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Summer, Festivals, Events

71 amazing events and festivals in Toronto to tackle this summer

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DH Toronto Staff Jun 20, 2016 2:27 am

June 20th (today) marks the official first day of summer.

Which means IT’SSSSS HEEEEEERRRREEEE. (Sorry, we’re a little excited.)

There are free things, food fests, beer, cultural events, live music, movies, more beer, dance festivals, sports, block parties, the EX, TIFF, BBQs, even more beer, and much, much more.

In case you can’t tell, we’re serious about our summers in the 6ix – and you should be too. Which is why we’re here with a list of 71 amazing things you can do to make sure you’re enjoying Toronto all summer long.

Free events and festivals in Toronto

TD Toronto Jazz Festival

  • What: The 30th anniversary of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival offers some of the world’s best jazz right here at home, with plenty of free jazz to fill your heart’s desires.
  • Where: Various venues
  • When: June 24 to July 3

Pride Toronto Festival

  • What: This year’s Pride festivities is kicking it up a couple of notches, with a full month of celebrations. Let our guide get your Pride started!
  • Where: Various venues
  • When: Now to July 3
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Pride Toronto/Scott Corman

Watch a movie under the stars

  • What: Grab some blankets and check out one of the summer’s many movies under the stars.
  • Where: Various locations
  • When: Throughout the summer

Canada Day at Mel Lastman Square

  • What: Celebrate Canada’s 149th birthday with hundreds of others at Mel Lastman Square. The evening will be filled with music, dance performances, and family filled activities. Don’t forget the fireworks!
  • Where: Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge Street
  • When: July 1 from 5 to 10:15 pm

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition

  • What: Over 314 visual artists, performers and sculptures will be featured at the 55th Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibit this year. Also new this year, a beer garden featuring award winning Henderson Brewing.
  • Where: Nathan Phillips Square
  • When: July 8 to 10 from 10 am to 8 pm

Brickfête

  • What: The multi-day Brickfête fan expo celebrates all that is lego is back. Run by volunteers, the July 9 and 10 fête features unique lego builds from international hobbyists.
  • Where: Delta Toronto East, 2035 Kennedy Road
  • When: July 9 to 10
1000-feet-Slip-N-Slide-SLiDE-THE-CiTY-Toronto-2015

Slide The City

Slide the City

  • What: The 1,000-foot water slide is back at Downsview Park for a good ol’ fashioned summer day. Tickets are also on sale now.
  • Where: Downsview Park, 35 Carl Hall Road
  • When: July 16

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.
  • Where: Markham Civic Centre, 101 Town Centre Boulevard, Markham
  • When: July 15 to 17

Warriors’ Day Parade

  • What: The 95th Warriors’ Day Parade honouring the Toronto Garrison will take place on August 20. The event recognizes those who served and those serving today.
  • Where: Canadian National Exhibition
  • When: August 20 at 10:30 am

Buskerfest

  • What: The Toronto International Buskerfest for Epilepsy Awareness is hitting the beach this year.  Besides a new location and dates, there will be no advance schedules, and the events will be spontaneous throughout each day.
  • Where: Woodbine Park, Cowell Ave at Lakeshore Boulevard
  • When: September 2 to 5

Get to the streets for some cultural festivities

Taste of Lawrence

  • What: The East end’s biggest food and cultural festivals returns this month. The annual Taste of Lawrence celebration takes place over the July 8 weekend, featuring local flavours, vendors and lots of family fun.
  • Where: Lawrence Avenue East, from Warden Ave to Birchmount Road
  • When: July 8 to 10

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.
  • Where: St. Clair Avenue West, between Winona Drive and Christie Street
  • When: July 9 to 10

Toronto Caribbean Carnival

  • What: Our fave summer festival, Toronto Caribbean Carnival (formerly Caribana) is a three-week cultural celebration of everything Caribbean. Don’t miss the parade on July 30.
  • Where: Various locations
  • When: July 5 to August 1

UNITY Festival

  • What: Every July, UNITY Festival celebrates hip-hop diversity in a four day event incorporating beatbox, dance, concerts, and spoken word.
  • Where: Multiple locations
  • When: July 20 to 23

Festival of India

  • What: Splashing some spiritual culture into the city, the 44th Annual Festival of India returns on July 16 for two days of nourishing festivities.
  • Where: Parade – Yonge Street beginning at Bloor and continuing south to Queens Quay
    Celebrations – Centre Island
  • When: July 16 to 17

