TORONTO, Sunday, June 11, 2023 – Toronto’s incredible summer festival season is already underway. The city becomes electric with activity and events every weekend throughout the summer months. Here is a glimpse at some of the popular events happening in TO this summer with more been added as the days move forward.
Get out there with friends and family, and experience everything Toronto has on offer this summer!
Toronto Summer Events Guide 2023
When: Sat. June 24, 12pm-9pm
Where: Hotel X Toronto
Price: $54.95 & up
This start-of-summer celebration features a wide selection of rosé wines, refreshing spirits, crafted local beers, bubbling pink champagne, custom cocktails and mocktails, and bites from Chef Trevor Lui, Chef Mark McEwan, The Food Dudes, Communal Eats, Bashy Patties, and more.
You’ll sip from your complimentary break-free Rosé Picnic wine glass while admiring the lush grounds of Hotel X Toronto, mere steps from the lakefront. Some of Canada’s top DJs will also be there, including performances from DJ Sydney Blu, DJ Aleksandra, DJ Steph Honey, and Peter Damia.
When: June 16-18, 11am-10:30pm (8:30pm on Sunday)
Where: Hotel X Toronto
Price: $16.50 & up
TasteToronto presents Taco Fest: three days of tacos, churros, margaritas, and the famous tequila and mezcal bar. You can try over 150 types of tacos, from classic corn tortilla delights to unique creations by Toronto’s boldest chefs and finest Mexican restaurants.
The vendor lineup includes Atomic 10, Dope as Duck, Kong’s Hot Tacos, Rosalinda, Tacos de la Mer, and Roses Cocina. The fest also features life-sized games, Canada’s largest hot sauce bar, live mariachi bands, interactive guacamole school, salsa dancing lessons, and DJs.
When: July 28-30, 4:30pm-11pm on Friday, 1:30pm-8pm on Saturday & Sunday
Where: Exhibition Place, Bandshell Park
Price: $55-$150 (plus fees)
The Beer Store is back with Toronto’s largest beer festival. Performers include Ice Cube, Third Eye Blind, T-Pain, Ruby Waters, Koffee and Big Boi. Expect over 400 types of beer as well as plenty of other drinks.
Some vendors you’ll see are High Park Brewery, Brickworks Ciderhouse, Creemore, Corona, Guinness, Mill Street Brewery and many, many more. And of course, there will be snacks to go with your beer.
When: Aug. 4-6
Where: Downsview Park
Price: Single day or full festival passes available. $184.76 & up.
Canada’s biggest electronic dance music event is back this summer for its 10th year. Visitors will experience 3 stages, 60 global artists, bright lights, fireworks, and of course, the dance floor.
Headliners include Zedd, Illenium Live, Above and Beyond, RezzMau5, Loud Luxury and Tiesto. Others in the lineup include Aitch, Sofi Tukker, Central Cee, and more. See the full lineup here.
When: June 23-25 (parade is on the 25th)
Where: Various locations
Toronto’s Pride Festival is known for its parade in the downtown core. This year, the parade, Trans March, and Dyke March will be happening on Sunday, June 25th.
The entire month of June will have tons of 2SLGBTQ+ events to catch. See a full list here.
When: June 23 – July 2
Where: Various locations
The TD Toronto Jazz Fest features some of Canada’s top artists in an array of free and ticketed performances. Spanning from Queen’s Park to the Yorkville area, you’ll find daily entertainment from artists including Jully Black, Ashanti, BadBadNotGood, Cimafunk, Melody Gardot, and so many others.
When: Select dates from July 4-30
Where: Across Toronto
Price: Toronto’s Beaches neighbourhood
Catch the Sounds of Leslieville & Riverside from July 6-9 at Jimmie Simpson Park. Over 15 aJazz artists will perform (for free!) as part of The Beaches Jazz Festival. Other events include Salsa on the Beach at Woodbine Park from July 14-16, TD Weekend at Woodbine Park from July 20-23, Streetfest on Queen St E from July 27-29, and OLG Weekend at Woodbine Park from July 28-30.
Honda Indy Toronto
When: July 14-16
Where: Exhibition Place
Price: $75 & up
Looping through Lakeshore Blvd and the Exhibition Grounds, this 2.84 km-long race course is returning for another year. Watch the cars zoom past and grab a bite from one of the many food trucks at this decades-old fan-favourite event.
When: August 18-Sept. 4
Where: Exhibition Place
Price: Tickets start at $20
The Canadian National Exhibition is a summer staple for Torontionians and visitors alike. It is back again this year with all of the usual favourites: music, food, rides, shows, vendors, contests, exhibits, the casino and the air show.
When: July-August; Grand Parade on Aug. 5
Where: Exhibition Place and other locations
The Toronto Caribbean Carnival is a celebration of Caribbean culture, with costumes, music, food, and the Grande Parade on August 5th. Choose your preferred events, some require tickets and some don’t. See the schedule here.
