What the hell to do downtown this weekend

U of T students need some ideas for Halloween? the newspaper's got you covered.
U of T students need some ideas for Halloween? the newspaper's got you covered.

Night of Dread

Where: Dufferin Grove Park, 875 Dufferin Street

When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on October 31

Admission: FREE

If you want to experience Halloween in its truest form this year—that is, with all of the eerie erraticness the holiday was intended to have—the Night of Dread at Dufferin Grove Park is the ideal spot to immerse yourself in the most spine-chilling spectral spectacles of the night. The occasion, hosted by Clay & Paper Theatre, has a schedule crammed with fantastical events, ranging from a massive parade complete with fire spinners, monstrous puppets and a big brass band, to live music and eccentric theatrical performances.

The park will be ablaze with a roaring bonfire and abuzz with costumed creatures of the night eating traditional Pan De Muerto bread and paying respects at a shrine garden for those who have passed. Though admission is free, participants are asked to donate what they can so that the Night of Dread may be revived again next year, and for those who lack their own costumes, we’ve been told that the alternate dress code is “black, white and ghoulishly creepy.” The best part is, because it all ends at 9 p.m., you’ll have plenty of time to party on at another one of these degenerate Halloween destinations!

The Village Halloween Street Party

Where: The Village, 519 Church Street

When: 6:30 p.m. on October 31 until 3 a.m. on November 1

Admission: FREE

Though The Village’s annual Halloween party isn’t the biggest street festival the neighborhood hosts every year, it’s certainly one of the most well-known places to monster mash downtown. This year the area will be blocked off from Gloucester to Alexander to make way for thousands of visitors to drop in and explore all the niche shops, snazzy cafes and riotous bars the neighborhood has to offer, making it the ideal spot for an all-night Halloween pub crawl!

Haunted Halloween Marijuana Treasure Hunt

Where: High Park (yes, High Park), 1873 Bloor Street West

When: 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on October 31

Admission: FREE

Of all the treats you could get in your bag this year, a certificate for free marijuana of questionable legality might as well be added to your stockpile. In reverence of the holiday and increased access to medical marijuana, the Haunted Halloween Marijuana Treasure Hunt will be hiding over $50,000 worth of certificates for JuJu Joints around High Park for anyone 19 or older to find. But this year, to celebrate the overwhelming Liberal victory this election, the dispensary redeeming said certificates will be distributing the prizes regardless of if you have a medical marijuana license or not. Chris, a representative of JuJu Joints who has declined the publication of his surname, fearlessly announced the license-free stipulation on the grounds that, in his own words, “de facto legalization has already begun,” and that he believes “anyone over 19 should be permitted to use marijuana recreationally now.”

If you think the scariest part of this treasure hunt is the possibility of being caught, don’t be scared. There will be no joints, blunts, dime-bags or any sort of marijuana actually distributed in the park—just the certificates, which will have an address, contact information and instructions on how to cash in the certificate at the dispensary. This means that no treasure hunters will be at risk to be charged with possession, and more importantly, no innocent park goers or animals will stumble upon the substance.

So if you’re looking for something to do midday this Halloween and feel like doing some adult trick-or-treating, come to the aptly named High Park and get hunting. Costumes are optional, but running shoes are highly recommended.

Sneeky Dee’s Shriek A Tail

Where: Sneaky Dee’s, 431 College Street

When: 11 p.m. on October 31

Admission: $5

Sneaky Dee’s is famous for its good food and good times, and its eighth annual Shriek A Tail is no exception. The event is a spookified reprise of the Shake A Tail dance party held at Dee’s every Saturday night for nearly a decade. Head south of campus to their venue on College this Halloween for a night of candy, prizes and old school tunes to shake, rattle and roll them bones to!

Rocky Horror Picture Show

Where: Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, 506 Bloor Street West

When: 7:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., October 30 and 31

Admission: $16

If outdoor festivities aren’t your thing, or if you’re a just a straight-up perverted, low-down, cheap little punk, come to the Halloween showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show at Bloor Hot Docs and join the cult following. Since the film’s release in 1975, the classic rock n’ roll freak show musical has had an internationally active following along with weekly showings at select indie theatres around the world. Each showing is an interactive event, with props being supplied to audience members and a shadow cast of live actors mirroring the show as it plays on screen. RHPS will be shown twice nightly on both October 30 and 31, making it a great Halloween Eve event or a thrilling highlight of your Halloween night. Come freaky, feisty and open-minded, and give yourself over to absolute pleasure. Corsets, fishnets and fetishwear are encouraged, but optional.

Hotnuts Halloween: A Nightmare on Sesame Street (with Poisonous Relationship)

Where: The Garrison, 1197 Dundas Street West

When: 10:30 p.m. on October 31

Admission: $10

Is Rocky too dark and leather-clad for your pervy tastes? Get your head up and head down to The Garrison cantina on Dundas for a flashy and color-clashy fiesta that’s sarcastically inclined to be a “wet dream come true.” The people responsible for the gaudy gala is dance party organizer HotNuts, which is famous in underground queer culture for its DIY garbage glamour aesthetic and unorthodox Halloween party themes. This year they’ve peaked in peculiarity with the theme “Nightmare on Sesame Street,” and are encouraging guests to take their promiscuity to the extreme by dressing down pop culture characters and gussying them up. Recommended costumes include Drake-ula, Oscar the Grudge and Nosferatutu.

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