35 FREE Toronto events to check out this August

Jul 24 2017, 4:18 am

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 35 free Toronto events taking place this month.

Lighting of the CN Tower

What: This event commemorates the emancipation of the enslavement of Africans in North America and the Caribbean islands and pays homage to the historical fight for freedom.

Where: CN Tower, 301 Front Street West
When: August 1, 7 pm to 9 pm

City Cinema

What: On Tuesday nights, head downtown to the heart of Toronto for City Cinema. The outdoor screenings have limited seating, so be prepared and head down early.

Where: Yonge-Dundas Square
When: August 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29

Under The Stars – 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: 585 Dundas Street East
When: August 2, 9 and 16

Movie Nights in The Beach Village

What: Head east to The Beach Village for Movie Nights in the Park every Wednesday in July and August! This movie experience will take place in a number of beautiful parks (screenings will rotate between Kew Gardens and Ivan Forrest Gardens Park). Did we mention there’s FREE popcorn?

Where: Kew Gardens and Ivan Forrest Gardens Park
When: August 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30

Free Flicks at Harbourfront Centre

What: Humpdays in the city are always a little sweeter with Free Flicks. This summer, the popular Harbourfront series will be running until the end of August and features inspiring and fun films. The free event takes place at 9 pm.

Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West
When: August 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30

2167: Indigenous Life in 150 Years

What: Indigenous filmmakers and artists imagine Indigenous life 150 years in the future in new VR projects.

Where: TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street West
When: August 3 to 13, 12 pm to 8 pm

Toronto Food Truck Festival

What: Returning to the Toronto Beach(es), this food truck festival takes over Woodbine Park over the civic holiday long weekend. As always, admission is free and in addition to street foods expect live-eating challenges and other entertainment on site.

Where: Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen Street East
When: August 4, 5 pm to 10 pm; August 5, noon to 10 pm; August 6, noon to 8 pm; August 7, noon to 8 pm

Art & Music Ontario Festival

What: The Art & Music Ontario Festival celebrates a diverse range of local art and music in honour of the province’s 150th anniversary. Highlights include art installations along the North Walk, art history classes perfect for the whole family, a drone light show, and a digital graffiti wall. The event is completely free and showcases the province’s artsy side with plenty of activities, food, drinks, and art.

Where: Ontario Place, 955 Lake Shore Blvd.
When: August 4 to 7

Christie Pits Film Festival

What: This year, the Christie Pits Film Festival’s theme is EYES ON THE PRIZE, and will be screening films about competition and beating the odds. Locally organized, the Christie Pits Film Festival has attracted thousands to its free weekly series of outdoor films. Sundays throughout the summer, the screenings will include a mix of old and new. Although all screenings are free of charge, there is a suggested donation of $10.

Where: Christie Pits Park, 779 Crawford Ave West
When: August 6, 13, 19 and 20

Collectively Inspired

What: This weekly free art exhibition features works in a wide range of media, from artists in the resident groups at Neilson Park Creative Centre: Calligraphic Arts Guild of Toronto, Etobicoke Art Group, Etobicoke Quilters Guild, Etobicoke Rugcrafters, Handweavers & Spinners, and Humber Valley Art Club.

Where: Etobicoke Civic Centre Art Gallery, 399 The West Mall
When: August 9

See also

Kultura Filipino Arts Festival

What: This festival celebrates all things Filipino, and features vibrant and contemporary arts, culture, fashion, and food.

Where: Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas Street East
When: August 10 to 13, 12 pm to 7 pm

Movies in the Meadow

What: The popular outdoor movie night program is celebrating Canada 150 this summer. The event at Downsview Park will be screening films with a Canadian connection and this months’ lineup includes La La Land, Moana, Lego Batman, and Beauty and the Beast.

Where: Downsview Park
When: August 11, 18 and 25

Pickering Food Truck Festival

What: Friends, kids, pets are all welcome to this park turned foodie haven in mid-August. Admission is free for the weekend of outdoor eating, plus there will be a beer garden, children’s village, beer garden, and stage showcasing live entertainment.

Where: The Esplanade Park, 1 The Esplanade
When: August 11, 5 pm to 9 pm; August 12, noon to 9 pm; August 13, noon to 8 pm

Waterfront Night Market

What: The annual T&T Waterfront Night Market is back for another exciting run and attendees can expect the awesome outdoor culinary experience along with all the night market awesomeness at a brand new venue.

Where: Hearn Generating Station, 440 Unwin Ave
When: August 11 to 13

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 24th year with plenty of Greek-style eats at this massive street festival.

Where: Danforth Avenue
When: August 11 to  13

CityPlace Fort York BIA Movie Night Series

What: CityPlace Fort York BIA will be hosting a free movie night once a month up until September.  Gather up your friends, bring your blankets/chairs and come a little early to enjoy snacks/refreshments. This months’ movie stars Canadian actor and comedian Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura Pet Detective.

Where: Canoe Landing Park, 95 Fort York Blvd
When: August 12

Kothu Fest

What: Kothu Fest celebrates the famous Sri-Lankan street dish in Toronto when it returns for its third year to Albert Campbell Square at Scarborough Civic Centre in this month. Kothu roti is a staple of Sri Lankan cuisine comprising shredded roti (flatbread), spiced vegetables, eggs and/or meats, and curried gravy, and is cooked and chopped over a flat metal plate that results in a “cacophony of rhythmic sound, sight, and smell.”

