32 FREE events worth checking out in Toronto this August

Jul 30 2019, 4:23 pm

Take advantage of the remaining warm days of summer this month without breaking the bank.

From family-friendly activities to outdoor movie screenings and food festivals, we’ve rounded up the top 32 free events taking place throughout the city this August.

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Union Summer Market

Union Summer Market

Union Station/Facebook

What: The open-air market situated on the doorstep of Toronto’s Union Station returns to the city this summer. The outdoor marketplace promises to “showcase the best of Toronto’s eclectic culture, talent and spirit with a curated mix of local food vendors and entertainment.”

When: On now until August 3
Time: Monday to Wednesday, 11 am to 9 pm; Thursday to Saturday, 11 am to 10 pm; Sunday, 11 am to 6 pm
Where: Union Station – 65 Front Street West
Price: Entry is free

Yoga Classes at The Bentway

What: You’ll be able to balance yourself out every week at The Bentway’s free yoga classes this summer. The weekly yoga classes are run by Tribe Fitness and go every Sunday from mid-June to the end of August. Just remember to bring your own mat!

When: Every Sunday until August 25
Time:  7 pm to 8 pm
Where: 250 Fort York Blvd.
Price: Free, but you must bring your own mat

Sunday Social Series

What: Kicking off on the same day as the Bentway Block Party is the first Sunday of the second season of the Bentway’s Sunday Social Series. The Social Series will present a space for socializing with friends new and old around oversized lounge chairs and picnic tables every Sunday all summer long. Canadian music mag Exclaim! will be presenting plenty of live music, Pilot Coffee and SPIN will be serving food, drinks and bar service, and, like the Block Party, ping pong tables will also be on-site.

When: Every Sunday until August 25
Time: Noon to 9 pm
Where: The Bentway, 250 Fort York Blvd
Price: Free to attend

City Cinema

What: This summer, you can enjoy free weekly movies in the heart of downtown Toronto at Yonge-Dundas Square. Running until August 27, Yonge-Dundas Square will once again bring an outdoor film series, City Cinema, but this time, with a hilarious live twist. Every Tuesday, City Cinema will host a live performance by The Second City before screening the funniest films featuring The Second City alumni John Candy, Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, Mike Myers, and more.

When: Every Tuesday through August 27
Time: 8:30 pm
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square
Price: Free

UpMarket: The Floral Edit


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What: For the second summer in a row, UpMarket returns to The Lane in Yorkville Village. Every Wednesday during summer, you can shop from a highly curated selection of local vendors offering handmade creations, gourmet foods, and unique gifts.

When: On now through August 28
Time: 11 am to 2 pm
Where: The Lane, Yorkville Village
Price: Free to attend

Indie Fridays

What: Not only is Yonge-Dundas Square hosting free movies and free yoga this summer, it will also be the site of free concerts. The Square’s free indie concert series kicks off on Friday, June 28 and will run for ten weeks until August 30. With the launch of Chevrolet’s new music discovery program, Chevy Music, this year’s series is set to be the biggest and best yet.

When: Every Friday through August 30
Time: 8 pm
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square
Price: Free

Music in the Park

What: The Beach Village BIA presents the third annual summer Music in the Park Series. The series takes place in Kew Gardens in the Alex Christie Bandshell, in the heart of The Beaches. The series has been carefully curated to feature some of the Toronto and Canada’s best performers, spanning multiple genres.

When: Every Sunday until August 31
2 pm to 4 pm
Where: Kew Gardens in the Alex Christie Bandshell
Price: Admission is free

Yoga in the Square

What: It’s almost time to get your stretch on. Because Yoga in the Square is officially returning to Yonge-Dundas square in June. The popular downtown Toronto hub is teaming up with lululemon for the second year in a row to bring the city free, weekly community yoga sessions.

When: On Monday’s now through September 2
Time: 12 pm to 1 pm
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square
Price: Free to participate

Summer Music in the Park


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What: This summer, head to Bloor-Yorkville and snag a seat by the ‘big rock and enjoy some incredible live music that ranges from jazz to traditional Cuban and Greek and Celtic.

When: On now through September 7 (Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)
Time: Fridays, 11:30 am to 2:30 pm; Saturdays, 11:30 am to 2:30 pm; Sundays (only in July and August), 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Where: Village of Yorkville Park, Bellair and Cumberland streets
Price: Free

Summer Music in the Garden

What:  The Summer Music in the Garden concert series will kick off in honour of the Toronto Music Garden’s 20th anniversary, and will feature 18 free concerts of classical, traditional and world music, including a concert on August 25 that will feature the Music Garden’s “theme song,” Bach’s Suite no. 1 in G Major for solo cello.

