Every year on September 30, we as Canadians step back to reflect on our country’s past, the tragedy of the residential school system and its continuing impact on our Indigenous communities. Here are some local and national events, including concerts, films and gatherings, taking place this year to mark the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation in Toronto and the GTA…

Toronto — Gatherings

St. Lawrence Market – ReconciliAction Market
When: September 24, 2023, 10:00am – 4:00pm
Where: St. Lawrence Market, Market Street, Toronto
St. Lawrence Market partners with the Downie Wenjack Fund to present the ReconciliACTION Market, with performances by Indigenous artists, food and an Indigenous artisan market.

Toronto Council Fire Legacy Gathering
When: September 29-30, 2023, 7:00am – Evening
Where: Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St. West, Toronto
The Indigenous Legacy Gathering at Nathan Phillips Square by the Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre celebrates cultural diversity.

George Brown College Indigenous Initiatives – Sacred Fire Ceremony
When: September 29, 2023, 1:00-3:00pm
Where: George Brown College Waterfront Campus, 61 Dockside Drive, Toronto
To commemorate National Day for Truth & Reconciliation, Indigenous Initiatives holds a Sacred Fire Ceremony in Sherbourne Common, next to George Brown College’s Waterfront campus.

Native Child & Family Services – Annual Pow Wow
When: September 30, 2023, 6:00am – 5:00pm
Where: Dufferin Grove Park, 875 Dufferin Street, Toronto
The 26th Annual Community Pow Wow includes a sunrise ceremony, lots of dancing, vendors, food and giveaways.

Toronto Zoo – National Day of Truth and Reconciliation Day
When: September 30, 2023
Where: Toronto Zoo, 2000 Meadowvale Road, Toronto
The Toronto Zoo offers complimentary admission on September 30th to Indigenous Peoples and hosting programming throughout the day in partnership with Native Child & Family Services of Toronto, including traditional smudging, singing, drumming and storytelling.

InTO the Ravine Guided Truth & Reconciliation Day Event
When: September 30, 2023, 1:30-3:30pm
Where: Don Valley East Ravine (meet at playground), 62 Adra Villaway, North York
Join Indigenous Knowledge Keeper Carolynne Crowley for a walk in the Don Valley East Ravine, including an opening circle, discussions about foods and medicines around us, Indigneous history and sensory experiences to connect with the land, and a smudging ceremony.

Roncesvalles Village Gathering Ceremony
When: September 30, 2023, 4:00-6:00pm
Where: Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden, northernmost point of Roncesvalles Avenue
Hosted by Roncesvalles Village BIA, this gathering ceremony will be lead by Indigenous Elder Carolynne Crawley, followed by a “Orange Shirt” walk along Roncesvalles and a performance by Haida Cree New Music Sensation Kristi Lane Sinclair.

The Honourable Harvest — Truth and Reconciliation at Scarborough Museum
When: September 30, 2023, 4:00-7:00pm
Where: Scarborough Museum, 1007 Brimley Road, Toronto
Join Elder Catherine Tammaro; Wyandot MultiMedia Artist and seated FaithKeeper for the Wyandot of Anderdon Nation (one of the four nations of the Wendat Confederacy) and others in honouring the Autumnal Solstice and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Sunset Ceremony at Kempton Howard Park
When: September 30, 2023, 6:00pm
Where: Kempton Howard Park, 150 Blake Street, Toronto
Blake Street Public School hosts a community sunset ceremony to observe Truth & Reconciliation Day. Cash donations will be collected to honour the drummer/singer, medicines and Knowledge Keepers.

Toronto — Arts Events

Walmer Outdoor Movie Night
When: September 28, 2023, 6:30-9:00pm
Where: 38 Walmer Road, Toronto
Join an outdoor screening of three Indigenous-made movies in honour of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: “Jordan Gordon’s Guide to Kuujjuaq”, “Secret Path – The Stranger” and “Beans” (rated 14+)

Koerner Hall – Commemorate Truth and Reconciliation
When: September 29, 8:00pm
Where: Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto
Andrew Balfour, Marie Gaudet, Jimmy Dick, Julian Taylor, Zoey Roy and further Indigenous artists gather to honour those affected by residential schools and offer hope for the future.

TIFA Kids – Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada
When: September 30, 10:30am-5:30pm & October 1, 10:30am – 6:00pm
Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto
The family-friendly events of the Toronto International Festival of Authors include storytelling and the Indigenous Peoples Atlas Giant Floor Map, where participants explore the diverse aspects of geography in a unique way.

