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Summer, Events

76 amazing events and festivals in Toronto to check out this summer

34ebb2af22455a35a1db132fda1eacd1?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Erin Davis Jun 21, 2018 10:53 am 6,421

The easy, breezy days of summer have finally rolled in, complete with short Fridays (if you’re doing it properly), freshly opened swimming pools, and – most importantly – an abundance of events of all varieties.

There’s no point in paying Toronto’s sky-high living costs if you’re not going to take advantage of all the sounds, tastes, and visual stimulation that the city has to offer – especially in the summer.

To help your cause, we’ve compiled a comprehensive roundup of 76 Toronto summer events and festivals so you can make the most of the city all summer long.

Cultural Festivals in Toronto

road closures

Toronto Caribbean Carnival/Shutterstock

Toronto Japanese Film Festival

What: Now in its seventh year, the Toronto Japanese Film Festival showcases the finest Japanese films that have been recognized for excellence as chosen by Japanese audiences and critics, international film festival audiences, and the Japanese Film Academy.
Where:  Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, 6 Garamond Court
When: Now until June 28, 1 pm to 7:30 pm

Taste of Lawrence

What: The east end’s biggest food and cultural festival returns this summer to help with your summer weekend fun. The annual Taste of Lawrence celebration takes place over the July 7 weekend, featuring over 130 vendors serving up local flavours, midway rides, and live music.
Where: Lawrence Avenue East, from Warden Ave to Birchmount Road
When: July 6 to 8

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 sizzling summer weeks, featuring music, amazing food, dance, and family events.
Where: St. Clair Avenue West, between Winona Drive and Christie Street
When: July (various dates)

Toronto Caribbean Carnival

What: Now in its 51st year, the Toronto Caribbean Carnival (formerly Caribana, which many still call it) is a five-week cultural celebration featuring Caribbean music, dance, costume, parties, and food.
Where: Various locations throughout the city
When: July 7 to August 12

Festival of India

What: Infusing the city with a dose of colourful and spiritual culture, the 45th Annual Festival of India returns this July for two days of nourishing festivities. The event will begin with a vibrant, high-energy parade down Yonge Street, followed by a day of festivities for the entire family.
Where: Various locations throughout the city
When: July 14 and 15

Brazilfest

What: Now in its 15th year, Toronto’s Brazilfest offers a day of stimulation overload with authentic Brazilian performances and Brazilian-style food.
Where: Earlscourt Park, 1200 Lansdowne Ave
When: July 22, 11 am to 10 pm

Anatolia Fest

What: Celebrate Turkish Culture in all of its vibrant glory in downtown Toronto. This free event will feature Turkish folk dance, foods, and live music.
Where: Dundas Square, 1 Dundas East
When: Sunday, August 5, 9 am to 11 pm

Toronto Ukrainian Festival

What: CCloseoutwhat will surely be an epic summer with a three-day entertainment experience celebrating the Ukrainian Canadian community. From music to food, this massive Bloor West festival is definitely worth checking out.
Where: Bloor West Village
When: September 14 to 16

Roncesvalles Polish Festival

What: Kiss the summer goodbye with an afternoon spent at North America’s largest celebration of Polish culture in one of Toronto’s most vibrant neighbourhoods. You can expect local and international music; 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
When: September 15 and 16

Food and Drink Events

Toronto Craft Beer Festival

Toronto Craft Beer Festival/Facebook

Toronto Craft Beer Festival

What: Summer and craft beer are pretty much synonymous. Turning Ontario Place into a massive beer garden, Toronto Craft Beer Festival is a craft beer aficionado’s dream. You can expect refreshing indie brews, live music, and sizzling food vendors.
When: June 22 to 24
Where: West Island of Ontario Place, 955 Lake Shore Boulevard West

TD Taste of Asia

What: This three-day festival is worth the journey a little out of the city. You can expect non-stop multicultural foods, over 150 booths to cater to your taste buds and curiosity, and plenty of performances.
Where: Milliken Mills, Kennedy Road and Steeles Ave
When: June 22 to 24

Toronto Ribfest

What: There are few better ways to enjoy a summer’s day than with some mouth-watering ribs and quality beer to wash it down with. The 18th annual Ribfest returns, and Rotary Etobicoke invites you to join. The event offers a Kid Zone, two stages, and as many ribs as your heart desires.
Where: Etobicoke Centennial Park
When: June 29 to July 2, 11 am to 8 pm

Summerlicious

What: For two mouth-watering weeks in July, Toronto’s foodies and wannabe foodies can savour delicious prix fixe dishes from over 200 of the city’s finest restaurants.
Where: Various restaurants throughout the city
When: July 6 to 22

