50 best things to do in Toronto this summer

Looking for something to do this season? Whether you’re a local, a visitor, or maybe a local expecting visitors, check out this list of the 50 best things happening in Toronto this summer. 

From festivals and street parties to arts and culture events, races, and more, there’s plenty of stuff to do right here in Toronto— all summer long.

1. Toronto Waterfront Festival 

@towaterfrontfest/Instagram

Sept. 14-15, 2024

Head to Sugar Beach this September for one of Toronto’s most exciting waterfront celebrations. Take part in fun-filled family activities, dig into great food and enjoy fabulous lakeside entertainment.

2. TIFF

@sklarose/Instagram

Sept. 5-15, 2024

One of the world’s most celebrated film festivals returns to Hollywood North this September, promising movie buffs and film critics the opportunity to rub shoulders with stars and catch numerous award-winning flicks.

3. Toronto Korean Festival 

Aug. 23-25, 2024

North York’s Mel Lastman Square will become an exciting hub of Korean culture this August. Check out K-pop performances, traditional dances, workshops, popular Korean products and spectacular food.

4. Veld Music Festival 

@veldmusicfestival/Instagram

Aug. 2-4, 2024

The most anticipated outdoor electronic festival in Toronto is just around the corner. Featuring electrifying performances from top musical talent, revellers can book one, two or three-day passes.

5. Waterfront Night Market  

@wnmfest/Instagram

Aug. 9-11, 2024

The 15th annual Pan-Asian night market will be in full swing at the Stanley Barracks at Hotel X. Evenings of live entertainment, a lantern experience hosted by Illuminasian, and food inspired by the bustling street markets of Asia will make for an exciting event.

6. TD Toronto Jazz Festival 

TD Toronto Jazz Festival

June 21–30, 2024

Offering free and ticketed shows at venues across the downtown core, this annual celebration of jazz will have music lovers tapping their feet to the best of classic and modern tunes for ten exciting days.

7. Toronto Caribbean Carnival 

Courtesy Caribanatoronto.com

Aug. 1-5, 2024

This party-filled weekend, formerly known as Caribana, is a bonafide summer tradition in Toronto. Not to miss is the hugely popular Grand Parade, featuring incredible costumes, music and dance from across the islands.

8. Salsa on St. Clair 

July 6-7, 2024

Dozens of performers will fill the streets of midtown with live dance and music in celebration of Latin culture. Enjoy countless food vendors, dance your heart out and learn as you go. 

9. Toronto Ribfest

@ribfestto/Instagram

June 28 – July 1, 2024

Enjoy a weekend of fireworks, live music and barbecue favourites. Featuring dozens of food trucks, the best ribs in the city and a midway, this family-friendly event in Toronto is the perfect way to kick off the summer.

10. BLOOM: A Cirque Garden Masquerade

July 5-7, 2024 

Aerialists, dancers and circus artists will transform the Toronto Botanical Gardens into a magical space filled with immersive indoor and outdoor performances that will leave guests in awe.

11. Fan Expo 

@fanexpocanada/Instagram

Aug. 22-25, 2024

Meet celebrities, find collectibles, explore vendors and spot some fantastic costumes at the best comic book, anime, sci-fi and fantasy event in Toronto.

12. CNE

@letsgototheex/Instagram

Aug. 16 – Sept. 2, 2024

Head to the midway, try some quirky food — and carnival favourites, too — and enjoy Toronto’s unofficial end-of-summer celebration (a tradition since 1879). Watch the Super Dogs, visit the horse palace and try your luck at the casino.

13. Pride

Courtesy Mitchel Raphael/@pridetoronto

June 1-30, 2024

Join one of the biggest LGBTQ+ celebrations in the world in a month-long party featuring live performances, music, food, art and exciting events. Not to miss is the annual Pride Parade and festivities happening on June 30.

14. The Sunset Concerts Casa Loma

@casalomatoronto/Instagram

June 11 – Aug. 27, 2024

Enjoy live musical performances every Tuesday evening on the historic grounds of Casa Loma. Dine and drink in the gardens and delight in the many sights and sounds of the evening.

15. Dream in High Park – Hamlet

July 21 – Sept 1, 2024

For more than 40 years, Dream in High Park has delighted theatre enthusiasts with live outdoor performances of Shakespeare’s most loved plays. Bring a picnic and a blanket, and enjoy an evening of incredible on-stage talent.

16. Danforth Comedy Festival

Aug. 2-4, 10-11, 2024

Taste of the Danforth might be cancelled but there’s still plenty of reason to visit the Danny. Featuring 17 hilarious shows over five days, pop into one of several east-end comedy clubs for a night of stand-up comedy, improv and plenty of laughter. 

