Happy New Years! After two years of dealing with Covid restrictions, things are almost back to normal for annual festivities. There still won’t be the big in-person outdoor event at City Hall again this year, but there is still plenty of fun to be had and most events are even free. Raise your glass and check out our list of family-friendly ways to celebrate New Years in Toronto and the GTA.
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Many GTA transportation operators are offering free rides on the evening of December 31, including the Toronto Transit Commission, GO Transit and UP Express, Brampton Transit and York Region Transit.
New Year’s Eve Events in Toronto
City of Toronto’s New Year’s Eve Celebration of Light and Sound
Either in person or online (through the City of Toronto Culture’s YouTube page), watch in awe as the skyline of Toronto lights up. There will be a countdown to midnight, leading up to two synchronized 15-minute fireworks displays across Toronto’s waterfront.
New Year’s Eve Events in the GTA
Christmas Lights Displays in Toronto and the GTA
The holiday spirit continues into the New Year with spectacular light displays across the region. Whether indoors or outdoors, by foot or by car, these festivals and shows are bound to instantly get you into a festive mood.
Ajax Family New Year’s Eve Party
This family event includes children’s activities and games, live entertainment, and ice skating party with DJs and more. Plus, there’s a special countdown and balloon drop at 9:00pm instead of midnight.
Aurora Family First Night
Located in Aurora, north of Toronto, music, animal and magic shows are included in a program of family entertainment geared to all ages.
Barrie Downtown Countdown
This free family-focused celebration begins at 6:00pm with performances by Splash’N Boots and Sloan. There’s also skating, family activities and two fireworks shows, the first around 8:00pm and the second at midnight.
Brampton Countdown to New Year’s
In the heart of downtown Brampton, you can ring in the New Year with a dazzling ten-minute fireworks display, live music headlined by The Beaches, and skating in Gage Park.
Hamilton Children’s Museum New Year’s Eve Family Ball
During the day, families can say hello to 2023 at Hamilton Children’s Museum in the Ancaster Old Town Hall. Enjoy light refreshments, play games, dance, and make New Year’s crafts and noise makers.
Markham NYE Party in the Square
Downtown Markham’s party kicks off at 10:00pm with DJs and live music. Then, the Town Crier leads the countdown to midnight, followed by a fireworks show.
Mississauga NYE 2023 at Celebration Square
Residents of Mississauga can party in person again this year, with live musical performances and DJs, food trucks, a face glitter bar, outdoor skating, fireworks, and more.
Niagara Falls New Year’s Eve Celebrations
Along with a fireworks display that takes place at 9:00pm, there are also concerts and activities throughout the tourist district. Plus, the free Niagara Winter Festival of Lights continues into the new year.
Starting at 6:00pm and ending with a countdown at 9:00pm, families can celebrate with swimming at the recreation centre, plus live kids shows and activities.
Pickering Central Library’s Noon Year’s Eve
A great idea for the smallest revellers, party when the clock strikes 12 (noon, that is) at the Pickering Central Library. Don’t forget to bring along your party hats and noisemakers!
Richmond Hill First Night New Year’s Eve
Join the family-friendly New Year’s countdown at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, featuring an outdoor dance party, activities and contests, live entertainment, hockey and even human foosball.
New Years Day
Lieutenant Governor of Ontario’s New Year’s Levee
Welcome the arrival of 2023 at the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario’s New Year’s Levee, hosted by the Honourable LG Elizabeth Dowdeswell. Families can visit Lieutenant Governor’s Suite as Queen’s Park opens its doors to the public for the special event. Furthermore, admission is free and there is no need to RSVP.
Events Ending New Year’s Eve
Bloor-Yorkville Holiday Magic
The downtown neighbourhood of Bloor-Yorkville, famous for its upscale shopping, entertainment and dining, toasts the festive season with the Holiday Magic festival of lights and music.
Canada’s Wonderland Winterfest
Canada’s Wonderland transforms into a magical, winter wonderland for WinterFest. It’s an immersive holiday experience for the whole family, ending at 9:00pm.
stackt market Holiday Hills
Try out a game of crokicurl (a curling-crokinole hybrid) and stroll through this downtown outdoor market and event space made out of shipping containers.
Looking for more Winter Outdoor Activities in Toronto? Click here!