34 FREE events worth checking out in Toronto this July

Jul 2 2019, 6:08 pm

There’s no need to break the bank to have fun in the city, especially during the summer.

From the top food festivals, live music, outdoor films, cultural celebrations, and so much more, here are 34 totally free things to do in Toronto this month.

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City Cinema

Yonge-Dundas Square

Yonge-Dundas Square/Facebook

What: This summer, you can enjoy free weekly movies in the heart of downtown Toronto at Yonge-Dundas Square. From June 25 to 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 2
Time: 8:30 pm
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square
Price: Free

Union Summer Market

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

UpMarket: The Floral Edit

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

Yoga in the Square

free yoga

Yonge-Dundas Square / Instagram

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

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

vegan market

Pupes / Shutterstock

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. The first showing will be Black Panther on July 3 at Kew Gardens. Here’s the full schedule.

When: Every Wednesday, July 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31
Time: Roughly 9 pm
Where: Kew Gardens and Ivan Forrest Gardens Park
Price: Free

POSTSCRIPT

What: The Toronto Fringe Festival is returning to the city this month. And with it comes the transformation of one of downtown’s beloved outdoor rinks into an equally-beloved (giant) patio space. With beer, ciders, coolers, wine, gin, vodka and cold brew on tap, there’s a drink to quench every kind of thirst. Plus, Kanto by Tita Flips will be slingin’ Filipino classics like beef tapsilog and lumpia, and Canadian favourites like burgers and fries. The patio will also be a venue to comedy shows, DJ sets, and so much more.

When: July 3 to 14
Time: Open from noon to 2 am (4 am on Saturdays)
Where: Harry Gairey Rink – 275 Bathurst Street
Price: Entry is free

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

pizza in the park libretto toronto

@a3napoli/Instagram

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: July 4 and August 8
Time: From 6 pm to 8 pm,
Where: Christie Pits Park, 750 Bloor Street West
Price: Free admission

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 5 weekend, featuring over 130 vendors serving up local flavours, midway rides, and live music.

When: July 5 to 7
Where: Lawrence Avenue East, from Warden Ave to Birchmount Road
Price: Free admission

Corktown Common Park Summer Movies

What: This summer, the Toronto Outdoor Picture Show (TOPS) is inviting movie aficionados for another year of outdoor films at Corktown Common Park on a brand-new 12 m screen. The park is one of four locations where TOPS is screening outdoor films all summer long. This year’s screening programme is Dynamic Duos, so bring along your special someone to watch feature-length and short films about classic cinematic pairs, exploring themes like friendship, couples, rivalry and doppelgängers.  The Corktown Common series will be held on Thursdays in July, and will debut on July 4 with the iconic movie duo in Steven Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,

When: Thursday evenings, July 4 to 25 (Scheduled rain date August 1)
Time: Films begin at sundown
Where: Corktown Common Park, 155 Bayview Avenue
Price: Screenings are free of charge, but donations are always accepted

Food for Thought Film & Book Friday

What: You can enjoy a free screening of the documentary A Silent Transformation and a talk from Jon Steinman, author of A Grocery Story: The Promise of Food Co-ops in the Age of Grocery Giants on July 5. There will also be an outdoor market with many vendors and free samples to enjoy.

When: July 5
Time: 4 pm to 8 pm
Where: Parklawn and Lakeshore in the Empire Phoenix Sales Centre
Price: Admission is free

The Foodie Festival

foodie festival

@thefoodiefestival/Facebook

What: Not only is admission FREE for this food fest, but so are the samples from a selection of local restaurants and vendors.

When: July 5
Where: Albion Library, 1515 Albion Road, Etobicoke
Price: Admission is free

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: July, 5, 12, 19, and 26
Time: 8 pm
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square
Price: Free

Junction Night Market

What: Sample the best local food, craft beer, and cider in The Junction this summer at this annual after-dark event. Billed as a community food festival benefiting programs that promote access to local food, this event promises an abundance of food and brews all priced for $5 per serving.

When: July 6
Time: 7 pm to 11 pm
Where: Pacific Avenue, North of Dundas Street, Toronto
Price: Free admission

TD Salsa on St. Clair

What: One of Canada’s largest Latin-themed celebrations is Toronto’s TD Salsa in Toronto Festival, which takes place this July, featuring music, amazing food, dance, and family events.

