2022 FESTIVAL INFO & FAQ

The Word On The Street Toronto Book and Magazine Festival | June 11-12 2022 | Queen's Park Crescent

THE WORD ON THE STREET RETURNS!

THE WORD ON THE STREET OUTDOOR BOOK & MAGAZINE FESTIVAL RETURNS TO TORONTO

The Word On The Street will return to the streets of Toronto this spring with new dates and a new (old) home. The 33rd edition of Canada’s largest open-air book and magazine festival will take place June 11-12 on Queen’s Park Crescent from Bloor to Wellesley Street.

The 2022 festival will feature readings by 100+ authors including Emma Healey, Jesse Wente, Heather O’Neill, and Kate Heartfield, and an outdoor marketplace showcasing a wide range of Canadian and Indigenous books, magazines, comics, and more for readers of all ages. The festival is free to attend.

“Stories connect us,” says Festival Director David Alexander. “We’re excited to reconnect with our roots at Queen’s Park and welcome back our community of readers, writers, publishers, and booksellers to celebrate storytelling, ideas, and imagination with us.”

Voted Toronto’s favourite literary event in NOW magazine’s 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards, the first Word On The Street festival was held in 1990, the International Year of Literacy. Early festivals were held on Queen Street West before moving to Queen’s Park. During the remediation of Queen’s Park North, the festival moved temporarily to Harbourfront Centre, and was celebrated online for two years during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Important Information for WOTS2022

Hybrid Programming

  • You can catch select WOTS 2022 programming live on the WOTS Toronto YouTube channel, where it will be available for re-watch as well.
  • A few of our guest authors will be appearing virtually as well, catch them at Great Books!

Accessibility Measures

  • We will have ASL interpreters for our children’s programming, Across the Universe, and Vibrant Voices stages.
  • Closed Captioning will be available at the festival Main Stage and Great Books.
  • Service animals are welcome in our marketplace and programming venues.
  • A private, tented space for breastfeeding/pumping is available next to the Volunteer tent on the North branch.

COVID Safety

  • We encourage all our author guests, marketplace exhibitors, and festival attendees to stay masked up when it isn’t possible to social distance.
  • Our in-person programming venues feature flexible seating arrangements, and will be sanitized between events.
  • Author signings will take place, but please expect a plexiglass barrier between you and the author.

Transit & Parking

  • To access the festival, Museum Station on TTC’s Line 1 will take you right to us. Please note that this station does not have an elevator. If you’re a wheelchair or stroller user, we recommend the adjacent stations, Queen’s Park or St. George. The festival is a short distance from either.
  • The address of the park is 110 Wellesley St. West, which will take you to the south entrance of the festival, or you can use the ROM as a landmark to arrive at the north end. Parking is available nearby on the University of Toronto campus.

Food and Drink

  • A number of food and drink options will be available on-site, including water re-fill stations, local food trucks and vendors, and a beer garden.
  • The Muskoka Brewery beer garden is located at the top of the north branch of the festival, and will include beer and hard sparkling water beverages.
  • Food vendors include Fleets Coffee, Ultimate Food Truck, an ice cream truck, a juice vendor, a corn roaster and other small vendors primarily located on the West branch ‘food court’ area, and also throughout the site as indicated on the map.

Weather

  • WOTS is a rain-or-shine festival, we encourage attendees to prepare according to the local weather conditions.
  • In case of lightning or severe weather, please seek shelter immediately in nearby buildings such as the ROM, Gardiner Museum, University of Toronto, or local retailers. Do not shelter underneath tents or trees.
  • Festival organizers will share updates on social media (@torontoWOTS) and via the stage speakers. The festival will resume once conditions are safe to do so.
 
For more details, please visit our Code of Conduct and Accessibility page.
The Word On The Street festival at Queen's Park
Children Looking at Books (TD KidStreet) – Exhibitor Marketplace – Cr. Samantha Falco 5

Media Contacts:

Daniel Shehori
Publicist
dshehori@gmail.com

Rebecca Diem
Digital Strategy & Communications Manager
rebecca@thewordonthestreet.ca

Will my favourite author be there? When will the schedule/map be available???

Work in progress!

We're putting the finishing touches on our festival map, but you can check out the lineup and schedule right here!
Show Me

June 11-12? Queen's Park? Is this the first time WOTS is happening in the Spring?

Ch-ch-ch-changes!

The pandemic gave us an opportunity to rethink some traditions, and after consulting with our stakeholders, everyone was very excited about the idea of moving the main outdoor festival to June for TWO full days! We also have plans to do smaller, seasonal pop-ups throughout the city

I'm interested in exhibiting or volunteering, how do I get involved?

Awesome!

Check out our 'Get Involved' page for opportunities, including exhibitor applications, programming suggestions, volunteering & more! Make sure you're signed up for the newsletter too!
Get Involved

What about your online events? Will you still livestream for folks who prefer virtual?

Definitely!

The City Imagines series will continue virtually, and we will be livestreaming two of our stages. We want the festival to be as accessible as we can make it, and hybrid programming is part of our plan to celebrate coast to coast to coast!

I love this fest! Can I donate or sponsor something?

Um, yes!

We've been championing literacy and celebrating the stories that connect us for over 30 years with the largest free book festival in Canada. You can help us by donating, or for sponsorship opportunities, email kim@thewordonthestreet.ca.
Support us

What safety measures will be in effect to reduce the risk?

We're glad you asked!

As Canada's largest open-air book festival, we're encouraged by the success of outdoor markets and the socially-distanced bookstore signings we held last fall. We're designing the festival map with social distancing and ventilation in mind, and we will announce specific measures in line with local guidance closer to the date of our festival.
X
X