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40 FREE Toronto events worth checking out this July

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Ainsley Smith Jun 29, 2018 1:21 pm 1,522
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There’s no need to break the bank to have fun in the city, especially during the summer.

From the top food festivals, live music, outdoor films, cultural celebrations, and so much more, here are 40 totally free things to do in Toronto this month.

CITE at The Bentway

skatepark

@thebentway/Twitter

What: The Bentway Skate Trail will officially open for the season with a summer-long celebration of skate culture, launching on June 30. A great use of public space, CITE is both an art installation and a skatepark, featuring sculptures that boarders are free to ride on. Canada Day celebrations include DJ sets, skate demos, a beer garden, live graffiti, a meet and greet with pros, eats, and an open skate.

When: Now to August 12
Time: 10 am to 9 pm
Where: The Bentway Skate Trail, 250 Fort York Blvd.
Price: Free

Play the Parks

What: Play the Parks is back for the 6th season and will feature free lunchtime concerts in the Downtown Yonge BIA district throughout the summer.

When: Every Tuesday, now until September
Time: 12:30 pm to 2 pm
Where: Trinity Square Park, 19 Trinity Square
Price: 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: Every Saturday of the month
Time: 8 am to 1 pm
Where: Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview
Price: Admission is free

A Forest of Canoes at The Bentway

What: A Forest of Canoes by Dana Claxton, is a site-specific installation set up throughout The Bentway and is co-commissioned with Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival and curated by Bonnie Rubenstein. The installation highlights the iconic role and symbolism of the canoe in Canadian, Metis, and Indigenous histories.

When: Now until August 31
Time: All day
Where: The Bentway, 250 Fort York Blvd.
Price: Free

Indie Fridays

What: Chevrolet Canada presents Indie Fridays, a free concert series featuring some of Canada’s top indie musicians on Friday evenings.

When: Every Friday, now until August 31
Time: 8 pm to 11 pm
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square, 1 Dundas Street East
Price: Free

Waterfront Artisan Market

May long weekend

Marc Bruxelle/Shutterstock

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

When: Now until October 6
Time: Saturdays 11 am to 8 pm, Sundays 11 am to 5 pm
Where: HTO Park, 339 Queens Quay West
Price: Admission is free

Amesbury Park Canada Day Celebration

What: At the annual Amesbury Park Canada Day Celebration, you’ll find an exciting event lineup that’s complete with multicultural entertainment, a talent search, children’s activities, plus many interesting vendors.

When: July 1
Time: 9 am to 10 pm
Where: Amesbury Park, 1507 Lawrence Avenue West
Price: Free

Canada Day at Fort York

What: The historic Fort York will host a day of celebrations for Canada Day, complete with talking points like flag raising and flag lowering ceremonies, demonstrations, drill activity, cooking demonstrations, and tours of the barracks and fortifications.

When: July 1
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Where: Fort York
Price: Free

Canada Day at Black Creek Pioneer Village

What: Grab the kiddos in your life and step back in time this Canada Day. At Black Creek Pioneer Village, you’ll find a 19th-century carnival complete with fire jugglers, performers, live music, and good, a historic brewery, and old-fashioned carnival games. Admission is free on July 1.

When: July 1
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Where: Black Creek Pioneer Village
Price: Free

East York Canada Day Celebration and Parade

What: Start the festivities with a parade beginning at Dieppe Park (455 Cosburn Avenue) that travels through East York, finishing at Stan Wadlow Park for a day of programming and festivities that end at dusk before the fireworks at 10 pm.

When: July 1
Time: 10 am to 10 pm
Where: Stan Wadlow Park
Price: Free

Multicultural Canada Day at Yonge-Dundas Square

block party

V.Ben/Shutterstock

What: The annual Multicultural Canada Day celebrations include everything from a “Parade of Nations” and a massive singing of “O’ Canada,” to art, food and live performances from multicultural groups that showcase their diversity in all of their vibrant glory.

When: July 1
Time: 12 pm to 9 pm
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square, 1 Dundas Street East
Price: Free

Canada Day at Mel Lastman Square

What: If you’d rather stay clear of the downtown core this Canada Day, Mel Lastman Square will come alive all day for a family-friendly affair of eats and drinks, an eclectic assortment of live music, outdoor theatre, circus arts, and fireworks.

When: July 1
Time: 5 pm to 11 pm
Where: Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge Street
Price: Free

Fireworks at Ashbridges Bay

What: End a day at the beach (or a day on the town) with a spectacular fireworks display at Ashbridges Bay Park

When: July 1
Time: 9:30 pm to 10:15 pm
Where: Ashbridges Bay Park
Price: Free

Christie Pits Film Festival

What: Christie Pits Film Festival is back for another exciting season and will feature four free screenings this month including Porch Stories, Casablanca, In the Mood for Love, Oceans Eleven, and Waste Land. Although all screenings are free of charge, there is a suggested donation of $10.

When: July 1, 7, 14, 21, and 28
Time: Roughly 9 pm
Where: Christie Pits Park, 779 Crawford Ave West
Price: Admission is free but donations accepted

Union Summer Market

union summer

c3lsius/Instagram

What: The open-air market situated on the doorstep of Toronto’s Union Station returns this summer, hosting an incredible line-up of food vendors, ongoing programming, and events that bring Toronto’s talent, culture, and spirit to life.

When: July 1 to August 19
Time: 11 am to 8 pm
Where: 65 Front Street West, Toronto
Price: Admission is free

Brewer’s Backyard

What: Celebrate Canada Day on July 2 with Lester P. Beerson Day at the Evergreen Brick Works. On tap, look forward to delicious beers flowing from Great Lakes Brewery, Black Oak, St. Mary Axe, Collective Arts, Merit, Bench Brewing, Eastbound Brewing and West Avenue Cider, plus food from Delite Bite, FeasTO, Food Dudes, Fidel Gastro, Heirloom, and the Pop Stand.

When: July 2
Time:  11 am to 5 pm
Where: Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Avenue, Toronto
Price: Admission is free

City Cinema: Rockumentaries

What: Yonge-Dundas Square is providing Toronto the ultimate summer soundtrack with Rockumentaries, a lineup of non-fiction films that explore the life and times of some of North America’s most beloved musical acts, featuring different artists and their signature sounds each week.

When: Every Tuesday, July 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31
Time: 8 pm
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square
Price: Free

Summer Tastings

What: This Cajun and Creole restaurant on College Street is teaming up with Beam Suntory Liquor Company this summer for a monthly series featuring complimentary tastings! The July 4 installment features bourbon and while its free to attend, registration is required.

When: July 4
Time: 7 pm to 8:30 pm
Where: Southern Accent, 839 College Street, Toronto
Price: Free with registration

Movie Nights in The Beach Village

What: Movie Nights are back for 2018! Join The Beach Village for Movie Nights in the Park every Wednesday starting July 4 – August 29. Movies screenings will rotate between Kew Gardens and Ivan Forrest Gardens Park. As always, admission (and popcorn!) is FREE! Come out and experience movies under the stars.

When: Every Wednesday, July 4, 11, 18, and 25
Time: Roughly 9 pm
Where: Kew Gardens and Ivan Forrest Gardens Park
Price: Free

Yoga in St. James Park

free yoga

Yoga/Shutterstock

What: Break up your afternoon with a free outdoor yoga class in St. James Park led by the YMCA. Classes will run every Wednesday of the month.

When: July 4 to August 29
Time: 12 pm to 1 pm
Where: St. James Park, 120 King East
Price: Free

The Edwards Summer Music Series

What: Enjoy 10 concerts by an eclectic roster of popular artists, set in the natural beauty of the gardens, rain or shine. (indoors in case of extreme weather). The concerts will take place in the courtyard adjacent to the historic barn in Edwards Gardens.

When: July 5 to August 23
Time: 7 pm
Where: Toronto Botanical Garden, 777 Lawrence Ave East
Price: Free

Corktown Common Park

What: This marks the third season of outdoor films at Corktown Common Park and this summer, the public is invited to enjoy a series of films about four cities in ten short and feature films set in Toronto, Rome, Berlin, and Selma, Alabama.

When: Every Thursday, July 5, 12, 19 and 26
Time: Roughly 9 pm
Where: Corktown Common Park, 155 Bayview Avenue
Price: Free

The Foodie Festival

What: Not only is admission FREE for this food fest but so are the samples from a selection of local restaurants and vendors.

When: July 6
Time: 4 pm to 8 pm
Where: Albion Library, 1515 Albion Road, Etobicoke
Price: Admission is free

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair

What: Now in its 57th year, the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition will feature over 340 visual artists, performers, and sculptures. There will also be a beer garden by Henderson Brewing Co. open throughout the day for food, beer, and refreshments.

When: July 6 to 8
Time: Friday & Saturday, 10 am to 7 pm; Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm
Where: Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen Street West
Price: 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 variety of recent family-friendly flicks all summer long.

When: July 6 and 27
Time: Roughly 9:30 pm
Where: 79 Carl Hall Road, Football Field & Running Track
Price: Free

Beaches International Jazz Festival

What: A festival that needs almost no introduction, the Beaches International Jazz Festival is celebrating its 30th year.

When: July 6 to 29
Time: Varies by day
Where: The Beach Neighbourhood
Price: Admission is free

Taste of Lawrence

What: This three-day food and cultural festival is hosted by the Wexford Heights BIA and is billed as Scarborough’s largest street festival.

When: July 6 to 8
Time: Friday, 6 pm to 11 pm; Saturday, 11 am to 11 pm; Sunday, 11 am to 7 pm
Where: Wexford Heights, Lawrence Avenue East from Warden Avenue to Birchmount Road.
Price: Admission is free

Toronto Veggie Parade

What: Give peas a chance! The eighth annual Veggie Parade celebrates vegan, vegetarian, and veg-loving lifestyles in Toronto.

When: July 7
Time:  noon to 3 pm
Where: Parade route details available online
Price: Free to attend

TD Salsa in Toronto Festival

What: One of Canada’s largest Latin-themed celebrations is Toronto’s TD Salsa in Toronto Festival, which takes place over three weeks and features music, food, dance and family events.

When: July 7 and 8
Time: Varies by day
Where: St. Clair Avenue West, between Winona Drive and Christie Street
Price: Free

Under The Stars – Regent Park Film Festival

Regent Park

@regentparkfilm/Instagram

What: The annual outdoor summer screening series takes place on Wednesday evenings. The screenings are free, and snacks will be available for sale with proceeds going towards the Regent Park Film Festival. Bring a blanket and get ready for some activities before each film.

When: July 11, 18, and 25,
Time: Roughly 9 pm
Where: Regent Park (the Big Park), 620 Dundas Street East
Price: Free

Night It Up! Summer Night Market

What: The volunteers of Power Unit Youth Organization are organizing Night it Up, a free outdoor market styled after Asian night markets. Expect authentic street food and multicultural performances.

When: July 13 to 15
Time: Friday, 7 pm to 12 am; Saturday, 2 pm to 12 am; Sunday, 2 pm to 8 pm
Where: Markham Civic Centre, 101 Town Centre Boulevard, Markham
Price: Free

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: July 14
Time: 10 am to 3 pm
Where: CAMH, 1001 Queen Street West
Price: Admission is free

Orangeville Rotary Ribfest

What: This July marks the 9th anniversary of this great community event, which will feature fabulous ribbers who will be serving up thousands of mouth-watering ribs. With barbequed ribs, a beer tent, continuous live entertainment on the big stage, there’s no better way to celebrate summer. Admission is free but donations are accepted.

When: July 20 to 22
Time: Friday, 4 pm to 10 pm; Saturday, 11 am to 10 pm; Sunday, 11 am to 7 pm
Where: Alder Street Arena, 275 Adler Street
Price: Free

Big on Bloor Festival

What: A festival of arts and culture, Big on Bloor is a unique summer street fest featuring hundreds of culturally significant events, activities, displays, and exhibitions.

When: July 21 and 22
Time: 12 pm to 12 am
Where: Bloor Street between Dufferin and Lansdowne
Price: Free

Richmond Hill Ribfest

Ribs/Shutterstock

What: Admission is free to this three-day outdoor event that features pro rib teams cooking and competing for various “Best” titles. Joining the fun, look forward to live entertainment, a marketplace, beer garden, and midway.

When: July 27 to 29
Time: Friday, 12 pm to 11 pm; Saturday, 11 am to 11 pm; Sunday, 11 am to 8 pm
Where: Richmond Green Sports Centre and Park
Price: Free

OssFest

What: This year, OssFestwill celebrate the fun, fashion, food, and fitness found throughout the Ossington area. During this free festival, the street will be closed for a pedestrian and four-legged friend takeover to discover and rediscover everything Ossington has to offer.

When: July 28
Time: 8 am to 11 pm
Where: Ossington Avenue (between Dundas Street West and Queen Street West)

Sorauren Park Free Movies

What: Toronto’s Sorauren Park will be hosting free movie screenings this summer, with showings happening on the fourth Saturday of every month from June to September. 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: July 28
Time: Roughly 9 pm
Where: Sorauren Avenue Park, 289 Sorauren Avenue
Price: Free

Pedestrian Sunday’s in Kensington Market

What: The 15th season of Pedestrian Sundays brings back one awesome way to spend your Sundays this summer. Performers, musicians, artists, and shopping, basically an awesome Sunday Funday.

When: Last Sunday of the month, July 28
Time: 12 pm to 7 pm
Where: Kensington Market
Price: Free to attend

Fusion of Taste Festival

What: The Albion Islington Square Business Improvement Area hosts this multicultural festival featuring food and art all day long.

When: July 29
Time: noon to 9:30 pm
Where: Albion Islington Square, 925 Albion Road, Etobicoke
Price: Admission is free

See also

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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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