No matter what you're into, we've got you covered with our guide to the best year-end happenings in the city.
If you’re like us, you have a set of requirements when it comes to New Year’s Eve, which includes minimal douchebaggery, low cover charges, and short commutes. Since we’re feeling extra generous this holiday season, we’ve gone and compiled a list of the best spots to spend the last few hours of 2014.
It’s no secret that we as a city have been through a lot of embarrassment, scandal, and frustration this year. Laugh it off and start 2015 with a smile at Massey Hall’s New Year’s Eve Comedy Extravaganza. Hosted by Tom Green and Derek Edwards, the night features comedy from DeAnne Smith, Alex Nussbaum, Dave Martin, Kenny Robinson, Michelle Shaughnessy, Mike Rita, and Patrick Coppolino, with music by Bonzai Suzuki. Massey Hall (178 Victoria Street), 7:30p.m., $39.50—$69.50.
If you’re looking for some laughs in a more intimate venue, Comedy Bar has a couple of options. At 8 p.m., catch Superstars of Comedy, hosted by Darryl Purvis and featuring Nitish Sakhuja, Pat MacDonald, and Ben Miner. Or see Mantown at 10 p.m. and stay for a dance party afterward. Comedy Bar (945 Bloor Street West), 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., $12 for Superstars of Comedy, $10 for Mantown.
The Dude’s New Year’s may sound like a testosterone-flooded bro-fest, but cult movie buffs will have correctly guessed that this event has something to do with The Big Lebowski. Count down to 2015 and watch the the beloved film while chilling in your bathrobe. Admission gets you a drink, popcorn, and party favours. Bloor Hotdocs Cinema (506 Bloor Street West), 9:30 p.m., $20 ($17 for members).
New Year’s Eve has a particular knack for making us consider the past and contemplate the future. Do both at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, where a screening of 2001: Space Odyssey will see you through to midnight. Settle into a plush theatre seat as the clock counts down, and feast your eyes on Kubrick’s two-and-a-half hour epic on 70mm. TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West), 9:30 p.m., $11.25–$16.
If you’re not deterred by crowds and cold weather, you might consider attending the giant, free outdoor party at Nathan Phillips Square. Take a few turns around the ice rink, stuff your face with goods from a variety of food trucks, and catch musical performances from Tebey and Zeus before fireworks fill the sky at the stroke of midnight. Nathan Phillips Square (100 Queen Street West), 8 p.m., FREE.
Looking for something a little less family-friendly? Try Nearly Naked NYE at Cherry Cola’s. Ava Noir, Miss dd Starr, Svetlana Konswallow, Carmen LaBomba, and Esther Deville will be your burlesque entertainment for the evening, while Johnny B Goode will be spinning tracks to get your toes tapping. Showing up in fancy lingerie is not only accepted, but encouraged. Cherry Cola’s (200 Bathurst Street), 10 p.m., $15 cover, $20–$30 for guaranteed seating, $1,000 for the VIP package.
For those of you who—for whatever reason—want to spend your evening exercising, there exists the Midnite Run. As soon as the clock strikes 12, depart on a 5K run through scenic Liberty Village that leads straight to an after-party. All runners will receive a swag bag, hot food, and champagne to celebrate their achievement. Liberty Village, midnight, $95.
Luckily for music fans, there are alternatives to the incessant bass-drops that will be taking over so many of the city’s venues. Treat your ears to one of these shows:
The TTC wants to save you some gridlock grief (and do its part to prevent drunk driving) by giving you an incentive to leave the car at home. Ride for free after 7 p.m. and take advantage of extended service hours across the system. The last subway departure time for each line is listed here. Out-of-towners will also benefit from free GO transit service after 8 p.m., and additional bus and train service throughout the early morning hours.