Where To Celebrate Chinese New Year in Toronto

We’re looking forward to ushering the Year of the Monkey and according to my friend Mr. Will Wong’s research over on his blog, “those born in the Year of the Monkey are known to be clever, overly-energetic, witty and great at problem solving. People born in this year are encouraged to make calculated risks, break free and follow their hearts.”

There’s no doubt that we all will be celebrating with our families and friends. It’s days of eating and we can’t wait! Dad has already booked our reservations at his favourite restaurant for our main feast. But we’ve also noticed some other fun things to do to celebrate.

Toronto Symphony Orchestra is has a special Chinese New Year concert on Saturday, February 13, 2016 at Roy Thomson Hall. For its third annual Chinese New Year Celebration, the TSO presents a festive concert. Long Yu, Artistic Director of the China Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, leads a program that blends traditional Chinese and classical western styles, featuring performances by superstar violinist Maxim Vengerov and Peking Opera soloist Wang Yi.


Monkey King Performance at Scarborough Town Centre, Friday, February 5 at 7:00 pm: One of the most popular Lunar New Year events in the GTA, Scarborough Town Centre’s celebration features ceremonial thunder drums, traditional Chinese music presented by the renowned North American Chinese Orchestra, an authentic eye dotting ceremony, a spectacular appearance from the Monkey King and one of the largest lion dance performances in the city. Fortunate shoppers will also be gifted Lei Si (“lucky money”) envelopes by the God of Fortune to help spread luck and wealth in 2016.

CNY celebrations

CNY Celebrations at Market VillageMarket Village Chinese New Year Celebrations: Feb 5, 6 and 7. Events includes multi-cultural performances on centre stage, lucky draws and giveaways. Take pics with the God of Fortune and check out fruit painting and origami activities. Sponsored by Canada Dry.

Lunar Festival at Markham Pan Am Centre: Feb. 5 & 6 at 8:00 pm. as well as countdown on Feb. 7 at 9:30 pm. Admission fees apply. Festival brings family and community together to celebrate the New Year. Family friendly activities and traditions featured here along side booths, decor, and food.

Chinese New Year High Tea at Shangri-La Hotel: February 8 to 21. Usher in the New Year with friends and family with an elegant High Tea at this luxurious hotel. The Chinese New Year inspired menu includes matcha and red bean cake, warm sesame balls, pork and shrimp dumplings as well as classic English scones served with clotted cream, house-made pandean leaf curd and strawberry jam, all while sipping tea chosen from a menu of over 75 premium selections. Reservations highly recommended.

Shangri-La Hotel

Late Night Dim Sum at Shangri-La Hotel: February 8 to 21. Enjoy signature cocktails along with a special dim sum offering with four varieties from featuring deep fried mushroom bean curd, classic siu mai, har gow, and ginger dumplings. All takes place in the Lobby Lounge with live performances by local artists and bands. Reservations highly recommended.

Luckee by Susur Lee

Chinese New Year at Luckee by Susur Lee: February 2 to 21. Celebrate the new year with three special prix-fixe menus designed for wishes of happiness, good fortune, prosperity and wealth. Menus include one six-course menu ($88) and two 8 course menus ($138 and $168). Each dish is created with Chinese symbolism in mind.

Photo credit: Sonya Davidson


Apple is offering something fun to do! From January 29 to February 13, you can take in one of their hands-on Chinese New Year creative workshops. Bring gong-gong and po-po as well as they are hosting the workshop in several languages. Learn how to make personalized movies, edit photos for cards, illustrate seasonal wishes and more. The staff will guide you through to create a beautiful and special CNY greeting to share with friends and family during this celebration. Participating stores and workshop times listed at site.


Papabubble Toronto rings in the New Year with little packets of limited edition Chinese New Year candies made right in the shop. Perfect way to start the year on sweet note and fun to give to the little ones in your life (okay, and older ones too).

Butter Avenue has unveiled this year’s collection of Chinese New Year special edition macarons. Two monkeys have quietly appeared in stores recently. Monkey Face is citrus black sesame and monkey silhouette is matcha chestnut. All macarons are made in house with all-natural flavours and no preservatives.

Baker Siu who’s a pharmacy student by day swept our hearts on MasterChef Canada and now creates his sweets for his company Daan Go. Christopher Siu has been teasing us with Chinese New Year goodies like macarons. Flavours include HK Milk Tea/Coffee, Ribena, Mandarin Peel and Hawthorne Berry already. He tells us that he likes to take traditional Chinese flavours and giving them a western spin. He’ll be opening up a shop in April but for now, contact him directly for orders on his Facebook page.

If you’ve got a few long distance relatives and not quite sure how to celebrate. My friend Carol (aka @bakingzen) has discovered Red Pocket Gifts that’s worth looking into, you can link to her blog post here: Celebrating Chinese New Year 

If you’ve found any other great ideas please let me know!

Happy New Year!



Sonya is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of AZNmodern.com. She is also a well-established contributing lifestyle writer to other sites and magazines sharing her passion for arts & culture, fashion, beauty, travel and food. Sonya is based in Toronto, Canada. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @theculturepearl

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