street festivals toronto

The top 5 street festivals in Toronto for spring 2015

Spring has officially arrived in Toronto and with it the promise street festival season. While most of our fests are clustered in late May and June, this year we have a brand new March offering. It's also worth mentioning that Pedestrian Sundays get underway in May throughout Kensington Market, so that should also be on your list of things to do outdoors once the weather actually warms up. For now, you can start getting ready for all the food on sticks you're going to eat in the coming months.

Here are my picks for the top spring street festivals in Toronto.

Pabst Street Jam 2015
Ring in spring with a last hurrah to winter. This block party is centre around a snowboard rail at Church and Shuter that will witness some of Ontario's best strut their stuff amidst plenty of PBR and food trucks (yes, multiple Toronto cliches are at work here). Music will be supplied by Thugli and Rich Kidd. The only catch is that this is a 19+ event, which might suck for a few Ryerson students looking to let off some steam before exams. March 28th.

Dundas West Fest
Now in its third year, Dundas West Fest continues to grow with more vendors and engagement along the eponymous street between Ossington and Lansdowne. If last year's event was any indication, it will be a busy festival with plenty of beer and cheap eats on offer from local restaurants and bars. Keep an eye out for deals on vintage clothing as well, and check the festival's Facebook page for updates about this year's vendors. Saturday, June 6th.

Annex Fest
The 19th annual Annex Fest will close down Bloor between Spadina and Bathurst on June 14th for a family friendly array of performances and activities. There will be live music on the Tranzac stage at Bloor and Brunswick, about 100 craft vendors, and busking performances courtesy of the Fringe Festival.

Taste of Little Italy
Taste of Italy will surely be the busiest spring festival of the bunch, with roughly 50 restaurants serving up a variety of Italian (and decidedly non-Italian) fare. College will be closed to traffic between Bathurst and Shaw as the roving masses devour food on sticks, gelato, and even whole-roasted pig. Live music will also be on offer. June 19-21st.

Waterfront Festival
This year's festival stretches along the lake from Spadina to Sugar Beach. Head down for crazy canines performing jumps, live music, and other entertainment. Bring sunscreen, and be prepared to be joined by lots and lots of kids (I hear sunstroke slows them down). June 19-21st.

Writing by Sarah Ratchford and Derek Flack

Photo from Taste of Little Italy

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