Chaperones, please read carefully.
VENUE ADDRESS: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., Toronto, ON
Toronto Festival Venue Maps:
- Exterior Map of Harbourfront Centre: May 16 | May 17 | May 18 (English)
- Interior Map of Harbourfront Centre
Autographing Maps: *available May 1*
- May 16
- May 17
Schedules at a Glance:
Program Guides: *available May 1*
- Blue Spruce
- Red Maple
- White Pine
- Silver Birch
- Directions to the Toronto Harbourfront Centre
- Student Photo/Video Release Form
- Release and Waiver Form for the Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre
- Autograph Pamphlet
WRISTBANDS – Please make sure that all readers and chaperones have their wristbands before they arrive onsite. Remember: The CHAPERONE’S CELL PHONE NUMBER MUST BE WRITTEN ON EACH READER’S WRISTBAND. DO NOT WRITE THE SCHOOL NUMBER ON THERE. If a child is lost, OLA staff will need to get in touch with you ONSITE ASAP! Please have the number written on the outside of the wristband.
ARRIVAL – Festival day does not begin until 9:45 am. The formal event start promptly at 10 am. We strongly encourage that you do not show up well in advance, as the venue will not yet be entirely set up before 9:45 am.
STUDENT PRESENTERS/SIGN CARRIERS – If you have presenters or sign carriers that have been selected to participate in the ceremonies, please make sure they check in 20-30 minutes before the ceremony behind the Concert Stage. Volunteers will check them in and they will meet with their authors and/or illustrators. Immediately after the ceremony the readers can be picked up at the same location. PLEASE ENSURE SOMEONE IS THERE TO PICK THEM UP IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE CEREMONY.
FOOD ONSITE – Readers can bring a lunch or purchase from vendors onsite. This year, we will have these vendors onsite:
- Maestro Mac’n Cheese (traditional mac’n cheese, meat mac’n cheese, grilled cheese, vegetarian poutine)
- Vesta Lunch (poutine, hot dogs, sausages, wraps, chicken wings, steak sandwich)
- Pancho’s Bakery (Churros, Churro ice cream cone)
- The Pop Stand
- Cotton Candy
- Toronto Pop Corn Company
Box Car Social will also be open. There is a Lavazza Cafe on the east side of the Harbourfront Centre.
PENCILS/PAPER FOR WORKSHOPS – Some of the activities will require that readers have pencils and paper to participate. Please encourage your readers to come prepared. All workshops that require pencils and paper will mention it in their description.
BAGS/KNAPSACKS – There will be games for kids to participate in and items that may be given away throughout the day. We encourage participants to have a bag to carry their items in if they receive any free books or do crafts. If possible, please label each reader’s bag with his or her name and school/library.
CAMERAS – There will be many opportunities for photos throughout the day. We encourage everyone to take lots of pictures, as this is a day you won’t want to forget. Download the mobile app and use our FrameIt to take lots of photos!
SUNSCREEEN/RAIN WEAR – The Festival of Trees will be happen rain or shine. Please ensure that your readers have enough sunscreen and anything else necessary to protect them from the sun. If it is raining, they will need to walk through the uncovered areas to get to different activities, so please strongly encourage that everyone is prepared. The temperature can often be 10 degrees cooler at Harbourfront Centre, near Lake Ontario. Please make sure your readers are dressed warm, even if the sun is shining.
BUSES – Please ensure that every chaperone is aware of their bus number AND their bus driver’s cell phone number. The buses are lined up for 10 city blocks and having the number will ensure that the bus can pull right up to the front to pick you up in a timely and orderly fashion.
PUBLIC TRANSIT (TTC/GO TRANSIT) – If arriving or leaving by TTC or GO Transit, please ensure that you leave lots of time to get to the Harbourfront Centre. There are often delays beyond anyone’s control and the OLA wants to make sure that you thoroughly enjoy your Festival experience. For more information, please visit the TTC’s website or GO Transit’s website. You may also visit Harbourfront Centre’s website.
PARKING – If you are arriving by car there is parking underground at Harbourfront. There is also parking on Rees Street, which is the first street west of Harbourfront Centre. It has street-level parking located on the north side of Queens Quay West, just west of Rees Street. Enter off Queens Quay West at Green P sign.
ONSITE STORE – The nominated books and Forest products will be for sale onsite at the Festival. Price lists are on the Festival mobile app and website so that attendees are aware of the prices before they arrive and can bring the correct amount of money.
INFORMATION/LOST and FOUND – If one of your readers happens to get separated from the group, please make sure they are aware of where the OPERATIONS TENT is (where the red balloons). There will be an OLA Staff member there at all times. If your reader loses his/her group we will be able to contact you by the cell phone number that is written on their wristband. This is also where the Lost and Found will be. Please note that the OLA, International Festival of Authors, Harbourfront Centre, and its volunteers/staff are not responsible for lost or stolen items.
AUTOGRAPHING – Authors/Illustrators will be autographing books and the official Forest of Reading Festival of Trees Autograph Pamphlet only. You must download the pamphlet BEFORE the Festival from the Festival website under SIGNINGS. There will not be any available onsite. Please note: there is a TWO BOOK LIMIT PER AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR. Please abide by this request.
MAP OF THE EVENT – Please see the map of the events can be found on the website and mobile app. Details will be posted around the site so people know what is going on at each venue, but please be familiar with the activities onsite. It is going to be busy and VERY exciting so we want to ensure that everyone gets the most out of their Festival experience.
MEETING SPOT – We encourage teachers/library staff/chaperones to plan out a “meeting spot” or a way of making sure readers can reconvene periodically throughout the day. School uniforms, specific t-shirt colours, or even something that can be held in the air for readers to see you can sometimes be helpful.
WORKSHOPS/PROGRAMS – Workshops at the Festival are a wonderful experience for all of those attending. Please be mindful of the fact there is limited space and seating will happen on a first come first served basis. The rooms/tents the workshops/programs are being held in have maximum capacity limits. Please talk to your readers before, or en route, to find out exactly what they are interested in. The events are all “free-flowing,” but we do encourage your readers to stay at a session once they have chosen that one. If they wish to move, please make sure they do so VERY quietly and do not disrupt the person leading the program or the other participants.
EMERGENCIES – An emergency plan is in place at the Festival of Trees in the event of an emergency. Should you have any questions or concerns or if you wish to request a copy of the Festival of Trees Emergency Plan, please email Meredith Tutching.
If you experience any issue or emergency while onsite at the Festival, please speak to one of our staff members who will be wearing red vests. If you need a contact at Harbourfront Centre, phone the INFO DESK at 416-973-4000 and hit #2 to get to the INFO DESK. Alternatively, only on the day of the event, you can contact Meredith Tutching, Director – Forest of Reading, at 416-917-8355. THIS NUMBER IS FOR EMERGENCIES ONLY.
FIRST AID – There is first-aid at the security desk inside Harbourfront Centre. If more care is needed they will contact 911 or another health professional based on the situation.
5 Tips For Going to the Festival of Trees: