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Free outdoor movies in Toronto summer 2013

Posted by Johnny Larocque / June 12, 2013

Outdoor Movie Summer TorontoA list of free outdoor movies in Toronto this summer.

Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? The milk in this case is the chance to watch films without paying, and I don't mean by sneaking into a theatre. And the metaphorical milk in this case is almond milk...where my vegans at? Back on topic, if you didn't already know that you have tons of opportunities to watch films for FREE in Toronto this summer, here you go. There are free film events happening all over our great city, so grab a blanket, grab a friend, and I'll see you movie lovers there.

I've highlighted my personal DO NOT MISS films in Bold, to make stalking me easier.

City Cinema: Cult Classics at Yonge & Dundas Square (TUE)
Location: South East Corner of Yonge & Dundas

Tue, 25 June @ 9:00pm - Pee Wee's Big Adventure (1985)
Tue, 2 July @ 9:00pm - Army of Darkness (1992)
Tue, 9 July @ 9:00pm - Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Tue, 16 July @ 9:00pm - Anchorman, The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
Tue, 23 July @ 9:00pm - The Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
Tue, 30 July @ 8:30pm - The Goonies (1985)

It's a little annoying watching films in the square because of light and noise pollution, but since it's free, you've got nothing to lose. Give it a shot!

Free Flicks: Harbourfront (WED)
Location: Lower Simcoe St & Queens Quay, Harbourfront Centre

July 03 @ 9:00pm - Little Shop of Horrors: The Director's Cut
July 10 @ 9:00pm - Galaxy Quest
July 17 @ 9:00pm - Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
July 24 @ 9:00pm - Top Secret!
July 31 @ 9:00pm - Streets of Fire
August 7 @ 9:00pm - The Triplets of Belleville
August 14 @ 9:00pm - That Thing You Do!
August 21 @ 9:00pm - Josie and the Pussycats
August 28 @ 9:00pm - Audience Choice

There's a terrific selection of free flicks at Harbourfront this year, including my top choice Galaxy Quest. If you hear an annoying guy in the audience saying all the best lines as they happen on screen, that's me, don't forget to say "hi" — or "shhhhhh."

TIFF In the Park: A Summer of Romance (WED)
Location: King & Simcoe, David Pecaut Square

July 3 @ 9:15 PM - Casablanca
July 10 @ 9:15 PM - Moonstruck
July 17 @ 9:15 PM - City Lights
July 24 @ 9:15 PM - Sleepless in Seattle
July 31 @ 9:00 PM - The Way We Were
August 7 @ 9:00 PM - Clueless
August 14 @ 9:00 PM - Sense and Sensibility
August 21@ 8:30 PM - Roman Holiday
August 28 @ 8:30 PM - The Notebook

This lineup sounds like the perfect cure for insomnia, so if you like falling asleep outside at night, surrounded by strangers, in downtown Toronto, then this is for you! Be sure to tell your grandma though, or that lonely aunt you have with all of the cats.

Junction Movie Nights (FRI)
Location: The Junction Train Platform (Dundas St. West / Pacific Ave.)

June 22 @ 9:30PM - "Steamboat Bill" featuring live music accompaniment.
Every Second Friday in July & August - More Movies announced soon!

Seeing a Movie with live musical accompaniment can be an incredible adventure. Step back in time and experience film like it used to be, before "talkies" ruined it for everyone. Plus it's on a train platform, which is super weird. You'll finally have something interesting to instagram besides your lunch.

Movies in the Park - Riverdale Park East (SUN)
Location: 550 Broadview Ave

July 7 @ "when it's dark" - Top Gun
July 21 @ "when it's dark" - Goonies
Aug 4 @ "when it's dark" - ET the Extra Terrestrial
Aug 18 @ "when it's dark" - Ferris Beuller's Day Off

If you can resist watching Ferris Beuller's Day Off on any screen in any locale, then you're a much stronger person than me. This will be my first time at the Riverdale event, so I'll be sure to report back on the viewing conditions.

