Toronto's Hare Krishna Temple

Toronto's Hare Krishna Centre (ISKCON Toronto), has always been the hub of a rich, vibrant and enthusiastic community. Whether it be grand festivals, programs at local universities and yoga studios, philosophical discussions, cooking sessions, or singing and dancing on the streets, there are events taking place for everyone's interest.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Your guide to Festival of India (Ratha-Yatra)

The wait is almost over! Your guide to the 47th annual Festival of India (Ratha-Yatra) is below:

Toronto’s 47th Annual Festival of India will launch with a spectacular parade that will cruise down Yonge Street, beginning at Yonge & Bloor, and make its way down to the lake. During the parade, three ornate, 40-foot tall floats will be hand-pulled by participants amidst ecstatic singing, drumming, and dancing creating a wondrous, carnival-like atmosphere. Parade participants and spectators are encouraged to join in the excitement by singing and chanting along to the world-famous Hare Krishna mantra:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare;
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

For 47 years, this annual parade has brought the splendour and tradition of India’s spiritual roots to Yonge Street, generating a vibe like no other summer event in the Greater Toronto Area.

Parade Information:
 Date & Time: Saturday July 13th 2019 – 11:00 am to 2:00pm
 Transit: TTC Bloor Subway Station

Parade is only on Saturday, July 13th and begins at 11am at Yonge and Asquith (north of Yonge and Bloor near the Toronto Reference Library). The closest TTC subway station is Yonge/Bloor station. The parade goes down Yonge street and ends at Queens Quay and Freeland St.

Click here for the Parade route in Google Maps 

Centre Island
After the parade on Yonge, Festival of India celebrations continue for the remainder of the weekend at Centre Island. Festival attendees will be treated to a  host of family-friendly activities, including:
Free Vegetarian Feast
The highlight of the Festival of India has to be the sumptuous free vegetarian feast, which will present the flavours, spices and colours of the East to festival attendees. Vegan options will be available.
Arts & Culture
The centrepiece of the festival site is a beautiful and soul-riveting programme of devotional music and dramatic dance from the ancient subcontinent. Be sure not to miss the massive closing kirtans on both days!
Presenting a fun-filled marketplace with arts, crafts, jewellery and much more, our Bazaar will present plenty of excitement for the avid shopper!
Kids Zone
Our family-friendly festival would not be complete without an area dedicated to our young ones! Arts and crafts, yoga, magic show and several activities to keep them busy all day!
Non-Stop Kirtan
Come experience the power of devotional chanting, or kirtan! Kirtan has roots that go back over 500 years to India and is a form of Bhakti yoga (the yoga of devotion) and has the power to open the heart. Non-stop kirtans wlll be featured at the festival and will close out the main stage program on each day!
Ask, Discover, Explore
Time to delve deep and ask, discover and explore the spiritual side of this ancient philosophy. Some very practical topics will be presented by our seasoned Bhakti practitioners at our Spiritual Seminars and Q&A tents.
For more information, check
The festival is open to and free for the all. With its diverse assortment of celebrations and activities, Festival of India at Centre Island is sure to offer something for everyone!
Although the festival itself is free, you still need to buy the ferry tickets to get onto the Centre Island. You can purchase your tickets now through the City of Toronto’s online ticketing system using the button below to avoid any delays at the ferry docks on the day of the festival.

Purchase Ferry Tickets now! 

Monday, July 1, 2019

12-Hour Kirtan

Pre-Rathayatra 12-Hour Kirtan. You heard that right- the biggest indoor kirtan party of the year is just around the corner! Featuring phenomenal kirtan leaders from around the world, this is definitely one of those days not to be missed! This year this will happen on Friday July 12th from 10am - 10pm at the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple at 243 Avenue Road. The rip-roaring yet melodious kirtan is hands down, one of the best free one-day mantra-meditation retreats in town!

So what are you waiting for? Book the day off work or school as this is your opportunity to immerse yourselves in 12 awesome hours of the transcendental vibrations of the maha-mantra accompanied by singing, dancing, a range of instruments and clapping.

