things to do summer toronto

50 things to do this summer in Toronto

50 things to do this summer in Toronto

Things to do in Toronto for summer 2019 have tons of events and activities happening that offer plenty of ways to soak up the sunshine. 

Park hangouts, patio chilling, outdoor movies and summer festivals are staples of the season, while there's lots of cool, new things to check out. 

Here's just some of the ways to enjoy summer in Toronto.

New this year

Soak up Toronto's arts and culture for free at a museum

Earlier this year, the MOCA and ROM launched free admission days for everyone to enjoy, and now the AGO is getting in on the action with a new model that allows people under 25 to experience the museum and all its spoils anytime. 

Get lost in an artsy funhouse

The work of local artists take the spotlight at the city's newest Instagrammable experience, The Funhouse. A giant canvas elephant, melting tables and chairs and innovative staging is all part of this huge fantasy arthouse experience, on now until September 22.

Meet an internet-famous cat in real life

New this year is a festival dedicated to the animal we love but doesn't always love us back: cats. Meowfest arrives out of Vancouver for a Toronto stint on July 6 with a whole day of cute kitties, shopping, workshops, special guests, food, drinks and more.

Relive the heartbreak at a museum for breakups

Sometimes relationships work out, but for all the times they didn't there's the Museum of Broken Relationships that's part of the Brave Festival on from July 11 to 21. It features items from breakups that are still filled with emotion and memories.

Channel your inner Michael Scott at The Office musical

The staff at Dunder Mifflin are coming to Toronto from July 30 to August 25 as this off-Broadway hit inspired by The Office arrives with all the deadpan, outrageous and slapstick humour we love about the show.

things to do summer toronto

Toronto's Funhouse experience is not like the others. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

Feel the sound at a new electro music festival from Amsterdam

A tiny part of Amsterdam's thriving nightlife scene is making its way to Toronto on August 11 as We Are Lost arrives for a full day of music from local and international DJs bringing the beats among the fresh air and chill vibes inside of Evergreen Brick Works.

Chill out at a cannabis music festival

It's the first summer since cannabis became legal and everyone is getting in on it, including the new Journey Festival in Vaughan, on from August 23 to 25. Music is only one part of this festival that includes cannabis education, workshops, talks and more.

Catch a performance under the big top

Cirque du Soleil is back this year with Alegria, which tells the story of a kingless monarchy and an imposter who tries to gain power. No longer in the Port Lands, the circus is making its home at Ontario Place from September 12 to December 1.

Summer favourites


Watch a movie under the stars

There's nothing like feeling the cool summer night breeze while watching a movie under the stars, and there's plenty of opportunities to do that this summer as parks across the city play host to free or pay-what-you-can screenings for all ages.

Eat and drink at a night market

Summer nights are made for staying out late and enjoying the food and drink culture the city has to offer, and there's no better place to do that than at night markets like Night It Up!, Waterfront Night Market and the Junction Night Market

Dance and groove to a summer music festival

It's that time of year to get your feet moving and grooving and there's tons of summer music festivals happening all over the city like Wavelength, Bud Light Dreams, Electric Island and All Day I Dream to keep the party going all summer.

things to do summer toronto

The Waterfront Night Market includes nearly every kind of traditional Asian street food. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

Catch some outdoor theatre

The thespian in all of us comes out during the warmer months with both Fringe and Summerworks taking up space around the city with performances of all kinds from Toronto's local theatre arts scene.

Party by the lake

The beach is the place to be during summer (when it's not totally flooded) and with parties like SunnysidePromise and the No Neon boat party spinning beats from local and international DJs, there's no shortage of ways to have a blast by the water.

Marquee events  

Toronto Jazz Festival

The city is about to come alive with jazzy tunes as the TD Toronto Jazz Festival returns with headliners Diana Ross and almost 200 free concerts taking place in Yorkville Village and all over the city from June 21 to 30.

Pride Parade

June means Pride Month in Toronto and the city is showing its colours as the celebration caps off with the huge annual Pride Parade on June 23. If you're looking to plan ahead for all the action, we've got a handy guide to Pride for you.

