outdoor movies toronto

Free outdoor movies in Toronto for summer 2016

Free outdoor movies in Toronto this summer are rampant. I hope you've invested in some sizeable picnic blankets, or low-sitting lawn chairs because they'll get a lot of use if you follow this guide. Parks, waterfronts, parking lots and massive public spaces play host to free films this year.

Here's a round-up of free outdoor movies in Toronto for summer 2016.

Bollywood Classics Series
Location: Aga Khan Museum

The Bollywood Classics Series happens all summer, and most films are inside the gorgeous museum. Two films however are being shown outside in the courtyard for free.

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

The ideal activity for balmy Wednesday nights, the Harbourfront Centre's Free Flicks series runs the entire summer season. Now in its 14th year, the festival keeps things mostly light for a little lakeside chill-out.

  • June 22 : Mean Girls (In partnership with Pride Toronto and TIFF)
  • June 29: Strange Brew
  • July 6: The Visitor
  • July 13: A Little Princess
  • July 20: The Grand Seduction
  • July 27: The Mighty Quinn
  • August 3: The Last Dragon
  • August 10: The Good Lie
  • August 17: Chef
  • August 24: Sense and Sensibility
  • August 31: Audience Choice! between Gravity, The King's Speech or Slumdog Millionaire.

Christie Pits Film Festival
Location: Christie Pits Park

The sixth year of the outdoor screening series is called Stranded in Christie Pits! and features films "exploring themes of isolation, confinement, escape, and perseverance" beginning June 26 and running every Sunday until August 28.

  • June 26: Gravity, New Summer - Young Galaxy
  • July 3: My Prairie Home, The Little Deputy, Handsome & Majestic
  • July 10: Duel, Blind Spot, While I'm Here: The San Diego Highwayman
  • July 17: Mustang, Winter, Home Away, Savage
  • July 24: I Put A Hit On You, Long Branch, The Lamp
  • July 31: William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, Flesh Without Blood (Grimes), Bodies at Bay (Cold Specks)
  • August 7: The Truman Show, Entangled
  • August 14: Meek's Cutoff, The Surveyors
  • August 21: Cast Away, Dredger

August 28 is the scheduled rain date.

City Cinema at Yonge-Dundas Square
Location: Yonge-Dundas Square

Every Tuesday at Yonge-Dundas Square starting June 28 - August 30, catch free funny films (this year's theme) on the giant screen surrounded by other giant screens. Films start at sundown (around 8:30, 9 p.m.) and are all preceded by a film chosen by the National Film Board.

  • June 28: Bridesmaids
  • July 5: Coming to America
  • July 12:For Your Consideration, Best in Show
  • July 19: Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Jerk
  • July 26: Space Balls, Blazing Saddles
  • August 2: Stripes
  • August 9: Wayne's World, The Ladies Man
  • August 16: There's Something about Mary
  • August 23: Tommy Boy
  • August 30: Airplane!, Dracula: Dead and Loving It

Movies in St James Park
Location: St. James Park

Every last Thursday of June, July and August there's a free film screening in this beautiful park. St James Cathedral is right next door, so if you need to confess something, get there early. A couple of the evenings feature shows beforehand.

  • June 30:
    Show: Drag show at 8 p.m.
    Movie: Kinky Boots (in partnership with Pride Toronto)
  • July 28:
    Movie: Inside Out
  • August 25
    Show: The Rattles
    Movie: Hard Days Night (part of Beatles TO 50 event in partnership with Scotiabank)

Cultura Festival
Mel Lastman Square

Every Friday night in July in Mel Lastman Square, Cultura Festival presents a free movie when the sun goes down. Before that you can walk around and enjoy food, busker entertainment, and interactive art instillations. Visit the Cultura website for film listings when they appear.

Under the Stars Screening Series
Location: Regent Park

Happening every Wednesday starting July 13 - August 24 in the big park in Regent Park (620 Dundas Street East), Under The Stars haven't announced the lineup yet, but it will be up shortly. If it rains, the screening moves inside Daniels Spectrum at 585 Dundas Street East. Between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. there is food and culture programming to check out, pre-movie time.

Sail-In Cinema
Location: Sugar Beach

Starting Thursday, August 18-20 at Sugar Beach, the PortsToronto Sail-in Cinema will present three films organized around the theme of Books to Big Screen. This puts pretty much every film ever up as a contender for this year's series, but who cares! It's a floating movie theatre!

Couryard Movies at St. Peters
Location: St. Peters Church

There were free film screenings here last year, and they plan to do it again this year, but no information is available yet. They'll be showing family-friendly films on selected days throughout the summer. Check back on their website for updates.

Movies in the Park - Riverdale Park East
Location: Riverdale Park East

Riverdale Park East Movies in the Park hosts four free screenings to help raise funds for local children's charities. Though the lineup has yet to be announced, these are PG-rated films and the films only take place if enough sponsorship money has been raised. Keep an eye on the their website for details.

The screenings start Sunday July 11 until Sunday Aug. 22 with movies yet to be announced.

Union Summer film screening series
Location: Union Station front courtyard

The summer market at Union Station is back this summer (yay!) and they're growing operations with a Wednesday night free film screening series. Very little information is available as of yet, but stay tuned as we'll be posting updated info as it comes in.


Film Night at Trinity Bellwoods Park (June 22)
Watch a movie in the dog bowl at Trinity Bellwoods! Please, just watch where you sit down first. At 7:30 p.m. catch a series of National Film Board shorts from the Best of the Best: Especially for Kids series. There'll also be food from Scoop Shop, Odile Chocolate and The Pie Commission.



Open Roof Festival
Location: 99 Sudbury

The open-air festival celebrates indie film and live music starting June 21 and closing shop with two back-to-back screenings on August 23 and 24. Every Tuesday there will be a musical performance followed by a film screening once the sun has set. Tickets are $15.

  • June 21
    Film: Everybody Wants Some!!
    Band: Matrox
  • June 28
    Film: Sing Street
    Band: Fresh Snow
  • July 5
    Film: The Lobster
    Band: Kayla Diamond
  • July 13
    Film: Sleeping Giant
    Band: Bruce Penninsula
  • July 20
    Film: Off the Rails
    Band: Tomi Swick
  • August 3
    Film: TBA
    Band: Grand Analogu
  • August 10
    Film: A Bigger Splash
    Band: Chloe Charles
  • August 17
    Film: My Blind Brother
    Band: Sam Drysdale
  • August 23
    Film: Bonus Screening film TBA
    Band: Yuka
  • August 24
    Film: Hunt for The Wilderpeople
    Band: Most People

Did I clumsily miss a free outdoor film screening in Toronto this summer? Let us know in the comments.

Photo from the Christie Pits Film Fest Facebook page.

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