Christie Pits Film Festival: Hits in the Pits (SUN)
Location: Christie Pits Park

July 7 @ 9PM - That Thing You Do!
July 14 @ 9PM - Gimme Shelter
July 21 @ 9PM - Buena Vista Social Club
July 28 @ 9PM - The Last Waltz

If you didn't get enough films about bands at NXNE, here's you chance to see some cool flicks including some classic Rolling Stones. Expect people to be dancing on their blankets at this one.

Dog Bowl Movie Night / Movies and dates TBD
Location: Trinity Bellwoods Park

Join the Dog Bowl Movie Night Facebook group for updates.

Probably my favourite free film event in Toronto. Last year's screening of the greatest comedy of all time Wet Hot American Summer was the most fun I've had at the bottom of a hill sober with all of my clothes on. Full disclosure: I was neither sober nor fully clothed.

Sail-In Cinema / Movies and dates TBD
Location: Sugar Beach (25 Dockside Drive)

Sail-In Cinema claims to be the "world's first two-sided floating movie experience" and "Toronto's largest outdoor theatre event". For three summer nights, Canada's Sugar Beach is transformed into an outdoor theatre. Movies are shown under the open skies on a two-sided screen set atop a barge in Toronto Harbour. Watch movies for free from the water, or pull up a sandcastle and watch from the beach. Warning: sitting on a sandcastle will likely make a child cry, so wait until after the movie.

Did we miss any other Free outdoor film screening? Please let us know in the comments.

Photo courtesy of the Sail-In Cinema



Chris West / June 12, 2013 at 09:46 am
Fantastic list!
Todd Toronto / June 12, 2013 at 10:16 am
Great ideas and looking forward to this. But these parks really have to coordinate with the private sector or whomever to cut down on the (preventable) light pollution. It's really distracting.
CPFF / June 12, 2013 at 10:25 am
Thanks for the shout-out, Blog TO! Please add our special neighbourhood screening of Shut Up and Play the Hits presented at the BIG on Bloor Festival on July 20!
Emily Reid, Christie Pits Film Festival
mar / June 12, 2013 at 10:29 am
'This will be my first time at the Riverdale event, so I'll be sure to report back on the viewing conditions.'

I assure you its one of the best. sitting on a grassy hill to watch a flick is the way to go!
Anthony / June 12, 2013 at 10:32 am
Which is the original image's location/venue?
Diana replying to a comment from Anthony / June 12, 2013 at 10:54 am
Sail-In Cinema / Movies and dates TBD
Location: Sugar Beach (25 Dockside Drive)
Yorgo / June 12, 2013 at 11:02 am
Who programs kids movies on a Sunday night?
Meg replying to a comment from Anthony / June 12, 2013 at 11:11 am
It's Sail-In Cinema at Sugar Beach. I saw Jaws there last year - it was really fun! Nothing posted for this summer yet.

Sir Isaac Brock / June 12, 2013 at 11:13 am
Here's another at the end of this month - Free screening of the documentary "Lost Rivers" at Fort York (250 Fort York Blvd, 7pm - 11pm)
Kat / June 12, 2013 at 11:18 am
Why all the snark for the TIFF line-up? Maybe it's not your thing, but I'm pretty sure your job is to report, not mock.

(No, I don't work for TIFF. No, I'm not a lonely aunt.)
John / June 12, 2013 at 11:21 am
Does Trash Palace still do movies outside on the roof during the summer?
Marisa / June 12, 2013 at 11:30 am
Does anyone know what happened to Movies Under the Stars at Downsview Park? We went for years but I haven't seen any news for 2013.
Tracy / June 12, 2013 at 11:46 am
It is too bad all these theatres are downtown.. what about the ppl who live in the suburbs ? By the time the movie is over to travel home the viewer wouldn't get home till 1am Too bad these aren't available across Toronto

