pitch and a trilingual national anthem.

On Saturday’s game against the Rays at 3:07 p.m., the Blue Jays will welcome Survivors and their families and community members, as well as 72 children from Indigenous Rookie League Jays Care programming, including members of the Touchwood Agency Tribal Council program and athletes and coaches of their winning team from the Muskowekwan First Nation.

Following a collective moment of reflection, Sgt. Chantal Larocque from the Anishinabek Police Service will take the field to sing the national anthem in French, English, and Algonquin.

Close to 200 of Larocque’s colleagues, family, and friends from Anishinabek Police Service, Nipissing First Nation and Dokis First Nation will join her at the game.

The Blue Jays also welcome four Elders from the Touchwood Agency Tribal Council to throw the ceremonial first pitch.

CityNews reporter Lindsay Dunn spoke with artist Montana Adams about the shirt he designed that Blue Jays staff can wear on NDTR:

Casa Loma Legends of Horror

From Friday to Halloween day, the grounds of Casa Loma will once again be transformed into the immersive theatrical experience, Legends of Horror.

The experience is done in the presentational form considered “promenade theatre”, in which the audience walks at their own pace through a two-kilometre trail starting in the lower gardens of Casa Loma, winding its way through the castle’s tunnels and darkest spaces never before open to the public.

Throughout the over 1-hour experience, the audience is immersed in a variety of theatrically designed sets in gardens and chambers below the castle.

A crescendo of the production is the 3D projection on the exterior of the castle which brings the characters of the storyline and the walls of the castle to life.


Every October, Legends of Horror returns to Casa Loma. Photo: Liberty Entertainment Group

Mid-Autumn Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival, is a traditional festival celebrated in Chinese culture.

The festival encourages everyone to appreciate the moon on Friday evening, because it is the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunisolar calendar, when the moon is at its fullest.

A celebration is taking place on Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Main Street Unionville.

The event includes a lantern-making workshop, arts and crafts, and a photo booth.

Pets are welcome to the festival and owners are encouraged to dress up their dogs in a Lion Dance outfit for a chance to win a raffle prize.

Mid-Autumn Night Festival

The Mid-Autumn Night Festival is happening under the moonlight at Main Street Unionville on Friday, September 29. Photo credit | IG: @markhamdogalliance

TTC closures

Line 1 closure

On Saturday and Sunday, there will be no subway service on Line 1 between St Clair West and Sheppard West stations due to track work.

Line 1 shuttle buses will operate, stopping at all subway stations.

Regular subway service will resume by 6 a.m. on Monday.

Road closures

Broadview and Danforth Avenue construction

  • On Friday from 7 p.m. to Saturday at noon, Danforth Avenue at Broadview Avenue will be reduced to one lane in each direction as crews begin work to repave the intersection following streetcar track replacement.
  • On Saturday, from 5 a.m. until noon, the Danforth and Broadview Avenues intersection will be fully closed to traffic for crews to repave the area and apply the final layer of asphalt.
  • During the intersection closure, all eastbound traffic on the Bloor Viaduct will be detoured to northbound Don Valley Parkway.
  • Broadview Avenue north of Danforth Avenue to Pretoria Avenue remains closed to traffic until Wednesday, October 25, for TTC construction.

Other construction road closures

  • From 10 p.m. on Friday to 5 a.m. on Monday, Queen Street East will close between Broadview Avenue and Logan Avenue for Metrolinx construction of the Lakeshore East joint corridor. Local traffic is permitted within closure boundaries. The road will be fully closed to drivers, cyclists and pedestrians around the rail bridges for safety.
  • On Sunday from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m., Bayview Avenue south of Pottery Road will be closed for a crane hoist.

Ongoing road closures
• Kingston Road and Lawrence Avenue is down a single lane in all directions for construction, until the end of October.
• Broadview Avenue, from Danforth Avenue to Pretoria Avenue, is closed to vehicles until October 25, for TTC streetcar tracks replacement at Broadview Station.
• Southbound Bayview Avenue is closed from Rosedale Valley Road to River Street from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly, until early January.
• In Brampton, northbound Main Street is closed from Queen Street to Nelson Street, until December for watermain replacement.
• Southbound on Broadview Avenue remains closed from south of Danforth Avenue to Gerrard Street, until the end of November.
• Dufferin Street Bridge has a full emergency closure for repair work and it’s expected to last into the fall.
• Broadview Avenue, between Gerrard Street East and Danforth Avenue, will be closed to southbound traffic and reduced to one northbound lane until November to replace TTC streetcar tracks.
• Teston Road in Vaughan will be closed between Pine Valley Drive and Weston Road until the end of the year for road reconstruction and bridge work.
• Queen Street is fully closed to traffic between Bay and Victoria Streets to accommodate work on a new station for the Ontario Line subway. The closure is scheduled to last for at least four-and-a-half years, until 2027.
• Lake Shore Boulevard West, from Rees Street to Spadina Avenue, is reduced to two lanes until May 31, 2024, for Enwave construction.
• Military Trail is closed from Ellesmere Road to Highcastle Road for road rehabilitation and slope stabilization. The project completion date has been delayed until further notice.
• Keele Street is reduced to a single lane about 100 metres north of Langstaff in Vaughan. Construction work is scheduled to finish later this year.
• Northbound Yonge Street is reduced to one lane between Wellington and King Streets for TTC construction. The project is scheduled to continue into 2024.

With files from Jordan Kerr of CityNews

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