When: August 12, 11 am to 11 pm
Where: Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Drive

PanAmerican Food Festival

What: We really are a city all about food. The fifth annual Pan American Food Festival showcases the best food products while celebrating the cultural diversity of the Americas.

Where: Yonge-Dundas Square
When: August 12 to 13

St. Lawrence Market & Market Street Celebration

What: Come and enjoy a free-to-attend event featuring outdoor food stalls, patios, farm fresh produce, demonstrations, live entertainment, and a pig roast.

Where: Front Street East at Market Street
When: August 12, 10 am to 11 pm

Family Fun in St. James Park

What: Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market will be hosting an afternoon of free family fun at St. James Park. Attractions include healthy snacks, smoothie-making by bicycle, activities, and entertainment.

Where: St. James Park
When: August 13, 10 am to 4 pm

Sail-In Cinema

What: Sail-In Cinema is coming back to Toronto this summer for its seventh year. And as Sugar Beach will once again turn into the largest outdoor theatre in Toronto this August, you’ll be able to participate from both the shore and the open water thanks to the only duel-sided floating movie screen in the world!

Where: Sugar Beach, 25 Dockside Drive
When: August 17 to 19

Mississauga ITALIFEST

What: ITALFEST celebrates all that is Italian. Featuring delicious food and crafts from 40+ vendors and artisans, cultural and family-oriented activities, entertainment from local and international talent, a thriving “marketo” and much more, the festival spotlights a community rich in heritage, entertainment and family values.

Where: Mississauga Celebration Square, 300 City Centre Drive
When: August 18 to 19, 10 am to 10:45 pm

Beats, Breaks & Culture

What: Come and check out upcoming Canadian talent in hip-hop and dance music. This event will feature free shows from artists like Austra, Dead Obies and Rae Spoon.

Where: Harbourfront Centre Concert Stage
When: August 18 to 20, 8 pm to 11 pm

What: Join thousands of Torontonians at Canoe Landing Park for an all-day celebration of local music, art, and community this month.

Where: Canoe Landing Park, 95 Fort York Blvd
When: August 19, 1 pm to 11 pm

Figment Toronto 2017

What: FigmentToronto is a free, inclusive, participatory arts event held in Dufferin Grove Park. FIGMENT’s mission is to offer free, family-friendly and participatory art to entire communities.

Where: Dufferin Grove Park
When: August 19, 10 am to 8 pm

Warriors’ Day Parade

What: The 96th Warriors’ Day Parade honouring the Toronto Garrison will take place on August 19. The event recognizes those who served and those serving today.

Where: Canadian National Exhibition, 210 Princes’ Blvd
When: August 19, 10:30 am

Open Streets TO

What: Open Streets TO is the city’s largest free recreation program, unlike any other in the country. Certain city streets will temporarily open to people and close to cars and the streets will become “paved parks” where people of all ages, abilities, and social, economic, and ethnic backgrounds can come out and improve their health.

Where: Along Bloor and Yonge Streets
When: August 20, 10 am to 2 pm

The Annex Art Party

What: Toronto’s bustling Annex neighbourhood, will be showing off its artistic side with a day and night of live art creating, performances, dance, music, food and drinks.

Where: Centre for Social Innovation, 720 Bathurst Street
When: August 24, 6 pm to 11 pm


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 Kan Pai Japan.

Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West
When: August 25 to 27

Korean Harvest Fest

What: Similar to Thanksgiving, this festival celebrates the fall harvest. The Korean community will be coming together to share Korean culture, with k-pop and dance competitions, traditional fan dancing, bands, and numerous booths for both traditional and modern Korean cuisine and accessories.

Where: Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge Street
When: August 25 to 27

Movies in the Square

What: The Friends of Sorauren Park have planned another season of outdoor movies and special events this summer. The family event takes place on the fourth Saturday of every month and this month’s feature will be Disney’s Jungle Book. 

Where: Sorauren Avenue Park, 289 Sorauren Ave
When: August 26

Coconut Festival

What: Toronto is hosting the fourth annual Coconut Festival this month, and invites Toronto’s various communities to learn about the coconuts’ various health benefits and diverse addictive delicious culinary and lifestyle uses. The event will feature 60 vendors dealing with coconut in food choices, wellness program, cleaning, cosmetics, fashion and more from Asia & Pan America.

Where: David Pecaut Square, 215 King Street West
When: August 26, 10 am to 8 pm

Scarborough Afro-Carib Fest

What: The 6th annual Scarborough Afro-Carib Fest will feature live musical performances, exciting entertainment from local and international artists, mouth-watering ethnic cuisine, visual arts, drum and dance workshops, kid’s zone, dance competitions, and much more! Definitely not an event to miss.

Where: Albert Campbell Square, 150 Borough Drive
When: August 26 to 27, 12 pm to 9 pm

Pedestrian Sunday’s in Kensington Market

What: The 14th 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: August 27

Halo Halo Filipino Festival 2017

What: Halo Halo is the sweet inspiration behind this Toronto food fest happening this month. Like the sweet treat itself, the Filipino food festival promises a colourful array of arts, culture, entertainment, and of course, edibles. Attendees can look forward to everything from adobo and pancit, to lechon and lumpia on offer along with traditional folk music, dances, and kid friendly activities.

Where: Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street
When: August 27

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