Val Kilmer / June 12, 2013 at 12:05 pm
Top Secret!
Blotto replying to a comment from Kat / June 12, 2013 at 12:11 pm
Agreed. Saying a "perfect cure for insomnia" to a line-up that has Casablanca, a film almost unanimously regarded as one of the best ever, is just ignorant.
Johnny replying to a comment from Kat / June 12, 2013 at 12:27 pm
Just trying to insert some humour into an otherwise boring list. Say hi to your cats for me!
Johnny replying to a comment from Val Kilmer / June 12, 2013 at 12:44 pm
Val Kilmer! See you there old friend, I'll bring us 38 cheeseburgers to share.
Deb / June 12, 2013 at 12:56 pm
Try Movies in the Park http://www.rotarymovienights.com/ in Port Credit, Mississauga - they haven't announced movies yet but they are usually current and kid-friendly ones, Fridays at sunset
Dick replying to a comment from Tracy / June 12, 2013 at 12:59 pm
talk to your city councillor? people who don't like to pay taxes don't get nice things. it is why toronto is toronto and scarborough and etobicoke are scarborough and etobicoke :P
Walkman / June 12, 2013 at 01:00 pm
A little off topic, but can someone suggest where on Yonge street, a little north of downtown, say north of 401, that would be a good place to go walking, window shopping and coffee shops? Thanks
Emily / June 12, 2013 at 01:01 pm
We are putting on three free movies in St. James Park over the summer, details here: http://oldtowntoronto.ca/index.php/movies-in-st-james-park
Heather replying to a comment from Yorgo / June 12, 2013 at 01:01 pm
It's the summer. What does Sunday evening mean to a kid in July? I think it's the perfect evening for a kids movie event.
Deb / June 12, 2013 at 01:43 pm
There's also Outdoor Movie Nights presented by Tim Horton's at Mississauga's Celebration Square mississaugacelebrationsquare.ca for details
Nicole Movies In The Park / June 12, 2013 at 02:28 pm
Thanks for including us! We think that the sun setting behind the screen, the city skyline and the gently sloping grassy hill make Movies In The Park a great venue! Hope you have a great time~ See you in Riverdale Park East this summer~
judith / June 12, 2013 at 02:43 pm
You missed Councillor Mihevc’s offerings in Ward 21

All movies begin at sunset (approximately 8:30pm).

Saturday, June 15
Laughlin Park, 476 Atlas Avenue
“Surf’s Up” (rated G)

Friday, June 21
Marian Engel Park, 285 Melita Avenue
“Hotel Transylvania” (rated PG)

Saturday, June 22
Shallmar Parkette, 13 Shallmar Blvd
“Gnomeo & Juliet” (Rated G)

Friday, June 28
Wychwood barns Park, 76 Wychwood Avenue
“Open Season” (Rated G)

Saturday, June 29
Ben Nobleman Park, 1075 Eglinton Avenue
“The Pirates! Band of Misfits” (Rated G)
Tracy replying to a comment from Dick / June 12, 2013 at 02:46 pm
Dick who said anything about not wanting to pay taxes? I certainly pay my taxes every month,
Tom Gibbons / June 12, 2013 at 02:50 pm
This summer, St. Peter’s Church is going to be hosting a free Outdoor Movie Series under the auspices of Courtyard Movies at St. Peter’s. The series will consist of six showings of both classic and pre-DVD release films on various Friday Nights throughout the summer as a way for our community to become even more of a service to the Annex neighborhood.

Fri, June 21 - Les Misérables (2012) – CONFIRMED
Fri, July 5 - TBD
Fri, July 19 - Bedazzled (1968) – CONFIRMED
Fri, August 9 - TBD
Fri, August 23 - TBD
Fri, September 20 - TBD
erin / June 12, 2013 at 03:40 pm
Downsview is close to where we live too, I'm looking forward to see if they have any free outdoor films.
Jessie replying to a comment from Yorgo / June 12, 2013 at 04:19 pm
Yorgo, check municipalities' websites (usually under Events or Recreation) to find ones specifically on Sundays.
Matt replying to a comment from Tracy / June 12, 2013 at 04:31 pm
Tracy, we do many movies all across the province, in places like Port Colborne, Bradford West Gwillimbury, St-Thomas, Trenton, Clarington, Sudbury, North Bay, Cochrane...

The best way to keep up to date is check our FB Events section; it lists most of them: www.facebook.com/hdoutdoor.

And if you can get out to even one TO screening, try to make it the Christie Pits Film Fest. We're doing the screenings on all five of their al fresco evenings this summer. It's a really great spot.