Pizza Fest

What: Pizza Fest will celebrate everything Italian especially, of course, pizza. The much-anticipated event will see a citywide showdown to crown Toronto’s best slice, but it’s not all about pizza. Italian favourites like fresh pasta and meatballs will be in abundance to pair with classic Italian wines and cocktails.
Where: Ontario Place
When: July 20 to 22

Fusion of Taste

What: This one-day festival of everything food-related will feature over 40 diverse food vendors, a food eating contest, local performances, a kid zone, buskers, and much more.
Where: Albion Road and Islington Ave, 2621 Islington Ave
When: July 29, 12 pm to 9:30 pm

Budweiser County Fair

What: The second annual Budweiser County Fair 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 20, 5 pm to 11 pm; July 21, 12 pm to 11 pm

Burlington Food Truck Festival

What: The Canadian Food Truck Festival will hit Burlington for the second year. The weekend event takes place in July and will feature food trucks of all varieties from across Southern Ontario as well as live performers.
Where: Spencer Smith Park, 1400 Lakeshore Road
When: July 20, 5 pm to 11 pm; July 21, noon to 11 pm; July 22, 12 pm to 9 pm

Toronto’s Festival of Beer

What: Hosted by the Beer Store, Toronto’s Festival of Beer is home to over 60 brewers featuring more than 300 brands from all over the world. Also to enjoy is quality live music that includes acts like Broken Social Scene, Ludacris, Finger Eleven, and I Mother Earth.
Where: Bandshell Park Exhibition Place, 200 Princes’ Blvd
When: July 26 to 29

The Rosé Picnic

What: For one day only, you can enjoy #roseallday as Stanley Barracks at the sleek, luxurious new Hotel X fills with blankets, flowing rosé, and some of the best food in the city. The Rosé Picnic has parented with celebrity Toronto chef Mark McEwan, so you’ll have baskets of delicious food to choose from.
Where: Stanley Barracks at Hotel X
When: August 11, 12 pm to 6 pm

Toronto Food Truck Festival

What: Returning to the Toronto Beaches, this Instagram-worthy food truck festival fills Woodbine Park with all the food truck-made goodness of all the varieties that you didn’t know you were missing in your life. In addition to street foods, you can expect (or brace yourself) for live-eating challenges and other on-site entertainment.
Where: Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen Street East
When: August 3, 5 pm to 10 pm; August 4, noon to 10 pm; August 5, noon to 8 pm; August 6, noon to 8 pm

Pickering Food Truck Festival

What: Come August, the Pickering Food Truck Festival turns a park into a foodie’s dream with food trucks that cater to all tastes and dietary needs, a beer garden, games, and live music.
Where: The Esplanade Park, 1 The Esplanade, Pickering, Ontario
When: August 10, 5 pm to 9 pm; August 11, noon to 9 pm; August 12, noon to 8 pm

The Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival

What: Hosted by Toronto’s beloved Steam Whistle Brewing, the Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival offers a chance to sample Ontario’s finest brews, accompanied by an assortment of gourmet from some of the city’s best food trucks.
Where: Roundhouse Park, 255 Bremner Blvd
When: August 11 and 12, noon to 6 pm

Waterfront Night Market

What: The annual T&T Waterfront Night Market is back for another stimulation-filled run and attendees can expect the always delicious and unique outdoor culinary experience along with all the night market awesomeness.
Where: Hearn Generating Station, 440 Unwin Ave
When: August 10 to 12

Krinos Taste of the Danforth

What: One of Toronto’s most famous summer events year after year, The Krinos Taste of the Danforth, is Canada’s largest street festival and is back for its 25th year. The festival shuts down a large portion of Danforth Avenue with plenty of Greek-style eats, vendors, and all-around good times.
Where: Danforth Avenue
When: August 10 to 12

Beer, Bourbon & BBQ 

What: Fire up the BBQ! More than 17,000 attendees will close out the summer at this one-of-a-kind event featuring one of the most celebrated forms of cooking, BBQ. Guests will taste the best from the BBQ pit and enjoy ice cold beer and refreshing bourbon cocktails while listening to live country music and joining in on line dancing, axe throwing and mechanical bull riding.
Where: Ontario Place
Where: August 24 to 26

Pan American Food Festival

What: Proving yet again that we really are a city all about food (especially in the summer), the sixth annual Pan American Food Festival showcases the best food products while celebrating the cultural diversity of the Americas.
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square
When: August 25 to 26

dessert festival

sally.eats/Instagram

Sweetery Toronto

What: This one is for those with a sweet tooth. The Sweetery Toronto is Canada’s largest sweets festival, bringing everything sweet together for its fourth year – from ice cream and candy to pastries.
Where: David Pecaut Square, King Street between Simcoe and John
When: August 11 to 12

