by Erica Ly

While everyone may have different traditions to welcome the fresh start that comes with a new year, whether you prefer cozy countdowns or loud and energetic parties filled with music and dancing, downtown Toronto has something for you.

PRO-TIP: There will also be free TTC service on December 31st, so take advantage of that and visit the celebration you want to be a part of!


1. For the Party Animal: The Loudest Gathering

You are: anywhere everyone is at! You love to be in the loudest and most jam-packed places to really feel the excitement and impact of counting down with thousands beside you.

New Year’s Eve at Nathan Phillips Square
* Update for 2017 specific details available on event site in mid-December
Location: Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto
Time: December 31st, starting at 8pm
Admission: Free
Ages: All

Events for the night:

  • DJ hosted skating and dancing under the stars
  • Various performers/Live entertainment
  • Fireworks
  • Variety of food trucks


2. For the Experiencer: The Never-ending Skate

You are: not too keen on standing like a packed sardine all night in Nathan Phillips Square. Instead, you value the experience, including spacious surroundings and prefer being able to move around, gliding on the ice along to live DJ picks, under the starry sky and beside the majestic lake.

NYE Skating Party
Location: Natrel Rink, Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W, Toronto
Time: December 31st, starting at 8pm
Admission: Free
Ages: All 

Events for the night:

  • DJ hosted skating by the lake
  • Various skating activities planned


3. For the Reminiscer: The Historic/Cozy Countdown

You are: always grateful for the year that’s past, and ready to think back to the “good ole days” by a nice fire before ringing in a new year.

Christmas at Colborne Lodge (This event is family-friendly and takes place during the day.)
Location: 11 Colborne Lodge Dr., Toronto. The lodge is at the south end of High Park.
Time: December 31st, from 12pm to 4pm
Admission: Adults: .00; Seniors/Youth: .00; Children: .80
Ages: All

Events for the day:

  • Experience a modern Victorian Christmas and New Year’s complete with natural greenery decorations and traditional wooden stoves
  • Warm up by the hearth at the lodge
  • A glass of hot mulled cider
  • Special holiday treats


4. For the Music Lover: The Throwback Tunes

You are: anywhere the best music is, from classic party tunes to the smoothest remixes that haven’t been played on the radio yet.

Location: The Rockpile, 5555 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Time: December 31st, starting at 9pm
Admission: – ( Early Bird Tickets (Online))
Ages: All

Events for the night:

  • Toronto’s Top DJs choose tracks from
  • Hip Hop
  • House
  • Mash-Ups
  • Dancehall
  • Top 40s
  • Valid ID (19+) for drinking wristband


5. For the Athlete: Get into Shape

You are: adamant about getting through your New Year’s resolutions, and want to get a head start on that goal to hit the gym more often!

Midnite Run and Party
Location: Liberty Village neighborhood, King St West, Toronto
Time: December 31st, starting at 10:30pm
and up (Online); Options: Run, Party, or both
Ages: All

Events for the night:

  • 5K run right when midnight arrives
  • Post Race party to celebrate 2017
  • All attendees receive FREE:
    • Post-run finishers medal
    • “Swag bags” – winter running gloves, toque, tech shirt, high value Goodie Bag, etc.
    • (With Valid ID 19+) Beer and Champagne
    • Hot Food – Hot Chicken from Nandos, and more!


For additional New Year’s events for The Time Traveller (1990s themed parties), The Comedian, and The Debonair (semi-formal balls), with admission fees, see this site. 

Start off the New Year on the right foot and enjoy your night out or comfortable hanging out at home! Here’s to keeping all our resolutions, and to a fantastic 2017!