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Cool things to do in Toronto in April

A bike with cherry blossom trees in Toronto

Toronto in April is the in between days. It’s officially spring. But there’s also a good chance of one last snowstorm. Still, the first flowers are in bloom—violet crocus, yellow daffodil—and if mother nature cooperates, it’s the start of Cherry Blossom Season.

All this to say if you’re looking for things to do in Toronto in April, you can find a mix of indoor and outdoor activities. You’ll also find no shortage of company as Torontonians come out after winter in search of more sun and fun.

If you are seeking free things to do in Toronto, our best annual festivals happening in April, or just some great arts and culture, here are my fave things to do in Toronto in April 2023.

Ghost Canoe, Lumiere the Art of Light at Trillium Park Toronto
Ghost Canoe, Lumiere the Art of Light

Lumière: The Art of Light (ongoing to May 7) FREE

This is a beautiful and free way to spend a spring evening in Toronto. The annual festival of light takes over my favourite waterfront park, Trillium Park. Ontario artists have created 16 different installations using light and sound to illuminate the night. I was particularly enamoured with the red Ghost Canoe by Jungle Ling: it borrows the image of the iconic Canadian Red Canoe but is made from disposable plastic drink and food containers left along the shoreline of Lake Ontario. There are also interactive audio/visual installations and a wonderful piece called The Flora Arcana that combines three things I love: the aethetics of tarot, natural fruits and plants, and neon. Lumiére is an easy and accessible art walk experience. Nightly from dusk to 11pm Artist statements and more info here.

Maple Syrup Weekend (April 1-2)

It’s the last chance to visit a sugar shack to watch this year’s maple syrup production, buy some local sweet treats and perhaps take a horse-drawn hay ride. This is not a thing to do in downtown Toronto, but there are a few farms located a short drive outside the city—check the official Maple Weekend site to find one near you and make it a day trip.

The Vintage Clothing Show in Toronto in April
Photo from Flickr.

Toronto Vintage Clothing Show (April 1-2)

A spring tradition for lovers of clothing and home décor from the 1920s to 1980s and one of the best things to do in Toronto in April is a visit to the largest vintage sale in Canada. There are so many vendors you’ll find vintage for all budgets and it’s fun to dress up and go browse even if you don’t score that perfect deal. Indoors at the massive Queen Elizabeth Building at Exhibition Place. Admission is $15 but you can get $2 off by signing up to their mailing list at

Good Friday Procession in Little Italy (April 7) FREE

Catholics travel from across the city and even around the world to Little Italy for this traditional religious procession, one of the largest in North America. To commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, a local actor portrays Jesus carrying his cross through the streets. There are live bands and faithful of all ages playing different characters from the Passion of the Christ while sidewalks fill with onlookers. Is it a bid morbid? Perhaps. But also fascinating and and a true glimpse of old-school Toronto community. Starts at St. Francis of Assisi Parish at the corner of Grace Street and Mansfield Avenue at 3pm and goes up to College Street between Montrose and Manning, returning to the church at around 6pm. Details and map.

Easter Parade in the Beaches (April 9) FREE

This one is for the kids: a 2-hour parade through Queen Street East in the Beaches with marching bands, floats and a lot of Easter Bunnies. Starts at 2pm. Details and map.

The Artist Project (April 13-16)

A place to buy original art directly from the artists, with more than 250 independent painters and sculptors exhibiting in one giant space. The opening night party is a good time – with live DJs, a fashion show and other entertainment—and a good deal at $25. Exhibition Place.

Egghead and Twinkie film still
Egghead & Twinkie, screening at TIFF Next Wave

TIFF Next Wave Film Festival (April 14-16)

A film festival specifically designed for youth by youth.  The esteemed Toronto International Film Festival hosts a weekend of screenings of new critically acclaimed films with themes of interest to a younger audience—all free for those under 25. ($14 tickets for general public). At Toronto’s HQ for cinema, the TIFF Bell Lightbox on King Street West at John St.

Rodin sculpture at the Art Gallery of Ontario

Slow Art Day at the AGO (April 15)

One day each year people all over the world visit their local museums and galleries to look at art slowly. This April in Toronto The Art Gallery of Ontario is participating by hosting a guided experience of five works of art. The goal is to visit them for 10 minutes each and focus on the art and the art of seeing. 1pm to 2pm. Regular admission applies – details at

Strange and Unusual Art at the AGO

Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival (April 27-May 7)

The best documentaries in the world screen at Hot Docs, one of Toronto’s top film events of the year. Music and arts, politics, sports, climate, finance—if people are talking about it, you’ll find a movie about it here. Global premieres bring in filmmakers for Q&As and it’s always a thought-provoking experience. Hot Docs has also been bringing in more live podcast events, a kind of festival-within-a-festival. Tickets are reasonably priced and available by package or singles. Students and seniors (60+) can claim free tickets to movies screening before 5pm, subject to availability. If you’re in the city during this festival, it’s my top recommend. Schedule and tickets at

Toronto Comic Arts Festival (April 29-30) FREE

Comic book fans and artists flock to the Toronto Reference Library for two days of panel discussions, workshops, exhibitions and of course shopping. It’s one of the biggest gatherings for indie and alternative print culture in the world, attracting more than 20,000 people over the weekend. And it’s free!

Shopping for vinyl at the downtown record shows is one of the best things to do in Toronto in April
Photo by Oleg Ivanov via Unsplash

Toronto Downtown Record Show (April 29)

OK so this isn’t exactly what I would call downtown but it’s well worth going to Pape and Danforth on the East side to shop for the best vinyl records in one place. More than 30 vendors get together twice a year with their best selections and serious music fans don’t miss it. All the genres, from cheap classics to rare collectibles. You can pay $30 to enter early for first pick, or $7 for general admission. 71 Gough Avenue. See for more info.

Sikh New Year Parade (April 30) FREE

Toronto’s Sikh community celebrates Vaisakhi (also known as Khalsa Day) with a parade along Lakeshore Blvd. And considering that Canada has the second largest population of Sikh in the world (in proportion to the population, even more than India!), it’s no surprise this is a huge affair attracting thousands. The parade kicks off at 1pm from the Canadian National Exhibition grounds and travels east to Toronto City Hall for a 3:30pm ceremony. People from all religions are welcome.

Cherry Blossoms in Trinity Bellwoods Park

Cherry Blossom Viewing (end of April/early May) FREE

That saying “the best things in life are free” is true at this time of year. When the Sakura trees start to bloom it seems the entire city goes crazy for the white and pink cherry blossoms. High Park in the West end is the most popular place to see and be seen—so much so the park is closed to cars because of the traffic—but there are several other good spots. I wrote about that in detail in this post about where to see cherry blossoms in Toronto. To check when the trees are expected to bloom visit the excellent Sakura Watch blog.

I hope you found this list of cool things to do in Toronto in April helpful and inspiring! If you have a favourite I forgot please leave me a comment so I can add them for next year.

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