When: July 6 and 7
Time: 12 pm  to 10 pm
Where: St. Clair Avenue West, between Winona Drive and Christie Street
Price: Free to attend

Music in the Park

Image: Music in the Park / Shutterstock

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 in July and August, starting on July 7
Time:
2 pm to 4 pm
Where: Kew Gardens in the Alex Christie Bandshell
Price: Admission is free

Bentway Block Party

What: The 2nd Annual Bentway Block Party is free to attend for all ages and it runs throughout the day. You can look forward to plenty of live music and activities that will keep you busy all afternoon and evening, from noon to 10 pm.

When: July 7
Time: Noon to 10 pm
Where: The Bentway, 250 Fort York Blvd
Price: Free to attend

Fusion of Taste Festival

What: The Albion Islington Square Business Improvement Area hosts this multicultural festival featuring food and art all day long.

When: July 7
Time: Noon to 9:30 pm
Where: Albion Islington Square, 925 Albion Road, Etobicoke
Price: Admission is free

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: July 7 to August 25
Time: Noon to 9 pm
Where: The Bentway, 250 Fort York Blvd
Price: Free to attend

Regent Park Film Festival

Regent Park

@regentparkfilm/Instagram

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: Beginning July 10 and runs until August 14
Time: Pre-show begins at 7 pm
Where: Regent Park, 585 Dundas Street East
Price: Free

Night It Up!

What: The annual night market returns to Markham Civic Centre over the second weekend in July and is bringing together more than 100 booths dishing out everything from ramen burgers and matcha shaved ice all the way to deep fried ice cream.

When: July 12 to 14
Time: Friday, 7 pm to midnight; Saturday, 2 pm to midnight; Sunday, 2 pm to 8 pm
Where: Markham Civic Centre, 101 Town Centre Boulevard, Markham
Price: Admission is free

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair

What: Set to take place at Nathan Phillips Square this July, the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair is back for its 58th year, bringing together over 360 artists and makers of different backgrounds and disciplines. Lasting all weekend long, the event promises to create a space where artists and art lovers can interact and collaborate.

When: July 12 to 14
Where: Nathan Phillips Square
Price: Free to attend

Festival of India

What: Infusing the city with a dose of colourful and spiritual culture, the 47th 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.

When: July 13 and 14
Where: Various locations throughout the city
Price: Admission is free

TD Festival of South Asia 2019

What: Toronto’s Little India neighbourhood will host a massive Festival of South Asia this month. The annual street festival is a showcase of South Asian community and culture, and it’s returning to Gerrard Street East on July 13 and 14. Among the many highlights this year, festival-goers can look forward to a Bollywood Dance Energizer. There will also be sidewalk sales and tasting tables hawking delicious eats spanning the gamut of kebabs, curries, and chaat, to dosa, pani puri, pakoras, and more.

When: July 13 and 14
Where: Gerrard Street East from Glenside Avenue to Coxwell Avenue
Price: Free to attend

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.

When: July 20
Where: Bloor Street between Dufferin and Lansdowne
Price: Free to attend

Free Root Beer Day

What: Get ready to enjoy a long, refreshing and fizzy sip for free this month. Because A&W is bringing Free Root Beer Day back this summer, and the fast-food giant will be slingin’ free mugs all day on July 20.

When: July 20
Where: A&W Restaurants across Canada
Price: You guessed it, free!

Free Comedy with Todd Graham

What: To celebrate the release of his debut comedy album Bustin’ Loose!, Toronto-based comedian Todd Graham will perform FREE, live comedy, at Ontario record stores on July 20. This includes Royal Cat Records (Guelph, 11 am), Henry’s Records (Scarborough, 2 pm), Pop Music Canada (Toronto, 3:30 pm), Dead Dog Records (Church Street Location, 5 pm), and Tiny Record Shop (Toronto, 6:30 pm).

When: July 20
Time: From 11 am to 6: 30 pm
Where: Various locations
Price: Free to attend

Richmond Hill Ribfest

PUNCHBOWL bbq food

Ribs/Shutterstock

What: Admission is free to this three-day outdoor event that features pro rib teams cooking and competing for various “Best” titles. Joining the fun, look forward to live entertainment, a marketplace, beer garden, and midway.

When: July 26 to 28
Time: Friday, 12 pm to 11 pm; Saturday, 11 am to 11 pm; Sunday, 11 am to 8 pm
Where: Richmond Green Sports Centre and Park
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: July 28
Time: 12 pm to 7 pm
Where: Kensington Market
Price: Free