Revue Cinema – Film Screening: “Beans”
When: September 30, 12:00pm
Where: Revue Cinema, 400 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto
The Revue Cinema hosts a free/pay-what-you-can screening of “Beans” (14+) about the Oka Crisis, the turbulent 1990 Indigenous uprising. Donations at the door and online will be directed to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.

Toronto Public Library – Film Screening: “Hi-Ho Mistahey!”
When: September 30, 2023, 1:00-3:00pm
Where: Toronto Public Library — Bloor/Gladstone Branch, 1101 Bloor St. West, Toronto
Gather at the Bloor/Gladstone library branch for a screening of the documentary Hi-Ho Mistahey! (rated 12+), in which Alanis Obomsawin tells the story of Shannen’s Dream, a national campaign to provide equitable access to education for First Nations children.

Aga Khan Museum – ᐸᐊᐧᑲᐣ | pawākan | dream spirit
When: September 30, 8:00pm
Where: Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive, Toronto
At this free music performance at Aga Khan Museum, multidisciplinary artist Moe Clark will be joined on stage by esteemed musicians from across Turtle Island and beyond.

imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival
When: October 17-22 (Toronto), October 23-29 (online)
Where: Various Venues, including TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street West, Toronto
The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, the world’s largest presenter of Indigenous screen content, returns for the 24th annual Festival, with in-person events followed by online festival selections.

Greater Toronto Area

Mississauga – 3rd Annual Gathering & Healing Ceremony
September 30 & October 1, 2023, 10:00am-4:00pm
Where: Small Arms Inspection Building, 1352 Lakeshore Road East, Mississauga
Celebrate culture, community, and arts at the Small Arms Inspection Building in Mississauga with and Indigenous art exhibition, drummers, dancers, storytelling, traditional food, children’s activities and more.

Hamilton –  “All Our Relations” Public Art Ceremony
When: September 30, 2023, 10:30am-4:00pm
Where: Hamilton West Harbour, at the foot of James Street North (North of Guise Street)
Celebrate Hamilton’s newest piece of public art entitled “All Our Relations” by local Indigenous artist Angela DeMontigny and team, consisting of five 40-foot panels, comprised of colourful glass beads representing traditional Indigenous teachings.

Richmond Hill – National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
When: September 30, 2023, 2:00-5:00pm
Where: Richmond Hill Public Library, 1 Atkinson Street, Richmond Hill
All are welcome to join in commemorating National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Richmond Hill. Listen to special guest speakers, traditional drumming, sacred fire, medicine and more.

Town of Georgina – Flag Raising
When: September 30, 2023, 10:00am
Where: Georgina Civic Centre, 26557 Civic Centre Road, Keswick
The Town of Georgina, in partnership with the Chippewas of Georgina Island, holds a flag raising at the Civic Centre, including a smudging ceremony and a drummer.

Aurora Public Library – Film Screening: “Inconvenient Indian”
When: September 30 & October 3 at 7:00pm
Where: Aurora Public Library, 15145 Yonge Street, Toronto
“Inconvenient Indian” brings to life the powerful voices of those continuing the tradition of Indigenous resistance. Participants can screen the film for free on September 30, then gather at the Aurora Public Library for a discussion of the film on October 3.


Orange Shirt Day
September 30, 2023
Inspired by residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad’s story of being stripped of her possessions upon arrival, people across the nation wear orange shirts to remember these indignities.

Truth and Reconciliation Week 2023
September 26-30, 2023
The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba hosts a national program open to all schools across Canada with the theme of “Honouring Survivors”.

Downie & Wenjack Fund: A Day to Listen
When: September 30, 2023
With more than 540 participating radio stations across the country, A Day to Listen uses the power of radio to inspire people throughout Canada to move reconciliation forward in meaningful ways.

Culture Days 
When: September 30, 2023
This annual nationwide culture festival commemorates the NDTR with events and resources aimed at uplifting Indigenous communities and sharing the perspectives of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples.

Further Reading

City of Toronto – National Day of Truth and Reconciliation Information
The City of Toronto Culture Department website page lists many excellent resources and different ways to honour this important yearly event.

Toronto Public Library – Read Indigenous
Toronto Public Library’s Indigenous Advisory Council has selected a yearly list of books written by Indigenous authors, writers, illustrators and Knowledge Keepers, including many titles intended for kids and teens.

Find more Special Events in Toronto and the GTA here