CNE Food Truck Frenzy

What: The only thing better than a day at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is one that adds food trucks to the equation. Situated on Princes’ Boulevard just inside the historic Princes’ Gates, the Frenzy returns for another year of extreme carnival eats.
Where: CNE Grounds, 210 Princes’ Boulevard
When: Dates to be confirmed; during the CNE run August 17 to September 3 

Toronto Vegan Food and Drink Festival

What: You don’t have to be a die-hard vegan to enjoy the Toronto Vegan Food & Drink Festival (no, really!). Here, you’ll find no shortage of comfort food, craft bevies, music and more.
Where: Fort York & Garrison Common, 250 Fort York Boulevard
When: August 11 and 12, 11 am to 7 pm

Richmond Hill Food Truck Festival

What: The largest park in Toronto’s Richmond Hill suburb plays host to this food truck rally and family-friendly festival in August. 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: August 18 and 19, 12 pm to 8 pm

Toronto Cider Festival

What: This year’s Toronto Cider Festival will showcase an assortment of refreshing and amazing ciders paired with delicious food, live entertainment, and local Canadian talent, offering a no-fail way to wrap what will be an epic summer.
Where: Sherbourne Common, 61 Dockside Drive
When: August 24 and 25

Leslieville Beer Fest

What: Come and bid farewell to summer at this beer-filled, old fashion neighbourhood street party. Ticket are $25 and include three beer tokens and a beer mug (because you can never have enough beer mugs).
Where: Dundas Street East
When: August 25, 1 pm to 8 pm

Hot & Spicy Food Festival

What: Savour the flavour of the south as you wrap up a sizzling summer with all the spice. This free food festival features Southern BBQs, brass bands, celebrity chefs, and much more.
Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West
When: September 1 to 4

Vegetarian Food Festival

What: Local and international chefs will delight your taste buds with all the vegetarian and vegan dishes you didn’t know you were missing in your life.
Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West
When: September 7 to 9

Toronto Garlic Festival

What: Taste comforting garlic-themed dishes paired with Ontario craft beer and wine at this not-to-miss garlic themed festival. Attendees can enjoy sweet and savoury garlic-inspired dishes from close to two-dozen chefs, and meet farmers, cooks, artists and garlic historians.
Where: Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street
When: Sunday, September 16

Toronto Oktoberfest

What: Dust off the dirndls and lederhosen! Celebrate everything Bavarian (and the final days of warmth) at this year’s Oktoberfest in Toronto. It’s time to eat, sing, and mingle like the Germans do, Toronto.
Where: Ontario Place Parking Lot 2
When: September 27 to 29

Music Festivals and Block Parties

electric island

WLSN SZTO of DED AGENCY(Electric Island/Facebook)

Electric Island

What: Put on your dancing shoes, hop on the ferry, and get ready to get down to the sounds of Toronto’s biggest electronic DJs. Helping your Sunday Funday cause with a party every long weekend, Electric Island is now in full force.
Where: Toronto Island
When: Now until September 3

Irie Music Festival

What: The TD Irie Music Festival has been a staple celebration in Toronto since 2002, in collaboration with the Toronto Urban Music Festival. Irie offers Toronto some awesome reggae, world music, and gospel to life those summer spirits.
Where: Mississauga Celebration Square
When: July 22 and 23

Dreams Music Festival

What: For the electronic music and neon loving-set, Dreams Music Festival (formerly Digital Dreams) is a must-attend high-energy affair, as long as you rest up well beforehand (and afterwards).
Where: Echo Beach
When: June 23 to 24

Beaches International Jazz Festival

What: For a major dose of jazz with a side of a sandy beach, hit the festival that needs almost no introduction, the Beaches International Jazz Festival. The vibrant festival is now in its 30th year.
Where: The Beach Neighbourhood
When: July 6 to 29

Afrofest

What: Celebrate African music and culture in the heart of the sizzling 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.
Where: Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen Street East
When: July 7 to 8

Toronto Summer Music Festival

What: From jazz to classical, the Toronto Summer Music Festival will explore the rich music of Canada and feature the very best of Canada’s many world-renowned classical performers. The festival is lead by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s Principal Violinist, Jonathan Crow.
Where: Venues throughout the city
When: July 12 to August 4

