25 things to do in Toronto this weekend: August 16 to 18

Aug 16 2019, 12:00 pm

Alright Toronto, the weekend is finally here! Not sure what to do? We got you.

For starters, the CNE is opening its doors, so you can enjoy all of the epic and obscene treats in store this year.

Whatever you’re into, chances are there’s an event (or two) that’s perfect for you happening in the city this weekend.

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Friday, August 16

Toronto Public Library Clearance Book Sale

book sale


What: A massive book sale is taking place at the Toronto Reference Library this week! Items for sale include over 10,000 CDs and books, priced from just 10 cents to $1, with the highest pricing listed around $5 and the majority of materials priced at $1.

When: On now until August 17
Time: Friday, 9 am to sell-out or 6:30 pm (whichever comes first), and Saturday 9 am to 4 pm
Where: Toronto Reference Library, Beeton Hall
Price: Admission is free

SummerWorks: Performance Festival

What: Canada’s largest curated performance festival of theatre, dance, music, and live art is back, running along the always colourful and character-filled Queen Street West. This year’s Festival will showcase an expansive lineup of performance works from across the country, including pieces from some of Canada’s most acclaimed artists alongside work from auspicious emerging artists.

When: On now until August 18
Time: 5 pm to 8 pm
Where: Multiple venues
Price: From $15

Dance: Made in Canada 5th Year Anniversary

What: Showcasing the country’s most sought-after dancers and choreographers, the 2019 Dance: Made in Canada festival will dazzle with five world premieres and eight Toronto premieres.

When: On now until August 18
Where: Betty Oliphant Theatre, 404 Jarvis Street
From $25

The Office! A Musical Parody

What: In case you’ve already re-watched The Office for the umpteenth time on Netflix, you’ll soon have the chance to see your favourite paper company employees live on for another day. This summer, the off-Broadway performance, The Office! A Musical Parody is heading to Toronto for a four-week run at Mirvish’s CAA Theatre.

When: On now until August 25
Time: Tuesday to Saturday, 8 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 2 pm; Sunday evening, 7 pm
Where: CAA Theatre, 651 Yonge Street
Price: From $42

Shakespeare in High Park


Shakespeare in High Park (lukesedgwick/Instagram)

What: The untraditional rendition of Shakespeare returns this summer and runs until September 1. The long-running outdoor theatre event is celebrating its 37th year and takes on two classics this year. This summer’s plays include the comedic tale of love and desire, Much Ado About Nothing, and the timeless story of morality and power, Measure For Measure.

When: Tuesday to Sunday, July 4 to September 1
Time: All performances begin at 8 pm
Where: High Park Amphitheatre
Price: Tickets are pay-what-you-can

The Funhouse

What: Queen Street West has a brand new immersive installation and it’s going to be a houseful of fun. Toronto-based art collective Mondo Forma and Universal Music Canada are bringing The Funhouse to downtown. The immersive, experiential art maze, inspired by music and created in collaboration with some of Toronto’s most exciting artists, and will open this Saturday.

When: On now through to September
Time: Doors open at 10 am
101 Lisgar Street
Price: $28 general admission

CNE 2019

What: No summer is complete without a visit to the EX to take in the sounds, tastes, rides, and animals. Get some food, and win some ridiculously large prizes.

When: August 16 to September 2
Time: 10 am to 10 pm
Where: Canadian National Exhibition, 210 Princes’ Boulevard
Price: All attractions and shows are FREE with admission to the CNE

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

Indie Fridays

concert series

kurthoop via ydsquare/Instagram

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 runs 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

Saturday, August 17

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

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

Taste of Manila

What: Taste of Manila isn’t just the biggest Filipino food fest in Canada, it’s also billed as the largest Filipino festival outside the Philippines. The flavours of the Philippines are the big draw, offering a chance to feast on delicacies including lumpia and lechon, pancit, halo halo, and more, while live performances and fashion shows keep festival-goers entertained.

When: August 17 and 18
Time: Saturday, 9 am to 11 pm; Sunday, 9 am to 6 pm
Where: Bathurst Street corner of Wilson Avenue, Toronto

Kensington Market Flea

kensington flea


What: The weekly Kensington Market Flea returns this Saturday. 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

The Leslieville Flea

What: This Saturday, come and enjoy this curated market selling vintage, salvaged, up-cycled goods, furniture, antiques, collectibles and handcrafted goods.

When: August 17
Time: 11 am to 6 pm
Where: Distillery District, 55 Mill Street
Price: Admission is free

Toronto Chinatown Festival

What: The 19th annual Toronto Chinatown Festival takes place this weekend 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

The 7th Annual Pan American Food and Music Festival

What: The seventh annual Pan American Food and Music Festival returns to Yonge-Dundas Square this weekend. The Festival presents food demonstrations by international chefs, live music and dance performances, food competitions and a Pan American vendors’ market offering diverse foods and merchandise.

When: August 17 and 18
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square, 1 Dundas Street East
Price: Admission is free

Wavelength Music Festival

Wavelength Music

What: For two magical days, Wavelength Music will feature musical and artistic discovery and escape inside the walls of shipping containers at Stackt, Toronto’s newest space for creative placemaking.

When: August 17 and 18
Time: Doors open at 5 pm
Where: Stackt, 28 Bathurst Street
Price: From $25 for single-day passes, $40 for the full weekend

MOCA Goes Dark: Night Visions Dance Party

What: MOCA will be transformed into an interactive art party by a group of Toronto’s talented emerging artists at a building that was once the site of legendary illicit dance parties, raves, and punk gigs. Taking inspiration from this past, underground nightlife hub, we will revive its wild legacy for one night only with amazing art and music, lighting MOCA up in the dark.

When: August 17
Time: 9 pm to 1 am
Where: MOCA Toronto, 158 Sterling Road
Price: $15

Sunday, August 18

Open Streets TO

What: Open Streets TO returns to the city again this weekend for a car-free afternoon 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

The Trinity Bellwoods Flea – End Of Summer Market

What: Celebrate the end of summer and the Trinity Bellwoods Flea’s anniversary together this Sunday. Come meet many of the new faces who have joined the market and see some of the regulars who have been here since the beginning. What still has not changed is admission is FREE, and four-legged friends and kiddos are welcome.

When: August 18
Time: 10 am
Where: The Great Hall
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

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

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

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 until 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: 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

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