Fall Festival Guide: Bloor Ossington Folk Festival

Where: Toronto, Ont.
When: September 19-21

What it is: A free music festival featuring good artists, good beer and good food is the recipe for a good time. The fourth Bloor Ossington Folk Festival takes place in Cristie Pits Park and the surrounding neighbourhood this fall. The festival began as an underground, off-the-radar type of event to build a sense of community. It started off with musicians playing random venues including a living room and a backyard. This year the festival features three music stages, food vendors and a beer garden from Beau’s.

Eats: Saving Gigi is a festival venue and runs the beer garden. They also serve fair trade and organic coffee, perfect for alertness after a late night of music. Their food menu features local, natural and ethical choices that make you feel good and are good for you.

What to wear: As we approach fall, having a sweater is always a smart move.  The long-range forecast says it will be sunny and in the 14-24 degree range all weekend.

Headliners: Julie Doiron and the Wrong Guys, Shotgun Jimmie, Brendan Canning

Mix Picks: The full lineup features some of Canada’s finest musicians. We recommend checking out Army Girls. They were one of our Mix Picks for NXNE this past June and we recommend them once again.

Another can’t miss artist is Fiver, the solo project of Toronto singer-songwriter Simone Schmidt of the Highest Order (also playing the festival) and One Hundred Dollars. Schmidt has a memorable voice, the type of voice you hear and it rattles around in your brain afterwards, and writes great songs. She wrote lyrics on Timber Timber’s Polaris short-listed album Hot Dream earlier this year.

Mix Tips: Christie Pits Park has lots of fields and is a great place to grab some exercise, toss a ball around and hang out. One of the darkest moments in Toronto’s history took place in the park after a baseball game in 1933. There’s a monument in the park and it’s worth reflecting on the history of Canada, both good and bad.

Photo of Fiver: Supplied