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Free outdoor movies in Toronto summer 2014

Posted by Sarah Ratchford / June 12, 2014

Outdoor movies toronto 2014Outdoor movies in Toronto are a cinephile's dream come true. They provide a chance to continue enjoying the heat once the sun goes down, they happen throughout the city, and they are free. The specifics for some of this year's movie nights have yet to be announced, but fret not. They're still happening (we've confirmed), and you can check back with the various organizers for updates as the summer goes on.

Grab a few friends or a love interest, pack your own snacks, and check out the diverse and entertaining flicks on offer this summer in Toronto:

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

While the specific lineup of films has not yet been released, Harbourfront Centre will feature its Free Flicks series again this year, each Wednesday evening at sundown. This year, the theme is Funny Girls. Films honouring women comedians, whether they be writers, directors and actors. The series begins July 2 and runs until August 27.

TIFF in the Park
Location: King & Simcoe, David Pecaut Square

Films showcased by TIFF in the Park are, fittingly, all about life in show business and the pursuit of a big break. The dates and films are:

  • July 2:Waiting for Guffman
  • July 9: 20 Feet from Stardom
  • July 16: Billy Elliot
  • July 23: Searching for Sugar Man
  • July 30: Sunset Boulevard
  • August 6: Pina
  • August 13: A Star Is Born
  • August 20: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
  • August 27: Pitch Perfect

Many of these cheesy flicks are family friendly, and some might give you a jolt of ambition, if that's what you're looking for. TIFF will be announcing pop-up films at Dentonia Park, Evergreen Brickworks and Regent Park, with dates and films TBA soon.

City Cinema: Yonge-Dundas Square

Somehow the folks at Yonge-Dundas Square are still working on the schedule for outdoor movies this year, this despite the fact that they're scheduled to start on June 24th. In spite of the light pollution, this is always one of the most popular spots to catch an outdoor flick. Just remember to bring a chair! Look for cult classics rather than new releases here.

Courtyard Movies at St. Peter's
Location: St. Peter's Church, 840 Bathurst St

Courtyard movies at St. Peter's kick off on June 13 at 8:30 p.m. with The Princess Bride. and they continue on select days throughout the summer. Specifics are TBA, but you can check back on their site for updates.

Cultura Festival
Location: Mel Lastman Square

Each Friday in July, Cultura Festival takes over the square, and films are shown alongside the opportunity to pick up some local art and sample international street foods. The films for this year have yet to be announced, but the dates are as follows:

  • Friday, July 4
  • Friday, July 11
  • Friday, July 18
  • Friday, July 15

Regent Park Film Festival Under the Stars Screenings

The Regent Park Film Festival hosts an eclectic mix of movies this summer outside of the Daniels Spectrum.

  • June 18: Omar, co-presented with Toronto International Film Festival
  • June 25: Empire of Dirt, co-presented with imagineNative Media + Arts Festival
  • July 2: Kidnapped for Christ, co-presented with Inside Out Film Festival
  • July 9: Linsanity, co-presented with Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival
  • July 16: Blood Brother, co-presented with Open Roof Fest and Toronto Youth Shorts
  • July 23: The Lunchbox, co-presented with Diaspora Film Festival
  • July 30: Luv, co-presented with CityLife Film Project
  • August 6: Short Term 12, co-presented with Rendezvous With Madness Film Festival
  • August 13: Mooz-Lum, co-presented with ReelWorld Film Festival
  • August 20: Made in America, co-presented with Manifesto

Christie Pits Film Festival: Hits in the Pits
Location: Christie Pits Park

  • July 6 at sunset: A League Of Their Own
  • July 13 at sunset: Les Vacances De Monsieur Hulot
  • July 20 at sunset: Stand By Me
  • July 27 at sunset: Rear Window

Stand By Me in the park covertly sipping beer from a can and snuggling with friends beneath the few stars that show themselves beyond the smog? Just show me a truer delight. Christie Pits is one of the city's more charming parks, and it's surrounded by wonderful Korean joints and a few bars for post-flick hangouts. There are a few more to be added to the list, so be sure to check back in as the summer goes on.

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

This year's Movies in the Park have not yet been announced, but they are definitely happening. Check back to their site for updates, but in the meantime, their dates are as follows:

  • Sunday July 13
  • Sunday July 27
  • Sunday August 3
  • Sunday August 17

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

Dates and films for Junction movie nights are yet to be announced. According to the Junction BIA, there might be films once per month this year, but those will be organized by another group, not the BIA itself. The facilitating organization, like the films themselves, is TBA. Check in at the Junction BIA's site, though, as they aid they'd provide updates.

Sail-in Cinema / Films TBD
Location: Sugar Beach (25 Dockside Drive)

Sail-in Cinema is a shout out to the nautical aspect of Toronto's identity. Apparently "Toronto's largest outdoor theatre event," the mini film fest broadcasts movies on a two-sided screen mounted atop a giant barge in the harbour. The audience can watch from Sugar Beach, or, obviously, from their boats, should they be so lucky. Voting begins soon to determine which films will be shown. Sail-in Cinema is happening on August 14 to 16 this year.

Movies in St. James Park
Location: St. James Park

On the final Thursday of each summer month, you can catch a (generally) family-friendly film in St. James Park. What was the location again? I know...Anyway, here's what's been announced so far this year:

  • June 26: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert + free drag show
  • July 21: The Lego Movie
  • August 28: TBD

The rest is TBD, but it will be posted online once available.


Open Roof Festival
Location: 99 Sudbury

Although not free, it's worth mentioning the Open Roof Festival. Back for its fifth year, the series showcases indie bands and outdoor screenings. Thanks to its new location this year, the festival is touting its food and drink options, which distinguish it from most outdoor movie nights. Tickets are $15.

  • June 19: Enemy
  • June 25: The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • July 3: Bad Words
  • July 10: Locke
  • July 17: Frank
  • July 24: Ping Pong Summer
  • July 31: 20 Feet from Stardom
  • August 7: The Grand Seduction

pure leafThanks to Pure Leaf for sponsoring our summer adventures. For more things to do this summer, check out our Best of Summer page.

Photo by livinginacity in the blogTO Flickr pool



AV / June 12, 2014 at 12:36 pm
The Junction BIA isn't coordinated enough to have the film nights organized and lined up already? Gee, that's a big ol' shock to absolutely no one currently living in the Junction.
Riverdale Movies / June 12, 2014 at 12:39 pm
Um July 7 Top Gun, July 21 Goonies, August 4 E.T., August 18 Ferris Bueller. Its right on the header and had been for almost a month
Derek replying to a comment from Riverdale Movies / June 12, 2014 at 12:48 pm
Those are last year's movies. What else did you want to explain for all of us?
George / June 12, 2014 at 01:05 pm
Looks like the Harbourfront and St. Peter's movie lists are up...
Taylor / June 12, 2014 at 02:34 pm
Harbourfront and Regent Park are going to be my go-tos this summer!
Chester replying to a comment from AV / June 12, 2014 at 02:34 pm
Couldn't have said it better myself. LOL.
Movies in St. James Park / June 12, 2014 at 03:01 pm
Thanks for the shout out. The screening of The Lego Movie is actually July 31st, and we just confirmed The Philadelphia Story for our August 28th screening. Looking forward to all these great screenings!
d / June 12, 2014 at 03:34 pm

And for the kids in Mississauga,
Christie Pits Film Festival / June 12, 2014 at 11:58 pm
Thanks for the great little piece, BlogTO! Please note that "Hits in the Pits" was last year's theme. This year's theme is called "Days of Summer", and all the films listed above are correct, with more to come.
Toronto Green Community / June 13, 2014 at 12:08 pm
Join us next week June 19th for a screening of Growing Cities at Eglinton Park.
MOVIES / June 14, 2014 at 07:27 pm
Can someone explain to me why Harbourfront and TIFF can't talk it out and pick different nights of the week. It really bites to have to choose, especially when the themes are so good this year!
mar replying to a comment from MOVIES / June 26, 2014 at 11:21 am
L. / June 26, 2014 at 12:29 pm
WHY are so many of these venues showing the LEGO movie? There are so many other movies to choose from!!
Peggy-Sue Lafferty / June 30, 2014 at 07:16 pm
For people who live in the east end - Ward 32 Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon is hosting free movie nights in local parks again. This Sat., July 5th at 8 p.m. (all movies will start at 8 p.m.) she'll be showing "Fantastic Mr. Fox" in Fairmount Park (Gerrard, between Coxwell & Woodbine), Sat. July 12th "The Lego Movie" in Lawlor Parkette, Tues. July 15 "Rio 2" in Moncur Park, Thurs. July 17th "Indiana Jones - Raiders of the Lost Ark" in East Lynn Park, Tues. July 22nd "The Lego Movie" in Cassels Park and Sun. July 27th "The Lego Movie" in Jonathon Ashbridge Park (the local park groups got to pick the movie, which is why "The Lego Movie" shows up more than once).
TPFF / July 3, 2014 at 02:51 pm
The Toronto Palestine Film Festival is hosting a free outdoor screening at Christie Pits Park on August 8. We hope you can join us! Click link for complete details
Erin / July 21, 2014 at 02:42 pm
FYI - I think some dates have been changed so double check before heading out to these parks (i.e. Lego movie is now on July 31)

Danielle / July 22, 2014 at 01:13 pm
City Cinema at Yonge-Dundas Square actually had their programming announced before this article was posted. See their schedule here:
Other Cities: Montreal