22 free Toronto events to check out this September

Aug 31 2016, 12:02 pm

As summer 2016 draws to a close, we can’t help but look back at all of the memories we made…and then secretly kick ourselves for how much money we’ve spent.

Don’t get us wrong, we had an incredible summer.

But if you’re like us, you’re looking forward to giving your wallet a bit of a break.

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Luckily, we’ve lined up 22 great events you can partake in without dropping a single penny (not that they’re accepted anymore). From concerts to festivals, cultural events and art fests, September is going to be one busy month.


What: Come check out the work of 75 talented, Canadian artists and artisans at this free outdoor festival that features handmade pottery, glass, leather, jewelry, gourmet food, textiles paintings, live music and more.
Where: Distillery District
When: September 2 to 5, 11 am to 6 pm

Mabuhay Philippines Festival

What: Celebrate the Filipino-Canadian community’s contributions to the city at this incredible free festival. The festival brings together Filipino-Canadian artists, businesses and other organizations to help raise awareness about Canada’s third largest minority group.
Where: Nathan Phillips Square
When: September 3 & 4, 12 pm to 6 pm

Ashkenaz Festival 

What: Come celebrate the 11th annual Ashkenaz Festival and enjoy a weekend filled with Jewish food, music, theatre, film, entertainment, and literature. The best part? It’s all free.
Where: Harbourfront Centre
When: September 3 to 5

Dan Magnan Presented by Indie 88 and TD Union

What: Enjoy live music and delicious eats from 18 local food vendors as you say goodbye to summer 2016 with a free outdoor concert at Toronto’s #UnionSummer Festival for a free closing day concert.
Where: Union Station’s TD Summer Stage
When: September 5, 12 pm

Lunchtime Live! Featuring Lido Pimienta

What: Enjoy your lunch at this downtown square as you take in the beautiful sounds of Lido Pimienta, a Toronto-based Colombian-born artist, curator, and musician.
Where: Younge-Dundas Square
When: September 5, 12:30 pm


What: Venture downtown to the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District and check out the various kiosks and promotional booths. Whether you’re a movie buff or you just love to look for celebs, TIFF is the place to be.
Where: King Street West (Festival Street) between Peter and University
When: September 8 to 18

Taste of the Kingsway Festival

What: Grab your fork and your appetite and make your way to the Taste of the Kingsway Festival where you can enjoy plenty of international cuisines, continuous live entertainment, and fresh food.
Where: The Kingsway BIA (3029 Bloor Street West)
When: September 9 to 11

Toronto’s Veg Food Fest
What: This year marks the 32nd annual Veg Food Fest and brings together free samples, live music, cooking demonstrations, presentations, new products and scrumptious food that will change your mouth’s mind.
Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West
When: September 9 to 11

Pharrell Williams Free Concert
What: To help promote Theodore Melfi’s new feature film Hidden Figures, Pharrell will be giving a free outdoor concert.
Where: At the intersection of King and John
When: September 10

GWN Dragon Boat Challenge Presented by CIBC

What: Pack a picnic, slather on some sunscreen and head downtown to witness 10,000 Canadians race across Lake Ontario at this free event that supports the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
Where: Marilyn Bell Park
When: September 10 & 11

Toronto Bicycle Music Festival

What: Grab your bike and put on your dancing shoes and make your way to the Toronto Bicycle Music Festival, which is a yearly series of free outdoor pedal-powered concerts taking place in, and between, our city’s great community parks and streets.
Where: Along the Lower Don Trail from Evergreen Brickworks to Prairie Drive Park
When: September 10, 11 am to 6 pm

Cabbagetown Festival

What: Come celebrate Cabbagetown’s 40th birthday and enjoy plenty of local food and entertainment, which includes everything from jazz to Latin to big band to rock.
Where: Cabbagetown (Parliament Street from Wellesley south to Gerrard, and Carlton Street from Berkeley to Parliament)
When: September 10, 11 am to 10 pm & September 11, 11 am to 7 pm

AXE Collective X Vanguard Honours

What: Hosted by Grammy Award-winning singer John Legend and actor Mark Duplass, this free TIFF event honours what’s now and next in filmmaking.
Where: Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (506 Bloor Street West)
When: September 13, 9 pm

Toronto Ukranian Festival

What: Celebrate Canada’s Ukranian culture as you enjoy traditional Ukranian food, shopping, music, and entertainment.
Where: Bloor Street West, between Jane and Runnymede
When: September 16 to 18

Scotiabank World Cup of Hockey

What: The Scotiabank World Cup of Hockey Fan Village is free and will be open to the public. This attraction will feature live musical performances, big-ticket prizes and giveaways, food offerings from each of the participating tournament countries, viewing parties and the opportunity to see the World Cup of Hockey Trophy up close.
Where: Toronto’s Distillery District
When: September 16 to 25, 11 am to 10 pm

Roncesvalles Polish Festival

What: For two days only, you can join in on the fun at North America’s largest celebration of Polish culture. Enjoy Polish, international, and local food and music as you wander through one of Toronto’s most vibrant, diverse and creative communities. Make sure to bring an appetite.
Where: Roncesvalles Avenue, from Queen St. West to Dundas St. West.
When: September 17 & 18, 11 am to 11 pm

TD presents MANIFESTO Festival

What: Make your way to Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square and enjoy a totally free outdoor festival that will be featuring the best DJ crews from Toronto, with A Tribe Called Red headlining the stage. There will also be a number of dance crews performing in the square, a pop-up market, food trucks, live art and more.
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square
When: September 18, 3 pm to 11pm

Young Professionals Networking

What: Bring your A-game and your business cards and make your way to The Hip Haus’s free young professionals networking event. The Hip Haus is an organization that exists to empower young professionals in the GTA and help the growth of local business.
Where: Bloke 401 King Street West
When: September 21, 5 pm

YIMBY Festival 2016: Massively Open

What: Come join the 9th annual YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard) Festival, and check out 100 community groups from across Toronto and learn about, “what’s happening, exchange ideas and strategies to make change, and turn the tables on politicians and policy makers.”
Where: Metro Hall (55 John Street)
When: September 24, 12 pm to 4 pm

High Park Pokémon Go Tournament

What: It’s no secret that Pokémon Go has taken over the streets and parks of Toronto. For one day only, you can join the first Pokémon GO tournament in Canada. Make sure to wear your team’s colour and join in on the fun.
Where: High Park
When: September 24, 12 pm — 6 pm

Word On The Street

What: Each year, Word On The Street hosts the finest in Canadian literature and this year 200 authors will be hitting the stage to discuss all things literary at this free outdoor book and magazine festival.
Where: Harbourfront Centre
When: September 25, 11 am to 5:15 pm

Tastes Of The Hill

What: This one-of-a-kind cultural celebration is entering its 10th year anniversary and celebrates all things cultural, food, fashion, arts, sports, and entertainment from around the world.
Where: Richmond Green Park
When: September 25, 11 am to 8 pm

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