25 things to do in Toronto this weekend: July 28 to 30

Jul 26 2017, 9:16 pm

It’s the final weekend of July, so why not blow off some steam by enjoying an event our two from our curated list of top Toronto events, festivals, and activities taking place in the big city.

From music and food festivals to a nostalgic ’90s-themed dance party, these are the top Toronto events happening this weekend.

Shakespeare in High Park

What: Toronto’s annual Shakespeare in High Park is back for another exciting summer and will be taking on two classics this year. This season’s performances will include Twelfth Night and King Lear, with all screenings starting at 8 pm. Tickets are pay what you can.

When: Now until July 30
Where: High Park Amphitheatre

Beaches International Jazz Festival

What: A festival that needs almost no introduction, the Beaches International Jazz Festival is celebrating its 29th year.

When: Now until July 30
Where: The Beaches

Tirgan Festival

What: Iranian-Canadians gather on Toronto’s waterfront for this non-religious, non-partisan four-day festival of music, dance, food, discussions and historical programming.

When: July 27 to 30
Where: Harbourfront Centre

Happy Hour – Under the Tuscan Sun

What: Campari cocktails and a menu of stuffed zucchini flowers, pizza, and sausage-stuffed calamari are on the menu at this summertime event hosted by the newly revamped Italian restaurant across from Trinity Bellwoods Park.

When: July 28, 6 pm
Where: NOCE, 875 Queen Street West

90s Video Dance Party: Clueless Edition

What: There’s nothing we love more than the ’90s, which is why there’s no better way to celebrate the ’90s than with the most epic party this city has ever seen. You can enjoy ’90s music all night long, free glow sticks, ’90s-themed surprises and drink specials, and even a ’90s themed costume contest.

When: July 28, 10:30 pm
Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West

Indie Fridays

What: Chevrolet Canada presents Indie Fridays, a free concert series featuring some of Canada’s top indie musicians.

When: July 28, 8 pm to 11 pm
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square, 1 Dundas Street East

J. Cole

What: It’s not deja vu (at least not for the first show). American hip-hop recording artist and record producer J. Cole is stopping in at the Air Canada Centre on July 28, as the multi-platinum-selling artist is touring in support of his fourth album, 4 Your Eyez Only. Since its release, each of its ten tracks has notched a place on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The “4 Your Eyez Only Tour” follows Cole’s 2015 “Forest Hills Drive Tour,” which was the highest-selling hip-hop tour of that year, after which Cole embarked on an international festival run in 2016. J. Cole is on the road with Anderson .Paak.

When: July 28 and 29, 7 pm
Where: ACC, 50 Bay Street

12 Beers of Summer

What: Just like Christmas but in July! This biannual beers event returns for a summer edition asking an “exuberant Hawaiian shirt” dress code and thirst for a dozen different brews. Tickets start at $30.

When: July 28, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Where: Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West

Cultura 2017

What: Cultura is a free, family-friendly outdoor festival presenting music, art, food, and film every Friday evening in July at Mel Lastman Square. Cultura celebrates Toronto’s rich diversity featuring world-renowned musicians, tasty international street food, explosive buskers and dance, interactive art activities, and evening film screenings under the stars.

When: July 28
Where: Mel Lastman Square

Adelaide Eats

What: Located right in the heart of the Financial District, visitors can look forward to mouth-watering dishes from 14 local chefs, restaurants and food entrepreneurs offering the perfect outdoor escape from the office.

When: July 28, 11 am to 9 pm
 Adelaide Place, 150 York Street

Toronto’s Festival of Beer

What: Hosted by The Beer Store, Toronto’s Festival of Beer is home to over 60 brewers featuring more than 300 brands from all over the world. Ticket price includes five sample tokens and a commemorative festival sampling cup.

