Person holding candles lit with decorated with string lights

How to Celebrate Diwali in Toronto in 2023

Published: October 11, 2022

Updated: November 7, 2023

Toronto is ready to celebrate Diwali this month! Known as the “festival of lights” in the South Asian community, the five-day festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil and of light, knowledge and hope over darkness, ignorance and despair. This year, there are plenty of places to celebrate and gather with friends and family during the festival from November 10 to 14, 2023. Whether your visit to the GTA coincides with Diwali, or you are looking for a fun way to spend time with family and friends, here are some of the many ways you can celebrate this month.

UP Express Welcomes Toronto Visitors For Diwali

Person holding candles lit with decorated with string lights

When arriving at Pearson International Airport for Diwali, look for the UP Express Diwali event on November 10. Visit us for a celebratory event with music, dancers, games and more! If you’re travelling to meet family and friends arriving at the airport, take advantage of our Meeter and Greeter Return Fare for individuals or family. Save on your fare to the airport with a special discounted return ticket that allows you to travel back to your UP Express origin station after picking up or dropping off visitors at the airport.

Welcoming people from near and far, the GTA offers plenty of ways to celebrate Diwali this November. With trains running every 15 minutes and convenient stops at Weston and Bloor Stations, UP Express offers connections to and from Pearson Airport in just 25 minutes, making it easy to visit the vibrant South Asian communities, shops, events, and eateries in Toronto, Mississauga, and Brampton. Get to the core of Diwali celebrations in the Peel region with an easy transfer on GO Transit. For guests arriving from near or far, an UP Express Return Ticket is the best way to travel between the airport and downtown, allowing you to spend less time in transit and more time in the city.

Spend A Day In Toronto’s Little India

Toronto street sign of Gerrard Street East in Little India

Venture into the heart of downtown Toronto’s Indian community along Gerrard Street East. Known as the Gerrard India Bazaar, this vibrant area is home to many South Asian shops, restaurants, public art, and more. A cultural destination since the 1950s, this neighbourhood is a feast for your senses and a must-visit any time of the year, especially during Diwali festivities. Each year, Little India lights up during Diwali with decorations, cultural live performances, music, feasts, dance, fashion and more. It’s also the perfect place to pick up Diwali gifts! Visit Rang Home Décor for a unique blend of traditional and modern Indian designs including bedding, rugs, textiles, and more. Meanwhile, Chandan Fashion is the go-to if you’re looking for traditional clothing, jewellery and scarves. It’s a must-visit for brides and wedding parties looking for high-quality bridal and party wear.

After all that shopping, stop in for a bite to eat at Lahore Tikka House if you’re craving Northern Indian or Pakistani cuisine or grab a tasty samosa to go from Moti Mahal if you’re on a budget. Best explored on foot, head to Little India by connecting directly to the TTC from UP Express Union Station.

Light Up The Night At A Party

Two ladies sitting, dressed up for Diwali party, taking a selfie

Ready to hit the dance floor? Toronto’s Diwali dance parties have got you covered! Check out the Desi Nights Diwali Dhoom - Bollywood on November 11 at the Rec Room, 255 Bremner Boulevard, just steps away from UP Express Union Station. Bring the whole family for a Bollywood dance party on November 23 at 693 Bloor Street West, only a few TTC stops from UP Express Bloor Station via an easy TTC connection to the subway. On November 10, students looking for a party can join in the George Brown Student Association’s Diwali - Celebration of Lights Party featuring the best in Bollywood, a photobooth, prizes and much more. If you’re travelling to or from the city, remember youth and post-secondary students can save on UP Express travel with fare discounts while kids ages 12 and under always ride for free!

Indulge In An Indian Feast At One Of Toronto’s Top Indian Restaurants

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Toronto’s South Asian food scene will keep your mouth watering and your belly full. Indulge in your own Diwali feast at long-standing Toronto favourite, Banjara on Bloor Street West, just a few TTC subway stops from UP Express Bloor Station. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu here, but try the butter chicken which has been dubbed Toronto’s best version of the classic dish!

Closer to UP Express Bloor Station is Dil Se Indian Restaurant where you’ll find freshly prepared Northern Indian-style cooking inspired by Punjabi dhabas. From UP Express Bloor Station, you can also head towards the Junction neighbourhood to Leela Indian Food Bar for a satisfying meal. If quaint and cozy Indian is what you’re craving, Indilicious in the Junction is also a must-visit for their aloo gobi and saag paneer.

When your visit to Toronto has come to an end, we’re ready to whisk you back to Pearson Airport in just 25 minutes from downtown UP Express Union Station. Relax onboard knowing your trip is on track. On every UP Express train, you’ll find ample seating, free Wi-Fi, roomy luggage racks and overhead storage, as well as barrier-free platforms and boarding.

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