17. Honda Indy

July 19-21, 2024

Every summer since 1986, Toronto’s streets have transformed into an Indycar racetrack and festival for all things motorsport. Come for the races and stay for the exciting atmosphere.

18. The Distillery District Breakfast Tour 

Year-round

Explore the storied nooks and crannies of the historic Distillery District and savour the many fabulous cafes and restaurants on this morning tour that will satisfy your senses and fill your stomach, too. 

19. Toronto Fringe Festival

July 3 -14, 2024

Celebrating Toronto’s theatre arts scene, the Fringe Fest brings live music, dance, comedy and stage performances to venues across the city — and into the street with the Fringe patio, where free events and plenty of socializing can be expected.

20. Toronto Ukrainian Festival

The Toronto Ukrainian Festival. Photo courtesy @azwarych/Instagram

Sept. 13-15, 2024

Bloor West Village will be hosting the largest Ukrainian street festival in North America, featuring traditional dancing, costumes, culinary treats, music and carnival fun. This fabulous festival, which has been running strong for 28 years, is also a great way to learn about Ukrainian culture.

21. Festival of South Asia

July 20-21, 2024

Experience Canada’s biggest two-day celebration of South Asian culture at the India Bazaar. Shop the market, enjoy cultural workshops and performances, and taste the incredible foods of the region.

22. The Toronto Outdoor Art Fair

events
An artist at work at the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair

July 12-14, 2024

Discover one-of-a-kind art from some of Toronto’s best talent. Shop paintings, prints, photography, crafts, and more. Enjoy live music and performances, explore art installations, and tour a realm of local creativity that’s sure to inspire.

23. Beaches International Jazz Festival

@beachesjazz/Instagram

July 4-28, 2024

Throughout July, the Beaches welcomes visitors to drop by and enjoy world-class jazz performances, free concerts and a street celebration filled with great food, plenty of energy and some groovy tunes. 

24. 2024 Craft Beer Fest

July 14, 2024

The Brickworks is hosting its first-ever Craft Beer Fest! Learn about sustainable brewing methods, sample eco-friendly beers and enjoy a day of great music and food.  

25. 165th King’s Plate 

Courtesy woodbine.com

Aug. 17, 2024

Head to Woodbine Racetrack to experience Canada’s oldest horse races. Formerly named the Queen’s Plate, this signature race features exhilarating betting opportunities, fast horses, fine dining, fancy dress and some seriously big hats. 

26. Big on Bloor 

@bigonbloorfest/Instagram

July 20-21, 2024

Bloordale BIA celebrates the community with a street fest that’s always a blast. Join a scavenger hunt, explore local art and shopping, fill up on great food, and enjoy live performances and a beer garden.   

27. Island Soul Harbourfront

Aug. 1-5, 2024

Harbourfront Centre celebrates the many tastes, sights and sounds of Caribbean culture in this week-long fete. Sample incredible foods, watch live performances and enjoy the great music and art of the islands.

28. Buskerfest 

buskerfest
BuskerFest is back after a two-year hiatus this month

Aug. 30-Sept. 2, 2024

Street performers from around the world will show off their unique talents at Woodbine Park in Toronto this summer. Acts include fire and circus performances, magic, music, stunt tricks and a special Ultimutts show.

29. Toronto Food Truck Festival

@canadianfoodtruckfestival/Instagram

Aug. 2-5, 2024

Tuck into a long weekend jam-packed with family fun, live entertainment and excellent food truck fare. From lobster rolls and kebabs to brisket, tacos and more, foodies will love trying a little bit of everything. 

30. Brazilfest

Courtesy brazilfest.ca

July 20-21, 2024

Celebrate the music, food, and traditions of Brazil at Earlscourt Park. Featuring live performances and dozens of vendors, this vibrant festival promises tons of fun and an opportunity to learn about Brazilian culture. 

31. WeAreHouse – Sunset Cruises

June 23, July 21, Aug. 18 and  Sept. 14, 2024

Featuring several themed cruises, WeAreHouse is bringing the party to the water this summer. Enjoy live DJs spinning house tunes aboard a two-level party boat featuring a lounge and bar.  

32. Canadian International Air Show

Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2024

Head to the CNE for its closing weekend to watch the air show of the season. Marvel at incredible aeronautical feats performed by the Blue Angels, the Royal Air Forces Red Arrows, the Snow Birds and many more.

33. Free Outdoor Movie Nights – Brick Works

July 18 and Aug. 8-22, 2024

Enjoy free family-friendly movie nights at the Brick Works this summer. Bring the kids, a blanket, some snacks and cozy up under the covered open-air pavilion. Food vendors will also be onsite. 

