International Women’s Day in Toronto

POSTED ON March 1, 2024 BY Justine Smith

Images of Margaret Atwood, Kit Coleman, and Ausma Malik from The 52: Stories of Women Who Transformed Toronto project

International Women’s Day is March 8th, but you can celebrate all month long in Toronto’s downtown core, by supporting women-owned businesses, experiencing public art, learning about remarkable women who transformed the city, and more!

Fine Dining

Janet Zuccarini, Juanita Dickson, and Chef Nuit Regular, Toronto Restaurant owners

Support women-owned business by enjoying fine-dining crafted by the incredible leadership of three women who are driving forces behind a legacy of successful restaurants across North America. Janet Zuccarini, CEO and Founder of Gusto 54 Restaurant Group; Juanita Dickson, President and CFO; as well as collaborator Chef Nuit Regular, Co-owner and Executive Chef of PAI and Kiin. Gusto 54 has imbued innovation and soulful hospitality into more than a dozen incredible concepts and counting, including Gusto 101 and Chubby’s. Try them all this March!

Women Owned Retail

Dog World image

Located near Adelaide and Spadina in downtown Toronto, Dog World Resort & Spa is an urban pet haven offering luxury grooming and holistic care services. Owner Stephanie Lomberg and her team are committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment, ensuring every pet receives personalized attention, making them the top choice for pet owners in the GTA.

Cynthia Findlay Fine Jewellery & Antiques

Cynthia Findlay Fine Jewellery & Antiques, stemming from a lineage of 5th generation retailers, stands as a trusted leader within the antique, jewellery, and decorative arts community. Situated in a sprawling 6000 square foot retail space at the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District, this collection spans nearly all genres of antiques, with a special emphasis on fine sterling silver, art glass, porcelain, ceramics, decorative art, as well as antique, estate, vintage and modern jewellery, specializing in vintage engagement rings.

aaniin retail inc. Tkatoronto Sweatshirt

Chelsee Pettit is an anishinaabe member of aamjiwnaang First Nations and the founder of aaniin retail inc. aaniin started out as a streetwear brand, and in June 2023, opened a retail store/POP UP at Stackt Market Toronto. All products sold in the shop are 100% Indigenous designed, made, or sourced from Indigenous-owned businesses, putting funds in the hands of Indigenous designers, creators, artists. The shop is located at Stackt Market, unit 5-105.

Fitness and Wellness

ElleTO fitness studio, Spinach, and Spark Pilates studio.

A wellness hub is emerging in downtown Toronto near Adelaide and Spadina, where you’ll find fitness enterprises led by remarkable women. Dervola Hamill built Spark Pilates from her passion and belief in the classical method to restore balance, cultivate strength and personal growth through pilates techniques. Michelle August’s SPINCO stands as Canada’s premier spin studio chain, with twelve locations nationwide, fostering a dynamic community that empowers individuals of all levels to realize their fitness goals. elleTO, is an award-winning, women’s boutique studio led by fitness luminary Michelle Epstein, a leading fitness expert in Toronto since 2005… Just to name a few. 

We weren’t exaggerating, the abundance of fabulous fitness businesses is real: indeed, this is truly Toronto’s wellness hub! Spend this March Exploring it, by practicing self-care through fitness and wellness practices, while supporting women entrepreneurs.

The Arts

'Glenn' (Gould) at CBC, Toronto by Ruth Abernethy

‘Glenn’ (Gould), sculpture by Ruth Abernethy

March brings the promise of spring weather, and though there will be breaks of cold it’s a great time to explore outdoor public art. Check out the ArtWalk experience to discover the contributions of women artists like Ruth Abernethy, who designed an off-the-grid home, launched her solo art practice following her inaugural bronze commission in 1996 that launched her solo art practice. Her meticulous approach to mapping and sculpting figures led to iconic installations such as ‘Glenn’ (Gould) at CBC, Toronto in 1999. Dive into the online curated walk, “Women Artists,” to explore the diverse works of female artists, or see Ruth’s sculpture come to life with Augmented reality on the ArtWalk app, by visiting the Apple or Google app store.

“Invested” – painting by artist Katie Butler, Acrylic on Canvas

“Invested” – painting by artist Katie Butler, Acrylic on Canvas

From now until March 30th, Abbozzo Gallery’s hosts its second annual group exhibition, providing emerging artists with a platform to express their intimate experiences of girlhood through their practice. Inspired by the evolving girl trends seen on social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, the exhibition delves into the cultural impact of these trends on mainstream society. The artists, including Alana KinseyAlicia Gimeno, and others, aim to capture the essence of girlhood through diverse mediums, echoing the eclectic variety found in a quintessential girl dinner.

Support a unique ceramic arts program that empowers women and gender diverse people experiencing poverty, houselessness, mental health challenges or disability while improving their lives through the making and selling of pottery. Thursday March 21, at OCAD University’s Great Hall, celebrate 30 years of YWCA Toronto’s Inspirations Studio by attending this event and bidding on ceramic sculptures created and donated by celebrated contemporary artists, including Mel Arsenault, Marissa Y Alexander, Shary Boyle, Maggie Boyd, and more.

The 52: Stories of Women Who Transformed Toronto

The 52: Stories of Women Who Transformed Toronto is as an impactful multi-year initiative by Myseum of Toronto celebrating the diverse contributions of women to every aspect of city life, from art and culture to politics, sports, technology, and business. This project has engaged 24 accomplished playwrights to craft 52 monologues, each highlighting the remarkable journey of a transformational woman on the list. This is a fantastic, free learning opportunity at your finger tips!

Take this International Women’s Day to honour the incredible contributions of women in our city throughout the entire month!