World renowned kirtanyas will be descending on Toronto from around the world, including Madhava Prabhu from Switzerland, Amala Kirtan Dasa from Brazil and many more! Though the roster will be made available closer to date, make sure you come early so as to not miss out on your favourite out-of-town kirtanya!

Invite all your family and friends on Friday July 12th, 2019. We look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Snana-Yatra: Sunday, June 30th

The annual Snana-Yatra festival is upon us this coming weekend- which means the Festival of India is fast approaching! This upcoming Sunday, June 30th Toronto's Hare Krishna Temple will be celebrating this most mesmerizing festival wherein Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balarama and Lady Subhadra will be bathed with many ambrosial liquids amidst enchanting kirtan!

After the bathing ceremony (snana-yatra), Their Lordships mysteriously "fall sick" and thus take to Their private quarters. For the next thirteen days, the right-most altar doors remain closed and the Deities do not give audience. Actually, during this period renovations are made on the body of the Deities. This is called nava-yauvana. During the Ratha-yātrā ceremony, the doors are opened and the Deities once again come before the public!

Please join in the wonderful Snana-Yatra festival! You do not want to miss out on this last opportunity to see Lord Jagannatha before his grand appearance on the Ratha-Yatra festival!

***Please note timings are different from a regular Sunday program***

The festival schedule is as follows (subject to change):
5:00pm to 5:15pm - Welcome & Announcements
5:15pm to 6:00pm - Class
6:00pm to 6:30pm - Arati
6:30pm to 7:15pm - Abisheka (Bathing Ceremony)
7:15pm onwards - Vegetarian Feast (Prasadam)

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Upcoming Programs with HH Niranjana Swami and HG Madhavananda Prabhu

This coming week, we are very happy to welcome HH Niranjana Swami and HG Madhavananda Prabhu to Toronto.

There will be special programs on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings and a special Bhagavatam Class with HH Niranjana Swami on Thursday (June 27th).  We encourage you to attend as many programs as possible and take benefit of their association!

Wednesday (June 26th)  & Thursday (June 27th)  evening 6pm - Krishna Katha and Kirtan with HG Madhavananda Prabhu

Thursday (June 27th)  Morning - Srimad Bhagavatam Class with HH Niranjana Swami

Friday (June 28th) 6pm - Krishna Katha and Kirtan with HH Niranjana Swami

Friday, June 14, 2019

Online Donations For Ratha-Yatra

Please join us with your family and friends for the 47th Ratha-Yatra (Festival of India)
July 13th – Centre Island – Parade on Yonge and Bloor at 11 am
July 14th (after 12 pm) – Centre Island

We warmly accept any donations to help support these wonderful activities, you can now donate online HERE!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Sweet Rice Festival - Sunday May 26, 2019

Our beautiful and beloved Deities, Sri Sri Radha Ksira-Chora Gopinatha, have been the heart and soul of our Hare Krishna Centre for over 40 years. Actually, Srila Prabhupada named our Deities in Toronto after a famous Deity of the same name in the beautiful and ancient city of Remuna, India.

Ksira means "sweet rice" and chora means "thief".  So, the name "Ksira-Chora" translates into, "one who steals sweet rice".  This famous Deity of Lord Krishna in Remuna was given this name after an incredible incident which occurred hundreds of years ago wherein the Deity actually stole a small pot of sweet rice for his devotee, Madhavendra Puri. Puri, a great 14 century saint in our lineage, had visited the ancient temple in Remuna and saw the priests (pujaris) offering small pots of sweet rice to the Deity. In his heart, he desired to taste the sweet rice so that he could create a similar preparation for his personal worship of his own Deity.  Seeing the genuine sincerity in his heart, the Deity of the temple secretly hid one of the earthen pots of sweet rice offered every night and then appeared in the dream of the priest (pujari) and instructed him to locate the hidden pot and give it to Madhavendra Puri.  In this way, the legend grew of the Gopinatha Deity which stole sweet rice for his devotee and thus Deity became known as "Ksira-Chora Gopinatha"!

