66 amazing summer festivals to check out in Toronto
Ainsley SmithJun 19, 2017 2:17 pm2,017
If one thing’s for certain it’s that summer festivals take over Toronto every year.
Whether you’re into food, beer, art, music or all four, there’s definitely a festival in the city that you should be checking out. So to help make your summer events bucket list even stronger, we’ve rounded up pretty much every summer festival taking place in the city.
From food and drinks, to music and art, here are the top 66 festivals taking place in Toronto this summer.
What: Now in its sixth year, the Toronto Japanese Film Festival showcases the finest Japanese films that have been recognized for excellence by Japanese audiences and critics, international film festival audiences and the Japanese Film Academy.
Where: Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, 6 Garamond Court
What: The TD Toronto Jazz Festival has come to be recognized as one of North America’s premier jazz festival and has attracted some of the biggest names in jazz and blues. This summer, the festival will be moving to Yorkville Village, where it will play host to over 100 free concerts across 10 days (NOON-10 pm).
What: This two-day event is the craft beer aficionado’s dream turning the massive venue of West Island, Ontario Place into one huge beer garden featuring indie brews, live music, and sizzling food vendors.
Where: West Island of Ontario Place, 955 Lake Shore Boulevard West
What: This delicious event will showcase products of regional vineyards and artisan vegan cheese makers. Look forward to sampling an array of dairy-free cheese, talks from vegan entrepreneurs, and cooking demos that go beyond your typical cheese platters.
What: This year, the Christie Pits Film Festival’s theme is EYES ON THE PRIZE, and will be screening films about competition and beating the odds. Locally organized, the Christie Pits Film Festival has attracted thousands to its free weekly series of outdoor films. Sundays throughout the summer, the screenings will include a mix of old and new. Although all screenings are free of charge, there is a suggested donation of $10.
What: Things will be bumping again at 99 Sudbury this summer when Open Roof Festival returns for its 8th season. It’s #MOVIESMUSICBEER all summer long with #OPENROOFFEST17. The event organizers have yet to announce the films and bands, but check back on their website for information.
What: There’s no better way to enjoy a summer’s day than with some mouth-watering ribs! The 17th annual Ribfest is set to take the stage, and Rotary Etobicoke invites you to join. The event offers a Kid Zone, two stages, and lots of ribs.
What: Come and celebrate the heritage, culture and traditions of Ontario through music on multiple stages, interactive exhibits, food and drink vendors, spread out all around the Ontario Place grounds.
What: The annual Redpath Waterfront Festival promotes Toronto locally and internationally as a premier waterfront destination. With music, food, nautical programs and entertainment, the Festival has something for everyone to enjoy!
What: With over 60 ticketed events and over 50 free, drop-in events that includes live theatre, music, dance, arts, buskers, and performances, there’s something for everyone at the Toronto Fringe Festival.
What: Cultura is a Free family friendly outdoor festival presenting music, art, food, and film every Friday evening in July at Mel Lastman Square. Cultura celebrates Toronto’s rich diversity featuring world renowned Musicians, tasty international street food, explosive buskers and dance, interactive art activities, and evening film screenings under the stars.
What: The East end’s biggest food and cultural festival returns this summer. The annual Taste of Lawrence celebration takes place over the July 8 weekend, featuring over 130 vendors serving up local flavours and lots of family fun.
Where: Lawrence Avenue East, from Warden Ave to Birchmount Road
What: Come and celebrate African music and culture in the heart of the city. The festival features music, dance, drumming, and theatre, with over 35 bands both local and international, workshops, and spoken word artists, making this festival have something for everyone.
What: This one-day festival will feature over 40 diverse food vendors, a food eating contest, local performances, a kid zone, buskers and much more. This year’s theme is Canada 150, so come and experience the best that Canada has to offer.
Where: Albion Road and Islington Ave, 2621 Islington Ave
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.
What: MRG Events and Budweiser are throwing a County Fair this summer that will bring the spirit of the country to the heart of the city with an outdoor boot-stomping party in downtown Toronto. The two-day festival will feature live music from tomorrow’s country music stars, BBQ from some of Toronto’s top chefs, games, and classic carnival eats.
