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Make summer sixteen one to remember with these must-attend Toronto events, festivals and markets
Think of every summer weekend spent in the city as a much-needed staycation. It’s a glorious time when Toronto sheds its icy cold skin and embraces a whole new aesthetic that’s lively and colourful. A big dose of that vibrancy comes from the many events that take place throughout the city. Seriously, they’re not to be missed. Here are 8 we’re looking forward to most this year.
Waterfront Artisan Market (throughout) More than 50 artisans, chefs and bakers will set up shop on the waterfront for an open-air market that spans six weekends throughout the summer. No two vendors are alike, with fare ranging from gourmet ice pops and healthy vegan treats to loaded pierogies and deli delicacies.
Beaches International Jazz Festival (July 2-24) It’s a good sign when a festival began in 1988 and is still just as lively today. Head to the Beaches this summer for a taste of the jazz life. The festival launches in Woodbine Park with a salsa festival and ends with “Streetfest” – a weekend in July where 45 bands flaunt their talent along Queen Street East.
Movies in the Park (throughout) Not enough people know that there are free movie screenings in a variety of local parks throughout the city. Watch a film every Wednesday night at the Harbourfront Centre or in Union Station’s front courtyard, every Sunday in Christie Pits Park or on June 22 in Trinity Bellwoods. The list goes on.
Open Roof Fest (June 21-August 24) While we’re on the topic of outdoor movie screenings, don’t miss this year’s Open Roof Festival at 99 Sudbury. The open-air affair celebrates indie films and musicians. Every Tuesday eve, enjoy a live musical performance followed by an independent film viewing under the stars. Tickets are $15.
Big on Bloor (July 23 – 24) Toronto is often praised for its diverse communities and cultural openness. Big on Bloor is a large arts and culture street festival that celebrates all our city has to offer. Make your way to the Bloordale neighbourhood at July’s end to discover more than 200 local arts and crafts vendors.
Toronto Food Truck Festival (July 29-31) If you’re known to keep taps on the food trucks stationed in your neighbourhood, this event will have you overwhelmed and overjoyed (not to mention in a serious food coma). The food truck fest will take place in Woodbine Park and will offer everything from lobster rolls and apple fritters to chilled beer and live music.
Distillery Fall Fine Arts and Craft Show (Sept 2-5) While this outdoor festival is fall themed, it still takes place at the tail-end of summer, when spending time outside is more than encouraged. Come September 2nd, the Distillery District’s storied cobblestone streets will be outfitted with booths occupied by Canadian artists selling photography, paintings, sculptures and more.
Toronto International Film Festival (September 8-18) Few would argue with the idea that TIFF in Toronto is the most wonderful time of the year (celeb-laden streets, prolific movie premieres, an excuse to dress up and show face at ultra-fancy restaurants and clubs… the list goes on). If there’s one event to attend this summer – it’s this. After all, one movie ticket is all it takes.