Spring Is On the Horizon in Toronto
It’s almost spring and that means the winter chill will start to recede and new opportunities to enjoy this fine city of ours will soon be here. Every year, I’m asked what there is to do in Toronto in the spring. Out of towners and tourists alike think of the city as a winter city, but that’s not necessarily the case. Spring is filled with exciting activities, two of my favorite being Canadian Music Week and the start of the baseball season for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Canadian Music Week
Since 1981, Canadian Music Week has been a mainstay in Toronto since 1981, representing the largest industry gathering in the country every year as it brings together more than 2,000 industry professionals for conferences, awards and a New Music festival that is one of Canada’s largest. While the show started as an industry event, it has attracted a huge performance following as new and upcoming bands make the exodus to perform and, hopefully, be heard by one of the big record company executives.
As a result, during the four nights of the festival every March, you can expect to run into nearly 700 different bands in 40 different venues – from bars and concert spots to clothing stores and street corners. The show is huge and that means, if you are in Toronto that week, you can’t help but be drawn to it.
In the past, the event has drawn a range of celebrities as well, including rock stars like Gene Simmons and Slash as well as new and upcoming stars from around the world. It’s a big event.
Most people make the exodus to see the various shows throughout the city that week, but it’s also a perfect time for celebrity spotting, with hall of fame inductions, award shows and other big events that attract Canadian and foreign celebrities alike. It’s not quite on par with the Toronto Film Festival in terms of raw star power parading the streets, but in the music world, it’s as close as the city is like to get.
This year, the event is being stretched out to 6 full days and there will be more than 1,000 bands performing across dozens of venues throughout the city. Starting on March 19th and running until March 24th, the show will feature Radio and Music Summits, Film and Comedy Festivals, and of course plenty of music performances including those by Metric, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Mount Moriah, Marianas Trench and dozens more new and up and coming bands from Canada (and beyond).
If you haven’t had a chance to check out Canadian Music Week in the past, make it happen this year – it’s going to be big.
The Toronto Blue Jays Are Back
Speaking of big, how about those Blue Jays? If you’re a Canadian and love baseball, you can’t help but be excited for the 2013 baseball season. Arguably one of the most successful offseasons in baseball history, the Blue Jays landed some hot bats, big name pitchers and incredible opportunities to compete with the big boys in the American League East this year.
Opening the season at home on April 2nd against the Indians, the Blue Jays will swing open the gates at Roger’s Centre and welcome back the city for a season that’s sure to be exciting.
Why are we so excited for the 2013 baseball season? Here’s a quick rundown of what Toronto has pulled off in just the last three months.
While the usual offseason trades and ended contracts saw the departure of players including Carlos Villanueva, Jason Fraser and Brandon Lyon, the big news was the trades.
On November 14th, Toronto pulled of a massive trade with the Miami Marlins that landed them John Johnson, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Emilio Bonifacio in exchange for prospects like Justin Nicolino and everyday players Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechavarria.
Later they landed R.A. Dickey from the New York Mets and rounded out their starting line up with the trade for John Thole. In short, they added multiple all stars and perennial Cy Young candidates to their lineup to instantly jumpstart what last year was already very nearly a potent team.
Combined with the offense they have been putting up in recent years, rivals like the Yankees and Red Sox have something to worry about in 2013.
If you’ve never been in Toronto during the spring months, it’s a wonder what you can find to do. Summer is just around the corner and you can feel it in the air, not just on the field in Roger’s Centre but throughout the city as storefronts open up their awnings and festivals kick off. March and April can’t come soon enough.