Festival of South Asia

  • What: The largest Indian Bazaar in North America, the Festival of South Asia includes food, cultural entertainment, shopping, storytime, and more.
  • Where: Gerrard Street E. between Greenwell & Coxwood Avenue
  • When: July 16 to 17

York-Eglinton International Street Festival

  • What: Organized by the York-Eglinton BIA, the street festival incorporates the local businesses and presents visitors a vibrant international market in the heart of the city.
  • Where: Eglinton Avenue West, between Marlee Ave and Dufferin Street
  • When: August 13 to 14

Taste of Manila

  • What: Canada’s largest Filipino street festival returns to Little Manila with all its deliciousness and cultural festivities.
  • Where: Bathurst and Wilson
  • When: August 20 to 21

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 16 to 18

Roncesvalles Polish Festival

  • What: Because summer shouldn’t end. North America’s largest celebration of Polish culture in Toronto’s best neighbourhood, hopefully under warm sunny skies.
  • Where: Roncesvalles Avenue from Queen Street W to Dundas Street W
  • When: September 17 to 18

Food and brews under the sunshine

Craft Beer Passport

  • What: We love passports filled with stamps, and the Craft Beer Passport allows us to do that with beers all over the city. If you haven’t grabbed yours yet, it’s not too late. Check out the details here.
  • Where: Various locations
  • When: Passport valid until November 30

Taste of Asia

  • What: Each summer, Markham celebrates Taste of Asia, a mix of cultural performances, awesome food, sports, and much more. The free event is family friendly.
  • Where: Kennedy Road, just north of Steeles Avenue E
  • When: June 25 to 26

Toronto Ribfest

  • What: Christmas for ribs lovers! The 16th annual Ribfest is set to take the stage, and Rotary Etobicoke invites you to join. The event offers a KidzZone, two stages, and lots of ribs.
  • Where: Centennial Park, 256 Centennial Park Rd
  • When: June 30 to July 3 from 11 am to 11 pm

Summerlicious

What: Tons of the city’s finest restaurants take part in this prix fixe food event.
Where: Over 200 of Toronto’s favourite restaurants
When: July 8 to 24

TO Food Fest

What: More celebrations and more food await mid summer at the TO Food Fest.
Where: Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, 5183 Sheppard Avenue East
When: July 9 to 10

Summer Craft Beer Fest

What: Discover some craft beer while enjoying the hot summer nights of Toronto, in one of the city’s beloved neighbourhoods.
Where: 171 Liberty Street E
When: July 14 from 5 to 10 pm

Waterfront Night Market

What: The annual T&T Waterfront Night Market is back and attendees can expect the awesome outdoor culinary experience along with all the night market awesomeness.
Where: 185 Cherry Street, Toronto
When: July 22 to 24

Toronto’s Festival of Beer

What: Toronto’s Festival of Beer is home to over 60 brewers featuring more than 300 brands from all over the world.
Where: Bandshell Park, Exhibition Place
When: July 22 to 24

Hart House Craft Beer Festival

  • What: From beer, to beer. The Hart House Craft Beer Festival is all about beer sampling and BBQs.
  • Where: Hart House, 7 Hart House Circle, Toronto
  • When: July 28 at 7 pm

PanAmerican Food Festival

  • What: We really are a city all about food. The fourth annual Pan American Food Festival showcases the best food products while celebrating cultural diversity of the Americas.
  • Where: Yonge-Dundas Square
  • When: August 13 to 14

Toronto Food Truck Festival

  • What: Three food truck festivals are taking place between July and September. The first is at Woodbine Park, second is at Pickering’s Esplanade Park, and the third is at the Richmond Greens in Richmond Hill.
  • Where: Three locations across the GTA
  • When: Toronto July 29 to 31, Pickering August 5 to 7, and Richmond Hill September 3 to 4

Krinos Taste of the Danforth

  • 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 23rd year.
  • Where: Danforth Avenue
  • When: August 5 to  7

Toronto Vegan Food & Drink Festival

  • What: All vegan food and drink festival with lots of comfort food, craft bevies, and artists.
  • Where: Fort York & Garrison Common, 250 Fort York Boulevard
  • When: August 13 from 11 am to 7 pm

The Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival

  • What: Hosted by Toronto’s beloved Steam Whistle Brewing, the Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival  samples the province’s finest brews with the accompaniment of some of the city’s best food trucks.
  • Where: Roundhouse Park, Toronto
  • When: August 13 to 14