VELD

What: If you didn’t get enough of your electronic music fill at Dreams Festival (and are feeling particularly ambitious), you can make up for it in your costume-clad glory at the annual Veld Music Festival.
Where: Downsview Park, Downsview Park Allen Road
When: August 4 to 5

Boots and Hearts

What: Dust off your cowboy boots and cowboy hat and get ready to experience Canada’s biggest country music festival. This year’s headliners include Florida Georgia Line, Alan Jackson, and Thomas Rhett.
Where: Burl’s Creek Event Grounds, 180 8th Line South
When: August 10 to 13

Outdoor Events

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Pedestrian Sunday at Kensington Market (johannas_lens_perspectives/Instagram)

The Junction Summer Solstice

What: Say hello to the new season with a full day of music, art, outdoor patios, and shopping in one of the city’s most vibrant neighbourhoods.
Where: The Junction
When: June 23

Yoga in the Park

What: Take your practice to the park this summer, pay what you can, and enjoy yoga classes in various Toronto parks.
Where: Various outdoor locations
When: Various dates until September 30; check their Facebook page for details

Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market

What: The 15th season of Pedestrian Sundays returns to help your Sunday boho causeway this summer. The streets are closed for performers, musicians, artists, and shopping – basically an awesome Sunday Funday.
Where: Kensington Market
When: Last Sunday of the Month until October

Redpath Waterfront Festival

What: The annual Redpath Waterfront Festival promotes Toronto locally and internationally as the premier waterfront destination that it is. With music, food, nautical programs and entertainment, the Festival has something for everyone to enjoy – including a massive beach ball installation.
Where: Sherbourne Commons, 61 Dockside Drive
When: June 23 and 24

Big on Bloor Festival

What: A festival of arts and culture, Big on Bloor is a unique summer street affair that is jam-packed with hundreds of culturally significant events, activities, displays, and exhibitions.
Where: Bloor Street between Dufferin and Lansdowne
When: July 21

Jerkfest

What: Experience a weekend filled with arts, crafts, cultural entertainment, and – of course – plenty of jerk-style food of all varieties.
Where: Centennial Park, at the base of Ski Hills, Etobicoke
When: August 9 to 12

Terry Fox Run

What: All across the country, the annual Terry Fox run takes place in September to raise funds for cancer research. Register to run, find a run, or sponsor a runner and show your support.
Where: Various locations
When: September 16

Arts Festivals and Activities

Shakespeare

Shakespeare in High Park (lukesedgwick/Instagram)

The Art of Banksy

What: The much-hyped (and controversial) Banksy exhibit has finally hit Toronto.
Where: 213 Sterling Rd. 
When:
Now until August 19

Luminato

What: Now in its 12th year, this multi-arts and multi-platform event will take over David Pecaut Square for its run of free, diverse outdoor programming this June.
Where: David Pecaut Square, 215 King Street West
When: Now until June 24

The Brain Project

WhatThe Brain Project is a public art fundraising initiative where artists and designers from across North America design a brain sculpture to be placed throughout the City of Toronto. It’s all in support of Baycrest, for brain health research.
Where: Various locations throughout the city
When: July 4 to August 31

Wicked 

What: The Broadway sensation Wicked looks at what happens to Dorothy in the Land of Oz, but in a whole new way.
Where: Ed Mirvish Theatre
When: June 20 to August 5

Shakespeare in High Park

What: Toronto’s annual Shakespeare in High Park, presented by Canadian Stage, is back for another exciting summer. This summer, rediscover Shakespeare classics like Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer’s Night Dream.
Where: High Park Amphitheatre
When: June 28 to Sept 2

Toronto Fringe Festival

What: With over 60 ticketed events and over 50 free, drop-in events that include live theatre, music, dance, arts, buskers, and performances (basically, everything arts-related), there’s something for everyone at the Toronto Fringe Festival.
Where: Various venues
When: July 4 to 15

Vector Festival

What: The 2018 Vector Festival will showcase emergent, critical, and experimental new media.
Where: 950 Dupont Street
When: July 12 to 16

SummerWorks: Performance Festival

What: Canada’s largest curated performance festival of theatre, dance, music, and live art is back. It runs for 10 days along the always colourful and character-filled Queen Street West.
Where: Various venues
When: August 9 to 19

Shakespeare in the Ruff

What: Enjoy the magic of a midsummer night as you watch some quality Shakespeare between the trees in Withrow Park. Tickets are pay-what-you-can and all are welcome, even your four-legged sidekicks.
Where: Withrow Park, between Chester and Pape Street
When: August 16 to September 3

Toronto International Film Festival

What: There’s no better way to say goodbye to summer than with the city’s biggest film festival – and one of the most influential in the world. Whether you catch a flick, party hard, or go celeb spotting, there’s something for everyone at TIFF.
Where: Various venues throughout the city
When: September 6 to 16

