Six Reasons to Visit Toronto This Summer

categories: canada travel

If you’re looking for some exciting events this Summer, look no further than Toronto, Canada. This city has different events to satisfy your inner film critic, food fanatic, or music junkie.

Film Festivals

Like most major cities around the world, Toronto has a strong liberal arts presence. Their taste for the arts is reflected in the film festivals that they feature each summer.

From April 24 to May 4, the Hot Docs film festival shows off documentaries from around the world. The 2014 lineup has already been announced and will include a showing of nearly 200 different films. Tickets range from around $6 to $20.

In addition to the documentary film festival, Toronto also features an LGBT film festival from May 22 to June 1. The crowds can get as large as 35,000 people with panel discussions, film viewings, and general partying.

Music Festivals

Toronto plays host to several different high-profile music festivals throughout the summer. The South by Southwest counterpart, North by Northeast, runs from June 13 to June 22. While the music is one of the main events, there are also comedy acts, speakers, and films to look forward to.

Canadian Music Week is an additional famous festival in the early summer (from May 6 to May 10) that features such acts as M.I.A., Tegan and Sara, and Ellie Goulding. Along with the music there are celebrity interviews and special guest appearances by other performing groups, music producers, and actors.

For a more low-key experience, visitors to Toronto can go just a few miles away to the Mississauga Waterfront Festival. There are festivities from June 13 to June 15 that include a charity golf tournament and film screenings. The following weekend is specially declared as the music weekend when local and cover bands perform.

If rock music and cover bands don’t quite do it for you, there is still a place for you in the music-filled summers in Toronto. Jazz musicians from all over gather in downtown Toronto from June 19 to the 28 to perform together.

Food Festivals

Each year Toronto hosts a Toronto Taste for one day only. This year’s Toronto Taste falls on June 8th. Admission is on the more expensive side ($250 per person). However, only the best chefs and restaurants in the area are invited to participate so you are sure to have a superior dining experience.

In addition to fine dining within the city limits, there are plenty of fine dining opportunities in surrounding cities with great restaurants in Mississauga, North York, and Scarborough. Many of these establishments, like Gabriel’s Restaurant Bar & Grill, are family owned and offer a taste of the local flavor and culture.

The Taste of Danforth festival is an additional event where you can have a unique and delicious dining experience. This festival is completely devoted to authentic Greek food and Greek restaurants in the area. This year the festival is held from August 8 to August 10. The festivities include dancing, music, and most importantly, food.

Cultural Festivals

Toronto may seem like just another city up in Canada, but this city offers opportunities for cultural growth and advancement. There are plenty of cultural festivals over the summer but one of the biggest is the Toronto Caribana, from July 31 to August 3. There are family friendly activities like parades and junior carnivals. There are also activities for adults like concerts and parties.

If you’d rather get a taste of Chinese culture, on June 21 and 22 you can participate in the annual Dragon Boat Race Festival. Whether you want to be one of the racers or just cheer at the finish line, there is fun for everyone.

Buskerfest does not celebrate one individual country’s culture, but celebrates the culture of street performers. From August 21 to August 24, this festival provides a perfect activity for the whole family to come and watch unique acts like jugglers, magicians, dancers, and puppeteers.

Summer Activities

If the traditional sort of festivals aren’t for you, there are plenty of other festivities and events that are still a big part of summer fun.

The Redpath Waterfront Festival is perfect for the wet and wild sports fan inside you. This event is from June 18 to June 20. Like all great parties, it features music, drinks, and a way to cool down from the summer heat. Sit back and relax while you watch dogs making spectacular leaps into the water and jet boarders do stunning acrobatics.

If you think that racecar driving is solely an American sport, think again. Each summer Toronto hosts the Honda Indy in Toronto. This year it falls on the weekend of July 18 and tickets range from $50 to $175.

Canada Day

Canada Day is the American equivalent of Independence Day. On July 1, 2014, Canada will be celebrating its 147th year of independence. Their celebrations typically include festivals, fireworks, parades, and family-friendly activities.

So why would you want to go to Toronto for Canada Day? Their fireworks show claims to be best in the nation. Plus, if you plan it right, you can go to Toronto for Canada Day and then return to the United States for Independence Day to get double the celebrations!


Whatever your interests may be, Toronto has a little bit of everything going on this summer. Plan a unique vacation that will give you plenty of enjoyment and memories to last a lifetime.


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by Theo Schmidt

Theo Schmidt enjoys spending time in the outdoors and is passionate about protecting the environment. He is orginally from Calgary but now spends his days in California, writing and blogging about his interests.

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