Taste of Asia

Like the street food markets found throughout parts of Asia, this big festival looks to create the sights and sounds of a bustling market with over 120 vendors lined up along Kennedy Road from June 28 to 30, plus special guests, performances, music and more.

Ribfest

Sticky and sweet, you're going to want to pack a bib and wet naps for this huge annual ribfest. Spanning the Canada Day long weekend from June 28 to July 1, this festival includes ribbers from all over the region, a beer garden, music, activities and a big midway.

Waterfront Festival

The tall ships are coming to Toronto this summer as the Redpath Waterfront Festival returns from June 29 to July 1 with a weekend of Maritime-themed fun like a market, music, food, drinks and outdoor activities.

Summerlicious

Restaurants all over are gearing up to offer special menus and dishes as this city-wide foodie event on from July 5 to 21. Patrons are encouraged to make reservations as spots fill up quick. 

Salsa on St. Clair

Get ready to rumba, samba, tango and salsa as this huge Latin street festival takes over part of St. Clair Ave W from July 6 to 7. Food, music, performances and activities are all part of the party. Not sure how it's done? Lessons will be offered throughout the two-days.

Festival of Beer

For a beer festival, this one is remarkably stacked with performances from the likes of Ja Rule, Ashanti, members of the Wu-Tang Clan and Toronto's own music collective Dwayne Gretzky as the booze flows like a river from July 26 to 28.

Caribana

Sequins, feathers, jewels and all the colourful costumes are a huge part of what makes this celebration so spectacular as Caribana caps off a month of events dedicated to Caribbean culture with the grand parade at Exhibition Place on August 3. 

VELD

The city's biggest music festival devoted to hip-hop and electro is back with a stacked lineup of performances from Cardi B, Tiësto, Skrillex, Kygo, Lil Baby, Loud Luxury and may more, all stopping by for the weekend of August 3 and 4.

things to do Toronto summer

Get ready to dance in the streets at Salsa on St. Clair. Photo by Jesse Milns.

Craft Beer Festival

Roundhouse Park is about to be the spot for craft beer this summer when local and regional craft brewers drop by for this huge festival on August 9 and 10 to serve up the suds alongside food, games, entertainment and live music.

Taste of the Danforth

It's the time of year again to head out to one of the biggest summer festivals as Taste of the Danforth returns from August 9 to 11 spread throughout Greektown. Traditional Greek fare, a huge midway, shopping, activities, music and performances are all part of the fun.

JerkFest

The spicy, savoury flavours of jerk are on at this year's annual JerkFest from August 9 to 11. R&B singers Ginuwine and Jeffery Osbourne are dropping by to sing while a huge variety of food is served up alongside entertainment, and more.

Vegandale

It's a plant-based celebration with all-vegan goodies being served up on August 10 at Fork York alongside music, installations, shopping, music and a big picnic-like atmosphere that brings the chill summer vibes.

Sweetery

Calling everyone with a sweet tooth for this big annual dessert festival on from August 10 to 11. All kinds of baked goods, sweet treats and innovative culinary creations are being served up by some of the city's top bakers, plus lots of savoury stuff as well.

CNE

Outrageous food, carnival rides, food festivals, concerts, air shows, shopping and plenty more are all part of the annual Canadian National Exhibition on from August 16 to September 2.

Taste of Manila

There's nothing like this massive street festival dedicated to Filipino culture as the neighbourhood of Bathurst and Wilson shuts down for two days of food, music, shopping, performances, activities and more from August 17 to 18.

Open Streets

This summer you'll have two chances to do yoga in the middle of Yonge Street as Open Streets returns on August 18 and September 15 where it will close down parts of Bloor and Yonge in favour of performances, activities and music in the streets.

Fan Expo

There's still lots of time to plan your costume as this huge fan festival returns from August 22 to 25 with all-things pop culture like special guests Jason Momoa, Hellboy’s David Harbour and Jeff Goldblum, plus shopping, performances and an artists' alley.

TIFF

Movies are just one part of this huge film festival on from September 5 to 15. The who's-who of the film industry are flocking to the city for the festival that includes plenty of parties, events, special programming and big street festival along King Street West.