Fun for the Entire Family

CNE

Greg Paupst/CNE

Honda Indy Toronto

What: Celebrating 32 years of racing on the streets of Toronto, the Honda Indy Toronto is taking over the Toronto in July. It’s fast and furious (and loud) in the city on that weekend.
Where: Exhibition Place, 100 Princes’ Blvd
When: July 13 to 15

Toronto International Youth Dance Festival

What: The Toronto International Youth Dance Festival will be taking over Nathan Phillips Square for three days this summer for a high-energy and colourful multi-cultural celebration of dance.
Where: Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen Street West
When: August 3 to 4

Rogers Cup

What: Toronto is the centre of the tennis world as the Rogers Cup returns for another exciting year of intense tennis matches.
Where: Aviva Centre: York University, 1 Shoreham Drive, Suite 100
When: August 4 to 12

Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)

What: No summer is complete without a visit to the EX to take in the sounds, tastes, rides, and animals. Get some food, and win some ridiculously large prizes.
Where: Canadian National Exhibition, 210 Princes’ Boulevard
When: August 17 to September 3

Fan Expo Canada

What: The Fan Expo offers costume-filled fandom at its best to end the summer on a high note! From comics to sci-fi, horror and gaming, you will find it all under one massive roof.
Where: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 222 Bremner Blvd
When: August 30 to September 2

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 1 to 3

Free Summer Movies

Sail-In Cinema

Sail-In-Cinema

Parkway Forest Park Free Movies 

What: This August, movie buffs can enjoy an impressive lineup of films at Parkway Forest Park as part of Toronto Outdoor Picture Show’s Cinematic Cities programme, a breezy, month-long series of outdoor films celebrating cities on screen, at home, and abroad.
Where: Parkway Forest Park, 80 Parkway Forest
When: Thursday evenings, August 9 to 30 (Scheduled rain date August 31)

Christie Pits Film Festival

What: Christie Pits Film Festival kicks off its new season on June 24, with a 30th-anniversary screening of the cult comedy classic Hairspray. The film festival runs until August 19, with a surprise “Closing Night” screening of an iconic urban film, which will be announced at the end of the Christie Pits Film Festival season. Although all screenings are free of charge, there is a suggested donation of $10.
Where: Christie Pits Park, 779 Crawford Ave West
When: Beginning June 24 and runs until August 19

Open Roof Festival

What: Open Roof Festival will be back for its ninth season this June, and the festival has announced it’s relocating to a new venue. Starting June 20, Open Roof Festival will feature live music and film screenings with food and drinks, every Wednesday until August 22. The venue is moving from Sudbury Street to Sterling Road in the Lower Junction Triangle near the new site of MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art).
Where:
 Sterling Road in the Lower Junction Triangle (the lot adjacent to 158 Sterling Road)
When:
 Beginning June 20 and runs until August 22

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.
Where: Corktown Common Park, 155 Bayview Avenue
When: Thursday evenings, July 5 to 26 (Scheduled rain date August 2)

Movie Night in Liberty Village Park: Black Panther

What: If you didn’t get a chance to see Black Panther in theatres yet, you’ll be able to see it at a free outdoor screening this June. That’s right, you’ll have the chance to see one of the highest grossing films of all time without breaking the bank at an epic movie night under the stars.
Where: Liberty Village Park, 70 East Liberty Street
When: Friday, June 22 at 8:30 pm

Movie Night 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.
Where: Kew Gardens and Ivan Forrest Gardens Park
When: Wednesdays in July and August

Under the Stars: The Regent Park Film Festival 

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.
Where: Regent Park (the Big Park), 620 Dundas St. E.
When: Wednesdays from July 11 to August 15

Sail-In Cinema

What: For the first time, the free movie event will be condensed into two action-packed nights that feature all of the same exciting activities, free treats and family fun enjoyed by movie-goers – both on land and in boats – over the past seven years. This year’s theme looks at life outside the ordinary with movies based on the idea of adventure “In Other Worlds.”
Where: Sugar Beach, 25 Dockside Drive
When: August 10 and 11

Sorauren Park Free Movies

What: Sorauren Park will host free movie screenings this summer, with showings happening on the fourth Saturday of every month from June to September. This year’s perks include pizza dinners before each screening from the new Sorauren Park Pizza Oven, prepared and presented by Pizzeria Defina.
Where: Sorauren Avenue Park, 289 Sorauren Ave
When: Fourth Saturday of the month, June 23 to September 22

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Erin Davis
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