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Victoria Day long weekend: Fireworks, events, and what's open and closed

Last Updated May 19, 2017 at 11:47 am EDT

Fireworks are shown in Toronto in this undated file photo.

Summer officially arrives on June 21, but the Victoria Day long weekend is often pegged as the unofficial start of summer.

While some people will head to the cottage, others will be in town hanging out on the patio or enjoying local events. If you are out and about on Monday, below is a list of what’s open and closed.

There is a partial subway closure on Line 1 (Yonge-University-Spadina), as well as a GO train service reduction on the Lakeshore East line. There are also road closures in effect, some of which are near the Gardiner Expressway ramp to York, Bay and Yonge streets.

Have a wonderful long weekend.


A closed sign on a storefront. GETTY IMAGES/Steve Goodwin
A closed sign on a storefront. GETTY IMAGES/Steve Goodwin

 

What’s open and closed

Open

  • TTC will run on a holiday schedule
  • GO Transit will run on a Saturday schedule
  • Tourist attractions: ROM, CN Tower, Casa Loma, Hockey Hall of Fame, Ontario Science Centre, Canada’s Wonderland, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
  • Most malls: Bramalea City Centre (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Eaton Centre (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Pacific Mall (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.), Square One (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), The Promenade (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Toronto Premium Outlets (9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.), Upper Canada Mall (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Vaughan Mills (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.), Yorkville Village (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Curbside garbage is not collected on any Monday, but other services will be affected. Click here for details.

 

Closed

  • LCBO stores are closed on Monday, but many cottage-area locations may remain open later on Friday and Saturday. Click here to check individual store hours.
  • Beer Store locations will also be closed on Monday but some stores will open later on Sunday
  • Government offices, municipal buildings and banks
  • Libraries are closed on Sunday and Monday
  • No mail delivery
  • Some malls: Dufferin Mall, Fairview Mall, Scarborough Town Centre, Sherway Gardens, Yorkdale Shopping Centre
  • Toronto Zoo (due to union strike)
The intersection of Harbour and York streets before the redesign, which is expected to be completed in early 2018. CITY OF TORONTO
The intersection of Harbour and York streets before the redesign, which is expected to be completed in early 2018. CITY OF TORONTO

 

Transit and road closures

Partial Line 1 closure
Despite it being a long weekend, the TTC is limiting service on Line 1. There will be no subways running between Sheppard West and St. George stations on Saturday and Sunday because of signal upgrades.

Due to construction, shuttle buses will only operate between Sheppard West and Lawrence West stations during the closure. Additional service will be added to existing bus and streetcar routes to help with the commuter traffic.

GO Transit service
Train service on the Lakeshore East line will be run every hour, instead of every 30 minutes, from Friday evening until Monday due to construction work at Guildwood GO Station. Click here for schedule details.

Road closures
If you are driving in or out of the downtown core over the long weekend, road closures will await you near the Gardiner Expressway as crews demolish the ramp to York, Bay and Yonge streets. The following streets will be closed:

  • York Street, from Queens Quay to Harbour Street, will be closed from 10 a.m. on Friday to 11 p.m. on Monday.
  • Eastbound Lake Shore Boulevard/Harbour Street, from Lower Simcoe Street to Bay Street, as well as the York and Harbour intersection, will be closed from 1 p.m. on Friday to 11 p.m. on Monday.
  • Southbound York Street between Lake Shore Boulevard West and Harbour Street will be closed from 1 p.m. on Friday to 11 p.m. on Monday.

 

The work will be done between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. on each of those days. The city warns that it will be brightly lit and loud in the area. During the closure, pedestrians and cyclists will have to use Bremner Boulevard, Rees Street and Lower Simcoe Street.

Queen Street between Yonge and Bay streets will also be closed this weekend as crews remove the pedestrian bridge at the Hudson’s Bay Company building. The stretch of roadway will be closed from 11 p.m. on Friday to 5 a.m. on Monday.

Road closures will also be in effect on Monday for the Walk with Israel. Partial closures will be in effect from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the area bounded by Strachan Avenue, Lake Shore Boulevard, York Street and Wellington Street.

Events

Fireworks
The May long weekend may be the unofficial start of summer, but it is the start of the fireworks season.

One of the main events will be at Canada’s Wonderland. Fireworks will be held at 10 p.m. on Sunday, weather permitting. Spend the day at the park enjoying the more than 200 rides and then watch the light show over Wonder Mountain.

The fireworks show at Ashbridges Bay Park is on Monday, kicking off at 9:45 p.m. Since there is flooding in the area, the city said the fireworks will be set off from a barge in the water and not from the beach.

File photo of a fireworks display. EYEEM/Syilvana Grabski-Wawer
File photo of a fireworks display. EYEEM/Syilvana Grabski-Wawer

 

Rib & Craft Beer Fest
The Rib & Craft Beer Fest is taking over Yonge-Dundas Square this Thursday through Sunday.

The annual summer kickoff showcases the best rib teams in Canada, along with craft beer vendors. Guests can also enjoy blooming onions, poutine, burgers, sausages, deep fried treats, funnel cakes and ice cream. Entertainment includes live music all weekend long, on-site contests, line dancing lessons, cooking lessons and face painting. The festival runs each day from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Final show at Hard Rock Cafe
The Hard Rock Cafe, which opened near Yonge and Dundas streets in 1978, is set to close its doors for good on Sunday, to make way for a Shoppers Drug Mart.

A final show will be held on Saturday night at the restaurant before it closes at 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Partial proceeds from the show will go to support Plan International Canada’s Because I am a Girl campaign. Admission is limited to those 19 years old and over.

Hard Rock Cafe on Yonge Street at Dundas Square as seen in 1978-1980. CITY OF TORONTO ARCHIVES
Hard Rock Cafe on Yonge Street at Dundas Square as seen in 1978-1980. CITY OF TORONTO ARCHIVES

 

HarbourKIDS: Circus
Take your long weekend to new and exciting heights, at the HarbourKIDS Circus festival.

Toronto’s circus on the waterfront returns for three days, with an inspiring mix of artists who will consider and play with the concept of flight, acceleration and momentum. Highlights include the Voyages in Circus Show, Sideshow Expedition: Mr. Mess, The Circus of Industrious Fleas, Fly, and Becoming the Human Cannonball Art Station.

WeeFestival Family Day
Spend some quality time with your family this long weekend at the WeeFestival Family Day event at Artscape Wychwood Barns. The event runs from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Victoria Day.

The morning will be filled with dance, storytelling, music, crafts, healthy eats and treats. Admission is by donation, with a minimum of $10 suggested per person. All money raised will go towards the 2018 edition of the WeeFestival of Theatre and Culture for Early Years. During the event, a sneak peek of the 2018 event will be shown.

Trinity Bellwoods Bed-In
The Trinity Bellwoods Bed-In returns to the west-end park this long weekend. The event, in its fourth year, commemorates the news conference John Lennon and Yoko Ono held in their bed at the King Edward Hotel on May 25, 1969. The next day, they headed to Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel for their second Bed-In for Peace.

The event features musicians, performers and yoga in the park. The Bed-In runs from 11 a.m. on Sunday to 2 a.m. on Monday. All are welcome to attend.

City of Toronto events
There are several city-run activities to keep you occupied as well. The city’s golf courses are open, as well as tennis courts and splash pads. The Fort York National Historic Site and Spadina Museum will be open on Monday, but the remaining eight will be closed. Also, a reminder that the Toronto Island Park remains closed to due high water levels.

Also starting on Monday, the “Toronto” sign at Nathan Phillips Square will be animated from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to honour Canada’s 150th birthday.