The Word On The Street Festival 2022

Toronto’s Annual Book and Magazine Festival is Back In-Person
Home  |  Blog   |  The Word On The Street Festival 2022

The Word On The Street Festival 2022

The Word On The Street Festival

As members of the BooknBrunch community, we understand the importance of a good book. As we continue to migrate away from full-fledged COVID restrictions, in-person events are popping up more and more to bring people back together. Thankfully, The Word On The Street (WOTS) festival is one of those events!

The WOTS is the largest free annual book and magazine festival celebrating imagination, storytelling, reading, writing, and literacy. The WOTS also promotes books by Canadian and Indigenous authors year-round.

How It All Began

Word On The Street was created by the Promotions Committee of the Book and Periodical Council who wanted a better way to promote and celebrate Canadian authors, books, magazines, and literacy. The first festival called ‘The Toronto Book and Magazine Festival’, was established and held in Toronto in September 1990—which uncoincidentally was International Literacy Year! Since then, it has expanded across the country and throughout the year.  

Typically, the festival is held in September at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, but this year, WOTS is happening in person on Saturday, June 11, 2022 from 12-7 p.m. & Sunday, June 12, 2022 from 10-6 p.m. at Queen’s Park Circle. The festival offers the opportunity to meet some of your favourite authors for a book signing or to listen to them speak about their newest releases. Join WOTS in-person or virtually for the 2022/23 announcement of the First Nation Communities Read Awards winners. Bring your children (or your inner child) to the Kids’ Activity Zone to collaborate with professional comic artists, illustrators, and more!

Can’t make it in person? That’s okay! Many of their in-person events are also being held virtually, all fully inclusive. Click here for a full festival line-up of both in-person and virtual events. 

2022 Featured Events

When you attend the WOTS festival, you will be fully immersed in all things literacy. Best of all, there’s something for everyone, so this is a perfect family-friendly event or a great way to spend time with friends, whether you’re attending online or in-person!

Here are some events that we’re most excited about. 

Saturday, June 11

  • In Their Own Words – YA Feature: this is a chance to hear from YA authors,  Alexandra Mae Jones, Candace Jane Dorsey, and Méira Cook moderated by YA author Bev Katz Rosenbaum. In this feature, the authors will talk about how the characters in their books used their own voices to figure out who they are and tell their own stories. 
  • Celebrating the 2022 Trillium Book Award – Shortlisted Authors: listen to Ann Shin, Brian Francis, Catherine Graham, Pamela Koregemagi, and Sydney Hegele in a special conversation hosted by Ontario Creates.
  • Amik – Indigenous Children’s Author: head to The Kids’ Literature Stage at Queen’s Park Circle to hear Indigenous author Sharon King chat about her children’s book Amik; the story of a beaver who works on his dam throughout the day while nature and the other animals’ activities carry on around him.

Sunday, June 12

  • Poetics of North America: the poems you’ll hear here tell a number of tales from Daniel Lockheart, Madhur Anand, and Michel Fraser, based on our continent’s long, storied history, reimagined for 21st-century poetry readers.
  • Rehearsals For Living – Co-Authored by Robyn Maynard and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson: a hybrid event hosted by one of the co-authors, discussing their book sharing Black and Indigenous perspectives on their unprecedented here and now, and reiterating the long-disavowed histories of slavery and colonization that have brought us to this moment. 
  • Under Pressure: love thrillers? Hear authors Elisabeth De Mariaffi, Marissa Stapley, and Sandra SG Wong answer this question: “Lives hang in the balance of these thrillers, sending readers on a perilous journey that asks: What would you do in their shoes?”

Interested in seeing what The Word On The Street has to offer, check out their website for more details & give them a follow on Instagram.

Let us know which event you’ll be checking out this weekend here.

This post was co-written by Shelby Gray and Rachael Wallace

Shelby Gray

Shelby Gray is an English and Professional Writing student who lives with her two children and two cats. She has always had a love for reading and enjoys a variety of genres. Shelby also enjoys travelling and exploring new places by going for hikes and walks. She is most content when she gets to spend time recharging in nature with her children.

Favourite book: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Favourite brunch dish: Eggs benedict with hollandaise sauce and lots of coffee


Countdown to Pride: 5 Great YA Titles for Pride Month


Food and Memory: How One Local Chef is Spicing Up the Condiment World