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30 FREE Toronto events worth checking out in September

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Ainsley Smith Aug 25, 2017 4:41 am 2,357

After a long, hot summer, fall in Toronto is finally on the horizon.

And to help you give your wallet a much-needed break, we’ve rounded up the best free events in Toronto so you won’t have to spend a dime this month.

See also

From celebrity spotting at TIFF to exploring Nuit Blanche, kick off this season by giving your wallet a breather at these free events across the city.

Street Art 2017

What: History hits the streets for Canada’s 150th birthday. From the end of May to the end of August keep an eye out for Mackenzie House’s street artists. Using only sidewalk chalk, this group of 7 artists will draw episodes of Toronto’s history throughout the downtown core at or near the location they occurred.

Where: Mackenzie House, 82 Bond Street
When: Now until September 1

YYZ Live

What: To celebrate Canada 150, Pearson International is hosting 150 free live music performances all summer long. If you’re at the airport or just looking to enjoy some incredible music, visit the YYZ Live stage in Terminal 1, International Arrivals, or the YYZ Live acoustic stage on the Terminal Link train platform.

Where: Pearson International Airport
When: Now until September 15

Buskerfest

What: The Toronto International Buskerfest for Epilepsy Awareness is hitting the beach this year and will be taking place at Woodbine Park.  This year you can expect a beer garden, car show, and plenty of exciting surprises.

Where: Woodbine Park, Coxwell Ave at Lakeshore Boulevard
When: September 1 to 4

Lechon Festival

What: The Toronto Lechon Festival is a grand and colourful event that will bring the traditional Filipino Fiesta to the area in ways that will transport the visitor to the Philippines. It will be a showcase of Filipino culture that aims to strengthen the ties that bind Filipino-Canadians with the whole community.

Where: Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street
When: September 2, 12 pm to 8:30 pm; September 3, 12 pm to 6 pm

Richmond Hill Food Truck Festival

What: The largest park in Richmond Hill plays host to this free food truck rally and festival in September. Some participating trucks include Buster’s Sea Cove, Hogtown Smoke, Smokes Poutinerie, and Waffle Bar.

Where: Richmond Green Park, 1300 Elgin Mills Road East
When: September 2 to 3, 12 pm to 8 pm

Hot & Spicy Food Festival

What: Savour the flavour of the south! Come and enjoy this free food festival that features Southern BBQs, brass bands, and much more.

Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West
When: September 4 to 7

The Bill Murray Day Fan Art Show

What: Back in 2014, to promote the world premiere of his film St. Vincent, TIFF declared September 5th Bill Murray Day here in Toronto. Little did they know that this event would inspire a Fan Art Show several years later. Come and honour how awesome this comic legend is by checking out the Officially Unofficial Fan Art Show dedicated to Bill Murray.

Where: #Hashtag Gallery, 830 Dundas Street West
When: September 5 to 10

Toronto International Film Festival

What: There’s no better way to say goodbye to summer than with the city’s biggest film festival! Whether you go celeb-spotting or check out the free exhibits on King Street, there’s something for everyone at TIFF.

Where: Various venues throughout the city
When: September 7 to 17

Vegetarian Food Festival

What: Calling all vegan foodies: For one weekend only, Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre will transform into a vegetarian paradise. Local and international chefs will delight your taste buds with a lot of vegetarian and vegan dishes.

Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West
When: September 8 to 10

Taste of the Kingsway

What: Taste of the Kingsway delivers fun for the whole family with three action-packed stages featuring tribute bands: Wham, Rat Pack, Eagles, Journey, AC/DC and U2.  Come and check out the classic car show, Footloose Dancewear’s community dance stage, as well as the ice cream and pizza eating contests, and the ever-popular Scotiabank Dog Show.

Where: Kingsway, 3029 Bloor Street West
When:
September 8, 6 pm to 10 pm; September 9, 11 am to 10 pm; September 10, 11 am to 6 pm

Cabbage Town Arts & Crafts

What: This arts and crafts show features works from 180 Ontario and Quebec artists and happens at the same time as Cabbagetown Festival and Riverdale Farm Fall Festival.

Where: Riverdale Park, 550 Broadview Avenue
When: September 8 to 10

Tim Hortons Southside Shuffle Blues & BBQ Festival

What: Now in its 19th year, this three-day outdoor music festival will be celebrating Canada and Ontario’s 150th anniversaries with 100% Canadian acts featuring the best of Canadian Blues. There will be free admission to the vendor village, food court, and south stages 1 and 2.

Where: Port Credit Memorial Park, 20 Lakeshore Road East
When: September 8, 5 pm to 11:30 pm; September 9, 11:30 am to 11:30 pm; September 10, 11 am to 8:30 pm

What: Come and enjoy artisanal goods from a variety of local farmers, wineries, and food vendors. If you’re passionate about local, sustainably produced fresh foods, this is a market you won’t want to miss.
Where: Junction Train Platform,  2960 Dundas Street West
When: September 9, 9 am to 1 pm

Cabbagetown Festival

What: This family-friendly affair will feature loads of things for the kids to do, live music and entertainment, food, made in Canada merchandise, a Kids Zone, and plenty of fun events and activities.

Where: Carlton and Parliament Streets
When: September 9, 11 am to 10 pm; September 10, 11 am to 7 pm

Toronto Bicycle Music Festival

What: This yearly, free outdoor pedal-powered concert will be taking place in and between Trinity Bellwoods and Humber Bay Park West this summer. This year’s lineup includes Ansley Simpson, Blokoloco and HoodedFang.

Where: Trinity Bellwoods Park
When: September 10, 12 pm to 5 pm

Toronto Ukrainian Festival

What: A three-day entertainment experience celebrating the Ukrainian Canadian community. From music to food, check out this massive Bloor West festival.

Where: Bloor West Village
When: September 15 to 17

CityPlace Fort York BIA Movie Night Series

What:  Gather up your friends, bring your blankets/chairs and come catch the closing film at this summer’s CityPlace Fort York BIA Movie Night. Make sure to arrive a little early to enjoy snacks and refreshments. The final night will feature a CityPlace pick flick, so stay tuned on what will be playing on the big screen.

Where: Canoe Landing Park, 95 Fort York Blvd
When: September 16

Evergreen Brickworks Saturday Market

What: The Evergreen Brickworks Saturday Market has grown to become the city’s largest farmer’s market. Come and the wide variety of local and seasonal food from local farmers, food producers, and chefs.

Where: Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview
When: September 16, 8 am to 1 pm

Roncesvalles Polish Festival

What: Wrap up summer by attending North America’s largest celebration of Polish culture in Toronto’s best neighbourhood. The festival will feature local and international music, fantastic cuisine from over 40 renowned restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and bistros, along Roncesvalles, and of course, lots of traditional Polish fare.

Where: Roncesvalles Avenue from Queen Street West to Dundas Street West
When: September 16 to 17

Terry Fox Run

What: All across the country, the Terry Fox run takes place in September. Register to run, find a run, or sponsor a runner and show your support.

Where: Various locations
When: September 17

Movies in the Square

What: The Friends of Sorauren Park have planned another season of outdoor movies and special events this summer. The family event takes place on the fourth Saturday of every month and will be wrapping up on the 23rd. The closing weekend will feature an end-of-summer celebration of community, culture, and Canada in your favourite park.

Where: Sorauren Avenue Park, 289 Sorauren Ave
When:  September 23

Etsy Made in Canada

What: The fourth annual flagship Etsy: Made in Canada show, co-hosted by the Toronto Etsy Street Team and 416Hustler, this event will feature a variety of handmade and vintage Canadian Etsy sellers.

Where: MaRS Discovery District, 101 College Street
When: September 23, 10 am to 6 pm

Queen West Art Crawl

What: The Queen West Art Crawl (QWAC) is a charitable organization that features a weekend-long festival of creativity and community. It’s designed to celebrate and promote the art, culture, and diversity of Queen West in Toronto.

Where: Trinity Bellwoods Park
When: September 23 to 24, 11 am to 6 pm

Invictus Games

What: The 2017 Invictus Games will be taking over Toronto this month and while most major sporting events are ticketed, there are plenty of free events as well. Free sports include archery, wheelchair tennis, cycling, golf, and the Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge.

Where: Venues throughout the city
When: September 23 to 30

Word on the Street

What: Participate in hundreds of author readings, discussions, and activities, and shop in a marketplace that boasts the best selection of Canadian books and magazines you’ll find anywhere. There’s plenty to see and do at Canada’s largest FREE book and magazine festival.

Where: 235 Queens Quay West
When: September 24

Pedestrian Sunday September

What:  Come and enjoy a full day of car-free fun, music, food vendors, performances, shopping and all kinds of street side surprises. Take the afternoon and check out a dance party, a band, a food stand and more.

Where: Kensington Market, Augusta south of College
When: September 24, 1 pm to 11 pm

Kensington Market Art Fair

What: As part of Pedestrian Sunday, Kensington Market will also play host to an incredible, curated outdoor art fair focusing on original two and three-dimensional art.

Where: Kensington Market, Augusta south of College,
When: September 24, 12 pm to 7 pm

On Common Ground Festival

What: Fort York’s On Common Ground festival will celebrate the transition to fall, the International Day of Peace, and Toronto’s diverse arts and culture community.

Where: Fort York, 250 Fort York Blvd
When: September 15 to 17

Nuit Blanche Toronto

What: From sunset to sunrise on September 30, Nuit Blanche will be taking over the city. From post-apocalyptic vibes to militant nostalgia, Nuit Blanche transforms the city into an elaborate pageantry of thought-provoking pieces, light installations, and wild colours. The event features over hundreds of local, national and international artists presenting contemporary pieces.

Where: Locations throughout the city
When: September 30

Wanderlust

What: Wanderlust is the Leslieville BIA’s signature event of the year. It’s a customer appreciation event that highlights the people, places and things unique only to Leslieville. Come and enjoy delicious food, live music, and art.

Where:  Queen Street East between Vancouver and Booth Avenues
When: September 30, 12 pm to 6 pm


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Ainsley Smith
Ainsley is a Staff Writer at Daily Hive. She's a former Vancouverite turned Torontonian who is always on the hunt for the best avocado toast.

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