32 things to do in Toronto this weekend: June 15 to 17

Jun 15 2018, 1:53 am

The weekend is finally here!

Which means it’s time to kick back and celebrate in style at one of the many exciting events happening throughout the city.

From concerts and festivals to Father’s Day events and activities, here are your top events for the weekend.




What: RIOT, from Ireland’s thisispopbaby, is Luminato’s “house show,” which runs most of the duration of the festival. It’s a bawdy cabaret of dance, drag, circus, spoken word, and comedy. RIOT features performances from one of the most well known drags queens ever Panti Bliss and also features the famed Lords of Strut, who were finalists on Britain’s Got Talent.

When: Now until June 16
Time: Numerous show times each day
Where: Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre, 227 Front Street East
Price: From $39

Canadian Singer Lights First-Ever Visual Art Exhibit

What: Canadian pop star Lights will be unveiling her first-ever visual arts exhibition in downtown Toronto ahead of her headlining NXNE show in Yonge-Dundas Square. The exhibit will feature illustrations from the world of Skin & Earth, her album and comic that was released over the course of the past year.

When: Now until June 16
Time: 12 pm to 6 pm
Where: Artscape Sandbox, 301 Adelaide Street West
Price: Free

North by Northeast 2018

What: Taking place June 8 to 17, this year’s NXNE lineup features Jazz Cartier, Azealia Banks, and Big Freedig headlining the local music fest. The headliners will join emerging and other established artists throughout the weekend including U.S. Girls, TORRES, Sean Leon, Alx Veliz, Yungblud, Cadence Weapon, Kamikaze Girls, Nate Husser, and more.

When: Now until June 17
Time: Varies by day
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square, and other venues
Price: Varies by event

Bard in the Park Presents: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

What: You can enjoy a unique rendition of  William Shakespeare’s tale of fun, mischief and love, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Set in modern day at Athens University during Frosh Week, come discover what fools these Freshmen be!

When: Now until June 17
: 7 pm to 9 pm
Where: Kew Gardens
Price: Pay what you can

At the Illusionist’s Table


At the Illusionist’s Table

What: Acclaimed Scottish illusionist Scott Silven hosts At the Illusionist’s Table, which is an intimate evening of fine dining and whiskey-tasting, interwoven with illusion, mentalism, and storytelling in a private dining room at Toronto’s historic Casa Loma.

When: Now until June 24
Time: 6 pm to 8:30 or 9 pm to 11:30 pm
Where: The Austin Room, Casa Loma
Price: $225 (Includes a three-course dinner by BlueBlood Steakhouse)

Luminato 2018

What: The 12th annual Luminato Festival returns to Toronto this week. From June 6 to 24, the multi-arts and multi-platform event will take over the city for 19 days of free and ticketed programming. This year guests can look forward to an impressive lineup that fuses together arts and politics while highlighting contemporary issues such as human rights, diversity, and feminism.

When: Now until June 24
Time: Varies by day
Where: Various venues throughout the city
Price: Varies by event

Pride Month Toronto 

What: Now celebrating its 36th year, Pride Toronto is back for another exciting month filled with plenty of fun. The heart of the celebration is in Toronto’s gay village but opportunities for entertainment can be found in LGBTQ-friendly bars, restaurants, and nightlife spots across the entire city.

When: Now until June 24
Time: Varies by day
Where: Events located throughout the city
Price: Varies by event

60 Years of Made in Italy

What: June marks Italian Heritage Month in Canada, which is the perfect time to celebrate the Italian community in our exceptionally diverse country. And Yorkville Village is hosting a world-renowned fashion exhibit, 60 Years of Made in Italy, into the heart of Toronto, just in time for the occasion.

When: Now until June 30
Time: Varies by day
Where: Yorkville Village, 55 Avenue Rd
Price: Free

The Art of Banksy

Banksy exhibit


What: A new massive exhibit curated by Steve Lazarides, Banksy’s former manager, is now open in Toronto displaying the largest collection of the artist’s works. According to organizers, with over $35 million in art, this is the largest Banksy exhibit ever assembled.

When: Now until July 11
Time: Friday, 11 am to 10 pm; Saturday, 9 am to 12 am; Sunday, 9 am to 9 pm
Where: 213 Sterling Road, Toronto
Price: Tickets start at $35

A Forest of Canoes at The Bentway

What: A Forest of Canoes by Dana Claxton, is a site-specific installation set up throughout The Bentway and is co-commissioned with Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival and curated by Bonnie Rubenstein. The installation highlights the iconic role and symbolism of the canoe in Canadian, Metis, and Indigenous histories.

When: Now until August 31
Time: All day
Where: The Bentway, 250 Fort York Blvd.
Price: Admission is free

Manolo Blahnik: The Art of Shoes

What: This month, Manolo Blahnik and the Bata Shoe Museum will be joining forces, bringing the highly anticipated travelling exhibit Manolo Blahnik: The Art of Shoes to Toronto.

When: Now until January 6
Time: Friday and Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm; Sunday, 12 pm to 5 pm; Monday, 10 am to 5 pm
Where: Bata Shoe Museum, 327 Bloor Street West
Price: General admission is $14

Taco Bell Canada #BajaBlessed Mobile Hair Salon

What: To fuel the cult of Baja Blast, Taco Bell is setting up a mobile hair salon in Toronto to convert die-hard fans into “dye-hard” fans by giving them the opportunity to dye their hair blue. Seriously. The hair salon will only be open for two days at Queen Street West and Augusta Avenue.

When: June 15
Time: 12 pm to 8 pm
Where: Taco Bell, 482 Queen Street West
Price: Free

Night Market 6ix


What: This one-night-only event boasts that it’s child- and pet-friendly, and will feature 50 local vendors, an open-air beer garden, two bands and a DJ, art, and entertainment.

When: June 15
Time: 5 pm to 11 pm
Where: Canoe Landing Park, 95 Fort York Boulevard
Price: Free

ROM Friday Night Live: Colour ROM Proud

What: You can celebrate Pride Month at the ROM Friday evening. Come and enjoy a night of queer art, expression, music, dancing, food, and performances.

When: June 15
Time: 7 pm to 11:30 pm
Where: Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park
Price: $19.21

All-Star Gala in support of SickKids

What: The fourth annual All-Star Gala in support of SickKids will see 1,250 celebrities, young professionals, and pro athletes come together for a glamorous night hosted by TSN’s Jay Onrait at the Toronto Event Centre. This year’s glamorous semi-formal event promises flowing cocktails, a luxury silent auction and live entertainment by top DJs and musicians

When: June 15
Time: 8:30 pm to 2 am
 Toronto Event Centre, 15 Saskatchewan Rd.
Price: From $131

Taco Fest

What: Taco Fest is back! Now in its third year, the festival has announced it will return to Ontario Place for a weekend in June. The outdoor fiesta is a celebration of all things Mexican and showcases some of the Toronto’s top chefs.

When: June 15 to 17
Time: Friday and Saturday, 11 am to 9:30 pm; Sunday, 11 am to 7 pm
Where: Ontario Place, 955 Lake Shore Boulevard West
Price: $9.95

Taste of Little Italy

Taste of Little Italy


What: Billed as the city’s “most frequented and delicious street festival,” this event features local and visiting vendors hawking everything from Italian standards like spiedini, pizza, and risotto, to international delicacies represented by businesses in the ’hood.

When: June 15 to 17
Time: Friday, 6:30 pm to 1 am; Saturday, 11 am to 1 pm; Sunday, 11 am to 10 pm
Where: College Street, from Bathurst Street to Shaw Street, Toronto
 Admission is free.

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: June 16
Time: 9 am to 1 pm
Where: 550 Bayview Avenue
Price: Admission is free

Spiders: Fear & Fascination

What: This June, the Royal Ontario Museum will be welcoming a new exhibit, Spiders: Fear & Fascination and trust us, it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. The new exhibit will explore the hunting, burrowing, and weaving world of these eight-legged creatures and will feature more than 400 live and preserved spiders, cutting-edge interactive experiences, and new scientific discoveries.

When: June 16 and runs until January 2019
Time: 10 am to 5:30 pm
Where: The Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park
Price: $32 for adults

Instruments of Happiness

What: Instruments of Happiness is composed by Montréaler Tim Brady and features 100 electric guitarists performing a new piece inspired by The Beatles late guitarist George Harrison.

When: June 16
Time: 11 am to 3:30 pm
Where: Brookfield Place, 181 Bay Street
Price: Free

Thrill of the Grill

Danforth Thrill of the Grill

Danforth Thrill of the Grill

What: Now in its ninth year, this event makes for an ideal Father’s Day celebration and showcases merchants and excellent eateries from Toronto’s Danforth neighbourhood.

