Your Destination for Hot Topics at
Ivey Donald K. Johnson Centre

We’re event professionals, dedicated to crafting the perfect occasion for our guests. With our blog, we aim to arm you with the same tips and tricks used every day to create unforgettable events here at Ivey Donald K. Johnson Centre. We hope you enjoy!

  • cherry blossoms

    See Spring in Full Bloom

    We have a colorful day planned for you and it starts in High Park to see the flowering cherry trees. Toward the end of the month and into May, think pink and walk amongst the delicate blossoms. More sights to see on the rise at Scarborough Bluffs. Pack a lunch to enjoy at the picnic tables above or on the sandy beaches down below. Hiking trails are marked for all levels of walking. If it's Easter Day, don't miss the Beaches Easter Parade. All along Queen Street, watch the bands and collect free chocolate eggs! Every other day of April, trade the pomp and circumstance for spring flowers at Allan Gardens. Free to the public, it's a gimme for flower lovers. A leisurely stroll through the fragrant greenhouse and you'll forget winter ever happened. End your day at Polson Pier to watch the sun set over Toronto's sparkling skyline. 

  • wooden stairs beach boardwalk

    Expand Your Mind at Winter Stations

    When creative minds become masters in design, Winter Stations is the resulting genius. Revered by Canadians and people the world over, this interactive series of award-winning installations invites members of the public to step into global issues and try on new perspectives with perfect strangers. "Above the Wall" offers more than a good ocean view. As visitors climb stairs from one side of a symbolic wall affixed to the lifeguard stand on Woodbine Beach, they have the opportunity to pause at the top and befriend the person who has ascended the stairs from the opposite side, thus transcending the barrier meant to divide. Othe exhibits include the Forest of Butterflies, the Cavalcade and Mind Station. And each is intended to stimulate the thoughts of its visitors by challenging individuals' values through a global lens. Find these temporary public art installations affixed to the lifeguard stands along Ashbridges Bay, east to Balmy Beach until April 1st.

  • red and blue neon lights on Toronto high rise

    Be Illuminated at the Toronto Light Festival

    Last year 200,000 illuminated gummy bears set aglow Archeo Patio in old-town Toronto. This year 13 acres of equally creative light displays will dazzle your sites. From January 18th through March 3rd Toronto welcomes you to its spectacular Light Festival. 44 buildings will glow in a spectrum of color. See one for each of the festival's 45 days or do a grand tour. Walking the city is free, so you can take your pick and do it all over again!

    The old Victorian industrial buildings set alight compose much the city's historic neighborhood. But not all of the lights are grounded in history. Some displays give the illusion that they're floating. Others are interactive. All are the creations of local and international artists. So bundle up and get outside for an illuminating evening. Toronto's third annual Light Festival will be sure to lift even your darkest winter doldrums.

  • ice skater under black lighting

    Skate the Bentway Trail

    Go for it Blade Runner! Toronto's Bentway Skate Trail has iced a path just for you. The slick 1.75 km trail runs in the shadow of the Fred Gardner Expressway. That means it's neighbor to Fort York Historic site and a short walk from almost every major downtown attraction. There's ample parking for drivers and streetcar stops along its length from Strachan Avenue to Bathurst Street. Plans are underway to stretch the trail to Spadina Avenue.

    When you tire of skating or reach the end of the trail, nearby Liberty Village will charm you with its restaurants, pubs, and coffee shops. Take a hot chocolate to go and stroll along the shore of beautiful Lake Ontario. It might be hard to imagine, but during the summer, the Bentway Trail is known for its pop-up art exhibits and craft markets. Only Toronto's winter visitors get to enjoy the privilege to skate!

  • dangling star-shaped Christmas lights

    Get in the Spirit at Toronto's Christmas Market

    Indulge your senses at the Toronto Christmas Marketwhere each day of the week until December 23rd, holiday-themed entertainment will steal the spotlight to delight your inner child. 400 free performances light up the main stage including award-winning singers, brass bands, carolers, and even a daily sing-a-long with Santa’s elves. There’s truly something for everyone. And that’s not all. Wind through a textured maze of artist vendors selling their craft. Find a souvenir and follow your nose to grab a delicious bite to eat. Try Santa’s BBQ, stollen, waffles, Canadian poutine, and gingerbread. Then wash it down with a visit to one of the market’s jolly beer gardens. Mulled wine, Christmas cocktails, hot toddies and a variety of craft beers are for sale under the glow of heated lamps and crackling fires. Admission is free until 5 pm on weekdays and weekend tickets are available on the market’s website for only $6 each.

    If it's whimsy you seek, lose yourself in the hidden village at the Aurora Winter Festival in Toronto's Ontario Place. From now until December 30th, you can visit Santa's Workshop or catch the forest nymphs flitting through fantastical light displays. Enjoy the market huts, food and beer gardens, amusement rides, live entertainment, and other activities with your family and friends. Don't miss the Festival's inaugural year! Tickets are available online.

  • hand on piano keyboard

    Free Concert Series in Downtown Toronto

    Steal away for an afternoon of free music at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, walking distance from our Ivey Donald K. Johnson Centre. Every Tuesday and Wednesday in November, the Canadian Opera Company has invited world-renowned musicians to dazzle your senses inside the breathtaking Richard Bradshaw Amphitheater. As part of its Free Concert Series, you'll experience a collection of vocal, piano, jazz, dance, chamber and world music performances.

    Admission is first come, first served so don't delay! Trust us when we say that the concert is not only a feast for the ears but for the eyes! From your elevated seat, you'll enjoy an exclusive view through the glass wall onto the hustle and bustle of holiday traffic as it zips along Queen Street West. And while you're there, don't miss an opportunity to secure a seat at the opera or ballet. The theatre is the first of its kind in Canada, with unparalleled acoustics for the performing arts.

  • catering canapes for party

    How To Make Your Holiday Party A Culinary Masterpiece

    At Ivey Donald K. Johnson Centre, we believe a great party begins with a great menu. Rose Reisman Catering, our onsite caterer, shares our passion for making food the focal point of every festive holiday gathering. Whether you’re planning a formal soiree or a casual get-together with colleagues, Rose pulls out all the stops, showing her culinary creativity in flavorful menus that shine with originality and holiday spirit.

    We caught up with Rose in the catering kitchen to sneak a peek at what she’s planning for the upcoming holiday season and, suffice it to say, her hand-crafted menus are a work of art. Highlights include the crowd-favorite Rose’s Braised Beef Brisket Au Jus garnished with Roasted Cipollini Onions; Pan-Seared Chicken Supreme with Sun-dried Tomatoes, White Wine and Lemon Herb Sauce; and classic Farro & Arugula Salad with Chickpeas, Green Onion & Cherry Tomatoes.