Taste of the Kingsway

The Kingsway is the place to be from September 6 to 8 when part of Bloor Street West shuts down and the whole neighbourhood comes out for a weekend of food from local vendors, music, shopping, entertainment and a big midway. 

things to do Toronto summer

With rides, shows, food, drink, games and lots more, the CNE remains one of the most popular events of the season. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

Toronto Ukrainian Festival

The city's Ukrainian community is out in full force during this annual festival on from September 13 to 15 that includes traditional dance and cultural showcases, food, drinks, shopping and a giant midway.

Roncesvalles Polish Festival

Get ready to polka this summer as the festivities kick off along Roncesvalles on September 14 and 15 with dancing and performances in the street, plus food, music, art and activities for the whole family.

Just for Laughs

Eric Andre, Jonathan Van Ness, Carol Burnett, John Mulaney and Pete Davidson are just some of the comedic superstars dropping by for this year's city-wide comedy festival on from September 19 to 29 with venues all over hosting shows from local and international talent.

Events you can do all summer long


Hit the beach

Toronto is known for its lovely beaches. Right now, it's not looking great as water levels are high, but as summer temperatures continue, things are expected to dry out and many of the beaches around the city will be open for the season.

Go swimming at an outdoor pool

Lounging by the pool is an essential summer activity and thankfully Toronto has a ton of both indoor and outdoor pools you can go to, meaning that even if it's raining, you can splash around and have fun all season long.

Take a picnic to a local park

Insect season or not, it's that time of year to set up a blanket in the park and have a bite with friends under the shade of a tree. There are tons of parks around the city that make for a great picnic day.

Spend a day at the Scarborough Bluffs

The Bluffs are considered one of Toronto's hidden gems and by summertime, they're totally packed with people. They're situated in a big park with plenty of things to do, so you'll see lots of picnics and bonfires, bike riding or folks climbing to the top for a good view. 

things to do Toronto summer

Patios high and low are the place to be during the summer. Photo by Hector Vasquez at The Broadview Hotel.

Eat a lot of ice cream

If you get a sore tummy, it's totally worth it with all of the amazing ice cream spots serving up everything from ice cream sandwiches, epic cones, classic spots and ice cream-stuffed tacos.

Chill out on a patio

This is just about the only time of year where the patio is the place to be and there's no shortage of them at places all over with patios for all occasions, like a romantic date or just hanging out under the stars with a cold one. 

Soak up the best of the city at street festival

Festival season is here and Toronto is all over it with tons of street festivals happening all summer like BIG on Bloor, Pedestrian Sundays, and OssFest. Discover a neighbourhood, make some memories and try new foods because it's all going down.

Outside the city


Frolic at a lavender or sunflower farm

Just outside of the city lies Terre Bleu, a lavender farm with rows and rows of purple flowers with a mysterious yellow door sitting right in the middle. If lavender isn't your thing, Davis Feed & Farm has thousands of sunflowers in bloom all summer long.

Pick some fruits and vegetables

One of the best and tastiest parts of summer is picking your own fruits and veggies. Strawberries, apples, peas, beans and even flowers are just some of the goodies waiting to be picked at many of the places in and around the city.

Explore wine country

You don't have to go far to get some of the best wines in the world at some of the wineries of Ontario, especially along the Niagara Escarpment or in Prince Edward County where there's lots of places that offer just a taste of what the region has to offer.

things to do summer toronto

This huge floating waterpark is only one hour from Toronto. Photo courtesy of SplashON Barrie.

Hike or camp at a provincial park

Sometimes the city can be a hot mess in summer and if you're looking to get away, there's seemingly no end to the expanse of nature that surrounds Toronto, including many provincial parks that offer hiking or camping, if you plan to stay a little longer.

Visit a small town

Just beyond the city borders are places that are unlike any other in local character and culture. Small towns offer the chance to get away from it all without going too far into the sticks, and can make for a great day trip—or longer.

Get out of the city for a day

If you're strapped for time, there's no shortage of low-commitment day trip options that will let you explore tons of interesting spots just outside of the city that are designed so you can get there and back in time for dinner.

Thanks to The Toronto Zoo for sponsoring this post.


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