Matt Drury
HD Outdoor
James / June 12, 2013 at 04:59 pm
here's another outdoor summer movie line-up: the open roof festival in the amsterdam brewery parking lot... movies, music and food. http://openrooffestival.com/2013-festival/the-films/
Liz / June 12, 2013 at 06:33 pm
If you live around North York, Mel Lastman Square is the place to go for outdoor movie during summer.
judy / June 12, 2013 at 07:57 pm
The Italian Consulate (corner of Beverly & Dundas) screen opera movies on their lawn. http://www.iictoronto.esteri.it/IIC_Toronto/webform/SchedaEvento.aspx?id=764&;citta=Toronto

yardcore / June 12, 2013 at 08:35 pm
you guys should screen breakin' and breakin' 2 electric boogaloo this year.
JB / June 12, 2013 at 10:24 pm
I don't know if I should trust the opinion of anyone who thinks *Casablanca* is a snooze-fest. I also adore *Galaxy Quest*, but *Casablanca* is a classic for many good reasons. It's a brilliant film which transcends all of the cliches it spawned.
AMrk / June 12, 2013 at 11:28 pm
Wowza. Anyone who thinks that Casablanca is a snoozefest is clearly dumb or has bad taste or both. You might want to check yourself before you wreck yourself in the future, especially when you're writing on film and you disrespect one of the best films ever made.
AMrk replying to a comment from Johnny / June 12, 2013 at 11:31 pm
Is it in your job description to be a dick to your readers?
Newbie / June 13, 2013 at 12:07 am
Yonge Dundas Square to watch a movie sounds like a little slice of hell. I don't care that it's free...take the worst thing about any bad moviegoing experience and put it in one event.
Artemis replying to a comment from Newbie / June 13, 2013 at 12:46 am
How is it hell? I've been there before, and it's okay.
Rob replying to a comment from Newbie / June 13, 2013 at 08:48 am
You'd think so, but it's not that bad at all. People behave themselves and it's not crowded.
Ali / June 13, 2013 at 11:48 am
It's plain to see/read, that Johnny just doesn't like Romance Films! The TIFF's movies are perfect for romance and some comedy!!! A nicer review/comment he could of said was just that they're "chick flicks", but the "grandma, lonely aunt and cats" reference is just juvenile! Hopefully one day you'll experience what these movies represent!!
TPFF / June 13, 2013 at 12:50 pm
Join the Toronto Palestine Film Festival on JULY 5 at Christie Pits park for our free outdoor SCREENING of Annemarie Jacir's Salt of this Sea. There will also be yummy food and music before the film. Details here: https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/508927782529062/
Miriam / June 13, 2013 at 12:53 pm
Casual misogyny under the guise of anti-romantic film snobbery? How original, blogTO. My 18 cats and I will enjoy the hell out of the TIFF series.
Johnny replying to a comment from Ali / June 13, 2013 at 05:05 pm
While I do recognize Casablanca as a great film, it's not one I would choose to sit in a park at night to watch. I'd much rather watch it in my living room.

As for romantic films in general, I'm actually a big fan. I simply prefer my romance films to have a strong female lead, rather than the cliche damsel in distress. For a good example of this see TRUE ROMANCE (1993), one of my favourite films of all time.

Also, though not strictly a romantic film, if you're an Ingrid Bergman fan I highly recommend NOTORIOUS (1946) where she helped define the role of strong female leads in film.
Katherine replying to a comment from Miriam / June 13, 2013 at 05:19 pm
Hogwash! This is a perfect example of how people in Toronto no longer have a sense of humour. I find his writing style to be humorous and i assume intentionally juvenile. If I wanted stuffy content I'd read the globe and mail.

I would however enjoy challenging the author to write an article regarding romantic cinema that men also enjoy.
Malvern ANC / June 14, 2013 at 06:26 am
Outdoor Movies (hosted by Malvern Action for Neighbourhood Change) at Malvern Library Plaza - 30 Sewells Road
Madagascar 3 - July 5th
Hotel Transylvania - July 12th
Life of Pi - July 26th
The Lorax - August 9th
Malvern ANC / June 14, 2013 at 06:27 am
Would be great if you could republish with all the ones that you've missed from the comments above.
Dwayne / June 16, 2013 at 08:05 am
Life of Pi - is playing July 5 at MEL LASTMAN SQUARE (North York)
Elle / June 17, 2013 at 11:41 am
Ahhh my favourite thing about summers in Toronto!!!

