Summer is the best season to visit or live in Toronto. Whether you have a planned itinerary or want to be spontaneous, you don’t have to go far before you stumble upon something to do! Something is always happening in the city during summertime – the amazing buskers are out in full-force, pop-up markets and fundraisers are everywhere, and great concerts are happening every weekend. Here are just a few things going on this summer in the city.
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After skipping Toronto last year, Vans Warped Tour is back in TO for the last time. This summer is the travelling festival’s last year as mobile tour. So, head to the Budweiser Stage on Tuesday July 17th with your inner emo to experience the epic punk/metal show. The festival is all ages, and parents can go for free! The lineup includes headliners like 3OH!3, Sum 41, Mayday Parade, Silverstein, and more!
Veld Music Festival is perfect for any EDM lover. Happening August 4th to 5th at Downsview Park, the lineup boasts All-Star producers and DJs like Martin Garrix, Migos, Marshmello, Yellow Claw, Alan Walker, and more! Expect fireworks, a Ferris wheel, and a weekend of non-stop partying.
Jazz Fest runs for ten days with multiple venues across Yorkville from June 22nd to July 1. Some events are ticketed and others are free. Headliners include both famous artists like Aretha Franklin and Alison Krauss and up-and-comers like ART the band, plus other events like poetry slams.
Beerfest runs from Thursday July 26th to Sunday July 29th and offers guests a huge lineup of beer, food, and entertainment. Located at Bandshell Park/Exhibition Place, the festival is excited to include concerts featuring Ludacris on the Friday, and Finger Eleven on Sunday (to name a few). Tickets range from $30.00 to $150.00 with lots of different options like accommodation, VIP, early entry, and beer tokens, so you can pick whatever ticket type feels right for you.
Toronto International Film Festival is the perfect summer wrap-up activity. It lasts from September 6th to 16th. Pick the films you want to see and purchase the appropriate ticket pack. Tickets go on sale for TIFF members August 26th and are on sale to the general public August 28th.
Toronto Flower Market sets up outside at 1001 Queen Street West between CAMH and Trinity Bellwoods Park. It’s only open on select Saturdays from May to October and is well-worth the visit. With about 30 different flower vendors, all from Ontario, and knowledgeable merchants, it is also an opportunity to learn more about botany.
Checkout the Waterfront Night Market for Asian street food, multicultural eats, and all-night fun and entertainment. Whether you’re hungry or not, the market is an exciting atmosphere to just walk around in. The market runs on vendors and volunteers and is located at 440 Unwin Avenue – right on the water! It’s open August 10th to 12th.
Let’s go to the Ex! The Canadian National Exhibition takes place from August 17th to September 3rd at Exhibition Place. You can take the GO Train right to Exhibition Station and walk from there. The CNE features live performances, air shows, petting zoos, rides, and (most importantly) amazing food! It’s fun for all ages!
Spend a day exploring and picnicking by Lake Ontario and the Scarborough bluffs. With three parks, trails, gardens, beaches and bluffs, there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy the sunny outdoors.
Since Toronto sits right on Lake Ontario, there are a lot of nearby sandy escapes from city life. My personal favourite is Woodbine Beach because it’s busy, and therefore, the perfect place for people watching, and the volleyball nets are a nice touch. Woodbine is also right next to Kew and Balmy beaches which are a little quieter.
There are surprisingly many trails and hikes in and around the city. The trails in High Park are gorgeous. You can check out the cherry blossoms in the spring, visit the Chinese Garden, walk along the waterfront, or go to the off-leash dog park (no dog required). Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the outdoors!
Sprawl out under the stars and watch a free movie at various parks in Toronto. Cinematic Cities by the Christie Pits Film Festival starts June 17th until August 19th. The theme is to showcase films that feature and focus on the uniqueness of cities all over the world. Each screening is paired with a Toronto-themed flick as well. The first screening was June 17th at Fort York, but there will be more. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and some popcorn for a fun (and free) movie night!
Although the Sangria Lounge doesn’t have a huge patio, it has sangria… which is pretty much the same thing, right? We think sangria is the drink of summertime, and whether you’re outside or inside, if you have a glass of sangria it always feels like you’re at the beach. The Lounge offers an entire sangria menu with choices of different wine, juice, fruit, and booze combinations (and a cheaper menu of beer and non-sangria options). Tucked away in the Polish neighbourhood of Roncesvalles, the Sangria Lounge is the perfect place to get your summer drink on.
The rooftop patio at Gusto 101 is the perfect place for a drink, rain or shine! The roof is retractable, like the skydome, so bad weather won’t get in the way of patio season anymore! In addition to a sweet patio, Gusto 101 is an excellent Italian restaurant with a unique and cool vibe – the building is a converted mechanic’s garage!
Toronto has many sports teams to root for! For summer sporting entertainment, check out a Toronto FC game at BMO Field, or a Blue Jays game at the Rogers Centre. For something different, the Toronto Wolfpack play rugby league at Lamport Stadium. Finally, from now until July 15th, the World Cup is on! Swing by one of the thousands of bars (patios included) that will be showing matches to take in the match-day atmosphere.
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