Many may not know this, but since our Deities were given their name in the early 1970s, sweet rice has been offered on our altar every day! On Sunday May 26, 2019 at 4:30pm, we are celebrating our annual festival called the "Sweet Rice Festival". We will be honouring Madhavendra Puri on this day along with relishing the wonderful story of Ksira-Chora Gopinatha! 

On this occasion, our Deities are offered special sweet rice in hand painted pots, painted by members of our community. Devotees will be able to purchase these prasadam pots to take home. 

Monday, May 13, 2019

Nrsimha Caturdasi Friday, May 17th, 2019

Nrsimha Caturdasi is the celebration of Krishna’s half-man half-lion incarnation (Lord Nrsimhadev) who appeared on this day to protect the innocent child Prahlada from the atrocities of his father, Hiranyakashipu.

This year, Nrsimha Caturdasi falls on Friday, May 17th. The Festival will begin at 6:00pm and will feature a grand abhisheka (bathing ceremony), an special discourse on the appearance and qualities of Lord Nrsimhadev by guest speaker HG Chaitanya Charan das and amazing kirtan!

The schedule for the program is as follows (subject to change):
6:00pm to 6:30pm - Arati
6:30pm to 6:40pm - Welcome and Announcements
6:40pm to 7:25pm - Discourse on Lord Nrsimhadeva by HG Chaitanya Charan das
7:25pm to 8:00pm - Special Abhiskeka (bathing ceremony)
8:00pm to 8:30pm - Arati
8:30pm - Vegetarian Feast (Prasadam)

Leading up to the festival to set the mood there will be daily morning conference calls to dive deep into the pastimes of Lord Nrsimhadeva and His dear devotee Prahlad Maharaj. We will be reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam Canto Seven. Join us each morning at 5:45AM on Conference # 1-866-259-3126 pin 12349.

Sunday, April 21, 2019


With warmer weather finally arriving, the excitement surrounding the 47th Annual Festival of India (Ratha-Yatra) is growing as each day passes!

Sunday, April 28, 2019 will mark the official launch of the countdown to this year's festival! The program will begin at 4:30pm and will continue to 6:30pm.

A special feature of the festival will be the chance for all devotees to observe a special fire yajna wherein auspicious mantras are recited and grains are offered into fire!

The 47th Annual Festival of India (Ratha-Yatra) will be taking place on July 13th and 14th 2019. There are many ways you can participate, stay tuned for more information. 

Monday, April 8, 2019

Rama Navami: Saturday, April 13th

On Saturday, April 13th, we will be celebrating Rama Navami, the appearance of Lord Rama. Lord Rama is an incarnation of Krishna who appeared in Ayodhya during the Treta Yuga as the son of King Dasaratha. During Lord Rama’s reign, all the citizens were happy, religious and their necessities of life were provided. He was a virtuous, charitable and dutiful King. He is particularly known for his victorious battle with the ten-headed demon Ravana, the evil King of Lanka thereby freeing his wife Sita from the demon’s captivity. Through his life, he exemplified heroism, morality and good governance. 

For the festivities, we will be having a special discourse, and an arati ceremony for Lord Rama. Come join us next Saturday for a very special program starting at 6:00pm!

Schedule (subject to change):

6:00pm - 6:30pm: Arati and Kirtan

6:30pm - 6:35pm: Welcome and Announcements

6:35pm - 7:40pm: Special Class

7:40pm - 8:00pm: Arati for Lord Rama

8:00pm - 8:30pm: Arati and Kirtan

8:30pm - onwards: Vegetarian Feast

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Gaura Purnima 2019 Deity Darshan

As always our beloved Deities are beautifully dressed each day,  and festivals like our recent Gaura Purnima celebration are extra special. Pictures from our Pujari Department can be found HERE and from a Photo-shoot by Gaurav Agarwal can be found HERE. Enjoy the feast for the eyes!