When: June 16
Time: 12 pm to 4 pm
Where: Danforth Avenue (Broadview to Jackman Avenue)
Price: $20 for meat eaters, $10 for vegetarians

Osheaga Block Party

What: Osheaga’s popular block party is taking over Toronto this Saturday. In addition to incredible music, you can look forward to food and drinks from local vendors including Drake Commissary, Mustache Burger, and Reunion Island Coffee.

When: June 16
Time: 2 pm to 9 pm
Where: 181 Sterling Road
Price: Free

Nuit Rose Festival & Art Crawl

What: NUIT ROSE is back for its fifth annual festival of queer art and performance. Taking the theme of Unbound, the festival features art that crosses borders, both real and imagined.

When: June 16
Time: 7 pm to 11 pm
Where: Various venues throughout the city
Price: Free

Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival

What: The 30th annual Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival is taking over the Toronto Islands this weekend, bringing together culture, sport, tradition, and fun.

When: June 16 & 17
Time: 9 am to 4 pm
Where: Toronto Island
Price: Free to watch

Pretty Heros & Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration

Sailor Moon Celebration

Sailor Moon Celebration

What: Calling all Sailor Scouts! You can celebrate all things Sailor Moon at this epic two-day celebration. New this year is the addition of Pretty Heros, a convention dedicated to strong female characters. Whether you resonate with Sailor Jupiter or another female character, get dressed up and show your support!

When: June 16 & 17
Time: 11 am to 6 pm
Where: Ontario Science Centre, 770 Don Mills Rd.
Price: One day passes start at $15

Waterfront Artisan Market

What: Back for its third year in 2018, the Waterfront Artisan Market runs every weekend until the first week in October. The outdoor festival, presented by The Waterfront BIA and operated by the Scadding Court Community Centre, will feature 50 bakers, chefs, and artisans hawking summery street foods and locally-made products.

When: June 16 & 17
Time: Saturdays 11 am to 8 pm; Sundays 11 am to 5 pm
Where: HTO Park, 339 Queens Quay West, Toronto
Price: Admission is free

Father’s Day at the ROM

What: Celebrate your dad with a special day at the ROM filled with exciting themed experiences, hands-on art projects, storytelling, exhibits, and more.

When: June 17
Time: 11 am to 4 pm
Where: Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park
Price: Adults are $20

Father’s Day Brunch Cruise

What: Dad will be treated like a captain for the afternoon or evening with delicious culinary offerings prepared by new executive chef Andrew Capone (formerly of The Drake & Thuet). There will be a selection of beer, wine, and specialty cocktails all while taking in stunning views of Toronto’s harbour, islands, and iconic skyline.

When: June 17
Time: Boarding begins at 11:30 am, cruise runs12 pm to 2 pm
Where: 207 Queen’s Quay, Pier 6, Toronto
Price: $62.95

8th Annual Yorkville Exotic Car Show

yorkville exotic car

Yorkville Exotic Car Show

What: This Father’s Day, Canada’s largest display of luxury vehicles will be parked along Toronto’s Mink Mile from Bay Street to Avenue Road as part of the 8th Annual Yorkville Exotic Car Show.

When: June 17 
12 pm to 5 pm
Where: Mink Mile section of Bloor Street (Bay Street to Avenue Road)
Price: Free to attend

Father’s Day BBQ at Wayne Gretzky Estates

What: If you’re up for a mini road trip, Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake is hosting a family-friendly, backyard BBQ this Sunday. Wayne Gretzky’s own father, Walter, will even be there to meet and mingle with fellow dads. There will be food trucks, music, and entertainment that the whole family can enjoy.

When: June 17
Time: 12 pm to 5 pm
Where: Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery
Price: Tickets are $30 per adult and children 2 to 18 are $15

Father’s Day Jay’s Game

What: When in doubt take dad to a ball game! This Sunday, you can enjoy a day with the whole family at the ballpark as the Blue Jays celebrate Father’s Day in partnership with Hudson’s Bay. The 200 level WestJet Flight Deck will be transformed into the ultimate Dad’s Den where Dad can enjoy all of his favourite things.

When: June 17
Time: 1:07 pm
Where: Rogers Centre
Price: Tickets start as low as $26

Refugees Welcome

What: This Sunday, the UN Refugee Agency in Canada and Trans Workforce are co-hosting #RefugeesWelcome, an evening of entertainment and a panel discussion in celebration of LGBTQ refugees.

When: June 17
Time: 6 pm to 11 pm
Where: TIFF Bell Lightbox, 6 Floor, 350 King Street West
Price: Email at [email protected] if you wish to attend

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