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30 FREE Toronto events worth checking out in September

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Ainsley Smith Aug 31, 2018 3:37 pm 3,359

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

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

Buskerfest + Mac & Cheese Fest

BuskerFest

Toronto BuskerFest

What: The Toronto International Buskerfest for Epilepsy Awareness is hitting the beach this year in partnership with Mac & Cheese Fest and will be taking place at Woodbine Park.  This year you can expect a beer garden, midway, family fun zone, and plenty of exciting surprises.

When: Now until September 3
Time: Saturday, 11 am to 11 pm; Sunday, 11 am to 10 pm; Monday, 11 am to 8 pm
Where: Woodbine Park, Coxwell Ave at Lakeshore Boulevard
Price: Admission is free, but a donation is suggested

Waterfront Artisan Market

What: Back for its third year, the Waterfront Artisan Market features 50 bakers, chefs, and artisans hawking summery street foods and locally-made products. The market runs every Saturday and Sunday.

When: September 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, and 30
Time: Saturday, 11 am to 8 pm; Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm
Where: HTO Park, 339 Queens Quay West
Price: Admission is free

Evergreen Brickworks Saturday Market

What: The Evergreen Brick Works’ Saturday Farmers’ Market is the largest farmers’ market in Toronto. Come and enjoy good food from local farmers, food producers, and chefs.

When: September 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29
Time: 8 am to 1 pm
Where: Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview
Price: Admission is free

Rogers Ignite TV Command House

What: This holiday Monday, entertainment enthusiasts are invited to attend the city’s largest ‘house party’ where fan-favourite content will come to life. This entertainment extravaganza will feature non-stop free activities including movie screenings, celebrity meet-and-greets, opportunities to rub elbows with current and former Blue Jays and Maple Leaf players and plenty of family-friendly activities.

When: September 3
Time: 10 am to 11 pm
Where: Roundhouse Park, 255 Bremner Blvd.
Price: Admission is free

Brewer’s Backyard

What: Celebrate the final weekend of summer with a few brews. The line-up of breweries includes Big Rock, Collective Arts, Eastbound, Exchange Brewery, GLB, Goose Island, Northern Maverick, and Red Thread alongside food vendors including Arepa Republic, FeasTO, Fidel Gastro, Meltdown Cheesery, and the Pop Stand.

When: September 3
Time: 11 am to 5 pm
Where: Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Avenue, Toronto
Price: Admission is free

TIFF Festival Street

What: For the fifth year in a row, the excitement and fun of the Toronto International Film Festival will pour out from the theatres onto Festival Street. Look forward to free movie screenings, musical performances, food and drinks, photo opportunities and more.

When: September 6 to 9
Time: 12 pm to 12 am
Where: King Street West between Peter Street and University Avenue
Price: Admission is free

Friday Night Lights at Downsview Park

Downsview Park Friday Night Lights

What: Taking place at the football field and running track at Downsview Park, moviegoers can enjoy a free screening of Avengers: Infinity War. 

When: September 7
Time: Roughly 9:30 pm
Where: 79 Carl Hall Road, Football Field & Running Track
Price: Free to attend

Veg Food Fest

What: Taking place at the Harbourfront Centre, this festival promises more than 150 vendors dealing in all sorts of meatless eats and ethical goods, plus 40+ hours of presentations, workshops, speakers, and music curated by Toronto Downtown Jazz.

When: September 7 to 9
Time: Hours vary by day
Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto
Price: Admission is free

Taste of the Kingsway

What: Toronto’s Taste of the Kingsway street festival returns for three days of outdoor eating and entertainment this September.

When: September 7 to 9
Time: Hours vary by day
Where: Bloor Street West from Prince Edward Drive to Montgomery Road
Price: Free to attend

Tim Hortons Southside Shuffle Blues & BBQ Festival

What: Now in its 20th year, this three-day outdoor music festival will be celebrating incredible Blues performers. There will be free admission to the vendor village, food court, and south stages 1 and 2.

When: September 7 to 9
Time: Varies by day
Where: Port Credit Memorial Park, 20 Lakeshore Road East
Price: Admission is free

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.

When: September 8 and 9
Time: Saturday, 11 am to 10 pm; Sunday, 11 am to 7 pm
Where: Carlton and Parliament Streets
Price: Entry is free

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.

When: September 14 to 16
Time: Friday, 5 pm to 10:30 pm; Saturday, 9 am to 10:30 pm; Sunday, 10:3 am to 7 pm
Where: Bloor West Village
Price: Admission is free

Toronto Flower Market

Toronto flower market

Toronto Flower Market

What: There will be 18 incredible vendor stalls on display to visit and admire, each selling an assortment of seasonal showstoppers including tulips, daffodils, gerbera, orchids, hyacinths, muscari, lilacs, and more. Plus there will also be an array of dahlia tubers, seedlings, garden planters, handmade pots and indoor plants also for sale.

When: September 15
Time: 10 am to 3 pm
Where: CAMH, 1001 Queen Street West
Price: Entry is free

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.

