Toronto Weekender: Labour Day Weekend 2011, Part I

Labour Day Weekend is upon us, and, as usual, that means that we can pretty much kiss summer goodbye. But instead of holding a vigil to mourn its departure, we’re raising a glass and toasting to the last few weeks of decent weather. (We say decent because right now the Weather Network’s calling for a high of 21 and 18 on Sunday and Monday respectively…awesome didn’t seem apropos.) In any case, check out some of the happenings, occurrences, events, what-have-yous going on in Toronto over this last long weekend of summer’s glory.

The Harbourfront’s Hot and Spicy Festival kicks off on Friday and if last year was any forecast, we’re in for a muy caliente weekend: Iron Chef competition, sizzling vendors, white hot performances, and an attempt to break the BBQing world record.

Concert for Japan is shaping up to be a pretty stellar ride. Downsview Park will be concert mecca on Saturday and Sunday, with DJs like Paul Oakenfeld and Ricky J dropping hot beats, an eight-storey-high suspended bar with private DJ giving you a full view of the action on the grounds, and a zip line letting you soar above it all. We’re so there.

If you haven’t made it over to the Ex yet this year, two things: 1) Why? and 2) Why? It’s the last weekend for this annual fest of midway magic, rousing rides, and fatty foods (so worth the cals though). Get ye to thee Ex!

Speaking of le Ex, the Canadian International Air Show soars above TO (sorry condo dwellers in the harbour/waterfront areas) this weekend, with the best view being, of course, from the Ex, though heading down near the lakefront is usually a good way to catch the flights without dropping any dough.

Brazilian Day Canada is Sunday at Yonge and Dundas Square (interesting side note: its “warm up party” on Saturday night is being held at the Ukrainian Hall Cultural Centre, quelle etrange…) On Sunday there’ll be Exaltasamba, gals in Carnival-gear, and, we’re assuming, lots of football jerseys.

Love art? We do, and this weekend sees the Distillery District’s outdoor art show taking up all nooks and crannys of the historic site. ArtFest kicks off on Friday and runs through Monday, and is the perfect spot to check out local artisans and wares. Plus, it’s in the Distillery, do you really ever need an excuse to head there? (Psst…if you do, we just mentioned one, don’t know if you noticed.)

So there you have it, Part I of our special two-part Toronto Labour Day Weekender. Check back tomorrow for more weekend highlights.

Image courtesy stock.xchng.