Plan an evening around the city’s top cultural venues, with unique events and cutting-edge programming for visitors and locals alike.
Friday evenings at the AGO
The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is open late (until 9 p.m.) every Wednesday and Friday. AGO Free Wednesday Nights are a bargain, but things can get a bit busy, so opt for Friday if your goal is a cerebral date night.
Friday evenings feature exhibit viewing, hands-on artmaking, talks and performances—and even the odd trivia contest—in one of Toronto’s most stylish spaces.
Jumpstart the evening with dinner at AGO Bistro, the onsite restaurant designed by Toronto-born, internationally renowned architect Frank Gehry. 317 Dundas St. W.
ROM After Dark
This once-a-month Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) party combines the wonder of the natural world with the excitement of DJ beats, eclectic food and drink. It’s a fab Friday night out for friends or workmates with plenty of Yorkville restaurants and lounges nearby for post-party noshing.
Be sure to check the ROM After Dark schedule for upcoming RAD parties. You can’t miss the Lee-Chin Crystal, the striking prismatic structure added in 2007 that transformed the ROM experience both inside and out. 100 Queen’s Park
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Bar takeovers at MOCA
At 20, the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto (MOCA) is one of Toronto’s youngest major arts institutions. Located in the revitalized Lower Junction Triangle neighbourhood since 2018, the artist-centric gallery is housed in a heritage building and former warehouse.
In addition to its edgy multimedia exhibitions, the gallery hosts special events such as this winter’s viewer-engaging MOCA Free Friday Nights Bar Takeover, which includes a travelling interactive installation and special menus at local watering holes. Stay tuned for other public events year-round. 158 Sterling Rd
Friday Night Jazz at Ripley’s Aquarium
On the second Friday of every month, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada opens for after-hours exploration and live jazz. Immerse yourself in a world of 16,000 aquatic animals from sharks to sea turtles in a beautifully mood-lit venue.
Sip cocktails as you wander the tropical Rainbow Reef tank and mesmerizing Planet Jellies display with its array of backlit jellyfish habitats. Don’t miss Dangerous Lagoon, where you can snap pics of eels, grouper and sand tiger sharks from a moving sidewalk wending its way through the 2.9 million litre exhibit.
Cap the evening with an upscale dinner offering bird’s eye views of the city lights at 360 The Restaurant at the CN Tower. 288 Bremner Blvd.