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Summer, Events

17 things to do in Toronto before the summer ends

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Yasmin Aboelsaud Aug 18, 2016 8:11 am

Summer sixteen is coming to a close. Soon.

Too soon.

But for now, it’s still summer, and the sun continues to shine. Toronto is full of exciting and entertaining events all year round, although let’s face it, most events are better under that sun we’ve been mentioning.

So as August winds down, grab some friends and hit up as many summer activities as you can. Here’s our list of 17 must-dos before the end of the summer.

Get Axe Throwing

discovered that i’m an axe-ceptionally terrible lumberjack 🎯

A photo posted by Kaleigh Donnelly (@kaleigh_donn) on

In case you didn’t know, axe throwing is now a sport – or something like that. A great way to get together with some friends this summer, and perhaps a way to get some aggression out, Toronto has several spots to get your Axe On.

Where to go: Check out BATL Axe Throwing or Bad Axe Throwing.

Go for a roller coaster ride

A photo posted by 王殊同 (@shutong0201) on

Remember how much fun roller coasters are? If you don’t, maybe it’s time you get back on one. Bring back those childhood memories, laugh till you cry, and try not to scream. If it’s been a while, hold off on eating those funnel cakes until after the rides.

Where to go: Canada’s Wonderland, Vaughan.

Get on island time

#torontoisland #nature #cityscape #qualitytime #niceview #cntower #toronto #ontario #canada

A photo posted by Ricardo Neves (@ricardomgn91) on

A hop, skip, and a little ferry ride away, the Toronto Island is a great city getaway. Whether on a weekend, or an evening after work, the Toronto Island offers family fun or adult fun depending on what you’re in need of. If you haven’t been to the Island yet, pack a picnic and head out. You can even catch Pokemon along the way.

Where to go: Catch the ferry at the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, 9 Queens Quay West.

Grab a cold one at a micro brewery

There was an official International Beer Day in August, but we celebrate that daily in the city through our craft breweries. From the East end to the West end, we love our beers in Toronto, so much so that the craft brew scene is expanding each year. Check out a local brew and try out a new flavour – you have so many options.

Where to go: You can start here.

Hit the road


You, some friends, a rad playlist, and the open road. It’s a summer dream come true. And lucky for us in Toronto, we have so many destination within reach. Head south for a New York City weekend, or maybe check out Montreal in the summer.

Where to go: You can start planning your Montreal trip here.

Watch a movie under the stars

In fair Verona where we lay our scene #romeoandjuliet #christiepitts #toronto #bazluhrmann #summertime

A photo posted by Matthea (@mattheamade) on

Across the city, screens are going up weekly for the annual free outdoor movie viewing experiences. The summer series fall under different days, and in different locations, and it all comes to an end so soon. So make this a ‘must do’ before summer’s end.

Where to go: Take your pick.

Sail-in Cinema

Taking place this weekend, the two-sided floating movie experience is a must see for Torontonians, on land or at sea! This is the only outdoor theatre that caters to boaters and leg commuters alike. And yes, it’s totally free. And very accessible. Runs August 18 to 20.

Where to go: Sugar Beach, 25 Dockside Drive

Eat everything at the Junk Food Festival

Toronto is getting a Junk Food Festival in September – and this was a no brainer to add for our must do list this summer. Did we mention it’s free?

Where to go: Toronto Star Building, 1 Yonge Street.

Get a tan on a patio

I would like to sincerely apologize to my bank account for my frivolous activities this summer 💸🍾

A photo posted by Shh-vaughan (@siobhaannn) on

Who doesn’t love spending a sunny afternoon on a patio? Toronto’s got all sorts of awesome ones, from roof top patios to patios on the lake. And of course, these are some of our fave patios which you should definitely check out before summer ends. Date night, anyone?

Selfie with the stars at TIFF

The Toronto International Film Festival is one of the biggest attractions in the 6ix all year. People come from all over the world to check out the glitz, glam, films, and stars. Plan ahead – never too early – and check out the TIFF schedule. Tickets often sell out, but you live in the city. You got this.

Where to go: Various venues, but stay in Toronto from September 8 to 18.

Let’s go to the EX

Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) In A Beautiful Summer Day

A photo posted by nico with lowercase N (@cowpokelee) on

A summer tradition in the city, the CNE is a must do. It doesn’t matter how old we get, going to the EX brings the kid out in all of us, and the food is always entertaining. Play some games, win some ridiculously sized toys, and take some colourful Instagram pics.

Where to go: Um, the Ex.

Enjoy a crazy ice cream cone

Ice cream is a fave food staple in the summer for a reason. The good news is the cold-sweet treat comes in different flavours, shapes, topping, and nowadays the cone has become the best part – actually though. Churro cones? Might want to get that gym membership back before fall, there are so many sweet treats to try before summer’s end.

Where to go: Check out the CNE, Union Summer, or the ever-so-popular Sweet Jesus.

Run away with the circus

#cirquedusoleil #luzia

A photo posted by 🐎 (@viv._.ma) on


Cirque du Soleil’s Luzia is in town and it is a quick, effortless journey to Mexico. Under the massive tent set up in the Port Lands, get whisked away through the beautiful colours, sets, and incredible talent at the show.

Where to go: The Port Lands, 51 Commissoners Street.

Sing along at a concert

Wheat Kings and pretty things. #thetragicallyhip

A photo posted by Jessica Haisinger (@jesshaisinger) on

Because even though singing in the shower is fun, singing with hundreds (or thousands) of other music fans is an experience.

Where to go: Check out our monthly concert listing!

Support our local sports teams

What a View

A photo posted by Zoë Kempston (@zoekempston) on

Take us out to the ball game! Summer sports means being outdoors, beers, and stadium eats. And there’s still plenty of time to catch a game with some pals.

Where to go: A few options depending on your taste, or catch them all. Soccer fans check out Toronto FC, football fans check out the Argos, and baseball fans check out our Jays.

Swim in the lake

these umbrellas. #umbrellagirl #beachwedding #torontobeaches

A photo posted by iain soder (@lordpuppy1997) on

Our urban jungle may be chaotic and busy at its core, but around its edges are little local summer getaways. Check out one of Toronto’s 11 designated swimming beaches, and don’t forget the sunscreen and frisbee.

Where to go: From east to west, and on Toronto Island, there are options for everyone location wise.

And while you’re there, SUP

#torontoislandsup #torontoisland #wardsisland #torontosummer #viewsoftoronto #the6ix #suptoronto #torontosup

A photo posted by Island Beach Boys and Girls (@torontoislandsup) on

Ever seen those guys with paddle and board and wondered what they were doing? They are stand up paddleboarding, or SUPing. A few places around the beaches of Toronto rent out SUPs, or you can join a class. And these also make for awesome adventurous Instagram pictures.

Where to go: Start at SUPGirlz, WSUP Toronto, or Toronto Island SUP.


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Yasmin Aboelsaud
Senior Staff Writer, music aficionado, fueled by coffee, travel & Drake.

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