Toronto Weekender: October 27th through 30th, 2011

Well, Halloween is nigh alright, and of course we couldn’t put together this weekender without some of the most notable spots to check out and events to hit up that are sure to help get your skin itching for some scares. So let’s cut to the chase, shall we…?

Tonight there is a slew of events to check out, all for worthy causes. The Distillery District will be home to both the 2nd annual Paws for the Cause Gala (at Airship 37) – an evening of entertainment, pooch couture, and dogs ironically strutting down the catwalk – and the Nzirambi Photo Exhibition Fundraiser (at Pikt) – raising funds to support the Nzirambi Education Fund. If either, or both, of these events is your destination for the night, start the evening at Tappo Wine Bar and Restaurant (and indulge – we mean some serious indulgence – in the risotto al anatra).

If theatrics and thematics are more your cup o’ tea, you’ll either want to stop in at The Hoxton for Fireball for Sheena’s Place – this year it’s Alice in Wonderland themed – or the NABS Nightmare on Richmond Street – a howling romp at This is London. If you’re West End-ing it up, grab dinner at Khao San Road (street style pad thai, that’s all we’re saying.)

You’re pretty much guaranteed a great night anywhere you head this weekend. Halloween is akin to New Year’s Eve in that it brings even the most jaded of partiers out of the woodworks and into the clubs, bars, restaurants…pretty much anywhere a tap and a corkscrew are present. Tomorrow, you have Monster Mash at the good ol’ Guv, Liberty‘s annual Halloween bash, the Diablo Ball…whatever your fright you’ll find it here.

If you’re holding off Halloween hangovers till Sunday, hit up Screemers on Friday night instead. This year boasts a Vampire Bar so you can still get some lively libations while walking the fine line between a racing heart and cardiac arrest.

Saturday morning, since it’s looking like a damp and wretched day, grab an early lunch at Ravi Soups to drink down a bowl of delicious warmth. (Grab something with a little extra spice to help stave off those impending cold germs.) Hit the pavement the rest of the day, or rather, take it easy (you’ll need your energy tonight) before dinner at Lucien. This Wellington Street gem has been around for awhile, we know, but the kitchen is temporarily being run by Guy Rawlings (formerly of Brockton General) and Grant van Gameren (previously of Black Hoof), so expect some extra flare to the dishes.

Then, it’s the night you’ve all been waiting for: presents the Haunted Mansion at the Grave Hall. The Haunted Mansion will see blood-curdling beats provided by The DAFT PUNK Tribute Band, in costume and ready to take the party to the limit alongside DOWN WITH WEBSTER’s Celeb DJ DIGGY, and DJ VANESKA. The Grave Hall (aka. The Great Hall) will see Toronto’s best Young Professionals and taste makers decked out in their best costumes surrounded by an eery and ominous scene. Experience the creaky, vintage feel of this historic venue for the hottest Halloween ticket in TO.

On Sunday you’ll be needing a greasy spoon brunch to cure the inevitable brain mash, so hit up the Patrician Grill on King Street East for a simple yet oh-so-needed big breakfast.

To waste away the afternoon and truly get in the hallowed spirit, trek it up to Vaughn. While we know that’s a scary enough endeavour for city rats, the mecca of Halloween installations awaits: Wonderland’s Halloween Haunt. You can’t call it Halloween without a rendezvous at Canada’s massive theme park, right? Running terrifying rides in the dark as well as 10 menacing mazes (like the Terror of London), new shows such as The Hanging, and skin-reeling creatures around every corner, we dare you not to take a stroll around this dark-sided adventure hub.