Hot & Spicy Food Festival

  • What: Savour the flavour of the south! Southern BBQs, brass bands, and much more.
  • Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West
  • When: August 19 to 21

Sweetery Toronto

  • What: The Sweetery Toronto, bringing everything sweet and sweet people together, is back for its second year.
  • Where: David Pecaut Square, King Street between Simcoe and John
  • When: August 20 to 21

TAIWANFest

  • What: What began in 1990 as a way to introduce Taiwanese composers to the Canadian public is now an annual festival. This year’s theme is “A cultural tango with Hong Kong.”
  • Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West
  • When: August 26 to 28

Vegetarian Food Festival

  • What: Local and international chefs will delight your tastebuds with a lot of vegetarian and vegan dishes.
  • Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West
  • When: September 9 to 11

Toronto Oktoberfest

  • What: Bring out the dirndls and lederhosen! Celebrate everything Bavarian at this year’s Oktoberfest. Get eating, singing and mingling, Toronto.
  • Where: Ontario Place Parking Lot 2
  • When: September 30 to October 1

Summer isn’t complete without music festivals and block parties

Pedestrian Sunday’s in Kensington Market

  • What: The 13th 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.
  • Where: Kensington Market
  • When: Last Sunday of the Month until October

Open Roof Festival

  • What: Movies and music, Toronto’s Open Roof Festival is now in its 7th year. Ten weeks of screenings starting on June 21, taking place Wednesdays.
  • Where: 99 Sudbury Street, Toronto
  • When: June through August

Digital Dreams Festival

  • What: One of the biggest electronic music festivals returns with a massive line up including Above & Beyond, Armin Van Buuren, Bassnectar, and so much more.
  • Where: The Flats at Ontario Place, 909 Lakeshore Blvd West
  • When: July 2 to 3

Afrofest

  • What: Celebrate African music and culture in the heart of the city.
  • Where: Woodbine Park
  • When: July 9 to 10

Beaches International Jazz Festival

  • What: A festival that needs almost no introduction, the Beaches International Jazz Festival is celebrating its 28th year.
  • Where: The Beach Neighbourhood
  • When: July 2 to 24

Toronto Summer Music Festival

  • What: From jazz to classical and the Toronto Summer Music Festival. This year’s festival features the musical traditions in Great Britain – from baroque to the 20th century pop invasion.
  • Where: Koerner Hall and other venues
  • When: July 14 to August 7

Wayhome

  • What: Only one of the summer’s biggest music festivals. Line up includes LCD Soundsystem, Arcade Fire, The Killers and Major Lazer. Camping and music is what summer is all about.
  • Where: Burl’s Creek Event Grounds, 180 8th Line South, Oro-Medonte
  • When: July 22 to 24

Big on Bloor Festival

  • What: A festival of arts and culture, Big on Bloor is a unique summer street fest. Two car-free days in the heart of the west end.
  • Where: Bloor Street between Dufferin & Lansdowne
  • When: July 23 to 24

Irie Music Festival

  • What: The TD Irie Music Festival has been held since 2002 in collaboration with the Toronto Urban Music Festival. Irie offers Toronto some awesome reggae, world music and gospel.
  • Where: Nathan Phillips Square
  • When: July 30 to 31

Veld Music Festival

  • What: And if reggae isn’t your forte, the long weekend at the end of the July offers up Veld Music Festival too. Headliners include Toronto’s own Deadmau5, Flume, Kygo, and Travis Scott.
  • Where: Downsview Park
  • When: July 30 to 31

OVO Fest

  • What: Them boys up to something presents Drake’s Summer Sixteen tour with Future, Roy Woods, DVSN, and more. We hope, and expect, a lot more surprises for our very own fest.
  • Where: Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
  • When: July 31 to August 1

TIME Festival

  • What: Embrace brings us Joey Bada$$, Run The Jewels, Kehlani, and so. much. more. Make sure to check out one of our local faves, CRSB.
  • Where: Fort York Garrison Common, 100 Garrison Road
  • When: August 6 at noon

Jerkfest

  • What: Arts, crafts, cultural entertainment, and a lot of food.
  • Where: Centennial Park, at the base of Ski Hills, Etobicoke
  • When: August 5 to 7

Reggae Fest

  • What: Reggae on the pier, we’re so down.
  • Where: Polson Pier Outdoor Lot, 11 Polson Street
  • When: August 15 to 16