When: Thursdays and Sundays through September 15
Time: Thursdays, 7 pm; Sundays, 4 pm
Where: 479 Queens Quay West
Price: Free to attend

Kensington Market Flea

What: Starting this Saturday, the weekly Kensington Market Flea kicks off. During the market, visitors will see plenty of independent vendors and artisans from across the city. You can check out plenty of handmade items, art, vintage clothing, records, and other locally designed goods.

When: Every Saturday until September 21
Time: 11 am to 6 pm
Where: 214 Augusta Ave, the rear outdoor area of El Gordo Foods
Price: Free to attend

Evergreen Brick Works Saturday Markets

What: The Evergreen Brick Works Saturday market has grown to become the largest farmers’ market in Toronto. Here you’ll find a wide variety of local and seasonal food from local farmers and producers.

When: Every Saturday during summer
Time: 8 am to 1 pm
Where: 550 Bayview Avenue
Price: Admission is free

The Distillery District Sunday Market



What: If you’re looking to splurge on some tasty treats, hit up this market happening every Sunday until the end of September. Vendors selling cured meats, organic preserves, ready-to-eat treats, and handmade gourmet chocolates are just some of the things you can feast on. And of course, you’ll be able to shop for all sorts of artisan crafts.

When: Every Sunday through September 29
Time: 12 pm to 5 pm
Where: Distillery District
Price: Free admission

Movie Nights in The Beach Village

What: Movie Nights are back for 2019! Join The Beach Village for Movie Nights in the Park. Movies will be played on large projector screens beginning at dusk and alternating each Wednesday between Kew Gardens and Ivan Forrest Gardens. Here’s the full schedule.

When: Every Wednesday: August 7, 14, 21, and 28
Time: Roughly 9 pm
Where: Kew Gardens and Ivan Forrest Gardens Park
Price: Free

Caribana Weekend

What: Now in its 52nd year, Caribana weekend will take over Toronto this August for a massive, city-wide celebration featuring Caribbean music, dance, costume, parties, and food.

When: August 1 to 4
Where: Multiple venues
Price: Varies by event

Indonesian Street Festival

What: This month, you can immerse yourself in Indonesia’s rich culture as you enjoy an afternoon of free family-fun at Yonge-Dundas Square. Guests can look forward to Indonesian dance, food, music, martial arts, and more.

When: August 4
Time: 10 am to 6 pm
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square
Price: Admission is free

Myseum and Duke Redbird present Eagle Drum Girl


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What: As part of the Wigwam Chi-Chemung installation and Indigenous learning centre at Ontario Place this summer, Myseum and Duke Redbird host the third event instalment Eagle Drum Girl this month. Inspired by the teachings of Elder Dr. Duke Redbird, Young People’s Theatre will perform staged reading excerpts from Duke’s play Eagle Drum Girl. Following the performance, Duke will lead a talk on the original spirit of engagement and treaties between Indigenous nations and the Government of Canada.

When: August 5
Time: 1 pm to 2:30 pm
Where: Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail, and South Marina, Ontario Place, 955 Lake Shore Blvd. West
Price: Free to attend

Regent Park Film Festival

What: Starting in July, Under The Stars returns to Regent Park for the sixth year in a row, showing widely-loved films that prominently feature Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour on screen. Each week, there will be a pre-show before the film with family-friendly activities that change week to week.

When: August 7 and 14
Time: Pre-show begins at 7 pm
Where: Regent Park, 585 Dundas Street East
Price: Free

Pizza in the Park with Pizzeria Libretto, Banjara & Beau’s

What: The community pizza night promises Neapolitan pizzas from Pizzeria Libretto, veggie dishes from Banjara Indian Cuisine, Greek pastries from Filosophy Espresso Bar, Syrian treats from Newcomer Kitchen, and refreshments from Angie’s Juicery.

When: August 8
Time: From 6 pm to 8 pm,
Where: Christie Pits Park, 750 Bloor Street West
Price: Free admission

Bell Manor Park Summer Movies

What: For the first year, the Toronto Outdoor Picture Show will be offering screenings at Bell Manor Park. The Dynamic Duo theme stretches to this location as well, and a full list of films is soon to be announced.

When: Beginning August 8 and runs until August 22
Time: Films begin at sundown
Where: Bell Manor Park, 1 Bayside Lane
Price: Free, but donations are accepted

Krinos Taste of the Danforth

Taste of the Danforth festival

Taste of the Danforth/Facebook

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 26th year. The festival shuts down a large portion of Danforth Avenue with plenty of Greek-style eats, vendors, and all-around good times.