When: July 28 to 30
Where: Bandshell Park Exhibition Place, 200 Princes’ Blvd

YYZ Live

What: This summer, you can catch free Canadian musicians perform at Toronto Pearson International Airport as part of YYZ Live, a musical celebration with 150 performances from 75 local artists in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday. This weekend, Kristin Fung, Joy Thompson, and Tichaona Maredza will be performing.

When: Now to September 15
Where: Pearson International Airport


What: Back for its third year, the very fun multi-day arts and music festival is everything we crave about summer festivals. The WayHome Music & Arts Festival is fast becoming one of the largest festivals in the region, all due to its wicked vibes, and incredibly diverse lineups, which includes Flume, Cage The Elephant, Imagine Dragons, Solange, and School Boy Q.

When: July 28 to 30
Where: Burl’s Creek Event Grounds, 180 8th Line South

Toronto International Youth Dance Festival

What: The Toronto International Youth Dance Festival will be taking over Nathan Phillips Square for three days this summer for a multi-cultural celebration of dance.

When: July 28 to 30
Where: Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen Street West

AlohaFest Toronto

What: The third annual Polynesian Festival presented by Hālau Hula I Ka Lā (“Hula School in the Sun”) takes place at North York City Hall. Look forward to tropical treats and Hawaiian faves (think spam and poke) plus live entertainment and a marketplace.

When: July 29, 11 am to 7 pm
Where: Mel Lastman Square

Evergreen Brickworks Saturday Market

What: Come and enjoy amazing food from local farmers, food producers, and chefs who will be serving up some of the best local and seasonal food in the city.

When: July 29, 8 am to 1  pm
Where: Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview

Waterfront Artisan Market

What: Toronto’s popular Waterfront Artisan Market will make HTO Park come alive this Saturday. Here you’ll get to explore a curated mix of 75 artisans, crafters, chefs and bakers. Admission is free.

When: July 29, 11 am to 8 pm
Where: HTO Park, 339 Queens Quay West

Sarah Carlson

What: The Roundhouse Gallery at Steam Whistle Brewing presents SOJOURN, a solo exhibition of recent work by Sarah Carlson. The paintings in Sarah Carlson’s collection are a pictorial mix of figuration and abstraction inspired by recent travels within Canadian wild spaces.

When: July 29
Where: Steam Whistle Brewing, 255 Bremner

Pin + Patch Show

What: The Pin + Patch Show will showcase a variety of local flair designers selling their unique pins and patches all under one roof in Toronto.

When: July 29, 11 am to 6 pm
Where: 2104 Dundas Street West


What: This is the final weekend to catch the internationally acclaimed entertainment company Cavalia as it brings its latest production Odysseo to Mississauga. Odysseo features 65 magnificent horses and 48 talented riders, acrobats, dancers, stilt walkers and musicians.

When: July 29 2 pm and 8 pm; July 30, 2 pm
Where: Hershey Centre, 5500 Rose Cherry Place


What: Toronto event company Reign brings together top chefs and caterers for this five-course cocktail style tasting menu celebrating African cuisine. On the menu, peanut soup paired with chapatti and fattoush salad, Injera sushi rolls, Jollof rice, and more.

When: July 30
Where: Maison Mercer Rooftop Patio, 15 Mercer Street

Kensington Market Pedestrian Sunday

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.

When: July 30, 12 pm to 7 pm
Where: Kensington Market

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. This Sunday’s film is Bee Nation, which tells the story of First Nations kids competing at the highest level in the provincial and national spelling bees. Although all screenings are free of charge, there is a suggested donation of $10.

When: July 30
Where: Christie Pits Park, 779 Crawford Avenue West

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.

When: July 30
Where: Etobicoke Civic Centre Art Gallery, 399 The West Mall

Sean Paul

What: Multi-award winning dancehall artist Sean Paul is back. Yes, THE Sean Paul. His last album was released back in 2014, and he’s playing The Move Throwback Bash with Brandy, Ginuwine and more.

When: July 30, 5:30 pm
Where: Echo Beach, 909 Lakeshore Blvd West