Mad Decent Block Party

  • What: The annual music block party hits Toronto in August. Headliners include Diplo, Marshmello, Grandtheft, and Louis The Child. Note, this event is 18+.
  • Where: Fort Garrison Commons, 100 Garrison Road
  • When: August 19 at 3 pm

Southside Shuffle

  • What: The 18th annual Port Credit Blues and BBQ festival has free entertainment along with ticketed events, and of course, lots of food.
  • Where: Memorial Park, Mississauga
  • When: September 9 to 11

Taste of the Kingsway

  • What: Head West for this year’s Taste of the Kingsway and discover international cuisines, fresh food, and check out a ton of entertainment.
  • Where: The Kingsway (Bloor Street West between Prince Edward Drive and Montgomery Road)
  • When: September 9 to 11

Toronto Craft Beer Cruise

  • What: Boats and booze are always a great mix for summer days. Keep summer going in September at the Toronto Craft Brew Cruise. Two sailings available, at 2 pm and 7 pm.
  • Where: 333 Lakeshore Boulevard
  • When: September 10

Toronto Craft Beer Week

  • What: Who said September is boring? Toronto Beer Week starts on September 16, and will give you a full week of brews and events to fill your fall heart desires.
  • Where: Various locations
  • When: September 16 to 24

Enjoy the great outdoors

Terry Fox Run

  • What: All across the country, the Terry Fox run takes place in September. Register soon!
  • Where: Various locations
  • When: September 18

Yoga in the park

  • What: Take part in a yoga class outdoors.
  • Where: Various outdoor locations
  • When: Various dates, check their Facebook page for details

Go Camping

  • What: Actually, go camping. Grab your tent, pack and hit the outdoors.
  • Where: Any of Ontario’s camp grounds
  • When: Whenever you are able to!

Toronto Colour Festival

  • What: Although the date has been confirmed, a location is yet to be determined at the time of publication. The Toronto Colour Festival is the biggest explosion of colour at one event.
  • Where: TBA
  • When: August 28 at noon

Arts around the 6ix

Shakespeare in the Ruff

  • What: We love Shakespeare, and there’s more Shakespearean inspiration at Shakespeare in the Ruff. Site-Specific comedy using Shakespearean text and female poets.
  • Where: Walter Saunders Park
  • When: June 22 to 26

Toronto Fringe Festival

  • What: Over 150 shows and over 30 venues, and more than 1100 performers, the Fringe Fest is dance, arts, buskers, performers, and much more.
  • Where: Various venues
  • When: June 29 to July 10

Shakespeare in High Park

  • What: A very Toronto theatre experience, in the heart of High Park. In its 34th year, Toronto’s High Park and Canadian Stages presents Shakespeare’s Hamlet and All’s Well That Ends Well.
  • Where: High Park Ampitheatre, 1873 Bloor Street W
  • When: June 30 to September 4

SummerWorks: Performance Festival

  • What: Canada’s largest curated performance festival of theatre, dance, music and live art is back, and runs for 10 days along Queen Street West.
  • Where: Various venues
  • When: August 4 to 14

Toronto International Film Festival

  • What: Besides all the films, one of our favourite times to party in the city is TIFF!
  • Where: Various venues
  • When: September 8 to 18

Keep the fun going

Honda Indy Toronto

  • What: Celebrating 30 years of racing on the streets of Toronto, the Honda Indy Toronto is taking over in July. It’s fast and furious in the city on that weekend.
  • Where: Exhibition Place
  • When: July 15 to 17

Rogers Cup

  • What: Toronto is the centre of the tennis world as the Rogers Cup returns.
  • Where: Aviva Centre
  • When: July 23 to 31

Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)

  • What: No summer is complete without a visit to the EX! Get some food, and win some ridiculously large prizes.
  • Where: 210 Princes’ Boulevard
  • When: August 19 to September 5

Fan Expo Canada

  • What: Fandom at its best! From comics, to sci-fi, horror and gaming, all under one massive roof. Guests this year include John Cusak and Stan Lee.
  • Where: Metro Toronto Convention Centre
  • When: September 1 to 4

Canadian International Air Show

  • What: Presented by the CNE, the Canadian International Air Show is the largest and longest running aviation display in North America.
  • Where: Off the Canadian National Exhibition grounds over Lake Ontario
  • When: September 3 to 5

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DH Toronto Staff

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