When: August 9 to 11
Time: Friday, 6 pm to 12 am; Saturday, 12 pm to 12 am; Sunday, 12 pm to 10 pm
Where: Danforth Avenue
Price: Free to attend

Tequila Rose presents “Girls Night Out”

What: On August 9, Love Child Social House will be taken over by a sea of pink, encouraging guests to explore their senses through Tequila Rose infused desserts, foods, and cocktails. This is a one-of-a-kind social experience for those looking to have a great time, meet new people, play some games, win some prizes and get some beauty tips.

When: August 9
Time: 7 pm to 10 pm
Where: Love Child Social House, 69 Bathurst Street
Price: Admission is free

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.

When: August 9 to 11
Where: Ontario Place
Price: Admission is free, but tickets are required for the beer garden


What: Ghanafest returns to Toronto for an afternoon filled with traditional food, language lessons, games, arts, culinary, dance, a cultural fashion show, performers, and much more.

When: August 10
Time: 10 am to 8 pm
Where: Earl Bales Park, 4169 Bathurst Street
Price: Admission is free

Sweetery Toronto

Free events

Sweetery Toronto / Facebook

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.

When: August 10 and 11
Time: Saturday, 12 pm to 11 pm; Sunday, 12 pm to 9 pm
Where: David Pecaut Square, King Street between Simcoe and John
Price: Free to attend

Corona X Parley Cleanup

What: This summer, Corona and Parley will be cleaning up 50 shorelines across Canada to alleviate pollution from 850K square metres of shoreline. And this August, you can head to Sunnyside Beach and be a part of making a REAL difference. To reward participants for helping out, there will be a Corona x Parley themed celebration after the cleanup at Sunnyside Pavillion, complete with a local DJ, beachside eats, and a Corona “Pay with Plastic” Beach Bar.

When: August 17
Time: 9 am to 2 pm
Where: 1755 Lakeshore Blvd. West
Price: Free to participate

Toronto Chinatown Festival

What: The 19th annual Toronto Chinatown Festival takes place this month and will feature delicious Asian food, cultural performances, and FREE walking tour in Chinatown.

When: August 17 and 18
Time: Saturday, 12 pm to 11 pm; Sunday, 11 am to 8 pm
Where: Chinatown, west side of Spadina Avenue
Price: No cost to attend

Open Streets TO

What: Open Streets TO returns to the city again this summer, for two weekends of car-free afternoons of fun. Taking place in August and September, this family-friendly event is bringing back the largest free recreation program in Canada and will be shutting down parts of Toronto’s Bloor Street and Yonge Street to host the festivities.

When: August 18
Time: 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Bloor and Yonge Streets
Price: Free to attend

TAIWANfest 2019

Free events


What: TAIWANfest is making a very welcome return to Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre this August. The annual public event celebrates, shares, and exchanges culture and heritage between communities and provides a stage for guests to learn, share, and foster new artistic expressions. Attendees can expect a wide array of visual, culinary, and theatric arts, workshops and demonstrations for all ages, mesmerizing performances, and tantalizing cuisine.

When: August 23 to 25
Time: Friday, 6 pm to 10 pm; Saturday, 12 pm to 10 pm; Sunday, 12 pm to 6 pm
Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West
Price: Admission is free

Kensington Market Pedestrian Sunday

What: The 16th season of Pedestrian Sundays brings back one awesome way to spend your Sundays this over the coming months. Performers, musicians, artists, and shopping, basically an awesome Sunday Funday.

When: August 25
Time: 12 pm to 7 pm
Where: Kensington Market
Price: Free

MOCA Community Sundays

What: The Museum of Contemporary Art is offering the perfect way to escape the city by offering free admission to all visitors on one Sunday each month so they can check out all the new exhibits.

When: August 25
Where: MOCA – 158 Sterling Road, Toronto
Time: One Sunday monthly from 10 am to 2 pm
Tickets: You can reserve your free tickets online


What: Clear your calendars Toronto, the 20th annual BuskerFest will soon be here. Get ready for non-stop, action-packed, fun-filled entertainment over the Labour Day weekend. During this year’s festival, guests can enjoy exciting performances from over a hundred comedians, escape-artists, sword-swallowers, musicians, magicians, fire jugglers, acrobats, clowns, and daredevils.

When: August 30 to September 2
Time: 12 pm to 8 pm
Where: Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen Street East, Toronto
Price: Donations encouraged