Six Things Everyone Must Do For Caribana

Words by Kardinal Offishall, as told to Jesse Serwer—Caribana, said to be North America’s largest street festival. Caribana “weekend” is actually a five-day affair, with official and unofficial events starting on Thursday and running all the way through Monday. We tapped unofficial T-Dot Mayor Kardinal Offishall for his must-do selections. As Kardinal says, “You’re a real trooper if you get in on Thursday and make it all the way ’til Tuesday…There’s plenty of stuff to but you can’t go wrong with these joints…” Wheeeeelll!

  1. Friday Night on Yonge Street – First, you gotta go to Young Street. That’s just where everybody congregates from Friday evening, though things can get a little bit crazy sometimes. I’m gonna give you the authentic vibes as much as possible. If you’re West Indian first you gotta go to Young Street.
  2. Dr. Jay’s Jouvert – Then Friday night you have to go to Dr Jay’s Jouvert. It’s one of the wickedest parties I’ve been to over the years. They have the whole thing, with the fire trucks inside the dance. You’ll go absolutely bananas.
  3. Toronto Caribana Parade on Saturday – Saturday during the day for the parade is the biggest day, that’s the Mecca of the whole weekend Caribana, down on Lakeshore. Saturday morning to the evening.
  4. Soca or Die! at Wild Water Kingdom on Saturday night – Saturday night there’s always a few different things.
  5. Grab Some West Indian Food on Eglinton West… – Eglinton West is our Little Jamaica. There’s a whole bunch of West Indian restaurants. Anything from beef patties to bakeries, they have the jerk chicken cooking out front in the big drums and ting. Good food is good food so it depend what your in the mood for. If you’re from out of town and you don’t want to travel too much go to Eglinton West. Take a trip there and you’ll be straight.
  6. Guvernment Complex on Sunday Night – Sunday night Caribana, the guaranteed spots that happen every year, is the Guvernment Complex—it’s where Hot 97 DJ’s, and all the big American DJ’s, will come and play, that’s pretty much the guaranteed spot for years and years.Then Monday you would go over to the islands, I think it’s Center Island where the Caribana stuff is happening.

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