When: July 5-16
Where: Theatres across Toronto
Price: Pricing TBA
The 35th annual Toronto Fringe Festival showcases theatre performances across dozens of theatres in Toronto for 12 days of drama, comedy, music, improv and more. Programming and tickets launch on June 14, stay up-to-date here.
When: Thursdays and Sundays, June 21-Aug. 27
Where: Toronto Music Garden
Harbourfront Centre’s annual concert series, Summer Music in the Garden (SMIG) is in its 22nd year. 18 free concerts will take place in the Toronto Music Garden on most Thursdays and Sundays throughout the summer, from June 21 to August 27, 2023.
Expect a wide variety of musical styles from emerging and established artists. It launches with Canada’s first Inuk professional classical singer, Deantha Edmunds, on Wednesday, June 21, in honour of Indigenous Peoples Day.
When: June 27-July 21
Where: Distillery District
The 12th annual Lavazza IncluCity Festival, organized by ICFF, is an outdoor cinema village celebrating multiculturalism and the best in international cinema. It features films from over 20 countries, special guest appearances, red carpets, and unique cocktail experiences.
When: 11am to 8pm on Saturday September 16 and 10am to 6pm on Sunday September 17
Where: 7 Queens Quay East
The Toronto Waterfront Festival, formerly Redpath Waterfront Festival, is excited to announce the return of the Canadian Armed Forces and Royal Canadian Navy to the 2023 festival. In keeping with the huge theme of the event which is featuring the return of the World’s Largest Rubber Duck, presented by Clorox®, the Canadian Armed Forces will be rolling in with two massive vehicles, each weighing over 45,000 pounds. Visitors are invited to explore the Canadian Army’s Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) 6.0 and Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle (TAPV) as well as meet the crews, hear their experiences, explore their gear and learn about what life is like as a military member.
Additional programming includes:
- Roaming and pop-up entertainment presented by Redpath Sugar.
- The Billy Bishop Airport Picnic Lounge.
- Free giveaways and activities from partners including Menkes and Waterfront BIA.
- Live Green Toronto crafts and games for kids and families.
- Fun interactive photo areas from Queens Quay Terminal, Florida Orange Juice and Toronto Regional Real Estate Board.
- Local food trucks and food vendors.
Canada Day Celebrations
Residents are invited to celebrate Canada Day with many options to choose from, including:
- 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Celebrations at Thomson Memorial Park (1005 Brimley Rd.): This event includes music, children’s crafts, a bouncy castle, a parade, a pancake breakfast and more.
- 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Moving Forward: Celebrating Chinese Communities at Fort York (250 Fort York Blvd.): Celebrating Canada Day and the vibrancy of Toronto’s Chinese communities with programming co-created with community partners on the centennial of the Chinese Immigration Act. Programming will include dancing, singing, remarks, face painting, food demos and tastings, storytelling and more.
- Noon to 6 p.m.:
- Celebrations at Nathan Phillips Square (100 Queen St. W): Canada Day programming will be offered on Nathan Phillips Square for the first time since 2017, celebrating Toronto’s diverse communities with high-energy performances from Alpha Rhythm Roots, The Hitmen Drumline, Celtic duo Alana and Leah Cline, family-friendly programming with Muse Arts and Picasso Painters, “The Giant Storybook” activity from the Department of Imaginary Affairs and more.
- Celebrations at Mel Lastman Square (5100 Yonge St.): Annual Canada Day celebrations will return to Mel Lastman Square with live performances from The Haneen Woman Choir, Trash Panda Brass, JER, Celtic duo Alana and Leah Cline and family-friendly activities showcasing newcomer artists.
- 10 p.m. Annual Canada Day fireworks display will take place in the following City parks:
- Ashbridges Bay Park (1561 Lake Shore Blvd. E)
- Centennial Park Etobicoke (256 Centennial Park Rd.) Also happening on this site on July 1 is the Rotary Club’s Rib Fest (carnifest.com/toronto-ribfest-2023 ).
- Milliken Park (5555 Steeles Ave. E)
- Stan Wadlow Park (373 Cedarvale Ave.) Also happening on this site on July 1 is a community-led event, the East York Canada Day Festival 2023 (eycdc.ca ).
Canada Day programming is funded in part by the Government of Canada, Official Sponsor Tim Hortons and media partner the Toronto Star. Full sponsorship details are available at www.toronto.ca/CanadaDay.
When: July 1
Where: Nathan Phillips Square, Ashbridges Bay Park, Centennial Park and more
Catch the fireworks on Canada Day this year, for the first time since 2017 in Nathan Phillips Square. More details to come.
Look here for more events to be added throughout the summer!
by Daisy Lankstead