Great list, Johnny. I'll be the girl at Galaxy Quest saying all the best lines as well as bawling almost alarmingly too hard at a certain YOU KNOW WHAT PART.
loudone / June 19, 2013 at 07:22 pm
Watching Ghostbusters at Riverdale is part of my highlight reel from Summer 2012.
Ben McEvoy / June 19, 2013 at 08:48 pm
The Toronto Animation Arts Festival International is also hosting 'Fresh Water TAAFI' as a part of our weekend long animation celebration down at Corus Quay, Saturday July 27th! This picnic and screening will also play host to the worldwide premiere of 'Fish n Chips', a great film suitable for kids of all ages! Lots of great things to do down on the waterfront and it's free!
J Johnson replying to a comment from Johnny / June 23, 2013 at 10:36 pm
Yeah, I agree w/ Johnny L on the TIFF lineup. "Casablanca" & "City Lights" are undeniably great films, but this lineup is poor material for summer movie nights : uninspiring at best, booooooring for most audiences.
Amber replying to a comment from Johnny / June 27, 2013 at 02:41 am
Hey you're my kinda guy! True Romance is also one of my(and my dearly departed Dad's)all time fav flicks! In fact I just watched it again the other day after hearing of the untimely demise of Mr. James Gandolfini, so sad! I also had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Christopher Walken who decided to attend a showing of The Truman Show when I used to work at the Eaton Centre Cineplex. I ripped his ticket, I know you're jealous inside.
Elena replying to a comment from Dwayne / July 4, 2013 at 03:41 pm
Do you have a link for the movie (Life of Pi) and Mel Lastman square tomorrow? I can't seem to find any info about it...
Elena replying to a comment from Dwayne / July 4, 2013 at 03:43 pm
Do you have a link for the movie (Life of Pi) and Mel Lastman square tomorrow? I can't seem to find any info about it...
Shirin / July 4, 2013 at 06:42 pm
Annual Toronto Palestine Film Festival Outdoor Screening - Party in the Pits is happening tomorrow (July 5th) at 8:00pm.


Free event with tasty treats.
Elsie / July 7, 2013 at 11:35 am
Cultura Festival at Mel Lastman Square showed Life of Pi last Friday and will also show Midnight in Paris, Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Invictus. They also have live music acts.
Carole / July 9, 2013 at 07:15 pm
Replying to Tracy's message June 12,2013. The city of Toronto includes Etobicoke and Scarborough, and we pay taxes too!!!! Just saying.
Lane / July 12, 2013 at 12:28 pm
Clearly, with all these comments about extra outdoor film offerings/screenings, BlogTO needs to do their homework a little better. I shouldn't have to scroll through the comments section to find more listings.

Are you listening BlogTO?
dylan / July 16, 2013 at 11:11 am
The tiff Casablanca screening was filled with attractive couples, mostly younger.

One can only imagine the nerdfest that was a gathering of Galaxy Quest aficionados. Talk about sad and lonley cat people...
Janet / August 19, 2013 at 11:39 am
Went to Suger Beach on Friday evening. It was fab. Toyota had all of their new cars there for your purusal. Games as well and free gifts. About 300 or so close friends attended.
Clem / September 4, 2013 at 01:20 pm
It's a shame these are all on Wednesday evenings. Couldn't they work together to each be on a different weeknight, thus allowing the public to see more of the films instead of having to choose every Wednesday? Would be great if they could do this next summer!
MJH / November 13, 2013 at 01:59 pm
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Bariebel / June 11, 2014 at 02:39 pm
How great would your interest be in an outdoor Classical Film Festival showing movies of the Golden Era of Hollywood.
Commemorating movies which are celebrating their 75th and 80th anniversary in 2015.
Showing movies of stars like Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogart......
Captain Blood 1935
Mutiny on the Bounty 1935
The Sea Hawk 1940
Santa Fe Trail 1940
Northwest Passage 1940
Virginia City 1940
and others.
Give your opinion!
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