Where: 525 King Street West
When: July 14, 5 pm to 11 pm; July 15, 12 pm to 11 pm
What: Splashing some spiritual culture into the city, the 45th Annual Festival of India returns on July 16 for two days of nourishing festivities. The event will begin with a euphoric parade down world-famous Yonge Street, followed by a day of festivities for the entire family.
What: The tenth annual Toronto Burlesque Festival is back for another sultry season. This sizzling four-day extravaganza will feature performances and parties with a dazzling cast of innovative artists from all across the globe.
What: New this season, The Canadian Food Truck Festival is expanding to Burlington! The weekend event takes place in July and will feature food trucks from across Southern Ontario as well as live performers.
Where: Spencer Smith Park, 1400 Lakeshore Road
When: July 22, noon to 9 pm; July 23: noon to 9 pm
What: Back for its third year, the very fun multi-day arts and music festival is everything we crave about summer festivals. The WayHome Music & Arts Festival is fast becoming one of the largest festivals in the region, all due to its wicked vibes, and incredibly diverse lineups, which includes Flume, Cage The Elephant, Imagine Dragons, Solange, and School Boy Q.
Where: Burl’s Creek Event Grounds, 180 8th Line South
What: Returning to the Toronto Beach(es), this food truck festival takes over Woodbine Park over the civic holiday long weekend. As always, admission is free and in addition to street foods expect live-eating challenges and other entertainment on site.
Where: Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen Street East
When: August 4, 5 pm to 10 pm; August 5, noon to 10 pm; August 6, noon to 8 pm; August 7, noon to 8 pm
What: If you didn’t get enough of your electronic music fill at Dreams Festival, you can make up for it in your costume-clad glory at Veld Music Festival. Headliners include Major Lazer, Future, Tiesto, and Zedd.
What: Jambana One World Festival represents Canada’s growing cultural diversity in its finest form. Attendees can experience Canada’s multicultural communities through performances by internationally acclaimed bands, artists, and JUNO Award winners, and experience the sights, sounds, taste and global diversity.
What: Friends, kids, pets are all welcome to this park turned foodie haven in mid-August. Admission is free for the weekend of outdoor eating, plus there will be a beer garden, children’s village, beer garden, and stage showcasing live entertainment.
Where: The Esplanade Park, 1 The Esplanade
When: August 11, 5 pm to 9 pm; August 12, noon to 9 pm; August 13, noon to 8 pm
What: One of Toronto’s most famous summer events, The Krinos Taste of the Danforth is Canada’s largest street Festival and is back for its 24th year with plenty of Greek-style eats at this massive street festival.
What: The Big Feastival is a massive summer festival that began in 2011 on a farm in Kingham, UK. And now, the festivities are crossing the pond to Burl’s Creek. The Feastival promises to bring its unique blend of live music, incredible food, and all around family entertainment, giving Canadians a chance to join in on the fun.
What: This year’s Toronto Cider Festival will showcase amazing ciders paired with delicious food, live entertainment, and local Canadian talent. In honour of Canada 150, the Cider Festival will allow you to celebrate the end of summer in true Canadian style.
What: The 6th annual Scarborough Afro-Carib Fest will feature live musical performances, exciting entertainment from local and international artists, mouth-watering ethnic cuisine, visual arts, drum and dance workshops, kid’s zone, dance competitions, and much more! Definitely not an event to miss.
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
What: The largest park in Richmond Hill plays host to this food truck rally and festival in September. Participating trucks have yet to be announced, but parking, food, drinks and entertainment are all promised.
Where: Richmond Green Park, 1300 Elgin Mills Rd East
When: September 2, noon to 8 pm; September 3, noon to 8 pm
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
What: Taste delicious garlic-themed dishes paired with Ontario craft beer and wine at this amazing Garlic themed festival. Attendees can enjoy sweet and savoury garlic inspired dishes from 20 chefs this year include, meet farmers, chefs, artists and garlic historians.
Where: Artscpape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street