34. Fun Philippines Toronto Food & Music Festival

@funphilsto/Instagram

July 26-28, 2024

For three days, Harbourfront Centre will host a celebration of Philippine culture. Featuring music, art and entertainment from the Filipino community, visitors will also want to try the delicious street food options, including Filipino empanadas, barbecue and more. 

35. Toronto Outdoor Picture Show

June 19 – Aug. 25, 2024

Catch free movies all summer long at one of four Toronto park locations: Christie Pitts, Corktown Commons, Bell Manor Park and Fort York. Bring some snacks, a picnic blanket or a folding chair, and enjoy the show (which starts at sundown).

36. Ossfest 2024

July 27, 2024

Ossington Avenue will transform into a pedestrian-friendly street party all day long. Visitors can expect a wellness-focused morning, bustling patios, local shopping, live entertainment and even a wrestling ring.

37. Toronto’s Festival of Beer

@tobeerfestival/Instagram

July 26-28, 2024

With live entertainment, including an appearance from Cypress Hill and more, the Toronto Beer Festival promises an excellent craft beer selection and plenty of delectable food truck options. 

38. All Day I Dream

July 20, 2024

Featuring beats by Lee Burridge and others, the internationally loved electronic music party, All Day I Dream, will be heading to Fort York this July. Let your spirit free to the sound of house, EDM and techno, and embrace the magic of this incredible one-day festival. 

39. The Art Of Banksy Toronto

The Art of Banksy Gallery View

May 29 – Sep. 2, 2024

Art lovers and rebels (or rebel artists?) will want to check out The Art of Banksy exhibit this summer. Featuring the largest collection of the renowned street artist’s work, visitors will see his most famous creations, like “Girl with Balloon,” and lesser-known pieces. 

40. Wine Fest Toronto

@winefesttoronto/Instagram

Jul 5-7, 2024

Drop by Roundhouse Park at the foot of the CN Tower and enjoy a global wine-tasting experience featuring German rieslings, California reds, Chilean Carmenère and many more.  

41. Dusk Dances – Withrow Park

Aug. 4-11, 2024

Join a 30-year tradition and head to Riverdale’s Withrow Park for enchanting evenings filled with choreographed dances, outdoor performances and dance workshops for those who love to move.

42. Festival of India

July 13-14, 2024

Watch colourful floats commemorating Indian culture travel down Yonge Street before making your way to Centre Island to continue the celebration. Enjoy a free vegetarian meal, live folk dances, traditional music, an Indian market and free yoga classes, among other festivities.  

43. National Bank Open

Aug. 4-12, 2024

One of Toronto’s most anticipated tennis events of the season is mere weeks away. Watch pro tennis stars from around the world compete on the court, enjoy excellent dining, live entertainment and plenty of opportunities to shop and try all things tennis. 

44. Summerlicious

July 5-21, 2024

The food event of the season is kicking off on July 5 for its 21st year running. Offering three-course tasting menus at over 200 restaurants across the city, Summerlicious makes exploring Toronto’s world-renowned food scene a pleasure.

45. Pedestrian Sundays at Kensington Market

Courtesy Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market/Facebook

May 26 – Oct. 27, 2024

Pedestrian Sundays are back at Kensington Market, where live entertainment, great food and eclectic shopping abound. Happening on the final Sunday of each month, visitors will fall in love with a neighbourhood known for its creativity and liveliness — without a car in sight. 

46. Canada Day at Ashbridges Bay

July 1, 2024

The beaches are the place to be on Canada Day. Bring a cooler, portable BBQ and your best beachwear and enjoy a day filled with lakeside festivities. At night, marvel at the massive fireworks display put on by the City of Toronto.

47. Pan American Food and Music Festival

July 20-21, 2024

Head to Nathan Phillips Square to celebrate the many diverse cultures of the Americas. Enjoy food, dancing, live entertainment and art from over 35 countries spanning the Caribbean Islands, North, Central and South America.  

48. The ROM: Wild Cats

Jun 15 – Oct. 20, 2024

Dive into the fascinating world of cats at the ROM. Learn about their unique history and cultural connection to humans, and discover fascinating things about each species — from house cats to tigers and everything in between. 

49. Lavazza Inclucity Film Festival

movie

June 27 – July 21, 2024

Movie buffs and culture vultures take note: for nearly four weeks, Toronto’s Distillery District will transform into an incredible outdoor cinema screening films from across the globe. Aside from great flicks, visitors will also want to check out the exciting Festival Village.

50. Union Summer

June 24 – Aug. 25, 2024

Union Station’s Front Street Plaza will be celebrating the season all summer long. From live entertainment and street patio cocktails to mouth-watering food options, this open-air festival offers a lively, fun-filled spot in the heart of the city.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO