Weekend events in Toronto: July 18-20, 2014
Weekend events in Toronto is our guide to events happening this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Here's what's happening in Toronto this July 18-20, 2014.
Saturday's diverse one-day line up at Fort York will probably be more fun than Grove was last year, however the loss of Death Grips due to their break up is unfortunate. Grimes, Smith Westerns, Kaytranada, Majical Cloudz and more are still on the bill. TIME took a three year break, so it's not brand new - but a jump from Sound Academy means this fest is going to be a totally different experience. Tip: that experience might include noise bleed from the Honda Indy. Just gimme Indy Rock! Saturday, July 19, 12pm, Fort York Garrison Common (100 Garrison Road).
Vroom vroom, if we're being totally honest the noise of the Honda Indy is probably closer to what I typically listen to than Time's line up. Cars will race, precious fossil fuels from the depths of the earth will spill out onto the hot pavement, and the music fans at Fort York may or may not grimace with faces as hard as the brave drivers who risk their lives (kinda) for your amusement. As opposed to the brave bikers who risk their lives daily in Toronto to get to work. Fan Friday is free! July 18-20, Exhibition Place (200 Princes' Blvd).
Thrill of the Grill
Taking place on Saturday, July 19 from noon to 4pm, the Thrill of the Grill, organized by the Danforth BIA, will raise funds for kidney cancer research while showcasing local restaurants and merchants. Five Danforth restaurants and one butcher will compete to win over crowds and celebrity judges with delectable racks of BBQ ribs. LI
Taste of Thailand
Free VS plane tickets to Asia - it's one of those weekends where your credit limit makes the choice for you. Taste of Thailand, a free outdoor festival celebrating Thai food and culture, takes place at Nathan Phillips Square July 19 and 20 from noon until 8pm. The event will feature free cultural shows, Thai delicacies for sale, cooking demos and carving workshops. LI
Amsterdam Block Party
The Amsterdam Block Party is back with all the free beer you can drink after you pay the $15 entry. DJ Well Said will be DJ-ing the rooftop. Saturday, July 19, 6pm, 25 Kensington Market Ave (around back).
Ontario Oyster Festival
The 26th Ontario Oyster Festival at Rodney's (469 King St. West) promises a shuckin' good time, featuring fresh oysters, mussels, and lobster, on Sunday, July 20 from 2pm to 10pm. Tickets ($32) get you admission plus two drink tickets, and one plate of oysters or one hot food item. Additional food and drink tickets are $5. LI
- Global Village Food and Music Festival (Friday, Market 707)
- Hot Dog Happy Hour (Saturday, Craft Dogs)
- Tranzac Sunday Feast
- Bikes, BBQ, & Cold-Brew Coffee: Cycle Toronto July Social (Sunday, Propeller Coffee)
Beaches International Jazz Festival
Having gotten too big for Queen Street East, The Beaches Jazz Festival has expanded in recent years to include events at Woodbine Park. Don't fret - the street festival still shuts down The Beach for three days, but there's now more jazz to go around. The Jazz Festival is one of the more family friendly options on our list, due to the cost (free!), the all-ages atmosphere, and the easy listening of the music on display (no heavy metal or pounding beats here). Best of all the fest is no longer feuding with Drake. Check out our guide to the Beaches Jazz Fest here. July 18-27, Woodbine Park/Queen St. E. (The Beach), free. MF
Khôra + Dirty Inputs + Thom Huhtala
Drone is cool now. Embrace it with the illusive Khora (Constellation) and Wavelength at that new place Skrillex likes (and 7-11 hates) on Spadina, 8-11's gallery. Friday, July 18, 8-11 (233 Spadina).
Catch this rising r&b/hip hop duo before they rise as high as the Weeknd and have comedians dressing up as them at shows. Expect Drake-style vocals and a Drake-style play between egoist machismo and sweetie pie vibes from this Scarborough repping group. Sunday, July 20, Mod Club (722 College).
Poor Pilgrim Island Show 7
It's back - Poor Pilgrim presents Doomsquad, IC/JC/VC, Petra Glynt, Carl Didur and more in a relaxing show in hidden spots on the island (a map and tour will guide the way). Hopefully the noise bleed from the Honda Indy won't make it over the waters. Sunday, July 20, 5pm, Toronto Islands, PWYC.
- Champion Lover (Friday, Sneaky Dee's)
- Dirty Frigs (Friday, Magpie)
- Hip hop karaoke (Friday, Revival)
- Live Band Karaoke (Friday, Junction City Music Hall)
- Wrong Hole (Friday, Smiling Buddha)
- Subhumans (Saturday, The Horseshoe Tavern)
- Girls Rock Camp Toronto showcase (Sunday, Tranzac)
Richard Linklater's Boyhood
RIchard Linklater is known for his radical depictions of time passing, most notoriously in his Before trilogy; he could have made each sequel the way most others would: by slathering make-up on his actors to make them appear nine years older. But Linklater prefers to let life do the make-up work, and Boyhood, which chronicles twelve years in the life of a boy named Mason and, yep, took twelve years to film, is his most moving ode to the power of waiting. Set in Texas, it's also a great summer movie, what with the ambience always being summery there, no matter the season. Cineplex Odeon Varsity & VIP Cinemas (55 Bloor Street West). BW
CPFF Days of Summer: Stand By Me coming-of-age flicks
I have watched Stand By Me so many times that I could recite the whole thing from memory, but embedding audio in this post would defeat the purpose of you going to check out this free outdoor screening of the Rob Reiner classic aka the only coming of age film that matters (maybe). Bring a blanket and a small donation. Saturday July 19, 7:30pm, Christie Pits Park (779 Crawford Ave W).
- Insomniac Film Festival 2014 (Friday, Rainbow Cinemas)
TIME Festival pre-party
TIME Fest alumni Alice Glass (Crystal Castles) will DJ the Hoxton tonight with Health (DJ), Chrome Sparks, and the Range. Pretty awesome for a pre-party - congrats Toronto. Friday, July 18, 10pm, The Hoxton (69 Bathurst Street).
For more dance listings, check out our Top Dance Parties in Toronto in July post.
BIG on Bloor
BIG on Bloor closes the street off to cars between Lansdowne and Dufferin. Last year, the festival, one of Toronto's newer ones, drew about 80,000 visitors. This year, it will be on July 19 and 20, and it will feature 200 local arts and crafts vendors, alongside arts and entertainment showcases. July 19-20, Saturday 1-9pm, Sunday 12-6pm, Bloordale Village. SR
Salsa on St. Clair + Mayoral Dance-Off?
Salsa on St. Clair is probably one of the festivals most fraught with steamy summer possibilities. This year, it's a week long with events across the city, from July 12 to 20. The street festival, which is obviously along St. Clair, this weekend. Most importantly, there are confirmed rumours of a mayoral dance-off. July 19-20, St. Clair Ave West from Winona Dr. to Christie St. SR
On Dundas St. between Spadina and Beverley, and on Huron St. between D'Arcy and Dundas, Chinese culture will festoon the streets from July 19 to 20. One of Toronto's handful of Chinatowns, this neighbourhood is always alive with Chinese culture, but with this festival, the sheer volume of street foods on offer is astounding. You can also catch a dragon winding its way through the area, with lion dances at night. Last year, the festival attracted about 150,000 people, and organizers expect more of the same for 2014. July 19-20, Dundas St. West - Spadina Ave. SR
- Cultura Festival (Friday, Mel Lastman Square)
- Corso Italia's Mercato (Friday, Corso Italia)
- Habari Africa Festival (July 18-20, Harbourfront Centre)
- Toronto's Biggest Swap at Yonge-Dundas Square (Saturday, Yonge-Dundas)
- International BrazilFest (Sunday, Earlscourt Park)
Card Yard at Big on Bloor
As part of Big on Bloor on Brock Street a Senayah Design and PULP joint venture will once again erect pavilions made from recycled cardboard tubes. There will be colourful art creations, poetry, photography, dance, and, according to promoters, actual magic. Unicorn sightings can be tweeted @blogto. Saturday, July 19, Bloordale Village, 12-6pm.
HUSTLEHARD: Art Works
This creative "think tank, but with cocktails" at the Sky Yard wants you to dish the dirty on working as a creative in Toronto, and find new artists to collaborate with. Anupa Mistry hosts and it's $2 to get matched with your future muse, mentor, or friendly rival. Sunday, July 20, 7pm, Sky Yard At The Drake Hotel (1150 Queen St. West).
- Summer Group Exhibition (July 19 - Aug 17, Narwhal)
- Leslieville Gallery Crawl (Sunday, Project Gallery)
- Sunday Scene: Michele Pearson Clarke (Sunday, Power Plant)
For more art listings, check out our Top 10 Must-See Art Shows This Summer post.
Caturday Night Live
Comedy for a claws - I mean cause: the Annex Cat rescue is hosting some funnies along with a cat food drive, a pet photo shoot, and much more. Performers include comedians Mark Andrada, Rhiannon Archer, Leonard Chan, Sara Hennessey, Julia Hladkowicz, Ted Morris, Ashley Moffatt, Pat Thornton, Kathleen Phillips-Locke, and Daniel Woodrow. Steven Mann hosts. Door prizes include a stay at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. There an adoptathon going on earlier in the day, too. Saturday, July 19, 9pm, Paintbox Bistro (585 Dundas Street East).
- Calvinball Comedy's Detroit Improv Fest Showcase (Friday, Social Capital Theatre)
- Mary-Janes of Comedy Stand-up Comedy Summer Extravaganza (Friday, Comedy Bar)
- The Superstars of Comedy (Saturday, Comedy Bar)
Live Green Toronto Festival
A true celebration of "all things green" wouldn't be complete without Kermit, but Live Green means it in the earth-saving way. Not that Kermit couldn't share some vital tips on how to keep us from careening into evolutionary oblivion, if only someone would ask. There will be a beer garden, a swap zone, and music on the main stage. Saturday, July 19, 11am-8pm, Yonge- Dundas Square, Yonge Street (Gould to Queen).
Philip Sparks and blogTO Peroni Night
Fashion's noticed that you're into free beer, and this only means good things for you - shop at Philip Sparks on Ossington while drinking free beer and chatting up our lifestyle editor Natalia Manzocco tonight, then stumble out into the street in your new suds - I mean duds - where you'll be indistinguishable from the rest of the Ossington milieu. Friday, July 18, 7-9pm, Philip Sparks (162 Ossington Ave).
Crews & Tangos Drag Race - Season 4
Crews & Tangos are hosting a drag race of their own from July 20 - August 24, and the prize is a fabulous $5,000. Week one is free, so get your performance ready - or just show up to enjoy the show. Sunday, July 20, 9pm, Crews and Tangos (508 Church Street).
Photo: Jesse Milns. Contributions by Sarah Ratchford, Matt Forstythe, Blake Williams