Toronto's Top 100 Events 2017

The list of the meetings, parties, and industry gatherings that make the most impact in Toronto year after year.

#1 Trade Show & Convention Attendance in 2016 hit 1.54 million, just short of 2015’s 10-year record. Highlights last year included the East Coast Kitchen Party, food trucks, and the Great Canadian Water Ski Caper on Lake Ontario. New sponsors for 2017 include French’s and Meridian. Next: August 18-September 4, 2017
#1 Trade Show & Convention
Attendance in 2016 hit 1.54 million, just short of 2015’s 10-year record. Highlights last year included the East Coast Kitchen Party, food trucks, and the Great Canadian Water Ski Caper on Lake Ontario. New sponsors for 2017 include French’s and Meridian. Next: August 18-September 4, 2017
Photo: Courtesy of Canadian National Exhibition

Ottawa isn’t the only place to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday this year. Plenty of Toronto-based events are getting in on the sesquicentennial celebrations, even if they don’t coincide with Canada Day on July 1.

The International Festival of Authors, which takes place in the fall, is focusing on Canadian authors and their works, and in the art and design category, Luminato, Nuit Blanche, and Doors Open focused on Canada’s past and its future. Food events also boast some creative Canadiana, with the Festival of Beer bringing in suds from coast to coast, while Terroir and Restaurants Canada featured First Nations programming and cuisine.

Some notable changes occurred this year in the benefits realm, where the Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival rose to the top spot thanks to its fund-raising power, two-day format, and impressive auction items—including an Aston Martin car. The Right to Play Gala and True Patriot Love moved up in this list, as well, and the Blue Jays Foundation’s Curve Ball Gala joined the pack.

Another notable move was Drake’s OVO Fest, which fell from the top spot in music events after reverting from three nights to one and decreasing venue size. (Rest assured, despite this, Drizzy will always be number one to his hometown fans.)

To choose and rank the annual events on this list, we look at several factors, including economic impact, buzz, innovation, and an event's prominence within the communities it intends to serve.

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