When: September 15 and 16
Time: Saturday, 11 am to 11 pm; Sunday, 11 am to 7 pm
Where: Roncesvalles Avenue from Queen Street West to Dundas Street West
Price: Admission is free

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.

When: September 16
Time: Run times vary by location
Where: Various locations throughout the GTA
Price: Free to participate

Open Streets TO

What: Open Streets programs, also known as Ciclovias, open streets to people and close them to cars encouraging participation in physical activity and healthy recreation. They are free, regularly occurring programs, and offer communities the opportunity to experience their city streets in a whole new way.

When: September 16
Time: 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Bloor and Yonge Streets
Price: Admission is free

Bi Arts Festival

What: This year marks the second annual Bi Arts Festival, the world’s largest celebration of bisexual voices in art and culture.

When: September 18 to 23
Time: 10 am to 12 pm
Where: Various venues
Price: Entry is free

UNIQLO & GO Mobile Pop-Up

What: This month, guests will be able to e-commerce themselves and ‘step into’ UNIQLO’s newly launched app/mobile e-commerce site, preview the F/W18 collection and make on-site purchases via the Mobile Site. Giveaways will also be up for grabs at this pop-up shop.

When: September 19 to 22
Time: Hours TBA
Where: 451 King Street West
Price: Entry is free

Sorauren Park Free Movies

Sorauren Park

Sorauren Park

What: Toronto’s Sorauren Park will be hosting free movie screenings this summer, with showings happening on the fourth Saturday of every month. This year, attendees can look forward to pizza dinners before each screening from the new Sorauren Park Pizza Oven, prepared and presented by Pizzeria Defina.

When: September 22
Time: Roughly 9 pm
Where: Sorauren Avenue Park, 289 Sorauren Ave
Price: Free

MOCA Grand Opening Weekend

What: Come and celebrate MOCA’s grand opening and enjoy free admission all weekend. Following the official ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday morning, guests can explore all five floors of the museum and meet the artists and learn about their work.

When: September 22 and 23
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Where: MOCA, 158 Sterling Rd.
Price: Admission is free

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.

When: September 22 and 23
Time: 11 am to 6 pm
Where: Trinity Bellwoods Park
Price: Free to attend

Toronto Beaches Festival

What: Bring your flip flops and your appetite and enjoy beachside eats and drinks, shop from the artisanal market, and dance away to 80s and 90s music all day.

When: September 22 and 23
Time: Saturday, 12 pm to 8 pm; Sunday, 12 pm to 6 pm
Where: Woodbine Beach, 1675 Lake Shore Boulevard East
Price: Admission is free

2018 Butter Tart Taste-Off

What: There’s no need to travel across Ontario to find the best butter tart this fall. All the best bakers specializing in the iconic Canadian treat are getting together under one roof. Kawarthas Butter Tart Taste-Off takes place in downtown Port Hope this year on September 23, alongside Cultivate: A Festival Of Food And Drink.

When: September 23
Time: 9 am to 3 pm
Where: 44 Queen St, Port Hope, Ontario
Price: Admission is free

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.

When: September 23
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West
Price: Free entry

Etsy Made in Canada

Etsy market

Etsy/Facebook

What: The fifth annual flagship Etsy: Made in Canada show returns to Toronto this month, featuring a variety of handmade and vintage Canadian Etsy sellers.

When: September 29
Time: 10 am to 6 pm
Where: MaRS Discovery District, 101 College Street
Price: Entrance is free

Relish

What: A two-day food festival aims to “put all foodies into a legit food coma,” when it pops up in Toronto’s west end this month. RELISH The Foodie Event is FREE to attend and will see a dozen food vendors congregate in the parking lot at Cloverdale Mall.

When: September 29 and 30
Time: 11 am to 7 pm
Where: Cloverdale Mall, 250 The East Mall, Etobicoke
Price: Admission is free

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.

When: September 29
Time: 12 pm to 6 pm
Where:  Queen Street East between Vancouver and Booth Avenues
Price: Free to attend

Nuit Blanche Toronto

What: From sunset to sunrise on September 29, Nuit Blanche will be taking over the city. Every year, Nuit Blanche transforms the city into an elaborate pageantry of thought-provoking pieces, light installations, and wild colours. The event features hundreds of local, national and international artists presenting contemporary pieces.

When: September 29
Time: 7 pm to 7 am
Where: Locations throughout the city
Price: All events are free to check out

Pedestrian Sundays 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.

When: September 30
Time: 11 am to 7 pm
Where: Kensington Market, Augusta south of College
Price: Free to attend

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.

When: September 30
Time: 12 pm to 7 pm
Where: Kensington Market, Augusta south of College
Price: Free to attend

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Ainsley Smith
Ainsley is a Staff Writer at Daily Hive. She's a former Vancouverite turned Torontonian who is passionate about avocado toast, aesthetics, and avocado toast aesthetics. Story idea? E-mail her at [email protected]
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